It always comes down to games. 12 men stuck in the peak district, surrounded by snow. One of us brought a bow and arrows so we’ve been shooting trees with arrows. The forfeit for missing was drinking. We also had a firearm – an air rifle, but it looks lethal. Telescopic sight etc. We were shooting cans on a wall like a bunch of Trump voters. The forfeit was drinking. Now we are playing cards. The forfeit? Drinking.

People have invented a gauntlet game that involves no skill and many opportunities to drink. It’s only ten past six. I have to write this now, in this room full of people. If I leave it any longer it only takes a run of bad luck to make me incomprehensible. Or for someone to drop a plastic soldier into my glass and shout “medic” which is a shortcut to incomprehensible, as I’d have to down it to stop the plastic soldier from drowning. Of course.

There are more of us now. I’ll sleep in a bunk bed with Robin and Brian sharing a double in the same room. It’s convivial. But it’s not about sleep comfort. Hasret will be on the bottom bunk. He’s just arrived. He made it almost all the way through the snow but got stuck at the eleventh hour, and somehow dropped the front of his car into someone’s garden. He couldn’t get out forwards or backwards. We got a call. By the time we got there half cut at 11am, the property owner was trying to help whilst his wife watched from the kitchen bemused with two young children. “Mummy, why is the funny man sitting on the bonnet of a moving car with a cup of tea?” “Because he’s a wreckhead, dear. And it’s the morning.”

We built some temporary stairs out of timber from the guy’s woodstore. Then we pushed Hasret’s car down fully into the garden with no further damage. And got back to doing manfun things.

Games and substances and shouting. The stuff of manhood for ten thousand years. No wonder the worldwide economy is a fucking mess, while the gamiest shoutiest man is clinging on to the driving seat of our greatest social influencing culture in the English speaking world. If there was an apocalypse right now and it was just the twelve of us left… well, the world’s already fucked. We’re all snowed in because of money and meat. There’s no point dreaming up scenarios where things would be more fucked. The twelve of us would probably have a lovely time post apocalypse, zoom around in motorbikes, laugh a lot and die in a week.

I just had to play the gauntlet game again. It didn’t go well. I think I have about five minutes before all of this hits my bloodstream.

Brian just nudged me. “Right, I’m gonna recruit you in a minute.” God knows what for. I’d better find out. Fuck fuck fuck. Literally this moment Phil dumped the soldier in my beautiful expensive new glass of bourbon. MEDIC!


Yeah. That took me over the edge. I’ve ended up instigating my old argument that atheism is the most negative of all the prevalent modern religions. Which will always bait someone. But it only really comes out when I’ve had a few…

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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