02 Feb 08


Feeling ill, Hammy didn’t want to go to the Ring O’ Bells. He wanted to stay in and recouperate from recent benders. He invited me to his flat where he explained that recouperation involved not going out to drink, but instead, drinking at home. As he made a vodka and orange, I admired his wall-mounted bottle rack with optics.

“My mum thinks you’re killing yourself with all of this drinking,” I said. “I go out with you on a Saturday night, and you drink right through until Sunday night.”
“That goes without saying,” Hammy said. “Sometimes it’s from a Friday night straight through until Sunday. And on a Sunday I don’t even touch beer, I’m straight on the spirits. I used to drink every night and love it, and carry on till I could take no more. It was like lifeblood – the lifeblood of the universe.”
“Are you looking to quit?”
“No, it’s like quitting breathing. I’ve calmed it down a lot. I’m bored of hangovers at work, and going in looking like Mr. Cadbury’s Parrot – looking at myself in the mirror in the morning, and seeing one of my eyes looking at me and the other looking for me.”
“What do you prefer to drink?”
“Anything with a vowel in it. If you can’t pronounce it and it’s Welsh, I won’t drink it. I like getting fucking hammered – power drinking. Sometimes I step it up a gear and drink with a load of hooligans.”
“When I left for America you were more interested in women than drinking, has that reversed?”
“When I’m on day one or two, women are still high on the list. On day three or four they slip down the pecking order.”
“Aza told me you’ve slept with half the women in this town.”
“I’ve had strangers come up to me in the street, ask me my name and say, ‘You don’t know who I am do you?’ I look at them bewildered, and they say, ‘You’re me dad.’ One time I was fucking wankered – I had a full week’s growth and I’m looking like Grizzly Adams – and this girl comes up to me and says, ‘This is him. I’ve found him,’ to these young lads. I’m looking at her. I’ve got a crate in each arm and a bottle under my chin – I’m fully laden with spirits. And there’s beer and slobber running down my T-shirt. Anyway, she says, ‘You’d better start putting your hand in your pocket for pocket money for me.’ I don’t say anything. Then she says, ‘But I’ll start off with one of them beers.’ That’s when I knew it had to be my daughter. She was about fifteen. That’s going back some years. I probably didn’t remember the mum the next day.”
“What do you think of the women in Liverpool?”
“We’ll go to Liverpool. There’s so many women there we’ll get raped. You’ll end up having knee tremblers against a wall.”
“Knee tremblers?”
Thrusting his pelvis, Hammy said, “Yeah, doing it up against a wall.”
“How is your sex life going?”
“I like to have sex when I’m on drink. They come hand in hand.You missed the Hulk last night. She calls every few months for a fuck. She broke my bed riding me like a cowgirl. That’s why the microwave oven is under my bed.”
“When I've been in a happy relationship with a good woman, I've managed to get my excesses under control. Maybe a strong woman would put you in check. What qualities are you looking for in a woman?”
“It depends on what stage of the night it’s at. And in the end I always have my beer goggles on. I go to bed with Claudia Schiffer and I wake up with Margaret Thatcher.”
“Perhaps the influence of a good woman will help get you off the drink. If you meet the right one will you get married?”
“Possibly. Later. I don’t know. I’m only thirty-seven.”
“I’ve noticed that when we go out, as the night progresses, your voice slowly turns into what your friends describe as the pirate voice. You never had that when I left. How did it come about?”
“The more I drink, the more the pirate voice comes out. I can’t help it. When I’m completely off my barnet, I sound like I’ve just come back from an expedition on the Spanish Main loaded with booty from the Caribbean.”

I’m worried about Hammy’s health. I’ve asked him to go jogging, and to try to go easier on the drinking. What else can I do to help him?

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood


Anonymous said...

Until he decides to help himself there is precious little you can do. Just don't encourage him.

Sue O. (aka Joannie, SS) said...

