I’ll make no secret of it: I love voting. It makes me feel unspeakably happy to be in the bosom of my local community at the local school with the smell of burnt sausages wafting gently on the breeze. This is democracy at work, I think to myself, as I gaze affectionately at the long queue of locals exercising their democratic right – albeit under threat of heavy fines and possible jail sentences if they don’t.
Each time, I walk home, as if on air – “high on democracy”, if you will. And then a few hours later, the polling booths shut and the count begins and I begin to feel anxious. It’s like the nation has gone into labour and I’m waiting to hear news of the birth. And it’s at this point, I start to drink.
I started last Saturday’s Election Night by mixing myself a cocktail. It was one part vodka, two parts champagne, two parts cloudy apple juice with a sprinkling of fresh mint. I called it ‘Cloudy Outcome’ – you know, on account of all the ‘too close to call’ predictions and the inclusion of cloudy apple juice and that. And not, as my husband later suggested, because it had resembled a ‘cloudy discharge’. My husband, ladies and gentlemen. My husband.
Personally, I love a themed cocktail night almost as much as I love voting. One of my favourite birthdays ever was spent with my husband and just three friends making 9/11-themed cocktails. My dear friend Mr B ended the night with a blue curacao-based concoction so vile that we had to name it ‘An Attack On Civilisation’.
Fortunately (or unfortunately), I didn’t quite get to the ‘Attack on Civilisation’ point on Election Night. This was partly because I was alone, save the company of my seven year old son who was looking at the ABC predictions like they were football scores. (“Aw, Mum! The Liberal party scored another goal and are now only nine points behind!”). But the main reason was there are only so many different cocktails you can make with a rather limited liquor cabinet before you start experimenting with “Port’n'Lemonade Spritzers”. Also, the fresh mint may or may not have been infused with cat piss and tasted fucking rank. Fact.
Here’s how my Election Night drinking went: After the rather desperately named ‘Electini’ (pineapple juice, vodka, champagne), I moved onto drinking straight champagne with the occasional vodka chaser. I called it ‘Election Night Anxiety Disorder’. And then, when I ran out of vodka, it was just plain champagne. I called that ‘The Demise Of Champagne Socialism’. And then I just drank water. I called that ‘Hung(over) Government Avoidance Strategy Drink Thingy’. You have to understand that I was quite drunk by this stage.
All the while, I was thinking of my friend AnnieG, who, according to her Facebook status, was planning to either make a ‘Big-Eared Bastard’ (“with strategically placed lime slices”) or a ‘Ginger Kick’, depending on the outcome. Since neither party managed to form a government, my guess is she had to settle for a ‘Well-Hung Ginger Bastard’ in the end.
Which I might have settled for myself if my (red-headed) husband hadn’t been at work. So instead, I took two Panadeine and went to bed in the hope that when I woke in the morning everything would be allllllllll righhhhhhhht.
For the record, it wasn’t.