A short tutorial on boozing.
When you embark on your first boozefest, you must be either a) totally unaware that you’re going to get shitfaced or b) dead-set on getting shitfaced. There is no room for half-assed measures here, woman. Doubt is just like moderation, and look where that stoopid emotion gets you.
If you have no intention of getting drunk, and do anyway, skip down to the last step (or the second to last, who’s counting). This essay is about intentional drunkenness and how to pursue it in a thoughtful, intellectual way.
Let’s begin with your pre-game.
Would you go out on the field during the Superbowl without practicing your tackles and field goals? Noooo. Nor would you frolic out onto that grassy battlefield without your team uniform or a helmet. So. If you anticipate that at any point in your future you may ever want to get hammered, by God, start practicing now. There is nothing more anticlimactic than a wee lass plunking herself down on a bar stool to pound one out and then, after a drink and a half, bursting into giggles and staggering out of the joint with the first willing dude she can find. That is, like, so lame. If you’re going to get drunk it should mean something. And how can it if after one Sea Breeze you’re already wagging a finger and slurring your words?
To practice properly you should build up a tolerance just like Wesley advises in Princess Bride: by ingesting ever-larger quantities over a long period of time. Say one night you start with half a glass of wine. You gradually increase that to two, maybe three glasses. Good, good. Now you’re ready to try Hard A. Let’s replace that merlot with some vodka. Just a bit, on ice. Note how it makes you feel. Next time, you try whiskey. Then gin. Then rum. Maybe some Scotch. After a few weeks you’ll start to notice a trend: when you drink whiskey, maybe you wind up calling your ex and demanding why he left you, whereas if you drink gin you just find Parks and Rec more entertaining than usual. Every type of alcohol affects each person differently and knowing your unique, special li’l rainbow of booze will serve you well when you need to hit it hard.
Know Your Terrain
Effective emboozlement relies on trust. You’re going to basically cripple yourself mentally in front of a bunch of strangers. There are potentially terrible, dark, Hallmark movie consequences to doing so: date rape, regular rape, hangovers, DUIs, fights, weird bartenders, hangovers from hell.
Repeat this to yourself: Drinking Is a Combat Sport. With that in mind, you need to prepare two things:
- A bar.
- A partner.
Do not go on a bender alone or at a bar you don’t know unless you are very experienced, in which case, you’re probably not reading this helpful tutorial on alcoholism in the first place.
Let’s take these requirements one at a time. The first, a bar, requires some field work. Again, this is rigorous, but just like developing an immunity to iocane powder, will pay off huge dividends when you find yourself in a battle of wits with a Sicilian. To do this you need to gently explore the bars in your area. Go to a new one each week. Sit at the bar. Order one drink. Consider the vibe, the bartender, the exits, the clientele.
You’re looking for a few things. First, the bartender should be nice to you. Second, the drink should taste good and not be hideously expensive. Third, and this is very important, absolutely no one should hit on you. Chat with you, sure. Hit on you, no. You need a place where you won’t, when drunk, look like a BBQ wing to all the guys around you.
Then there’s the second requirement, a partner. This can be a friend, a coworker, a neighbor, or a significant other. Your relationship doesn’t matter nearly as much as their personality. This should be a person who can tolerate you when you start dancing on the bar, but will also know when to drag you out to a cab before you agree to go home with some random stranger. In other words you need someone who would make a great parent, letting you wrestle in the playground until it starts to rain.
Once you have your booze of choice, your bar and your drinking partner, you are ready for your first night of boozy debauchery.
What to Wear
Since this is from one woman to another I have to address this. Remember–drinking is a combat sport. Don’t wear things you have to tug at, like a mini skirt. Don’t do yourself up more than you normally do, it’ll just be more to clog your pores overnight when you pass out later. You want to feel good about yourself but not have to think about how you look. I highly recommend the fashion concept “Adulterous Soccer Mom.”
The Last Supper
If you know you’re going to get hammered and you want to survive it, consider meat. I have scientifically proven through lots of self-imposed sacrificial testing that (real) sushi, or beef such as a hamburger or steak, helps you sustain a proper booze streak like nobody’s business. The idea is it gives your body plenty of material to soak up the booze with, allowing you to party hard for longer than if, say, you’d dined on a smoothie before going out. This is not to say that it’s harder to get a buzz on when you’ve just eaten meat. Au contraire. You’ll last longer, and just like sex, a drunk that took longer to reach is a much more satisfying drunk. Trust me on this, or don’t–there’s only one way to find out, either way.
You get to the bar and you’re all “Woo-hoo!” and ready to get your drink on. Time for shots!
“What?!” you say. “We’re here to party–of course we start with shots!”
Nope. I remember well going out with a girlfriend last summer. We got to the bar around 8 and ordered shots. Knocked those back, then got a round of drinks, and headed off to wreak havoc.
Three hours later, we were ready for nappy time. Her husband let us into her house and asked, “What happened? You guys are home so early!”
He tucked me in on the couch and held her hair while she threw up. Yeah, that was an awesome night.
Knocking back a shot first thing in the night is like a guy rubbing your crotch during the first kiss. Your body needs foreplay. A booze-base. So take it slow with the first drink and get your bearings.
After your second regular drink, then do a shot. But also know this: shots are a little Amateur Hour. You can get just as loopy, but in a more intriguing way, just drinking.
A Note About Drinks
Please just drink a vodka tonic, Jack ‘n Coke, or gin and juice. If you are the sort of person who can only drink something that “doesn’t taste like booze,” you will never become a proper alcoholic or, really, ever contribute anything interesting to the human experience. Just stick with your morning latte and get out of the bar. Also, those drinks with the funny names are full of sugar and will fuck you up faster than a punch in the nose.
What To Do When You’re Shitfaced
- Talk to the elderly cowboy in the corner. He has a Story.
- Be cool to the bartenders and bouncer. They may have to bail you out later.
- Dance. Anywhere they’ll let you.
- Smoke a cigarette outside with some random person and together contemplate the meaning of life.
- Finally tell your drinking buddy how much you admire her _____.
What Not To Do When You’re Shitfaced
- Finally tell your drinking buddy that you fucked her boyfriend in college.
- Tell a strange woman in the restroom that you love her.
- Take off any essential clothing. (Note: This rule can be discarded if you really know the bar, but remember Facebook.)
- Use your phone. In any way. Do not call anyone, text anyone, post anything on Facebook or Twitter, or take photos.
- Exception to the above: use your phone to call a cab if the bartender won’t.
Which reminds me to amend something to the list, “What To Do When You’re Shitfaced,” and that is to talk to the cab driver. He has a helluva story.
If you’ve followed my advice and avoided sugary or gimmicky drinks and stuck with something you know, your hangover may not be that heinous. Either way, there are a few simple things you should do the next day (assuming you haven’t woken up in a stranger’s bed).
- Remain horizontal. It’s best if you lay on your back so you can stare at the ceiling.
- Contemplate any impressions you have of the night before.
- Review your phone. Even if you didn’t use it, there might be text messages or voicemail to provide clues.
- Make a greasy, sugary breakfast. Eggs, bacon, and toast with lots of jam is a great basic.
- When you can stand upright without moaning, call your buddy for a post-op.
- Drive to the nearest 7/11 and buy a Vitamin Water in your flavor of choice. Also possibly a three dollar DVD.
- Stagger back to your couch with the aforementioned beverage and DVD and enjoy your well-earned veg out.
Well, that’s it, kids! I hope you’ve enjoyed learning this as much as I enjoyed teaching it. Where’s the vodka?