Let's see-so many issues, so little comment space...at this stage of the game your friend's liver is probably going the way of a redwood forest. Unless a person sees that perhaps not siring illegitimate offspring is a good thing and that women do have some value besides what is between their legs...and that enjoying getting f-ing hammered is rather a selfish way to exist in combination with the above, there isn't much hope. The best hope Hammy does have is the example you have set. The people that I know who really got tired of losing jobs, homes, spouses, their minds and lives due to alcoholism and traded it all in for sanity have no regrets. They are some of my best friends. I would say get involved with AA or Celebrate Recovery. Now.

Anonymous said...

Hey Cowgirl! Just Kidding Hammy. I think it's a good strategy to bypass the beer for true spirits! Just like you said, its like giving up breathing for the love of god. Just think, if you didn't drink like this you would have never met your daughter let along have her. Bottom line, it was good that you were able to share a drink with your daughter.

For real Hammy, I will be there in a few months and it will suck if you will have destroyed your liver before I get there I need you alive to show me around, some of the best times I had when you first arived in America, its not too late to turn it back around.

You should listen to your friends "the ghost" et.al. and start jogging. If you don't change your ways the Ring O' Belles could go bankrupt.

See you soon.... your friend

JL said...

Shoot him.

Anonymous said...

Spirits are evil.

Drink beer. Mmmmmmmmmm beer.

Anonymous said...

That's knee tremblers...chuckle...I am soooo embarrassed (beet red face!)....what is it with men and their penises-Ok, I guess I understand, but a microwave under the bed and children all over town?

Anonymous said...

I didnt know Hammy drunk that much. I thought I could put some away but thats a different league.

Anonymous said...

If you kill the alcoholism you might kill the sense of humour and that dude is freaking hilarious. I say leave him be, it's his life not yours.

Anonymous said...

can Hammy get a blog ?

tennison16 said...

sounds like a lost cause to me ;) good fun though. I do hope that at least some of that was facetious!

Anonymous said...

How can you help? Only he can help himself. Tell him that you will be there to help out should he choose to try to get sober. Leave the number for the local AA, and the next move is his, not yours.

Don't nag, don't keep bringing up the subject. Just be you.

If the issue is really bothering you, then YOU can check out AlAnon or something similar.

Hope this helps...


Anonymous said...

Does Hammy want to help himself??? That is the only way to help him truly. Support him till he hits the bottom and then support him onto his feet again. Read up on Alcoholism-it is a serious disease and if you don't understand it you don't have a chance of helping. Positive influences and redirecting interests work for a bit but it is up to him-talk heart to heart. Then, Shaun, practice what you preach!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Poor Hammy is going to go into an early grave if he doesn't stop drinking.

Anonymous said...


Sadly, there is nothing that can be done for an individual that does not want help. After I got out of Prison here in California, I went right back to my old drinking habits and repeatedly got hammered night after night. I got a DUI and was facing being sent back to Prison, but since I generally was doing well, my Parole Officer, by some miraculous grace, had me COP (Continue on Parole). I kept drinking even though I was sent to a Program. About 3 months had passes and I was completely shit faced when I walked out of a party, got behind the wheel and proceeded to drive drunk again. I made it home, but the next morning, I decided to quit drinking. I now work in the treatment field, and I must say, as much as I see people and families that desperately want to help someone, there is nothing that can be done unless the individual wants the help THEMSELVES. As pessimistic as it may sound, this usually involves a negative event in there life (jail, bodily harm, permanent damage). Perhaps an intervention may be in the future. -Jose in San Diego

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Help him?

Help him what?

Being a functioning alcoholic is like someone who, er er, brokers stocks and just plays around with rave music and special K on weekends.

Nothing wrong with it until it becomes a WAY of life, not a part of it.

Get my drift?


Try to "fix" him and you'll lose a friend.

sparrow said...


While it is admirable and noble that you are concerned about him (because today, most people could as easily shit on their "friends" as kiss them), it seems a wee bit premature for your to be concerned about healing him. What I mean to say is, nurture yourself and you will grow into the answer.

