The Last Post

Welcome to Hilariously Sober, the blog where sobriety isn’t just for early January.

It’s with a heavy heart, moist eyes, but a healthy liver that I write this, the last post I’ll ever write for this blog.

Back in August 2016, when I started this blog, I never intended it to be finite. I knew that sobriety for alcoholics has to be indefinite. With that in mind, I fully expected to still be writing this thing as an old and sober man.

I may achieve oldness someday, and God willing, I’ll remain sober, but without this blog.

There are a number of reasons why I’m pulling the plug on the conveyor belt at Hilariously Sober inc., and one of them isn’t because I ran or could ever imagine running out of content. Sobriety is a complex and intricate subject—completely misunderstood by people who have never undertaken it for any significant length of time. The number of blog posts I could’ve written for this blog wouldn’t have been restricted by my ideas for it, but how much time I have to do it, which is one of the reasons for my stopping.

I dislike the word journey used in an abstract sense; it comes across as pretentious, a term used by a yogi as he eats his bowl of granola and soy milk with a small wooden spoon he picked up at a flea market. But sobriety and this blog have been a hell of a journey of self-discovery. I’ve achieved a level of understanding of what it is to be a human being I didn’t know existed. And I have constant sobriety, and this blog, the place where I could reflect on my observations, to thank for it.

This is a gift of immeasurable quality. And while it would be disingenuous to say I have the readers to thank wholly for it, they helped. I haven’t reached world-beating levels of popularity, but there’s a modest but engaged readership for this blog. Without you I might’ve become discouraged, and to become discouraged in sobriety can spell disaster. So, in a way, I have you guys to thank for the beautiful life I’ve built through sobriety: the home I have, the angelic baby that keeps me company, and the fiance that would stick around with me through a hurricane, whether I’d battened down the hatch or not.

Every time I received a word of encouragement or someone got in contact with me was special, but one particular highlight was a man contacting me to tell me my blog had helped him achieve an early but significant sobriety milestone. The aim of any sobriety blog should be to help people achieve sobriety, and if I helped one, I might as well have helped a thousand.

If you want to continue reading my work, I’ll be blogging about fatherhood over at an as yet unnamed blog (I’ll be posting a link, by updating this post, when it’s up.) Sobriety has meant and still means the world to me. One of my favorite blog posts was about sobriety having to be at the top of your list of priorities. “Even above my kids?” one newly sober person exclaims. “Yes,” replies the man with enough sobriety to have realized its value, “without sobriety, you don’t have any of it. The best thing for your kids is that you stay sober.” Sobriety is all encompassing, and while I’ll continue to engage in it, as anything else would be flirting with danger, I want to focus my comedic writing on one of those elements of life it encompasses.

Where, hopefully, I can achieve world-beating levels of popularity.

Like Lloyd Christmas, Jim Carrey’s character in Dumb and Dumber, I hate goodbyes. But this isn’t goodbye, it’s see ya later, crocodile.

Stay sober, stay happy, and stay grateful.

This has been Hilariously Sober, the blog where writing about sobriety for the last three years has been awesome.

Thanks for reading!

Well Done, You Drunk! You’re Already a Huge Success!

This week, Dan tells you to put down the goalposts, you idiot. You’ll get a bad back carrying them like that.

Welcome to Hilariously Sober, the blog where every county is a dry county.

It’s my girlfriend’s birthday weekend this week. I don’t know about you guys, but I take birthday weekends super seriously. They’re not dissimilar to an iron man contest, especially when I lock myself in my office so that I can blow up balloons, wrap presents, and then scribble out the copy on the card about which I’ve just spent ten to twenty minutes agonizing over.

So, I’m going to make it a short one.

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And don’t get me started on the Olympic-level cooking and baking I have to do today

I wanted to take the time to write a little about success. Before I do, I’m going to assume that A) you were ruining your life with alcohol before you got sober, and B) by getting sober, it didn’t make your life worse.

I’ve been getting a little snappy lately—with my girlfriend, with people on public transport, and if I were to interact with my family more, probably them, too.

I can’t help but think that it has something to do with the fact that a book series I wrote, once on the comedy bestsellers’ list, is now down in the gutter, somewhere at the bottom of the worst-sellers’ list, no matter how much effort I put into marketing, promotion, and advertising.

As much as I’m not trying to let it play on my mind, I’m pretty sure it is. With that book series, I failed to achieve what I set out to.

But here’s the thing: I’ve achieved something.

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I, too, have a basil plant and toy-quality clapboard atop my office desk.

I was speaking to a buddy at That Thing I go To On Saturdays. He’s new in the country, and he’s going through the nasty process of spending pretty much all his time at home as he looks for employment and finds his feet in a foreign place.

He complained that he couldn’t relax after he’d worked on job applications and learning the language and whole host of other tasks. He thought the problem was that he was trying to work and relax in the same space. It also nagged him that he felt like he should be doing more when he sat down to watch some piece of trash movie on Netflix or whatever. I thought about his predicament a second or two, and as I’d gone through the same thing—in an apartment, loads of time, feeling down about my productivity, but never being able to get a proper break from it—I had some surprisingly great advice for him.

Surprisingly great for me, that is.

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For these latte-drinking go-getters, my advice was average at best. A C-minus.

I told him at the start of each day he needed to write a list of things he wanted to achieve that day. He should then review the list and decide whether by achieving those things he would consider it a successful day, productivity wise. If he did, he was to write this down, so we couldn’t forget or delude himself into thinking he wasn’t of that opinion.

I told him he then needed to get to work on the list. He’d enjoy ticking things off, and while he was completing one task, his mind wouldn’t be searching for other tasks to do. But the biggest advantage of writing that list would come when it was completed.

When he was finished with the list—say it was early afternoon—he could be satisfied with what he had achieved. Hell, he’d put it in writing. At the start of the day, he made a deal with himself that he’d be satisfied if he achieved everything on the list. By writing the list, he couldn’t trick himself into moving the productivity goalposts.

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Not given the luxury of his goalposts being in constant, rapid movement, this goalkeeper, as they’re called in soccer, has to do the saving himself.

