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Cool Beans

Having Fun / Wine Notes #1

Dear Advice Arnold,

You may not remember, but I met you at an acid house free party in the Peak District circa '95. It was definitely you as there were only three people in attendance and the other guy was Greg Wallace from Masterchef (you know, that programme about food and public shaming).

Anyway, since getting married and having three kids, I’ve struggled to have fun like we used to back in the 90s. How can I let my hair down without leaving my husband and kids long enough that they get trapped in the bathroom?

Sandra, Rotherham (the posh bit)

Greetings Sandra,

Most of my memories from July ’93 through to September ’97 were eradicated by an unhealthy Pritt Stick habit, so I have no idea whether you are speaking the truth or not. I’m going to play it safe and assume you’re lying.

Getting older and developing family responsibilities can sap some of the life of a person. No one here is denying this - least of all my parents - but don’t let your dependants completely strip you of all your happiness. Here are a few things you can do to invigorate your pleasure cells without resulting in the entrapment of your loved ones: meet up with a friend for coffee and/or vodka, troll a celebrity online, find some road kill and throw it at an old person, eat some raw chicken, or - my personal favourite - travel to Watford Gap service station and reminisce about your youth.

If any of those suggestions don’t quite do it for you, you could try ordering Sky TV, then cancelling it within 24 hours of ordering it, then ordering it again, and then cancelling it one more time. That should do the trick.

Good luck with your life, Sandra. Please don’t contact me again.

Advice Arnold


Alcohol: Yes

Colour: Dehydration piss green

Nose: Gerard Depardieu

Body: Head of a desperate jellyfish, hind legs of an emotionally distant mule and the abdomen of a lonesome antelope on a stag do in Blackpool with friends they normally try to avoid.

Flavour: A strangled sonnet stabbed into mud. An attempt at light, flowery notes, but ultimately a mess.

Throat sting: Unpleasant but necessary.

Finish: Yes, but I wish I hadn't.

Drinkability: At what point does a cheap bottle of wine become an expensive bottle of bleach?

Cost effectiveness: Almost perfect, barring the fact that it wasn’t alcoholic enough or cheap enough.

General thoughts: What it doesn't have in flavour, quality, body, head, shoulders, knees and toes, it more than makes up for in appropriate chemical state, being as it is liquid, and not a gas or solid. For that much, it should be applauded. I would consider buying this bottle again, but perhaps only to use as an unopened house prop to signify to visitors that I have restraint and taste, and don't actually need to drink every drop of alcohol within arm's reach.

Chris Delamere


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