Stay on task Shaun. For now, the task at hand is Shaun. You are still fragile... and what good are you to Hammy without 'you'?

Stay on task.


Anonymous said...

I think Hammy's drunken ramblings are bravado to cover his inadequate existence. Pushing 40 he is too old to abuse his body. No women would put up with his drunken excesses, one night stands are probably all he can get, if he's lucky.

Anonymous said...

hammy sounds like a fucking hoot! let him take his natural course of boozing it up, he'll eventually get tired of it. he's welcome in shetland anytime!!

Anonymous said...

Hammy needs to be careful. The human body is a tough hard wearing machine but it can only take so much. Once the liver is finished life will become difficult. Some men like Oliver Reed were notorious drinkers and had a great life and were loved for it. Being a big drinker doesn't mean your in trouble, but i think you can go way past the 'big drinker' stage!

Does a person know when they are on the brink of disaster with drink?

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Pixie!!! Yes, Shaun you are a rare bread on all accounts. I for one understand the need to fix things and people-it gives us purpose. Somehow I think that within your plight to help Hammy you are helping yourself, also. Pixie is right-stay on task for sure-but you will benefit from Hammy's down fall too as in your personally live manual of "what not to do". You'll be fine-keep that head on straight!! Much support and love to you!!

Anonymous said...

hammy is a dick head. he will end up a sad old man pissing in his pants, if he doesn't already. why are you hanging out with such a loser?

Anonymous said...

I feel for your friend Hammy. First thought is; remember this, you can't save the world. Second thought is; find something that is important to him, something that drives him, and helps him to refocus, whatever it may be, but always keep in mind that ultimately it is up to him. Alcoholism is a disease. A lot of people don't realize that.

Anonymous said...

I know its not really my place to say, but I dont think you should stay involved with Hammy. Sure you are a good friend before and after being in the USA, but you are going places (I know it)and positive influence will do you good.

Anonymous said...

I resent the bad feelings here towards my protégé/trainer/confident. You see Hammy took me under his wind after finding me wandering around the 'wild west' after a particularly strong bout of yi yo. He comforted me through the night, by fetching me moonshine from perchanga's dad's house. After we had exhausted all other avenues..... We then watched the sun rise over where open fields once where, now covered in mock tudor housing complete with the must have 4x4 in the drive.
I respect Hammy myself, although I would never tell him. As once he's on that God damn soapbox you aint shutting him up. I think you people reading this are maybe missing the point of Hammy and all that has sailed on the ammonia swap that he so gratefully produces. He is after all a local legend.

You normally hear the wolf's howl before you see the leather skinned chap.

Anonymous said...

I'd say, don't harp on it too much. Like many people who have commented said, "nothing can change until the person decides to change themselves". He sounds like a good guy overall, and he's your friend and all.

If you feel that strongly about it, just don't drink with him, do other things when you hang out, if possible. Otherwise, even though your intentions may be good, it's a quick way to lose a friend when they perceive you to be playing the role of the sage and patronizing personal critic.

Frankly, not to downplay the quite negative effects of drinking heavily, but we all have vices and shortcomings big and small. We enjoy our friends because they see the positive qualities in us, and aren't too bothered by our shortcomings. Kinda sad, but true. C'est la vie.

Anonymous said...

I hate to break it to you brother, but Hammy cannot be fixed by his friends. He drinks like me. He’ll only slow down for a health scare, incarceration, or a good woman, of course, as you recently stated.

I can’t wait to read your first book, be sure to enclose the title on your blog!

Anonymous said...

I think all you sad people slaggin hammy off need to get a life of your own what he does in his life is entirely up to him and if he is enjoying himself good look to him most of you just wish you could do what he does instead of living your own boring lifestyles.

Anonymous said...

Although I'm sure there were some comments made to this entry in jest (I hope!) I was actually disgusted with some advice that was given. Shaun, do as you have done with all your FRIENDS. Lead him by example until he won't follow. Then, stand behind him and help him up when he falls. Don't allow him to drag you down though. Never turn your back on your friends!

Love & Respect.