He’d then be free to watch whatever trash he wanted to on Netflix, or go for a walk, or however he used his leisure time, without the nagging feeling that he should be doing more now that he’s unemployed.

My point is, I think we often move the goalposts for ourselves as alcoholics. There was a time we were ruining our lives by drinking ourselves to literal death and trying to destroy every relationship we’d ever built. Now we wake up feeling fresh every morning. We’ve already achieved what we set out to, so we’re already successes, whether we advance in our careers as far as we would like.

Our lives have improved immeasurably.

Every alcoholic who gets and stays sober for any considerable length of time has to be desperate to achieve it. So desperate that he knows it’s the sole thing he has to focus on if he is to achieve it—at least in the beginning.

If we’d have written a list of tasks we needed to achieve to feel like a success when we were at our rock bottom, there would have only been one task on there: get and stay sober.

We’ve achieved that, now, and we achieve it anew every day. And while I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to gun for that promotion or achieve things on top of your sobriety, I’m saying take it easy on yourself when those things don’t quite work out.

You’re already a huge success, you goddamn drunk. Now go and watch that piece of trash on Netflix you’ve had your eye on. You’ve earned it.


Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober by filling out the form in the top-right corner of the webpage. And if you found it useful, don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share this post with your friends on social media.

Read Kindle eBooks? Interested in trying one by this author but don’t want to part with your hard-earned cash for fear he’s as terrible at writing fiction as he is blog posts about a swan, pride, and sobriety? Well today’s your lucky week! If you live in the US, you can download No Hitmen in Heaven for free. Get it today, while digital stocks last. Just click this link.

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My other works of fiction can be checked out here.

Head over to my Facebook page and say hi.

The World Is Full of Assholes, But You’re the Problem

“I’m sitting here grumpy and experiencing anxiety about whether I should phone the guy to give him a piece of my mind on what should otherwise be a fine morning.”

Welcome to Hilariously Sober, the blog where we like to eat our grapes whole, before some sock-less Frenchman has had time to get the pips stuck between his toes.

Earlier this week, I saw a note hanging up in the doorway leading to the hallway that leads to my apartment. It was from the neighbor directly above me, warning his neighbors that he’d arranged some sort of social gathering for the coming Friday, to be hosted in his apartment. He used the word “vors,” which I hadn’t seen before, and which Google Translate didn’t recognize. I asked my long-suffering girlfriend and mother to my five-month-old baby what it meant, and she said it’s a German word meaning “pre-drinks,” a term that struck fear in my heart.

“Pre-drinks” sounds like a word a party guy or gal uses to describe the shitshow that is he and his guests shout-conversing at each other over the bass-heavy music he or she’s blasting out of his stereo. It sounded like his note was basically warning people that he planned to play socially unacceptably loud music in his apartment and wanted us, his neighbors, to be cool with it.

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This is a stock-photo representation of my neighbor.

Suspecting this, I went up to the eighth floor, the floor two floors above his, to check if he’d warned them. He had, which all but confirmed my suspicion.

I like how by warning us it’s supposed to make it better. That I’ll just think, “Oh, okay. I guess I’ll stay in a hotel for the evening, so he can drink white zinfandel with his girlfriends.”

The party was way worse than I expected it to be. It sounded like he’d invited the Gremlins and plied them with a constant stream of free-pour cocktails, they hell-bent on destroying the place. There was whooping, howling, chanting, the constant dropping of hard objects on the floor, and constant crazy-loud music.

He’d warned us in the note he’d be going out at around eleven. They stayed in his apartment until around 1 AM. The really cynical part came right at the end. He’d obviously had complaints from neighbors, so he decided to play the final song extra loud, just to wake up anyone who’d somehow managed to get to sleep, and to piss off anyone who’d dare complain about his being an inconsiderate degenerate.

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I wracked my brain trying to think of a place where doing all the above shit is cool, and then I had a eureka moment: “That’s what bars are for!”

Here’s the thing: that guy is a fucking asshole, but the problem is me.

I’m sitting here grumpy and experiencing anxiety about whether I should phone the guy to give him a piece of my mind on what should otherwise be a fine morning. Although he won’t ruin my Saturday, he’ll be on my mind now and again. He and his sparkling-wine-drinking asshole friends, all of whom wouldn’t have behaved that way in their own apartment building.

If you’re a Christian, that guy was put there to test your faith, a product of God giving us free will; if you’re an AA guy, that guy was put there to test your serenity by your Higher Power; and if you don’t subscribe to either faith, that guy was put there by the universe to test how good you are at keeping your cool in front of your wife and kids.

They’ll always be that one asshole who who has his rucksack on the seat next to him on the train, that asshole who steals the back wheel of your bicycle, that asshole who lets his dog curl out a turd on your front yard and doesn’t pick it up, that asshole who parks so that he takes up two parking spaces, and that asshole who thinks it’s okay to have a party that sounds like feeding time at the zoo mixed with an Ariana Grande concert in his apartment.

To stay sober until we’re on our deathbed, and to live a happy life, one where our kids don’t think we’re whiners, we have to forgive those people, and to forgive them quickly.

Me? I’m not quite there, yet. It’s 5:51 AM, and I plan to edit, format, and publish this blog post, after which I suspect it’ll be around 6:20 AM. I plan to go running, but before I do, I’ll be making a phone call. The guy from the apartment above mine who left the note wrote his number at the bottom, and said to phone if there was anything. After last night, I’d say there is something we need to discuss, and if it’s reasonable for him to expect me to tolerate his music at 1 AM, it’s not unreasonable of me to expect him to be awake at around 6 AM the next morning.

That guy’s an asshole, but I’m the problem. At least for now.


Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober by filling out the form in the top-right corner of the webpage. And if you laughed out loud at least three times, don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share this post with your friends on social media.

Read Kindle eBooks? Interested in trying one by this author but don’t want to part with your hard-earned cash for fear he’s as terrible at writing fiction as he is blog posts about a swan, pride, and sobriety? Well today’s your lucky week! If you live in the US, you can download No Hitmen in Heaven for free. Get it today, while digital stocks last. Just click this link.

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My other works of fiction can be checked out here.

