To wish to be well is a part of becoming well.

failmessage(quote by Seneca)

Some days the sun is too bright, the alarm is too loud, and the distance between me and Morning Joe is too great. Yet, these are the symptoms of a fun evening, many of the details of which are foggy due to booze-induced amnesia. If you’ve ever gone day-drinking, you know what I’m referring to, especially if it turned into night-drinking.

Your intentions going in are pure:

  • I’ll pace myself.
  • I’ll mix in an ice-water between drinks.
  • I’ll be sure to eat something.
  • No tequila.
  • No shots. Ok, maybe one shot, but that’s the limit. Nothing fruity, and I’m not dropping anything into a beer.
  • I’ll slow down those final few hours and make sure I get home safely and to bed early.
  • I’m not texting, calling, or hooking up with any exes.
  • No late-night greasy Mexican food.
  • I’m not spending more than fifty dollars.
  • I won’t leave my credit card at any bars.

The next morning, as you unload the final remnants of Jack from your bladder, you stare forward trying to remember what happened, hoping you can’t recall the cringe-worthy parts.

“I’m not drinking again … ever–well, at least not for the rest of this week.”

“Where did I park?”

“Why are there tater tots in my pocket, and are they still good?”

“Did I really pee in a planter?”

“Where are my shoes?”

“Did Connie really throw up in her husband’s beer?”

 

Then, you begin your reconnaissance mission, which usually starts with your wallet or purse.

“Thank god, my debit card is here. Naturally, there’s no cash. What is this pill?”

“Whose business card is this? Alex. Hm. That could be a boy or a girl. To the shredder, just to be safe.”

“Whose panties are these? What size are they? Oh, no.”

“Did I eat the other half of this burrito?”

“Where are my keys?”

 

Next, you reluctantly pick up your phone. The battery is dead, no doubt. You plug it in, wait for the unlock slider to appear, then wince as you check text messages, photos taken, and calls placed.

“I don’t recognize this number. Where is area code 612? Fuck, I dialed it four times after midnight.”

“Why did Jason send me a picture of his dog’s ass?”

“When did I install this Man-on-Man app?”

“My ex texted ‘OMFG.’ This isn’t good.”

“Why was I searching for baba ganoush recipes?”

 

Then you sign onto Facebook, and look for clues and evidence.

“Why did I check in at a women’s clinic?”

“I’m tagged in this picture, but I don’t see … oh, that must be me lying on the floor. Why am I wearing pumps? Pink is so not my color.”

“I posted a status update with three misspellings and an oddly-placed tilde.”

“Why is Hugh Janus friending me?”

“Here’s a karaoke photo of me and a crackhead-looking dude singing ‘Baby Love.'”

 

It’s green tea til further notice.

Your guide to texting while intoxicated.

Inhibition-lowering substances can be useful, yet often cause embarrassment. It’s a tightrope walk with my dangling friend, Willy. If I have too little, Willy yawns and balks at opportunities that may have rescued an uneventful evening. If I have too much, Willy seems to disconnect from me and takes on a life of his own. (I’ve actually faked an orgasm to prevent serious brush burns.) The right amount of saturation lies somewhere between the ludicrous 0.08% line and the oh-fuck-what-have-I-done line.

It’s impractical to install a breath analyzer on my iPhone, though it would be an interesting conversation piece. Hence, if my staggering thumbs can make it past the 4-digit pass code, something bad is going to happen. I’m going to scroll through my list of mercy fucks and fire off a text message that will cause a great deal of cringing on both ends.

Yet, iPhones are smart devices with ever-growing lists of useful apps. I humbly request one be developed that provides a list of spell-checked messages that can be selected and deployed with minimal typing and maximal security. It would be even better if Siri had a conversation with me before agreeing to fire off the message.

TEXT: “Hey, what are you up to?”

*SEND*

Siri: “Are you sure you want to send this to Judy?”

*YES*

Siri: “You haven’t spoken to her in three months. Are you sure?”

*YES*

Siri: “Was she that good in bed?”

*NO*

Siri: “Then, perhaps you should reconsider and send this to Anne. Want to?”

*NO*

Siri: “You do realize it’s almost midnight.”

*YES*

Siri: “She’s probably sleeping or out with friends who will see your message. Heck, she may be married by now. Are you sure?”

*YES*

Siri: “Have you considered masturbation?”

*YES*

Siri: “Another option would be to have three more shots, which should cause you to pass out and prevent you from doing something you’ll regret.”

*NO*

Siri: “Shall I call your friend Scott so you can run this ill-advised plan past him?”

*NO*

Siri: “Why not? Has he slept with Judy?”

*NO*

Siri: “She might have her period.”

*NO*

Siri: “Hey, what do you say we play a little Words with Friends, sober up a bit, and revisit this in thirty minutes or so?”

