Alcohol: James’ marvellous new medicine


Dear Mum and Dad,
I’m sorry it’s been a while since my last letter. I miss you very much. My course is going well and I’ve been spending lots of time at the library. I’m also becoming something of a big-shot in the world of disk-golf. In this letter I wanted to write to you about something new I’ve discovered in St Andrews, a thing called ‘alcohol’.

“Al-co-hol” is described in Webster’s dictionary as, “a class of organic compounds, including ethyl or methyl (wood) alcohol, that contain one or more hydroxyl groups (OH) and form esters in reactions with acids”. It’s basically a type of drink. It’s pronounced like you’re trying to cough up blood or swallow a metal hexagon.

The last few weeks have been really busy. I had three class tests to revise for and a 2,000 word essay due. I was working through it one Friday night and was getting a little stressed out, as you can well expect in that situation. My friend, who was having a party, suggested I come over, chill-out and try some rum. It was incredible. Suddenly, everyone thought I was really funny and they all became really nice and excited about hugging each other. There was lots of shouting and ‘whooping’ – which is a yelp similar to that a dog makes when you pierce a dessert fork up its urethra. I’ve never had so much fun my whole life. I was the life and soul of the party.

There are lots of different kinds of ‘alcohol’. It’s like a Kellogg’s variety pack or one of mum’s flapjack tombolas. Every night has been an exciting adventure into a new flavour or mixture. A lot of the types aren’t very nice, but all my friends seem to like it and I remember you told me to make sure I try lots of new things at university and anything is drinkable I now realise with the right soft drink added to it.

My class test went okay, I think, even though I turned up a bit late and came over all dizzy during it – which made it difficult to concentrate. That night, I felt a little bit ill and I was too sick to go to my morning lectures the next day. I’m okay now, though. I’m not so involved with the Capoeira Historic Organ Donation & Eastern Religion Society, ‘CHODESoc’, anymore. It’s gotten a little boring. Besides, my schedule is packed between spending time with my friends and writing puerile, wholly fictitious articles for the student newspaper.

We ‘went out’ to a disco yesterday. I had cider with coca cola and thought it was okay; my academic dad said he was very proud of me for trying it. I even went dancing (me, dancing!) and the girls started rubbing against me like I was a handkerchief and they were trying to wipe their bum noses on me, it’s called ‘grinding’, like angle-grinder. My experience of being ‘ground on’ by the girls warrants a letter of its own (already in the post, dad). I feel like I’ve unlocked the secret to happiness. Tutorials felt like they lasted hours before I discovered Tennant’s. Now they go by so fast I barely even remember them.

I’ve been experimenting the last few mornings at mixing this brown spicy type of alcohol with my porridge at breakfast; it’s quite tasty if you add a little sugar. I imagine it’s what Mexican food must taste like. That’s another thing I should try, though I worry you may disapprove.

I’m really enjoying myself and trying to make the most of my time at St Andrews. Yesterday I was a bit upset because I missed out on getting tickets for the Clown Shoes and Wet-wipes society’s annual ‘Yeast Infection Ball’. I didn’t have time to go to the shops for alcohol to calm myself down, but I found mouthwash did the job too, so I got over it.

So now onto exams! How’s the cat? Hope you’re well, I’m feeling great, better than ever, top of the world, out-bloody-standing. Looking forward to seeing you.

Lots of Love,


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