Head over to my Facebook page and say hi.

Don’t Forget the Pancakes!

“Our struggle isn’t to find out who killed our wife, but to keep a hold of happiness. And it’s way more difficult than it seems.”

Welcome to Hilariously Sober, the blog where the only fat that’s getting into our livers is from french fries.

I’m feeling a little depressed this morning, a little uninspired, like writing every single one of these words is a futile act, like saying the words of a Star Trek-style captain’s log and I’m the captain of a space vessel that’s run out of fuel and is drifting out into deep space, the log never to be found and listened to.

It’s okay. There’s no reason to send a get-well-soon card or to phone the Samaritans for them to make a house call. It might be wise to remove the bullets from my revolver without my knowing, though. Just kidding. You’d never be able to do it without my knowing it.

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“Nice try, shit for brains, but I’ve got me two pistols. One for each ear.”

But seriously, there’s no need to worry. I’ve just been doing a few things wrong. Eating a lot of sugar, for one.

I was going to write a blog post about five things that make me super depressed, and then I realized that every single one of them (all foodstuffs) are probably all things you consume on a regular basis, and no one wants to read bad news about their enjoyable habits on a Saturday or Sunday morning, or whenever you’re reading this, and they probably don’t make you depressed at all.

Back to this sugar thing. I’m quitting for the second time, and that’s making me more depressed than when I was drizzling the stuff on my pancakes by the heaped tablespoon. This is second time I’ve quit, and last time I did, after I was over the rough patch (the revolver having been put back into the top office-desk drawer, where I have easy access to it when I write), I felt amazing. And then at some point I forgot how amazing it felt to have quit, so I started again.

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And don’t get me started on how often I forget exercise is good for me.

My brain tricked me into forgetting the difference in my mood and my newfound, revolutionary sense of well-being, and decided it was cool to start eating sugary shit again. I started off slowly, only adding a little sugar to food, and it naturally increased over time, until I was making not one but two dessert dishes for my evening meal.

The point of my droning on about my difficulties with sugar is this: our brains can’t be trusted to make sensible decisions. That’s how we ended up here—I writing about sobriety, and you reading about it.

Every alcoholic ended up at his rock-bottom by having a self-destruct switch he was bad at ignoring. He doesn’t know what’s good for him.

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If you put your ear close to it, like a conch shell, you can’t hear the ocean, but you can hear it say, “Go ahead. Make my day, punk.”

I’m expecting in a couple days to be feeling great again. I’ll be on top of the world, and next week’s post I’ll be flying. It’s at this point my dreadful experience with sugar and pancakes and kinda wishing I did have a revolver for real will start to fade.

Remember that movie Memento? The one where the main character is trying to find out who killed his wife, but there’s a twist: he can’t develop new memories. So he tattoos all the clues he’s gathered so far on his body; but there’s a second twist: can the tattooed notes be trusted, or is he trying to trick himself away from the truth? Chris Nolan, in writing the screenplay, has written a great allegory for the human condition. The new self doesn’t much care about the experiences of the old self, or its opinions, so we end up in these cycles, getting tricked by sugar and alcohol and ourselves and ending up depressed and not knowing how we got there.

When you walk past a junkie on the street, he sitting outside some store with a cardboard sign in front of him, you can guarantee that guy has no idea how he got there. But get there he did, one tricked-brain decision at a time.

Our struggle isn’t to find out who killed our wife, but to keep a hold of happiness. And it’s way more difficult than it seems.

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“Can you try to work ‘it was the butler with the wrench in the kitchen’ into the design, by any chance?”

I’m unwilling to have “STAY AWAY FROM SUGAR” tattooed on any part of my body. But I have a different solution. Every day, I post links on Twitter for these blog posts, and to do so, I have to scroll through a list of them in my WordPress account to select the ones I want to spam that day. My eyes have to scan through the list, and every now and again, they’ll happen on the title of this post: Don’t Forget the Pancakes!

So how’s that for wanting to trick yourself into drizzling syrup on your pancakes by the heaped tablespoon, future self?

Now I just have to find out who killed my wife, and then life will be dandy again. Until I can trick myself into some other form of self-destruction.


Thanks for reading! This week’s post was shitty, but if you enjoyed it, don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober by filling out the form in the top-right corner of the webpage. And if it made you laugh out loud at least three times, despite its inherent unfunniness don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share this post with your friends on social media.

Read Kindle eBooks? Interested in trying one by this author but don’t want to part with your hard-earned cash for fear he’s as terrible at writing fiction as he is blog posts about a swan, pride, and sobriety? Well today’s your lucky week! If you live in the US, you can download No Hitmen in Heaven for free. Get it today, while digital stocks last. Just click this link.

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My other works of fiction can be checked out here.

Head over to my Facebook page and say hi.

Tune Out of Radio Mind Garbage 365.25 and Turn your Dial to 902.1 Serenity

“Upon waking, I went into my office, sat down with my back against the wall, back straight, set my timer for six minutes, and tried to spend that time until the alarm went off to think about nothing.”

Welcome to Hilariously Sober, the blog where life is like a box of non-liquor-filled chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get, but you know you’re not going to get drunk eating them.

I always hated those, didn’t you? Chocolate I get. But combining it with a liquor cheap enough to use as the filling in a chocolate? It was awful. The two consistencies never gelled well in your mouth either. The liquor always felt too runny, making the chocolate’s ability to stick to the roof of your mouth seem worse.

You can keep your liquor-filled chocolates for New Year’s Eve, grandma.

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I’m calling bullshit on the marzipan ones, too.

This week’s blog post isn’t about liquor-filled chocolates. It’s about the fact you’re not in control of your own mind. You don’t even own it, at least not yet.

Many weeks ago, I wrote this post about you not being your thoughts. In a nutshell, it says your mind is just a stream of consciousness, and you choose which thoughts to ignore and which ones to pay mind to.

I want to expand on that this week.

Let’s go back to this you-don’t-own-your-mind idea, which I admit upon first glance looks like bullshit dreamed up by some guy after he’s smoked one too many bongs. But it’s true. You read newspapers and watch commercials on TV about the next best product for cleaning your floors with and listen to politicians give speeches enough times and you will have had so much input your mind is now filled up with thoughts that aren’t reflective of who you are.

