Odd (and quite nasty) this day

5 May 1974

May 5, 2024

(Content warning: pause after you’ve read the first sentence and just be absolutely sure you want to continue.)

It’s the 50th anniversary of Kenneth Tynan’s rather unwise vodka enema.

5 May
 I read in Alan Watts’ autobiography, In My Own Way, that alcohol is best taken rectally instead of orally. Since I know this to be true of sleeping pills (suppositories are much healthier than the oral kind), I madly determine to try it. So Nicole and I return from eating a peppery Indian dinner to Emma Gordon’s flat, where we are spending the weekend, with a half-bottle of vodka with which to make the experiment.
or, at least, it’s the anniversary of the day he recorded the events in his diary

Nicole, incidentally, according to a review of the published diaries in the London Review of Books, is “his regular spanking partner and mistress”. Anyway, the story continues…

Nicole injects a large wine-glass of vodka into my anus via an enema tube. Within ten minutes the agony is indescribable. I am squirming as if Prussic acid had been squirted into my colon. The astringent vodka tightens the rectal passage and inflames the mucous membranes: so that I spend a sleepless night, followed by a tormented day, interspersed with visits to the loo every ten minutes — most of them abortive, since the diarrhoea is denied its natural outlet by the tightly compressed anus.

(I did warn you.)

In addition to the pain, I am bleeding copiously from the rectum. Poetic justice is thus visited upon me, anal fixatee that I am, and translated into farce. It takes forty-eight hours for the after-effects to subside (N.B. three days later I am still seeping blood). Oh, the perils of hedonism!

These were not the after-effects of a dedication to physical indulgence, though, were they, Mr Tynan? They were the result of a failure to carry out sufficient research. Of a… lack of wisdom, let’s say.




Purveyor of niche drivel; marker of odd anniversaries