Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why I now know the colour of 4 of the 5 humours. Why I now understand the potency of cheap champagne.

"Why do I drink Champagne for breakfast? Doesn't everyone?" Noel Coward

There are as I understand it
5 bodily humours:
  1. Sanguine
  2. Choleric
  3. Melancholic
  4. Phlegmatic
  5. Sense of
Let the Wikiword hordes explain:
  • Sanguine indicates the personality of an individual with the temperament of blood, the season of spring (wet and hot), and the classical element of air.
[sounds nice]
  • Choleric corresponds to the fluid of yellow bile, the season of summer (dry and hot), and the element of fire.
[sounds sexy - if we miss out the icky bile bit]
  • Melancholic is the personality of an individual characterized by black bile
[sounds like a moody bastard]
  • A phlegmatic person is calm and unemotional. Phlegmatic means "pertaining to phlegm", corresponds to the season of winter (wet and cold), and connotes the element of water.
[sounds like they would enjoy a bout of double-entry bookkeeping, followed by a round of knock-out whist, a quick cup of cocoa & bed.]
  • *Sense of* is is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement.
[sounds like a nice idea.]

"There comes a time in every woman's life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne." Bette Davis

So, this weekend just gone I went to (one of my many) older sister's wedding. 2nd wedding if anyone's counting - and I mean that in a metaphysical rather than a legal sense - she did get divorced from the 1st fella. As far as I know. No, I'm pretty sure she did. And clearly, that's really not important right now. And it was very nice too, I want to say at the outset. Good time had by all. Hotel in the middle of somewhere. Smartly dressed guests. Men in black ties - which I now realise DOESN'T MEAN - *wear a black tie, like you would if you're going to a funeral* - it means the *52nd James Bond Lookalike Convention 2008*. And me, dressed like James Mason in The Odd Man Out. But, y'know, whatever....
That's it, James, hold that pose. You'll be needing it later...

"Remember gentlemen, it's not just France we are fighting for, it's Champagne!" Winston Churchill.

But the colour of the humours - that is my profound revelation of the weekend.
  • Sense of Humour. The most obvious to all but the hardest to define. A wickedly chameleon like creature. It seems like it should be coloured hot and warm like the sun. Red for the embarrassment that allows you to smile when you've slipped on a banana skin, but more usually it is more like an eclipse of the sun, a dark grey circle of irony with just a cheeky slice of optimistic joy peeking round the edge of the generally black humour.
"But Champagne is not drinking." David Niven: When asked why he was drinking.
  • Phlegmatic viz. Phlem: do we really need to *go there*? I have never been able to do that *hawwwkkkkkkk hwwwacckkkkkkkkkk* thing that people do in the morning. But it's green. 2 out of 2.
"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."John Maynard Keynes
  • Melancholic: I have walked around with a grey cloud of melancholy surrounding me often enough to know the colour of this one. Sadness, despair, self-pity; the world plays out in black'n'white; your life is painted charcoal grey. Romantic, interesting in a 1950s film or 19th century French novel: dull as ditchwater in *real* life. Melancholy is the colour of washing-up water stained with wasted food. 3.
"After all, what is your hosts' purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they'd have simply sent Champagne and women over to your place by taxi." P.J. O'Rourke
  • Choleric: so this is an odd one. Not something you hear too much about. People get described as being melancholic, sanguine about stuff or having a good *sense of*, but choleric has gone out of fashion. It's the Odd One Out. It's the humour I had no sense of until this weekend. O, the colour? Yellow. As yellow as cheap EU coloured chedder cheese. That bright. That unnatural. That horrible. 4.
"Champagne is the only wine that enhances a woman's beauty." Madame Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV.

Today is Tuesday. I have not drunk anything alcoholic since the early hours of Sunday morning. I should be feeling tip-top by now. Ummm. An error was made somewhere. An error that caused my first ever 2 day hangover. 2 part hangover. I need to analyse what went wrong. I need for this to not happen again.

Wedding Planning: To Do List
  • Get there on time. Try to be polite to all and sundry. [achieved]
  • Try to dress appropriately [well...]
  • Try not to dance stupidly in a drunken carefree manner ---
Yeh, well, y'know? There comes a time in every evening where despite the fact that there's a *Swing band* playing music you want to dance in all the styles you have no experience of, no talent for and everything else that says no, no, no...