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What my granddad thinks marijuana smokers look like.

Think of your stream of consciousness as a radio channel. You choose what to put into it for future use, its inspiration for the shows it’s going to produce, as you choose how to spend your time (no one’s forcing you to listen to politicians’ speeches or watch that commercial for Drano), and then it broadcasts it all back at you.

This is how your mind gets hijacked. And chances are, if you’ve lived a life on planet earth, exposed to media, your mind has collected a whole load of garbage it wants to bombard you with all day. Your mind can also get hijacked by your old experiences, the ones you hope to move on from one day.

I call this Radio Mind Garbage 365.25 , and one day it might be the reason I someday rename this blog to Hilariously Relapsing.

If I let it.

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Going to commercial in five, four, three…

As you’ve probably worked out, I take my sobriety seriously. It’s the foundation on which my meaningful life is built, including the job I like to be good at, the family I love to be the funny guy for, and the friendships I have at That Thing I Go To On Saturday Afternoons and every other meaningful relationship in my life.

That means I have to take this Radio Mind Garbage problem, and potential sobriety threat, seriously.

So this week I started doing something I’ve never been able to work out the function of.

Upon waking, I went into my office, sat down with my back against the wall, back straight, set my timer for six minutes, and tried to spend that time until the alarm went off to think about nothing.

This, ladies and gentleman, is what pretentious people like to call meditation.

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“There’s more to it, child, but you’re in the ballpark.”

I’m not good at it yet. I suck at meditation. Whenever I sit down and try to think about nothing, Radio Mind Garbage starts broadcasting. And as that random series of thoughts goes by, more often than not, I pick one up and run with it, feeling the emotions of the thought as though I were living it. For example, on Wednesday, I picked up a thought about having an argument with my old boss. I felt the anger of hearing his criticism, the sickly sweet self-righteousness when I could put him in his place—I was in those thoughts.

Meditation, as I see it, is the ability to watch those thoughts float by without picking them up. This takes practice, but I’m going to stick with it.

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“If you disagree, just say so, and I’ll bitch slap you so hard you’ll be back at college, in Philosophy 101.”

How does this relate to sobriety? First off, feeling the emotion of arguing with your old boss as thought you are actually arguing with him isn’t good for your mental health. For obvious reasons, if you can make up arguments in your mind and experience them as though you are actually arguing wherever you are, like some sort of fucked-up super power, you’re more likely to drive yourself insane enough to drink again.

If you learn to ignore these thoughts during meditation, you can use this during the day to achieve serenity. And if you can choose to ignore thoughts of arguing with your old boss, you can choose to ignore thoughts of drinking, or any thoughts, which, when you think about it, sounds like an amazing way to live your life.

But I’m not there, yet. I have an appointment around midday with my old boss, in my mind, where we’ll probably look at a performance review and I’ll go tell him to fuck himself. Welcome to Radio Mind Garbage, folks, where the bullshit from your life is broadcast 24/7, 365.25.


Thanks for reading! I felt this was an important topic, but not one I could necessarily make funny, so my apologies for not for not doing what it says on the tin, this week. If you enjoyed this post anyway, despite its lack of hilarity, don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober by filling out in the form in the top-right corner of the webpage to receive email notifications. And if this post made you laugh out loud at least three times, no matter how unlikely, don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share this post with your friends on social media.

Read Kindle eBooks? Interested in trying one by this author but don’t want to part with your hard-earned cash for fear he’s as terrible at writing fiction as he is blog posts about a swan, pride, and sobriety? Well today’s your lucky week! If you live in the US, you can download No Hitmen in Heaven for free. Get it today, while digital stocks last. Just click this link.

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My other works of fiction can be checked out here.

Head over to my Facebook page and say hi.

How Many Excuses Do You Need to Drink?

“The real lost causes don’t make excuses for their drinking at all. In fact, some are so far gone, they even refuse to acknowledge they drink a lot, despite having hard liquor stashed around various places in their home, including the toilet tank.”

Welcome to Hilariously Sober, the blog where we’re calling bullshit on that pseudoscience wine-drinking, heart-health link.

It is, though. Turns out it’s something in the grapes that’s good for your heart. Fermenting the grapes into wine has nothing to do with it. You’d be much better off eating grapes, unless you’re a drunk and want to use the heart-health thing as an excuse to drink red wine every night.

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Let’s party, girlfriend!

We all have our excuses for drinking. Most of them are trivial and ridiculous. In fact, the harmful effects of drinking, both socially and to your health, render every single one of them trivial and ridiculous. When thinking about quitting drinking years ago because of the hangovers (this was before I was a proper drunk), I once thought to myself, But what will I do on airplanes?

How many flights did I take every year during that period? Maximum two, most of the time just one.

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Staring at the heaven-like lower stratosphere is one option. Watching the latest Adam Sandler movie on your iPad is another.

I FaceTimed my brother last night. It was his birthday yesterday, and instead of just sending him a Facebook birthday greeting (I think I wrote, “Happy Birthday, old boy!”), I took the time to speak to him. We have this unwritten rule where we don’t send each other cards. We’re too manly, or we don’t like going to the post office, which are basically the same reason. We send and receive one from each other at Christmas, but that’s a family thing, the greeting written inside by our better halves. But I thought he’d appreciate a FaceTime, so long as I could manage to ask him enough questions about how him and not focus on how it’s going with me the whole conversation.

I think I did a pretty good job in that regard. My brother had a little bit of a drinking problem. A drinking-related health problem was diagnosed by a doctor during a routine physical for an engineering gig he got around ten years ago, but I don’t think he drinks that much these days.

He’s one of the lucky ones. He wandered into the abyss of drinking a lot, and managed to find his way out without a hard-liquor-level problem. He came out seemingly unaffected. He now has a good career, he’s a committed family man, and everything seems fine.

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Here he is, played by a stock-photo model, just after he’d bought his whole family an item of red clothing.

He’s mentioned thinking about quitting a few times over the years. He doesn’t like the hangovers, so I like to ask him about it. I think every drinker should quit, including your Aunt Mavis, who just has a glass of sherry with her Christmas dinner.

