Code of Honour

About a month ago I was drunk in a pub in Wivenhoe, Essex, and I went to the toilet and stared at my face, a face that has begun to take on the look and texture of a washed-out red flannel. What a face. You wouldn’t want that face. I wouldn’t want that face. I’ve got that face. As I stood and stared I thought: “I’m going to drink myself to death.” I may have even said it. I wasn’t planning on drinking myself to death that night, but over a period of months and years, I thought, possibly said, I was going to increase my alcohol intake to the point where it would one day end up killing me.

Sometimes you have to make a decision and stick to it. That’s not a decision I’ll be sticking to, I don’t think. Nor, probably, is this: on Wednesday I applied to join the French Foreign Legion. I say applied, although that’s a slightly grand way of putting it. I made an enquiry though, and asked the administrators to clarify one or two of the enrolment guidelines. For an afternoon I was whisked away and seduced by the idea of joining up, of relinquishing my identity and emerging in five years fit and strong and, in name at least, a different man. That dream evaporated over the following evening and died yesterday when I received a reply. It was in French. I couldn’t understand it. There’s a lesson there, somewhere, and I don’t think it’s that I should learn French.

Adieu. Enjoy your weekends.


6 responses to “Code of Honour

  1. Ah, the Legion d’Etranger, so many romantic stories. So many heartrending tales of love, separation, gallantry and honour . . . . . . all in films starring Errol Flynn or anyone with a square jaw and the ability to raise one eyebrow.
    Pitchboy, I’ve been to the desert and have some knowledge of the doings of the Legion (I read about them in the Saudi version of The Sun). My advice regarding joining them would be – Stay in your Nan’s dining room.

  2. Really? All my knowledge has been acquired through that Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut cornflakes ad a while back. They made it seem ace.

  3. i have been stone cold sober since moving to mexico. rather boring to be honest. loving your more regular installments! so happy i don’t have to wait a full month for pitching-the-world-goodness!


  4. My face has aged in the last couple of months. I fear I am going to look like WH Auden by the time I’m 50. I am feeling bleak. I am back in England too. That’s not helping.

  5. I know, says Wivenhoe!! Pitchy, when you rocked up with that red-flannelled face (with the look of I want to Drink myself to death – anything has to be less painful than this banal crap), we, as a village, nearly tossesd you back to London as fast as our ‘Sunday rail replacement service’ could throw you. Although, the extremely pretty Australian girl in the pub was more forgiving than the rest of the Pitch folk. I think you even managed to make a 5 year old break dancer cry. Go give Van Damm a bare-knuckled fight in L.A. He loved the French Foreign Legion, enjoy.

  6. Hi Pitchy,

    My girlfriend’s French. I could get that reply translated!

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