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Friday, August 17, 2012

Extolling the Virtues of Alcohol: Part One


I'm so happy I could just shit
Ah, sweet nepenthe. Ambrosia. How does one properly describe the heady pleasures found in the partaking of fermented drink? The release of inhibition, the muscular relaxation, the dulling of razor-barbed nerve endings. Only first-hand experience can present the case suitably. Anyone who says that they don't enjoy it isn't doing it correctly. Who can honestly say that reality is more pleasant than setting sail on a sea of blissful inebriation? Problems slough away like dead cells. Yes, they will still be there when you return, but for a few sweet hours they are but dim, unimportant twitches in your memory; reduced to insignificant annoyances to be dealt with at a later time. It gives you a faux sense of well-being that you will not find outside the delusional influence of a televangelist or perhaps, just prior to stepping forward onto a bed of hot coals at a Tony Robbins seminar. It will give you the courage to thumb your nose at a pool-hall full of cowboys and rodeo clowns with impunity while talking some sweet love-making to a jaded parking-lot squeegee. Your looks will improve as do those of anyone around at closing time who happens to strike your fancy. People will fall under your spell and be drawn to you like a panhandler at a convenience store. Your movements will become graceful and rhythmic on the dance floor leaving observers stunned and transfixed. You will be driven to display your prowess whether you can find a person who has attained the same level of confidence as yourself or not.

You're doing it wrong
Your conversational skills will be improved to a previously unexperienced level. Verbal communication will soar into the stratosphere, becoming a poetic symphony of well-placed grammatical witticisms and double entendre meant to entertain and seduce. Again, people who aren't on this level of communication will be intimidated by the blazing quickness of your repartee and your massive vocabulary, they will flee in shame. You will find that people everywhere are drawn into a fascinated trace-like state as you regale them with anecdotes and snippets of wisdom that suddenly come spewing to the front of your cranium like a dam has burst inside of you. People will want to know you. They will want to know your history, everything about you. There will be so much information flooding their consciousness that most will slink away to try to process what you have imparted before you can even finish. Yes, this magical elixir can do all this and more. There is, however, a learning curve involved. One cannot simply leap into social inebriation without some training. Most of it will involve some painful trial-and-error experimentation. I will try to help ease this process by giving some basic beginner tips.

  1. Pace Yourself: There is nothing wrong with getting a head-start by doing some pre-gaming before entering the social arena. Have a few drinks at home to lubricate yourself and get warmed up before hitting the bars. This will save you some money and allow you to slither into the room with the slickness of an eel covered in baby oil. Once you achieve the proper stage of euphoria, the trick is to drink enough to maintain that glow without crossing the line and stepping onto that slippery slope into sloppy drunkenness. No one wants to be that guy. The stumbling, incoherent slob whose breathe smells of vomit and has pee-stains on the front of his khakis, destined to wake up in the morning crawling blindly out of the shrubbery beside some cheesy strip-club, with a hump in his spine and eyes that look like two piss-holes in a snow bank. You must maintain a steady altitude without going into a power-dive. I can't stress the importance of this rule. Unfortunately, to paraphrase the late, great Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, the only ones who know where the edge is are the ones who have gone over it.