At the end of the conversation, I blurted, “How’s the boozing going?”

It’s a loaded question, I know. I didn’t intend it to be. I’m not very articulate during FaceTime conversations (a video feed of myself talking in the corner distracts me), so that was a clumsy way of asking “Have you finally quit, yet?”

He told me again that he was thinking about quitting, but every time he did, he thought about football. He said, “Watching football and sobriety don’t mix.”

So he’s got a rule in place. “I don’t drink Monday to Thursday.”

I know. Huge red flag.

I think he’s cool, though.

My brother’s excuse is a sport, and not even a sport where he’s a participant. If there were such a thing, a sport where the participants were required to be drunk or tipsy, I’d watch it, as long as no other animals apart from human beings were harmed in the process.

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Just realized I basically described Sunday-league rugby.

This week’s a rambling one. I suppose the theme of excuses has developed. That’s something, at least.

Excuses have a good side. It shows that the person is at least aware that their drinking is a problem. Such a person can be saved. It’s the guy who goes up to the ledge at the edge of his office-building roof but waits for someone to come and talk him down, or for a crowd to gather. The real lost causes don’t make excuses for their drinking at all. In fact, some are so far gone, they even refuse to acknowledge they drink a lot, despite having hard liquor stashed around various places in their home, including the toilet tank.

That’s the person who goes up to the office-building and leaps off without even discussing their problems first. Confused metaphor aside, we’ve all heard of this type of alcoholic. There exists more than we know, as they’re the stealth alcoholics. 

An excuse is music to my ears. It shows a thought process has begun. That’s the road that eventually leads to sobriety for good, this time. It’s a way off, but still.

So I raise a glass of seltzer to your excuses, whether they be air travel, football, wanting to tackle other men every Sunday afternoon, or anything else. Apart from the wine-heart-health one. That’s just bullshit.


Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober by filling out the form in the top-right corner to receive email notifications. And if this post made you laugh out loud at least three times, don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share this post with your friends on social media.

Read Kindle eBooks? Interested in trying one by this author but don’t want to part with your hard-earned cash for fear he’s as terrible at writing fiction as he is blog posts about a swan, pride, and sobriety? Well today’s your lucky week! If you live in the US, you can download No Hitmen in Heaven for free. Get it today, while digital stocks last. Just click this link.

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Yesterday Was a Colleague’s Birthday

“I’d done the same thing with bottles of wine, having gotten them as gifts (once with a magnum) and funnily enough, I didn’t make the same criticism as wine as a gift, that it’s a bitch to transport home.”

Welcome to Hilariously Sober, the blog where sobriety is held in the same high regard as explosive flatulence: it’s funny if it’s done right, but if it goes wrong, it’s really serious business, especially if it goes wrong in a public place.

Yesterday was a colleague’s birthday. I asked my other colleagues if we should get her a present. What I was really asking, of course, was, “I want to get her a present, but are you guys going to contribute, to lessen the financial burden?” They agreed they would. Then I asked them, “What should we get her? Because she doesn’t seem like the type to be over the moon about receiving flowers.”

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Can we get this guy an Appletini? He’s thirsty over here.

What I was really asking, of course, was, “Should we get her booze?” I’ve put chocolate in the same category as flowers: it’s a cliché, for which a lot of people, usually the same people not crazy about flowers, don’t have a function. I got a box of chocolates as a present over a year ago, and it’s still in my work rucksack, collecting dust. And flowers? A great gift with which to present my long-time girlfriend when I get back from work, but a bitch to transport home, especially during rush hour.

I’d done the same thing with bottles of wine, having gotten them as gifts (once with a magnum) and funnily enough, I didn’t make the same criticism as wine as a gift, that it’s a bitch to transport home. Though it’s different now that I’m sober, of course. Transporting a bottle of wine, whether it’s a magnum or just a regular bottle, feels like transporting a hydrogen bomb in my rucksack.

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“Shit. Harry’s off the wagon again, Moira.”

They agreed we should get her booze. “What type of booze?” I asked the guy who knew her best. The only reason I asked, she didn’t seem like the type who drank white zinfandel while constantly texting her large circle of girlfriends. We settled on whiskey, as she’d told him once that she complained of having drank too much whiskey once before a school night.

“In a bad way?” I asked.

He laughed. He probably thought I meant bad as in was she comically hungover? Drank a little too much and now she’s paying for it. I see this a lot on the other side: hangovers are funny, and can be relieved with a Big Mac or a breakfast cooked in oil.

But I didn’t mean bad as in she was a little hungover. I was deadly serious.

I meant bad as in did she drink the whole bottle, wake up in a pile of her own vomit on her neighbor’s lawn, and just the smell of whiskey now makes her acutely nauseous? Something that happened to me, once, but with vodka mixed with store-brand energy drink.

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This is going to hurt, in a bad way.

He meant the good bad way, of course. As she isn’t a boozer like I.

So I went to get the whiskey. Little fun fact about Norway: the sale of all alcoholic drinks over 4.7% ABV is exclusive to Vinmonopolet outlets. You have to go to the same Government-run liquor store, in other words, to buy anything with a kick. These liquor stores, they all look the same on the inside.

So when I went to get it, I wasn’t going to some mom-and-pop store I’d never visited before, but a place I’d seemingly visited many, many times before, despite it being the first time I was going to this particular outlet.

It brought back some memories. The strongest of which was the excitement of going there to get my favorite drinks. It’s a place I associate with freedom, of holidays from work and weekends when the days seemed endless and the possibilities equally endless.

I felt younger in the there. Twenty-six or some shit.

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Kinda like this guy.

As of today, I’m 614 days sober. You start to think this shit has gone away when you haven’t thought about drinking for a while. This is the longest I’ve gone, and I expect it to go away at some point, despite everything I’ve learned about alcoholism since getting sober. It hasn’t, and I guess it won’t.

It’s still as strong as ever.

Walking around that liquor store, new to me but feeling familiar all the same, I learned that again. And at some point, I’ll have to learn it again, and again.

