Drink… and let drink (by Obinna Okwuolisa)

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

A group of five friends wanted to ‘hangout’ for the weekend. They needed to unwind from the crazy week. 

Fred was one of them. 

At sunset on Saturday, they got to a joint, and each placed his order. One offered to foot the bill while the rest cheered on. 

They gisted about mundane things guys like to gist about – like Arsene Wenger’s never-ending obsolete reign - before the waiter came in with their order. The waiter placed the chilled drinks requested on the table according to what each man had ordered.

All but Fred had an alcoholic drink. 

On seeing a nonalcoholic drink in their midst, they jeered at Fred. 

It looks awkward a man drinking malt, when the rest of us are consuming green bottles”, one said.

Another called him a woman; like being a woman is an insult to humanity.

Still yet, another quipped “even some women take alcohol and won't ‘fall hands’ like this outside”, adding that Fred was being more Catholic than the Pope. 

Fred had resolved not to take alcohol for personal reasons, none of which were religious.

He tried explaining. His friends were not ready to listen to any explanation. They kept throwing cheap jibes at him.

The person who offered to foot the bill joked that he would only pay for alcoholic drinks, and nothing else.

That was the last straw.

Fred got up, paid the waiter, and left the bar without saying any word.

Fred was absent at subsequent weekend hangouts.

He was a good companion, and his friends missed him. It did not take long before they friends realized they had no business throwing tantrums at their friend for being a Teetotaler.

(Yes… that’s the word. You’re welcome)


Have you ever wondered why some people conceive the notion that men who consume alcohol are more ‘manly’ than men who don't?

Or that men who shed tears are weaklings?

Or that single men who do not engage in promiscuity are dysfunctional and/or boring?

I have wondered too; about these stereotypes hanging over the male-folk, like the sword of Damocles. Which stereotypes, men are compelled to contend with daily, in a bid to continuously and consistently validate their ‘manliness’.

Who made these hard and fast rules to being human? Or being a man??

I should be able to break down and cry, because I am a human in pain… or because onions is scratching my eyes.

I do not have to carry a truckload of women to justify my “machoness”, in a bid to “be cool”.

(Shebi  I will first buy a car to carry only myself, abi?)

And consuming alcohol or not is a personal choice, which people should learn to respect that made by others.

I should be able to drink whatever I want without judgment, because that is what I thirst for.

And because that is what I can afford. (*wink*)

So if I'm in a gathering, irrespective of what others drink or think, whether it is malt, red wine, spirit, or liquid oxygen, let me drink in peace. And drop cup. 

Live, and let live; Drink, and let Drink… and the world will be a happier place.


Obinna is a 'coder' by day, and an aspiring poet by night. 

Since being unsuccessful at being signed on by one of the major football clubs, he remains a Chelsea fan-club enthusiast, and has an inquisitive imagination: asking questions which can never be answered.

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  1. Live and let live like you said. My drinking depends on the time of the day and also my mood at the time. When I'm in a good mood, I'm on my bottle of Big stout or Heineken and when I'm in a a bad mood, just give me water or malt let me manage so I can think straight. You won't catch me drinking alcohol in the morning except it's palmwine. The reverse is the same for most people but that's their personal problem. No one should be judged by how and if they take alcohol, it's a personal choice. Nice one Obinna.