Periodically, Ben and I challenge each other to give up something close to our hearts. Ostensibly the idea is to improve our health by cutting back on our vices.
I invariably suggest he tries going tee-total for a month, and he counters with some horrible punishment masquerading as being ‘good for me’. His preferred method of torture is insisting on a prescribed number of visits to the gym each week.
We’ve debated at some length which takes more willpower – abstaining from something, or forcing yourself to do physical activity – and come to the conclusion that these challenges are fair not because they match each other, but because they match our personal weaknesses. For every drunken Ben story, there is an equally embarrassing “Siri fell asleep at a rock concert/nightclub/at work” story.
This time around the challenge is for two weeks, which Ben has dubbed the Fortnight of Pain, and in my case it is quite literally true: people at work keep asking me if I’ve hurt my back because of the stilted, broken way I am walking.
Ben on the other hand seems totally unperturbed, but the experience has given him some useful insights…
Ben: You know what this week has made me realise? Being around somebody drunk when you’re stone cold sober can be pretty annoying.
Siri [slurring slightly]: You see?! YOU SEE MY POINT AND WILL NOW DRINK LESS???
Ben: No, I think the answer is for you to get drunk more often.