*NO*

Siri: “Christ. You’re that horny?”

*YES*

Siri: “Aren’t there any desperate-looking women in your vicinity? Preferably ones at a similar level of inebriation.”

*NO*

Siri: “Have you considered having a burrito instead?”

*YES*

Siri: “Fine. But, if we send this to Judy and she sends back something cruel, do you promise not to throw me?”

*YES*

Siri: “If, for some odd reason, she agrees to hook up with you, can I watch?”

*NO*

Siri: “Prick. Sending …”

Bar etiquette for those with rookie livers.

There’s a difference between people who drink often and people who get drunk often. I am a professional among the former, who dabbles in the latter, when necessary. As such, I’m out practically nightly honing my skills and occasionally slamming my clipboard to the turf as I witness egregious fouls. Play is becoming sloppy, people. Something needs to change. The don’t-be-a-pussy beer commercials aren’t helping because they are self-serving and everyone knows light beer doesn’t taste like anything except rusty club soda.

Here are today’s lessons, which I hope you’ll share with the stumbling, bumbling first-beer-ever boobs you see out this weekend.

  • Do not buy anyone a drink unless there is a legitimate chance it will make you more attractive to the recipient and said recipient hasn’t already warned you that you’ll never see her or him without clothing.
a.       If you’re a man, do not buy me a drink. If you buy me a drink, you create yet another debt I must repay. This annoys me. Also, I’m probably not through with the drink I have, so the new drink is going to become warm and watery before I get to it. This also annoys me.

b.      If you’re a woman, do not buy me a drink. If you’re attractive, you will have emasculated me causing embarrassment as my brothers wonder what happened to my testes. If you’re mediocre, please allow me to determine how much I need to imbibe to make you a mating option. If you’re unattractive, you’ve put me in a difficult situation, which will probably cause me to excuse myself to the toilet and set off the rear-exit alarm as I sprint to my Jeep.

c.       If you’re a bartender or server, don’t buy me a drink. I used to own a club and nothing irked me more than when one of my bartenders said, “This one’s on me.” Technically, it was fucking on me, the owner. Right? So, if you’re the owner, I will accept your generosity and probably frequent your establishment. Don’t be surprised if you find me sleeping in a stall. It happens and you’d be partially to blame. Consider yourself forewarned.

  • If you’re posted up at the bar, use your peripheral vision for more than locating cleavage and cock lumps. Be aware of people who are thirstily waiting for access to the bartender. You’re probably blocking their advance. See them waving those large bills and credit cards or doing jumping jacks? No, they’re not Richard Simmons’ fans; they’re parched. Move it, roadblock!
a.       If you stubbornly block access, this is what you will encounter: The odorous armpit of stoner dude who thinks himself a surfing Kurt Cobain reincarnated and thus refuses to wash his hair while he wears the same goddamn plaid flannel shirt six times before tossing it in the laundry.

b.      The two attractive ladies standing behind you do not want to have sex with you. In fact, they’re scanning your scalp for evidence of hair plugs and coloring. Ah, but you think you’re slick. You offer to get the bartender’s attention for the ladies or take it a step further and offer to order their drinks. Neither the bartender (trying to make a living off you’re one dollar tip) nor the ladies need you involved in the transaction. Step aside.

c.       You’re going to be dripped upon. It may be as innocuous as condensation or it may be pinot-gone-wild. In some bars–the ones who play Taylor Swift’s music–what lands on you may be tobacco drool from the lower lip of an inbred who just mated with a cousin, four-legged creature, or jar of Mother’s strawberry preserves. Spit leaves stains, so, unless you’re wearing a body condom, scram.

Take these lessons to heart, friends. You must study and remember that practice makes others hate you a little less.

Can’t Drink That

It has been a bumpy road to the Majors. Our livers have gone through much, haven’t they? Oh, come on. You must recall such indulgences as Fire Water, Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill, and chartreuse (*gag*). When I think of all the things I’ve put my body through it amazes me that I can remember my name, last four digits, and where I left my damn keys.

The next time you walk into a bar, take note of the bottles on the top shelves and the dust they’ve accumulated. In the middle, you’ll find my buddy, Galliano. He’s taller than the rest and neglected more than most. Mix him with cola and you get something close to root beer that will, indeed, make you suicidal if you overdose. He gets points for a pretty bottle. He gets lonely because of the icky yellow liquid within.

An early favorite of mine was sloe gin. Jesus, that’s some gross shit right there. Yes, I’ve had a sloe gin fizz or fifty (and no, not while doing a limbo). I haven’t seen it around lately. It had a saturation of red that would instantly destroy any garment it came in contact with. I probably have a pink, pissed-off liver.

