Almost four years ago a younger, slimmer and less battle-damaged Ruari O'Toole received an email from Rum and Reviews editor Craig Heap inviting him to take part in jointly reviewing a hangover prevention pill called Alcotox. He rose to this challenge like an alcoholic Rapier missile because he's always liked a sip, has Ruari.
Soon a night of mind-erasure took place, in which Ruari and his friend Carl got significantly drunk on a variety of beers and ciders, and which ended in Ruari being adamant (to this day, in fact) that he witnessed a human-faced cat somewhere in Cramlington's leafy Northburn estate. The next morning Ruari awoke and turned in his copy, along with beer writer Chris Hall, and the result was a great bit of journalism that led to the company that made Alcotox emailing Editor Craig and dropping this bag of ego food on our plates.
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me and my hophead mates to Chaucer and Keats.
It won't happen again
The Rum and Reviews days are gone now, and from what I can tell you can't even access the old website any more; it's trapped behind a big "your domain name has expired like years ago, quit living in the past" message, but a recent discussion at my day job of cats that look like people dragged me right back to that night, and to Old Tom, a strong dark ale I drank then that has a cat on the label and most likely led to either a false memory of a cat with weird little human eyes, or in fact summoned an unseelie catman from Dark Cramlington.
Resolving to carry out the ritual again, this time prepared to travel to whichever alternate Hell Zone the cat-thing wished me to visit with it, this reporter acquired the relevant potions from Blyth Asda.