I returned to work with the bottle of whiskey in an overpriced presentation bag and an ironically bought unofficial-Barbie-merchandise card and she seemed happy with it.

Yesterday was a colleague’s birthday, and through a series of questions, I managed to get my other colleagues to financially contribute to buying her the gift I would’ve bought myself in a parallel universe where I can hold my booze and not make an ass out of myself, waking up on my neighbor’s lawn or some shit.


Thanks for reading! I was a little tired when I wrote this, and the first draft of this post is not amazing, but I could’ve fixed it in editing or maybe in formatting. If I did, or if you enjoyed it anyway, don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober by filling out the form in the top-right corner of the webpage to receive email notifications about newly published posts. And if this post made you laugh out loud at least three times, don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share this post with your friends on social media.

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Read Kindle eBooks? Interested in trying one by this author but don’t want to part with your hard-earned cash for fear he’s as terrible at writing fiction as he is blog posts about a swan, pride, and sobriety? Well today’s your lucky week! If you live in the US, you can download No Hitmen in Heaven for free. Get it today, while digital stocks last. Just click this link.

My other works of fiction can be checked out here.

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Remember Where You Came From

“For some reason I was wearing a wool-blend suit jacket and a pair of chinos to travel in and she wasn’t exaggerating when she said it was half a mile of gates and bars and restaurants that I’d have to run past.”

Welcome to Hilariously Sober, the blog where we spend the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ in a reflective, almost somber manner, as we take the occasional sip of tonic sans gin. And watching other people’s fireworks, of course.

One of the most challenging things about being sober, and about personal development, and I suppose about being a human being in general, is that it’s almost impossible to remember where you came from. Because you can’t, it’s almost impossible to fully appreciate the progress you’ve made, either as a sober person or as a person in general.

One way I got around this (and I think it was key to my staying sober this time around, and for the longest I’ve ever gone) was to take a photo of my lowest point in alcoholism, aka my rock bottom.

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This pug is experiencing its lowest ebb.

I won’t describe the events leading up to to it, as I’d put it in the category of oversharing, but I was eighty pounds overweight, had this desperate look on my face, and had snot running from my nostrils, not because of the common cold, but because I’d spent the last five to ten minutes in floods of tears.

I’ve since deleted this photo, not to make space on my iPhone, but because it was embarrassing to look at.

I wish I hadn’t. It would come in handy. Whenever I would question the progress I was making, I could just whip out that photo for a couple seconds, take in the relative stranger looking back at me, and think, Yep, I’ve come a long way.

Now, I have to recall stories.

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But when I do so, it’s without marshmallows for toasting, as I refuse to buy a whole bag of those things, on account of my being able to eat like two before I feel so sick I question why I ever bought them in the first place.

Take the following story, for example. Three or four summers ago, I traveled to England for my mum and stepdad’s 30th or 40th wedding anniversary. It was one of the first times I’d flown on my own, and I usually rely on my girlfriend to get tickets organized, to check us in, and locate the correct place to drop off our luggage, etc. But I managed all that stuff, and managed to make it through Security with my belt back around my waist and my wallet in my pocket.

Here’s where it goes wrong.

I wandered through an entryway, an entryway that was marked something like ‘Warning: Point of not return.’

I didn’t heed the warning, and found myself ten minutes later in the queue for the tax-free shop with a gigantic box of Wine Gums under my arm and a bottle of champagne in each hand.

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It just occurred to me that this story is like an alternate-universe retelling of the plot of Home Alone.

I intended to give one to them and drink the other in a dark corner at the party, where I wouldn’t have to share it. I put my stuff on the conveyor belt and when it came my turn to pay, I handed over my boarding card to the lady manning the cash register.

She read it, and this cloud came over her face. She frowned and said, “Sir, you’re in the International lounge.”

And I said, “Yeah. Isn’t that where I’m supposed to be?” knowing as I said it that she wouldn’t be asking if I was.

And she said, “You need to be in Domestic.”

Remember that moment in Jaws where Martin Brody’s on the beach and he spots the shark attack and the world rushes towards him in this moment of blood-freezing panic, I experienced one of those. And when the world came back into focus, I was looking at a flustered tax-free store clerk, who, for some reason, was emotionally invested in my making it to my destination. She seemed both disappointed in me and sad, and I was confused, because I didn’t know the woman. She explained the situation I was in: I was going to have to run a half a mile past all the gates and back to the Departure area, where I would have to go through Security again, and if I ran quickly enough, and if the queue was kind to me, I might just make my flight.

You see, I was traveling to England, but via Stavanger, a place in Norway known for being the base of operations for an oil drilling company. So I was taking a domestic flight first.

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Amsterdam, a place to get high.

The level of concern on the clerk’s face showed me just what level of trouble I was in. I took the boarding card from her, looked at the time of my flight, looked at the time it was now, and then knew why she was so concerned.

I might not make my parents’ wedding anniversary.

But I said, “Wait a second. Does this mean I can’t buy the champagne?”

I couldn’t, obviously.

I set off running. For some reason I was wearing a wool-blend suit jacket and a pair of chinos to travel in and she wasn’t exaggerating when she said it was half a mile of gates and bars and restaurants that I’d have to run past.

And you know what I thought as I ran? It wasn’t, Oh man, what an idiot I’ve been. I really should get my shit together. How am I supposed to navigate life if I can’t navigate an airport or manage by myself when it comes to air travel.

It was, Shit, there’s no way I’ll have time to the go the bar before my flight now.

I made my flight. I think I even managed to quaff a pint or two before taking my flight to some place in Norway known for being the base of operations for some oil drilling company.

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Something like this.

I managed to make it to the wedding anniversary and got drunk and talked to anyone who would listen about how I was going to get sober and I was done with alcohol, not because of what happened on the way there, but because I’d reached a dark place during the summer, as I did every summer when drink was involved.

I’ll tell this story at AA today, and depending on the crowd and how well I tell it, people will laugh. And I’ll want them to. But the story has a dark heart. It’s the story of a man so concerned with drinking himself drunk his secondary, maybe even primary, concern upon being informed he might not make his flight was whether he could buy the bottle of champagne he was holding. To further that theme, he was able to run quickly enough, ignoring the sweat that dripped down his back, soaking his ass, because he wanted to make it to the domestic Departures lounge bar before boarding. His parents weren’t even on his mind.

