Alcohol Piracy & A Very Merry Un-Birthday Beating – Excerpt from the Novel ‘Kicking Back Drunk’ by Paul Tristram

We left the gardens at 4am, all six of us. We had £5 between us
but there were no shops open anywhere.
“Well, I can’t go all morning without a drink!” I exclaimed.
“Neither can I.” said Slag.
“The shops don’t open for fucking hours.” explained Ethel.
“That’s the last of the dope.” declared Blim unhappily, as he
passed the last few drags of the last joint to Slag.
Dai Not Guilty started to stutter something then stopped and
settled for kicking a can down the street.
“Stop that shit with the can.” said Slave “The law are patrolling
around and they’ll hear it.”
Dai stopped at once.
“Right!” I exclaimed.
“There is only one thing for it.”
“Burglary!” everyone said as one.

Reality avoiding minds think alike. Slag said he knew of a good
place in the Ferry.
We started walking.
It was a mile and a half to medication.
On the way to the Ferry, we beat Ethel senseless.
We were all draining the last dregs from our cider bottles.
(Which were plastic, I must add).
Ethel suddenly remembered watching Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
on the TV a few days before.
He started wishing us all a very merry un-birthday, individually.
It went on for about twenty minutes without any rest.
You just don’t fuck around with five alcoholics who have no alcohol.
I snapped and attacked him.
I started beating him with my empty bottle. After two strokes the rest
were upon him.
He received a black eye, bruising to the chest, back and legs, also a small cut
above his left eye.
“You wish any of us a very fucking merry un-birthday once more, you
cunt, I’ll break off your head and shit down your throat!” threatened

And he meant it, and if he didn’t, then the rest of us did. Ethel staggered
behind us as we set out on our quest once more.

We arrived, it was easy, a piece of piss. One fence and a poxy little
padlock that you could open with a nail file but of course we didn’t have
a nail file. Slave suggested that Blim tried using his knob. Slag argued
that it would be too small.
I jumped over the fence, took a sleeper from my ear and did the business in
seconds. I opened the doors, walked in and came out smiling with a
crate of Colt 45 under my arm.
I passed the crate over to Slag.
As I climbed back over the fence the sun came out of hiding.
How wonderful it is to be alive, I thought to myself.
I gazed at the sun lighting up the clear plastic of the crate, thinking,
what a beautiful sight.
The sunrise wasn’t too bad either. I murdered the sunlit clear plastic
of the crate in seconds and gave everyone a can. We headed them. It was
perfect, six men stood in a line, beer cans held at the mouth like bugles,
heralding in the new sun.
It was poetry of the senses.
My heart sighed somewhere inside me. It was a frantic race to
pleasure. I could swear that I won that beautiful, soul quenching race.
I’m sure the rest of the boys would each have a different opinion.

We set about the business at hand, which was of course, to rob the
place blind. Ethel, Dai and Blim jumped over the fence and started handing the
crates over to me. I passed them to Slag, who gave them
to Slave, who took the crates off. He ran and hid them in the bushes
by the canal, which was about 100 foot away.

While doing my work, my mood seemed to brighten. I became very
thoughtful and inquisitive about life and other normally shite things.
“What’s the meaning of life?” I asked Slag, the workmate by my side,
with what I thought was a very profound and sincere look upon my face.
“It’s alcohol!” panted Slave, as he approached for another load.
“Of course it’s alcohol.” retorted Slag sarcastically.
“That’s why we’re stealing it, you dull fuck!”
“No, it’s the answer to Jack’s question, alcohol.” said Slave
“And don’t call me a dull fuck, you dull fuck!” he added.
“The answer to what question?” I asked.
“The meaning of life.” answered Slave.
“Oh, for Christ sake, you asked Slag what was the meaning of life
and I answered it for him.
The meaning of life is alcohol!” he exclaimed.
“Oh!” said Slag.

I stayed silent and stopped thinking. I just carried on passing stolen
crates of the meaning of life to Slag and he passed them to Slave.
We had loads of them.
It was all the meaning we would need for a while.
We became mechanical.
We had the whole thing running like a military operation.
We finished with the crates of the meaning of life, then the boxes
of crisps began coming over.
“These must be the food of life!” I joked.
Nobody laughed except Ethel and he was on the other side of the fence.
He was also a nutter, so it didn’t count.
I stopped joking.
Suddenly a man appeared at the end of the lane, of course it was our
end of the lane.
He was right upon us.
Slag pulled out two cigarettes, gave me one. We lit up and started
talking about bus times, hoping the boys didn’t make a sound over the fence
until he had passed. He was walking two mongrels. As he passed
three boxes of crisps flew over the fence.
“Jesus Christ!” he shouted.

One of the boxes hit one of his dogs. It yelped and hid behind one of his
Slave had just come back from one of his loads. He ran to one of the
boxes of crisps. I pulled out my Stanley knife and held it behind my back.

Quick as a flash, Slave pulled down his jeans, sat on the up-turned box
of crisps, imitating a toilet.
“Nice day for a shite outdoors!” he said, smiling at the man with the
Obviously I realised that Slave had to quit sniffing glue, he was in another
The man with the dogs bent down and picked up the box of crisps that
had hit his dog, saying loudly to himself.
“The place is full of booze and they’re nicking fucking savouries,
the cunts!”

Then he walked off carrying under his arm a stolen box of 48 packets
of chicken flavoured crisps, my favourite.
I put my Stanley knife away. Lady Luck was licking our arseholes and
she was doing it good.

We carried our stash down the canal, then Slag fucked off to phone
Andy’s was a cool taxi service. They’ll fill their boots with anything for you as
long as you pay extra and gave them a bottle or two.
We ordered three taxis.
We arrived at my place soon after, we paid the drivers and gave them
a crate each, took the stash inside and started drinking properly.

The next thing I knew I was coming to, on top of the roof wrestling
with a fireman who was standing on a ladder.
There were eight police cars on the road with an ambulance and a fire
engine standing by.
There was a ring of policemen around my house.
I could think of better ways to wake up.




Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet. Buy his book ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at And also read his poems and stories here!

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.
Buy his book ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at
And also read his poems and stories here!


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