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Thursday, November 4, 2010

If I Drank...

Most of you know, I think, that I am a teetotaler. It's not especially something that I wear upon my sleeve (well, except when I'm writing about it, or indignantly refusing an offer of alcohol by saying, with nose gallantly upturned, "Well, I don't drink!") but, at 30 years old, it does come up quite a bit. Like, at rehearsal last week, when one of the choristers was turning 21 and excitedly approached me to ask for my input on what ought to be her "first legal drink?"

"Um..." I hemmed, searching through the dusty card catalog in my brain that contained references to alcoholic drinks I have heard in movies, television shows, and in eavesdropped conversations with others who libate, "a Cosmopolitan?"

A woman with whom I worked ten years ago used to drink Cosmopolitans, and she introduced mention of this drink into almost every conversation we had, so it's understandable that it's the first "drink concoction" that would leap into my brain. This woman also told me, with great enthusiasm, that she enjoyed pleasuring herself to the sounds of Frank Sinatra's "My Way" whilst utilizing a battery powered device she referred to as "The Bullfrog."

I sometimes think about what I'd be like if I drank. I'd certainly be less, well, unique, and I suspect that's not an altogether small part of why I consistently abstain, because it's now a part of my personality, one of the bits-and-pieces that makes me me. Haha-- that looks funny-- "me me."


Which brings me quite handsomely to my second thought about me knocking back a few: I suspect that my already dubious sense of humor would probably take a rather suicidal nosedive. Funny people (I'm funny, right?) who don't drink have to go through their lives being routinely accosted by drinkers who believe that we will "be so much fuckin' funnier drunk" and are often told, "Oh, man, I would LOVE to see you drunk! You'd be SO. FUNNY!" Well, I'm not so sure about that. I had always thought that humor was the result of carefully-constructed word-choices and/or unwitting sock + trouser combinations, and I don't know if I could muster the synaptic control to be funny if I were intoxicated. I would most likely be way too encumbered by feelings of guilt and obsessive fears that I could hear my liver changing shape inside me to be very witty.

Of course, nobody really knows what a non-drinker would be like as a drinker. Being a world-renowned featherweight, I suspect the first and most consistent thing I would be is passed the fuck out. That said, it is very possible that I would enjoy drinking if that is the usual result for someone my weight. I do love being seepie-bye.

What I can say with pretty cinder-block-like certainty is that, if I started drinking....

* I would pee everywhere.

Because alcohol lowers your inhibitions, your respect for law, order, civility, and public spaces, and increases your urge to urinate, I would totally whizz on your garden gnome's face.

* I would get arrested.

See above.

* I would not hit the Four Loko.

Not just because it's dangerous, expensive, trendy, and just fucking stupid, but because watermelon-flavored things never, EVER taste like actual watermelon.

* I would only drink drinks that require the obligatory donning of a smoking jacket.

Because, really, that would be, like, my goddamned alcoholic's uniform.

What's yours?

* I would go absolutely shitbroke buying all the high-quality paraphernalia.

Do you have any concept of just how much there is to BUY when you're a drinker?

And I LOVE to buy things!

If you're an insufferable fop, there's hand-engraved sterling hip flasks and delicate, cut-glass punch-bowl sets from the Victorian era, if you're an acne-ridden, knuckle-walking frat bra, there's beer towers with ice chambers and inflatable beer pong racks (yes, I looked this up: and, if you're just a run-of-the-mill, semi-well-off middle-aged schmuck in the suburbs, there's a whole section of "Crate & Barrel's" website devoted to alcoholiania. Do you doubt me? Here's the subset of menu options stemming from "DRINKWARE":

Wine glasses
Champagne flutes
Beer & drinking glasses
Margarita glasses
Cordial glasses
Acrylic glasses (What, we're drinking acrylic now? Four Loko's got competition...)
Bar accessories
Pitchers and decanters ...and, finally and mysteriously,
Coffee mugs (I guess you need special ones for Irish Coffee)

* I'd drink to your health

Which, if you think about it, is pretty funny. So is, "Bottoms Up," if you're emotionally twelve years old. Or drunk.


  1. You act like a drunk all the time.
    So why waste the money on booze?

  2. I think you're absolutely right about drinking and humor: while alcohol makes high-flying people even more ostentatious -- often in an amusing way -- it absolutely pulverizes wit. I love wine and gin, but never have more than one drink on an occasion during which I'm (shudder) expected to be funny.

    And for what it's worth, collecting bar glassware is enormously fun.


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