So yeah, I’ve come a long way. For one, there’s no way I’d wear a wool-blend suit jacket in which to travel during the summer again.


Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober. And if it made you laugh out loud at least three times, don’t forget to share this post with your friends on social media.

Read Kindle eBooks? Interested in trying one by this author but don’t want to part with your hard-earned cash for fear he’s as terrible at writing fiction as he is blog posts about a swan, pride, and sobriety? Well today’s your lucky week! If you live in the US, you can download No Hitmen in Heaven for free. Get it today, while digital stocks last. Just click this link.

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My other works of fiction can be checked out here.

Head over to my Facebook page and say hi.

Sobriety Just Got Really Serious

“Maybe your neighbor caught you taking a nap out in the yard, beer cans lying all around you, and the kids unattended. And then you lose them.”

Welcome to Hilariously Sober, the blog that’s edited and written sober.

Yeah, we went ahead and ignored Peter De Vries’s advice to “Write drunk and edit sober.” To do so, we think, would be like saying “procreate drunk, look after the resulting accidental twins sober.”

Anyhoo, let’s get on with this week’s topic, which as usual is nothing. It used to be that I planned a topic during the week, or would sit and mull over possible topics on a Saturday morning, and then spend one to two hours writing, editing, formatting, and publishing the posts, complete with humorous photos with even more humorous captions.

And then a baby happened.

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This little guy spells a whole bunch of trouble.

Now, I drag myself out of bed at around 4:30 AM, give myself an hour and a half to do all the above tasks, and then I rush to the bathroom, where, if I’m lucky, I get to shower and brush my teeth before Pernille, my baby daughter, wakes up, and then I spend the next two or so hours looking after her, so that her mother, a woman that vaguely reminds me of my soulmate if she’s allowed to get more than five hours of sleep at night, can get some much-needed rest.

So yeah, I kinda just go with the flow as far as writing these things goes. If you miss high-concept posts such as The Doomsday Prepper’s Guide to Getting Sober, you’ll get those back in around seventeen or eighteen or twenty years, when the bulk of this parenting gig is over and done with.

For now, we’ve just got this: my ramblings, which I hope for both our sakes contributes, even just infinitesimally, to our staying sober today.

My motivation for writing this blog may just seem like posting stock photos and writing funny captions to accompany them, and in a way it is, but what I really want is for you and I to stay sober.

By making fun of sobriety culture, I hope to make you more serious about it. The logic seems backward, and it probably is. It’s a little after five, I can’t describe my level of wakefulness as one fit for writing with sound logic, or even with commas in the right place or periods at the end of sentences.

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“You see kinda see this letter, buddy, the one the with terrible background-text contrast? That’s the letter G.”

Which reminds me: taking sobriety seriously. That’s the first step, I believe, to getting and staying sober. Wanting never to be hungover again, which is how most people wander into this thing, isn’t enough. You want to have gained a level of fear and respect for alcoholism that you haven’t experienced since you were a child and realized your parents can get angry, and when they do, they can smack your ass, and really hard.

When I went to my first meeting of That Thing I Go To On A Saturday Afternoon, a guy, who has remained a good friend ever since, stayed around to speak to me. He must’ve noticed I wasn’t seemingly taking any of it seriously—he was wrong, by the way, I just grin like an idiot perpetually and make jokes about everything no matter what the circumstances—and he said to me, “This is serious, Dan. Those people who you saw in this room today, they take a drink, and they’ll fuck their whole life up. A life that’s taken years to build. They’ve done it before and they can do it again. They’ll lose their jobs and their spouses and eventually their kids, and when all that’s gone all they’ll have to lose is their sanity and life, and they’ll be willing to give those up, too, just so they can get shitfaced that night, and the night after that. They’ll ride the train to the end of the line.”

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They’d probably be able to keep their cat, though.

Over the last year and half, I’ve come to understand alcoholism much better. More importantly, how sobriety ties into it. A couple years ago, falling off the wagon meant I’d have a relapse for a couple months, and then get back on it. But long-term sobriety complicates things somewhat.

The stakes have been raised.

Stay sober for any length of time, you’ll start to excel in your profession, and you might get a promotion or two, or you might decide to have a family. You’ll need a bigger house for that family, so you get one. All of a sudden you’re working your ass off to create this beautiful thing: a family, with all its members as happy as you can make them.

Now, let’s say all that pressure got to you, and you decided you’d just have one night drinking, just to take the edge off. Despite the hangover being the same and the buzz not being as good as you remember it, it’s been so long since you’ve drank, you find some way of justifying it the next day so that you can drink again. Your rationale is somewhat like this: hell, I was sober ten years to wait for this shit; I may as well make the most of it before getting sober again.

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“I’ve waited so long to see you, Margaret, that I feel compelled to set you on fire.”

Those days turn into weeks. Alcoholism steals time like that. Before you know it, and in the middle of a heavy relapse, your chances of not noticing the destruction you’re causing are very high, it’s come to the attention of your boss that your work performance has dropped.

Before you know it again, you’re fired. Now you have all those people that you made dependent on you with your long-term sobriety and success and bigger house all suffering. Your solution: keep on getting drunk. You’re so down, there’s never been a worse time to get sober.

Before you know it again, it’s come to the attention of a children’s welfare authority that you’re doing a real shitty job of looking after your kids. Maybe your neighbor caught you taking a nap out in the yard, beer cans lying all around you, and the kids unattended. And then you lose them.

The moral of the story is, the longer you go in this sobriety game, the more you’ll repair and build your life. But when you’re a drunk, that’s a double-edged sword: it just means you have more to destroy. And when a drunk has more to destroy, he has more motivation, if he relapses, to ride that train all the way to the end of the line.

He has more fuel for his relapse fire—more furniture to smash to pieces and throw onto it.

So yeah, when you take sobriety seriously, it becomes serious. No matter how much fun you can make out of it.


