Thursday, October 09, 2008

Wanted: A new Drinking Companion


1) Should be well-educated, literate, knowledgeable and opinionated about books, music, films.

2) Should be able to hold his/her drink.

3) Should like proper bars ('dive' bars) rather than twee bars (Chinese-style coffee bars) or pretentious bars (cocktail bars, nightclubs).

4) Should be free of restrictive relationship or work obligations.

5) Should be partial (but not addicted) to late nights/early mornings.

6) Should be capable of responding promptly and consistently to text message communications.

Solid pool-playing ability would be a plus.

These days, I rather too often find myself drinking (and, even more, eating) alone - or failing to go out at all - for lack of suitable playmates.

Whatever happened to all my drinking companions of yore??


Big Frank had a few too many troubles with women, troubles with employers, and troubles with taxi drivers here, and quit in a huff to try his luck in Korea instead.

The Chairman moved to one of the outer suburbs and got himself a job that required him to work weekends and started working half a dozen supplementary jobs that sucked up almost every hour in the week and had a bunch of friends and family members from back home move out here who make huge demands on whatever free time he does have and found a whole bunch of other people he'd rather hang out with than me (lucky man!) and is just generally useless and unreliable (I love him, but he is).

The Tedster moved to another part of town and got a job that required crazy hours and lots of travelling and found himself a more-than-usually demanding girlfriend. When he first came here and was living in my 'hood, we were close buddies for several months - but now, I scarcely see him from one year to the next.

The Choirboy, similarly, moved out of the 'hood and got himself a serious job and a serious girlfriend. We used to hang out 2 or 3 times a week, but now I sometimes struggle to see him that many times a month. Also, he has a tight-knit group of friends from his early days in Beijing with whom he spends most of his time, a bunch of people that I also know and like but don't quite fit in with. He is, these days, my closest friend out here, but it's a problem to keep in touch as much as I'd like.

The Poet was, for a while, a great drinking companion - but she is completely crazy, and her penchant for staying out all night was just too damned exhausting for an old fart like me. Also, she works ridiculous hours, and lives way, way, way out of the centre of town - so doesn't have that much of a social life most of the time. And our history (she's one of the great failed loves of my life!) makes things a little awkward between us. Nowadays, she's a once-every-six-months drinking companion rather than a regular dependable.

Crazy Chris, of course, quit the country in June. He had filled the drinking companion gap rather too well through the first half of this year, but he didn't quite take to China (he was only 'giving it a try' after becoming disillusioned with Korea after several years) and has left for good. He's now contemplating going off to do a Master's in Philosophy in Norway!

Dishy Debs is a fine drinking companion, but..... well, she is a hard-working single mum bringing up a young son, so she's not able to go out that often or stay out very late; and she generally prefers to spend her rare nights out with her posse of girlie chums ("the Coven", as I call them).

And New Dad is, well, a new dad - and is thus let off the domestic leash no more than a few times a month. Moreover, his pool game is a little too dauntingly good; I need someone who'll raise my game, not someone who'll batter my confidence by beating me every single time.

Amongst the more recent candidates for the position...... The Man In Black works ridiculous hours and is a married man and goes for long spells on the wagon and is a text message delinquent - no reliability or regularity there. The Weeble (I don't think I've mentioned him on here before, and I've only just hit on this nickname for him, but it is stunningly apposite: it was a toy craze in my childhood, marketed with the slogan "They wobble but they don't fall down."), another young American friend, again works crazy hours - but on the rare occasions when he does come out, will go all night. Terrible Tes, The Chairman's brother, is an amiably laid-back fellow (and much more down-to-earth than his sometimes starchily intellectual bro), but.... again, a rather too formidable pool player; and he works far out of town, so only gets to come in on holidays or the occasional long weekend - and so tends to go wild, like a sailor on shore leave (I'm really not into that staying-up-until-dawn thing. I'm much too fond of sleep. And much too fond of "getting things done" during the day, rather than having to sleep in until the middle of the following afternoon.). And then there's Mr Sex, a freelance journo buddy who has lately been a leading contender for the mantle. Unfortunately, his long working hours tend to mean that he doesn't come out that often or stay out very late. He is, moreover, rather annoyingly alluring to the ladies; he's the same age as me but somehow rather better preserved; and he does the roguish twinkle in the eye and the gravelly purr in the voice rather better than me, damn him. I confess to a sneaking resentment of his voice, which is very characterful - and he has 'stolen' the odd listening exam recording gig from me. I fear he's likely to be 'stealing' women from me too! Not a good wingman.

No, the position is definitely vacant at the moment. Please leave me a comment if interested in applying.


Anonymous said...

You forgot criterion (7) Must be an Internet illiterate so as to minimise the chance of their finding your blog and discovering their nickname.

Can I suggest that your readership defines and designs "fantasy drinking buddies" for you?

A suggestion: "The Troll is muscular is usually quiet and holds his booze but has been banned from some bars for damage. A monster movie expert and retired character actor, he is, in fact, a troll."

Froog said...

Good nickname, Lunch. Sounds like a promising companion, but alas I don't know anyone who fits the bill.

Luckily, all of my friends here are Internet illiterates (or just have too much else to do with their time). I think at least 99% of my blog readership (maybe 100%, now that Tulsa seems to have given up blog-reading, Gary has left, and FG is on a long break) is outside of China.

The Nag said...

You forgot (8) Must live in Beijing!!!