This is a well-used Irish phrase. At least, growing up, it was in my family. My brothers used it ad nauseam, especially if I was being a smart-arse - which I frequently was in later years...
But I think it means a little more. Because usually, in this world, mouthing off and to-hell-with-the-consequences, goes hand in hand with being "under the influence", "inebriated", or "off your face", an all-too-familar condition amongst the tall folk of a small village in a nondescript county in the land of humour born from sorrow, and becoming more widespread with each passing year.
An excess of the stuff is responsible for its fair proportion of the world's woes - dysfunctional families, blindness to personal problems, illness, loss of life. And when getting too much of a bad (or good) thing, sometimes it's healthy - in more ways than one - to take a step back and evaluate the situation.
Enter CRUK and it's jumping on the January (band)wagon. Dryathlon
. What a fabulous idea. 35,000 dryathletes with one goal. To keep off the demon drink for 31 days while at the same time, raise some cash for the cause.
I jumped on as well. Having lived with the damaging effects of alcohol and lost a beautiful aunt to cancer when I was 11 years old, it was a no-brainer really.
To top it all, last Friday, a good friend (and OPF's charity accountant) ended up in hospital, and was rapidly diagnosed with an ovarian cyst. The operation yesterday (Sunday) went well and she is recovering so I suppose you could classify her as one of the lucky ones. The incident simply serves to reinforce the feeling that I am glad to have taken up the CRUK Dryathlete gauntlet.
So here we are. 35,000 people drying up for Cancer Research. And while a superb fundraising idea (easy seeing why they are top of the charity tables), it may also inadvertently have taught some of us socialites that the benefits of drying up for a month are more far-reaching than simply raising some money for a good cause.
So here's to revelling in and wearing our sobriety with pride, Dryathletes. Dry up but don't "Dry up." Wax lyrical about your endeavour to everyone who'll listen and enjoy those hangover-free mornings.