Thanks for reading! This post wasn’t even remotely funny this week, but it had a good, if cliched meaning. If you enjoyed it despite its lack of hilarity, don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober by filling out the form in the top-right corner of the webpage. And if you laughed out loud at least three times, don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share this post with your friends on social media.

Read Kindle eBooks? Interested in trying one by this author but don’t want to part with your hard-earned cash for fear he’s as terrible at writing fiction as he is blog posts about a swan, pride, and sobriety? Well today’s your lucky week! If you live in the US, you can download No Hitmen in Heaven for free. Get it today, while digital stocks last. Just click this link.

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My other works of fiction can be checked out here.

Head over to my Facebook page and say hi.

Sobriety’s More Important Than Your Kids

“I got swept away into my imagination at some point, spending the next thirty or so seconds daydreaming about getting shitfaced again, as they played with my baby daughter, scaring the fuck out of her with their enthusiasm, as grandparents are apt to do.”

Welcome to Hilariously Sober, where life is like a box chocolates, just with the liquor-filled ones removed.

I’m making this week’s blog post a short one. I feel like I’ve been writing that a lot lately, and that I’m half-assing these things, so that I can do something I’ve deemed more important. This week, that happens to be preparing food for Day Two of the grandparents’ visit of my baby daughter.

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“Bert might need pure oxygen pumped into his nose, but he’d still make a great babysitter.”

When I think about it, and I just have, because I less than a second ago wrote about it, there isn’t anything more important in my life than this blog.

There can’t be.

I drop in and out of listening to podcasts as part of my routine to stay sober, but I remember a great quote from one, which I’d like to share with you now: “When I told a sponsor his sobriety should be the most important thing in his life, he looked at me a second with this look in his eye that kinda made me regret inviting him into my home and said, ‘What about my kids, is it more important than them?’ And I said yes, it is. He became incredulous and irritated and at one point I thought he might run into my office, come out wielding my lava lamp, and decide it was the best idea he’d ever had to hit me over the head with it. I calmed him down, managing to get his ass back on my wife’s side of the sofa (she was at work), and the lava lamp idea out of his head. And then explained to him, ‘Without sobriety you don’t get to have a list of priorities. If you start drinking again, that list won’t mean shit to you. You’ll crumple it up with a white-knuckled fist or wipe your ass with it or if you’re super anal when you’re active, put in in your cross-cut shredder. So yeah, sobriety’s at the top of your list. Without it, you don’t get to have a list.’ He still thought I was a jerk, and he left promptly, but only after finishing his seltzer water and after he’d spent a little time bitching and moaning over some shit his wife had said to him when he left the percolator on one Sunday morning. But he came to believe I was right. Next time I visited him, I found he’d put pretty much the same lava lamp in his office, and I couldn’t help but think I’d been right about what I was thinking, too, about his wanting to hit me over the head with the one in my office, and that the next time his wife gave him shit, that’s exactly what he might do. He’s still working on that list of priorities, but we both agree, staying sober’s at the top of it, and always will be.”

I’ve adorned that quote with my brand of comedy, but the point’s still there.

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“Hitting his wife over the head with a lava lamp. Funny.”

Way back when I first started trying to get sober, I didn’t go to AA, but I did listen to sobriety-themed podcasts and write this blog. One Saturday morning, I came out of the office and said to my girlfriend, “I think writing that shit is helping me stay sober.” I was surprised, even though it should’ve been obvious that having routine and structure and making sobriety a part of my life is essential to being successful at it. But nothing’s obvious to you after you’ve spent the last three or four months drinking almost a bottle of gin every day, even if you’ve been sober for a little while since then.

Around five months into that sober period, I stopped writing the blog, and I went back to my old, non-sobriety-themed podcasts. I promptly fell off the wagon, deciding it would be a good idea to get drunk on some day in the run up to Christmas and watch Muppets Christmas Carol with a bottle of Tanqueray. I’d drank so much by the time I put it on, I only watched fifteen minutes before I couldn’t stop my eyes from crossing and fell asleep. I partially woke up roughly forty minutes later, feeling nauseous and still shit drunk and said to my girlfriend, “I need to go downstairs,” which might be a perfectly reasonable, if not slightly off-the-wall solution to whatever problem I thought needed fixing, if, of course, I lived in a multi-story property and not an apartment.

There was no downstairs.

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And not in a figurative way.

The point of all this is, and I do have a point, is that without this blog, I don’t get to have visits from grandparents, as they wouldn’t even be grandparents, as I wouldn’t have decided to have kids. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made, by the way, as parenthood is magical.

I wouldn’t have a list of priorities on which to put ‘Bake carrot cake.’

I don’t get to have any of the shit that comes along with parenthood if I decide my old lifestyle sounds appealing again, in some bizarre twist of perspective that renders me momentarily insane. It sounds unlikely, and before last night, I would’ve said it could never happen, as life’s too good without booze—too keen, too meaningful. We bought them alcoholic drinks to go with their meal last night, and pretty much straightaway I could smell it everywhere: on my dad’s breath, coming from his glass.

I hadn’t been exposed to it for months.

I got swept away into my imagination at some point, spending the next thirty or so seconds daydreaming about getting shitfaced again, as they played with my baby daughter, scaring the fuck out of her with their enthusiasm, as grandparents are apt to do.

So yeah, I didn’t end up writing a short one this week. And every time I write that, I never do, as this shit’s important to me.

Without it, I might decide to buy myself a lava lamp for my office—you know, just so I can look at the pretty colors now and again as I write.


Thanks for reading! I wrote this on less sleep than usual, so there might be a few typos, but I’m surprised at its quality. I like it. If you did, too, don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober by filling out the form in the top-right corner of the webpage to receive email notifications. And if this post made you laugh out loud at least three times, don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share this post with your friends on social media.

Read Kindle eBooks? Interested in trying one by this author but don’t want to part with your hard-earned cash for fear he’s as terrible at writing fiction as he is blog posts about a swan, pride, and sobriety? Well today’s your lucky week! If you live in the US, you can download No Hitmen in Heaven for free. Get it today, while digital stocks last. Just click this link.

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My other works of fiction can be checked out here.

Head over to my Facebook page and say hi.