Although they are not always aware of it, most South African men regularly bring themselves to the point of death by drinking so much alcohol that it would induce organ failure in smaller men with more delicate constitutions. Swiss men, for instance.
However, the most serious thing that happens is that they are late for work on Monday. Over time, these men sustain varying degrees of brain damage, but since ours is a society highly tolerant of aberrant behaviour, nobody really notices.
If you have decided to drink yourself to death, first go to the video shop and take out Leaving Las Vegas. Nicholas Cage does it with style and panache. He also does it with a hooker, which is a lot more fun than doing it with a wife who keeps nagging you to stop drinking so much.
Next, go to the bottle store. You will already have seen how Cage does it. Fill your trolley with bottles of every shape, size and colour. Leave the beer. Nobody can drink themselves to death on beer. All that will happen is that you will get more and more bloated and possibly suffocate on your own gaseous emissions, which is a horrible way for anyone to die.
Go home, lock all the doors and draw the curtains. Set up the bottles so that they are within easy reach. Start with the vodka. By the fifth double, you will feel a lot less depressed. You will start thinking that maybe life really is worth living. This is just the booze talking. Ignore it and switch to brandy. After the first bottle, you may find it difficult to pour a drink without sloshing it all over the carpet. Don’t feel bad about making a mess. The main thing is to remain calm. Panic will cause your throat to close up. This will interfere with your ability to continue drinking and you will need a friend to come around and hook you up to a drip to enable you to finish the rest of the alcohol intravenously.
Drink as rapidly as you can. Don’t worry if you vomit. You won’t be around to clean it up. Depending on your size, you should be able to induce a coma after three litres of spirits. By the time anyone finds you, your brain should be in a vegetative state. Don’t be afraid that nobody will be able to tell. They will.
You will be rushed to the nearest hospital (if you are not on medical aid, you will be driven slowly to a rat-infested clinic in the next province). After a couple of weeks on life-support, a member of your family will be called on to decide on pulling the plug. If you are lucky it will be your wife.
She will ask for a few minutes alone with you. Then, when everyone has left the room, she will bend down, take you by the throat and whisper, “You low-down good for nothing drunken son of a bitch how can you leave me with unpaid bills you sorry-arsed selfish pig of a boozehound!”
By the time everyone returns, her tears will be genuine. Less honest will be her reason for taking you off life-support.