Cider house fools
There comes a point in solo cider consumption when one squints her eyes, looks to the left, then the top right, curls her top lip over her teeth, cracks her knuckles, and decides a spot of mischief is in order.
But what form should this mischief take, and to what end? Does alcohol create the false impulse to destruct, or simply liberate an inherent desire not to destruct oneself, but to break an equally inherent nature to splinter a structured life to make way for something new, something interesting?
Why do there seem so many content with a life they can predict and control; why do some delight in their status as adult, of responsible, of healthy and functional, of procreating, while the rest wish to lie writhing on the supermarket floor in tantrum, yearning for a night of adolescent tomfoolery?
And then of course there is she: able to dabble in the delights of adult esteem until that Friday night dawns – or rather dusks – when the cider burns her curled upper lip and the desire for mischief bubbles down her throat and up her nose and sparks a feeling in her belly that it’s time to loosen that tie and append it to illicit behaviour’s tow bar. Where does she even want to be driven to? It’s not drugs or sex she’s searching for. It must be rock and roll, but even that is just a random orchestra of soundwaves, what makes rock and roll is. is – perhaps it is this mischief to which I’ve previously referred? But mischief comes from a French word meaning to “end badly” – surely this is not what is sought?
When I think of the word mischief, I think of the character Puck from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Interesting then, that in this play he refers to himself as the “merry wanderer of the night.”
And when I search for his quotes I think I have found the answer. He tells a fairy in the text:
And when she drinks, against her lips I bob
And on her wither’d dewlap pour the ale.
The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
And ‘tailor’ cries, and falls into a cough;
And then the whole quire hold their hips and laugh,
And waxen in their mirth and neeze and swear
A merrier hour was never wasted there.
As I one squint my eyes, look to the left, then the top right, curl my top lip over my teeth and crack my knuckles a second time I realise it probably isn’t as complicated as I first suspected. I’m relaxing my shoulders in readiness to skirt on the coattails of mischief because it makes me a fool, and foolishness is a tried and true short cut to a good laugh. In the blurry memories of behaviour shrouded in the tipsy and the ridiculous there has always been a laugh to follow.
In the company of good friends and inside a boozy, painfully pulsating, guffawing belly, a merrier hour has never been wasted: and that is why mischief is something to which I subscribe.