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Have You Seen Our Awol Alcoholic?

June 27, 2011, 3:40pm

A month or so ago we decided to get someone to write a blog about being an alcoholic for one week. Obviously alcoholism is something we can all look forward to, and we wanted to know what it was going to be like for us. Would you just be locked in a toilet puking all day long? Would you act like an arsehole, or be really fun? Would you be able to be like one of those high-functioning piss heads on Jeremy Kyle who somehow manage to hold down a job while being completely wasted 24/7? Or would you just fall down?


This is our test subject: Kerry, a nice Scottish girl who's friends with someone in our fashion department.

On the table in front of her is the 79.8 units of alcohol we gave her to keep her going for a couple of days. It doesn't look like much, but according to some googling I just did, that would be enough alcohol to kill her four times over. I'm struggling to believe that, but clearly, it's a lot of booze for one girl.

I told her to avoid drinking it too fast (so she didn't get liver damage), lent her a digital camera to document her adventures and sent her on her way. She'd told me she had a job interview that week and would go smashed, so I sat back and congratulated myself on being so good at my job.

She texted me about eight hours later:

KERRY: "Hey. I'm out of alcohol. What to do?"

ME: "Woah. That was a lot of alcohol. You do know you were meant to be steadily drinking, right? Not sharing it?"

KERRY: "I haven't been binging and sharing. I've drank that all by myself. I have two cans and a quarter of vodka left. I'm not being an arsehole. That's not actually very much alcohol?"

And that was pretty much the last I heard from her. I've been texting, Facebooking and calling her pretty steadily since, but she almost never gets back to me. I did get one extremely depressing Facebook message from her during the experiment:

Contact dwindled again after that. Later she texted me at 6AM promising to meet me and hand me some notes, but she never showed up.


She did, however, send back the camera I lent her via one of the interns at Vice Style. The memory card was missing and the charger was totally covered in blue and white paint, but there were a few photos on there. Do these give a fascinating glimpse into the life of a high-functioning temporary alcoholic? Or are they just shit?

A functioning alcoholic must get rest wherever she can, especially when she's exhausted from stealing my memory card and laughing at me behind my back. Here she is, catching a few zeds as a bendy bus takes her from one scene of shameful drunken destitution to another.

Clearly drunks are drawn to transport. It's lucky they can't afford cars.

From this photo I can only assume that she tried to do something nice and wholesome like make tea and fucked it up. Maybe she had a terrible physical and emotional breakdown, dropping the cream and collapsing in tears from the pressure of hosting. If so, she's become my auntie.

This is undeniably sad.

Maybe we were just terrible enablers and she needed to run away from us to save herself from going all Leaving Las Vegas. If that's the case, I wish her well and hope she never returns.

This house party doesn't look like the end of the world at all.

We never did hear about the job interview, but from the sheer misery of these pictures, I'm assuming she didn't get the gig. I wonder if she'll put us on her CV as a reference?


I'm not sure if Kerry owned a bed for that mattress before our experiment. I like to think that she moved her mattress onto the floor for the week to get a taste of the real alcoholic experience. Or did we really drive her to squatting in just three days?

The last time we heard from her, she was at Victoria Station boarding a coach to Scotland. Have you seen our AWOL trainee alcoholic? It'd be good to know she's still alive, at least. Please, if you're reading this, Kerry: give us a sign, and don't be scared to come home, we're not mad at you, we just want to help.

If you have any information about her whereabouts, please contact

Thanks for your time.