My reaction when people proudly say they’ve quit drinking is, “Good for you. More for me.” Same reaction when they quit gluten and bacon. Look, I’m not saying drinking is good for you—it’s good for me. As long as I don’t drive, pee in a planter, or puke in your cat box, what’s the harm?
Well, yes, my head and liver are reminding me right now. One more cup of coffee and they’ll shut up.
I visit this trendy pub last night. It’s self-service. I hand over my ID and credit card. They give me a wristband with a chip. I grab a glass, head to the taps, scan my chip, and dispense the social lubrication. No nurse (server), no doctor (bartender) to monitor my dosage. I prescribe myself. Pretty girls, flat screens, and 50+ beer syringes—lots of reasons to be thankful.
The monkey wrench comes in the form of Little Miss Yoga Pants. She’s not with me, but she’s within earshot. She’s drinking Kombucha (fermented fruit—like smoking weed without THC). She hasn’t had a drink in six months. She feels wonderful—like a new woman. She’s working out five days a week, and signing up for her first half marathon. She’s a walking Facebook post.
I feel like joining that group and giving them my status update.
“I’ve been drinking since 1979. I can still manage to work and throw baseballs. Alcohol has left a few bruises, but has also added spice to a life less interesting. Cheers, fuckers!”
Pop drank a lot. He overdid it. Guess he passed down that high-performance liver to me. I’d like to think I have my drinking more under control. I don’t have a wife or son to tell me otherwise. On his death bed in a VA hospital, you know what he wanted? A six-pack of Budweiser. You might think that’s sad. No, that’s not sad. What is sad is that I didn’t immediately fetch him that six-pack. He only had a few months to go. What harm would six beers do?
Now, that’s one of my life’s biggest regrets. Sorry, Pop.
My point is, we aren’t drinking alcohol to slowly commit suicide. We’re drinking to make the good a little better and the bad more bearable. We know it’s poison, but it’s not killing us. Life is killing us.
I don’t think it’s worth quitting. Heck, we’d just replace the booze with something else—hobbies, pets, or church. Nah. Drink up. Crush a maraschino into a fine bourbon. Sip. Now, tell me that isn’t heavenly.