I watched some Jive dancers in London about 3 weeks ago. They were great. I like the idea of partner dancing & yet mostly I see Salsa dancing and there seems something sleazy about it that would prevent me ever going to classes, cos, really? Men going to Salsa dancing classes; they're signing up for Speed Dating with extra wiggling n hand holding, right? But, yeh, I like the idea of olde worlde dancing - like I like the idea of playing the guitar - but lack the desire to ever practice or master the skills involved. Instead, I just kind of punk rock my way through. Pretend I know what I'm doing - and in this case, try not to step on my partner's toes. Or else swing her round so fast - that no one knows what's happening.

I did manage to stop myself from breakdancing or bodypopping. Usually that's something I can't help but do. Not that I can. Not that I don't look like an idiot. But y'know... it's funny?

"Champagne is the one thing that gives me zest when I feel tired" Brigitte Bardot

Other things not to do...
  • DON'T MIX YOUR DRINKS [achieved. With honours. Hurrah for me. Did a grand job there, sir]
Except. Ummm. No. Critical, critical error.

I get there. They do the ceremony. The staff hand out glasses of champagne. Quite nice. Tingly. Fizzy. Light. Possibly cheap pomagne, I have no idea. I see no bottles...

"Three be the things I shall never attain: envy, content and sufficient champagne." Dorothy Parker

It is free. There is a spare glass that someone doesn't want. I neck it. I'm chatting with assorted nieces & nephews, discussing college, tattoos, broken bones & really not thinking as I intermittentantly lift the polite little glass to my mouth and sip. And sip. And sip.

"I had taken two finger-bowls of Champagne, and the scene had changed before my eyes into something significant, elemental and profound" F Scott Fitzgerald

There. Decision made. I'm not going to go to the bar and buy something daft like Guinness or Boddies. I'll have a big jessie glass of white wine, please. Then more white wine with the meal & more champers to do some toasting with later. And if anyone isn't going to drink their portion of fizzy alcopop - I'll have it. Drink the same thing: you know where you are. Although: you buy a pint of Guinness; you get a pint of Guinness. Who the fuck knows what I was drinking. Or how much. Or why. With inevitable results...

"Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right." Mark Twain

There's a potency in cheap quotation theft & I'm in the mood for cheap easy bubbly quotes. Already opined, already collated by someone else & now ready to be used and abused and recycled by me. So are all these great thinkers n talkers selling a lie? The wonderful French posters, do they not tell the true story? Is champers all it's cracked up to be, or did I get a bad batch of Netto Cava? Or was it just that when the music stopped and everyone dispersed I made the mistake of just lying down. Never never lie down at that stage of the night. Sit. Chat. Chill.

Stare blankly into space if you have to. Drink water. Never lie down - for 12 seconds before rushing into the bathroom and beginning a night of weirdly otherworldly stomach spasms and empty-bellied throat clearing. Ummm. Say no more. Say even less than that. Eventually I discovered the colour of the 4th humour. Bright yellow like sunshine...

"I'm only a beer teetotaler, not a champagne teetotaler." George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright.

"There are three intolerable things in life... cold coffee, lukewarm Champagne, and overexcited women." Orson Welles

"My dear girl, there are some things that just aren't done, such as drinking Dom Perignon '53 above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. That's just as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs!" James Bond; Played By Sean Connery In the 1964 Film: Goldfinger

"Pleasure without Champagne is purely artificial." Oscar Wilde

As Noel Coward said: "Never underestimate the potency of cheap music [champagne]."


  1. Champagne's luffley if it's good and ice cold; it makes people delightful instead of hideous and it doesn't make you ill. White wine is made from death.

    Sanguine - yellow, shiny happy
    Choleric - angry red, irritated
    Melancholic - charcoal grey, morose
    Phlegmatic - snot coloured, boring
    Sense of humour - a colour that hasn't been invented yet but which will be on the latest Sony Bravia TV.

    I can't remember what you said. I'm not well. Send sympathy.

  2. it's wednesday by the way