    You're definitely doing it wrong
  2. Be polite to bartenders, waitresses and bouncers: Maintain your best behavior when you are in the company of these people, they are your friends, they will get you knee-walking drunk and help protect you as long as you don't insult them or get too “chummy”. One mistake that is often made by beginners and cretins is the “pissing contest” with the bouncers. Bouncers are never, let me repeat this, never impressed by the amount of ass you claim to have kicked or by the number of bouncers that it took to throw you out of the last bar that you got into a fight in. You will not win this, they will smile and nod and keep their eye on you all night. You will have just become the night's entertainment for the security team. The moment that you fuck up (and you will) they will call you out on all your ridiculous claims and embarrass you in front of all the other drunks. You will wind up outside the bar, in the parking-lot, shouting about how you weren't doing anything to get thrown out. Yet, there you will be, and the people who are inside will be making unkind jokes about what a twat you are. People who work in bars see an awful lot of bizarre behavior, and have to deal with the people who are responsible. Chances are, you're not going to surprise or impress them, you are going to annoy them. People who work as bouncers in bars don't usually last long unless they are good at what they do.  Trust me on this, the last thing that you want is the undivided attention of a team of bouncers. Bartenders, for the most part, don't want to go home and fuck you. They are at work, at their jobs and most of them are in stable relationships. There are exceptions to every rule but, mostly, you will bore them. Do you really think that you will be the one who comes up with the cute and original pick-up line that they've never heard before? “Hey, baby, you're cuter than a speckled puppy. You wanna come home with me and see my new pillow cases?” These people work in a bar...every night...they hear it constantly...don't. They are friendly because, well...because they're friendly and it's their job. If one smiles at you it doesn't mean that you're one step away from the doing Horizontal Hokey-Poke with her, she is doing her job. You want to impress a bartender? Tip them. The same goes for cocktail waitresses, except for the added temptation to grab them on the ass while they're at your table. Again...don't. If you cannot help yourself and you are compelled to grab a cocktail waitress, please refer to the section on bouncers above. Go out and drink. Drink for the sake of drinking. Don't drink stupidly, that's easy, there are thousands who do that every night and even more who do it on “amateur nights" (more on amateur nights later).  Learn to drink like a pro, it can be very rewarding.

  3. Don't be a dick: Nobody likes dicks.

  4. Don't drink and drive: I know...this makes it exceedingly difficult to get your vehicle home, but the police are out there, just waiting for you, believe me, I know. No matter how much practice you've had, no matter how good you are at it, the police will not listen nor will they be impressed. They are not drinking (or, at least, shouldn't be) and they are not your fucking buddies, they are people who want to put you in jail and then talk to their police buddies about the drunk dick-head they arrested. You may know nearly every cop in your town but, the one that pulls you over will not be one of those. It will be some brand-new, badge-heavy prick with something to prove and an ax to grind and you will be his prize. You will be fucked with and misused (they seem to take great pleasure in making snarky, smart-assed remarks to help entertain you during your difficult time of need) and it really, really sucks to wake up hung-over, in a drunk-tank after having slept on a plastic piece-of-shit mat that's about a quarter of an inch thick (for your comfort during your stay) to the worst fucking food you will ever encounter. Your insurance will go so high that you'll have to take out a second mortgage, your license will probably be suspended for some amount of time and the stick-in-the-mud, high-horse sitters will click their tongues at you like you were caught on a kindergarten playground with your pants around your ankles. Thank MADD for that (more on MADD later). It's like they think we all set out to turn our vehicles into flaming deathbombs when we get into them and are out looking for mini-vans full of six-year-olds to slide into. Personally, I'd rather share the road with someone with a six-pack under their belt than some dipshit pecking on a cell phone.

  5. Know the playing field: Don't go out drinking at a biker bar with “The Only Difference Between A Harley And A Vacuum Cleaner Is The Location Of The Dirt-Bag” t-shirt on. You'd stand a better chance bobbing for piranhas in the Amazon.

  6. Hangovers: They hurt. They suck. Avoid them. Stay drunk. There are several combinations of non-FDA approved chemicals and alcohol that you may have luck with. Experiment and find what works for you. The only sure-fire cure that I've found is the one that my father gave me when I was just a drunken tadpole, “Cool water, kind words and day-after-tomorrow”.
There are many things you will learn on the high road to drunkenness. Like how much fun it is to ride home still drunk on Sunday morning and passing all the neighbors all fresh and pressed, on their way to church and the looks that they will give you. Be patient and choose your poisons carefully. Avoid weird shots from strangers and know that enough J├Ągermeister will rob you of your ability to function as a human being and that Mongolian Motherfuckers are for full-grown drunks (that one's for you Aaron). You have to learn to ride the crest of the wave and stay above the rabble. Occasionally, you will overshoot the mark but don't be discouraged, keep trying. If you wake up in the backseat of your car, feeling like you've been poisoned, handcuffed to a kitchen chair with Sharpee ink all over you, you only have one eyebrow and your pants are missing, go find the nearest liquor store and get the makings for a good breakfast drink to put yourself back in the saddle. I suggest Bloody Marys or Screwdrivers...and maybe some cheap speed.

Keep practicing

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