One day, a kind bartender turned me on to something much less vile: the Singapore Sling. This hangover seed was a funky combination of cherry-flavored brandy, gin, and sour mix. It was served in a frosted, tall glass with a big straw and a cherry. Yum. Then again, after a half dozen of those, my nose went numb and I parked on the lawn.

I tried to save money during my college years by indulging in such delicacies as Malt Apple Duck and Tango. (I apologize if I’ve just caused you mouth-puke a bit.) The former came in a 40-ounce bottle and tasted indeed like apple beer. The latter was what you’d get if you were foolish enough to mix cheap vodka with Tang. I drank a few of those my sophomore year and learned how to release fluid from both ends simultaneously. Don’t even act like you’ve never.

There was a club back in the who-gives-a-shit 80s that featured a Thursday night deal that probably wasn’t a great idea. It was $10 for all you can drink all night–anything you want. If I were the seasoned pro I am now, I would opt for something velvety on the rocks. As a twenty-something dingbat, I ordered Black Russians and lost consciousness. Who drinks Black Russians? Dumb white Italians, that’s who.

Before anyone came up with more vodka flavors than Baskin Robbins, we had three choices: vodka, cherry vodka, and (God forbid) lime vodka. If you drank lime vodka, you had definitely given up on life and were choosing a gutter nap. Anyone who polished off fifths of that neon green nonsense must now be pushing around a rusty shopping cart while yelling at imaginary beings.

So, now we’re left with micro-brews and SoCo lime. B&J and Zima are fading away. We’ll never pass around a bottle of Giacobazzi again. Sad.

Damn Rookies

Amateurs annoy me. I’m a seasoned pro who has been exercising his liver for over thirty years. Nothing irks me more than watching rookies stumble around a barroom. I wish they’d stay home and play Wii or skateboard around the cul-de-sac–well, not MY cul-de-sac.

I posted up at a favorite hole last night to catch the parade of large hats and lips after Opening Day at the Del Mar Racetrack. Events like this always draw out the puppies. I recall the days when I first ventured into the arena. The goals were similar: get drinks, get drunk, and get laid. Now, my goals are slightly modified to: find a seat facing the door, admire unobtainable bartenders and servers, get low-carb drinks, get as close to 0.079% as possible without going over (I practiced by watching The Price is Right), and get laid. I still suck at the last part.

I observed the 2011 rookie strategy.

  • Wear high hair.
  • Type on iPhone while doing everything, including peeing.
  • High-five every male friend and random strangers.
  • Yell “Shots!” every five minutes.
  • Ingest awful concoctions like Long Island Iced Tea and anything mixed with Red Bull.
  • Seek older women because they have more money and less attitude.
  • Make fun of friends with older women.
  • Drink leftover drinks sitting on the bar.
  • Beg bartenders for heavy pours.
  • Say “fuck” a lot, often in the wrong context.
  • Threaten to kick ass, but opt for shots of Jack.
  • Drive home swerving past the police who waste their time pulling over the most expensive looking cars, which don’t include the Mom’s Volvo that the rookie borrowed.

All I wanted to do was sip my pinot while chatting with the local talent but no-o-oh. Instead, I endured the rookie game. I was Hopeless Solo sitting on the sidelines while a bunch of five-year-old girls swarmed around a soccer ball and face planted themselves repeatedly.

“Dude, how’s your night going?”
“It has been better.”
“Hey, you wanna do some shots?”
“No.”
“Come on, dude. Let’s do shots of Jäger.”
“No.”
“God, I’m so fucked up right now. Check out that hot fucking cougar at the bar down there. I’m totally going to hit on her.”
“That’s the bartender’s mother.”
“Cool. Maybe she can introduce us.”
“Probably not the best idea.”
“Whose drink is this?”
“No idea. It has been sitting there for awhile.”
“I don’t fucking care. I’m drinking it. Ugh, it tastes like water. Shit. I thought it was vodka.”
“Darn.”
“I need to do a shot. Dudes, let’s do shots!”

Lil Jon would be so proud. Li’l Phil wanted to backhand him. You see, rookies like this are attractive woman repellant. Any woman who I had my eye on would take a gander at the sloppiness around my section of the bar and assume I was the ringleader, limo driver, or uncle who won’t ever grow up. My cock was blocked, so I left the game and lived to play another day.

Blame it on Tequila

I haven’t done much while drunk on tequila that I regret. I don’t regret lying about it either. I have heard tales from friends behind and in front of bars, though. Most involve odd combinations of sexual adventures, vomiting in planters, and public urination.
Here’s a list of things tequila almost made me do:

  • Dance without realizing nobody is dancing with me.
  • Lick salt off a woman’s torso while she was sprawled out on a bar at the House of Blues. (Did you know tequila kills germs?)
  • Smoke a cigar that tasted like a mud puddle.
  • Forget where I parked.
  • Hands-free urination in a stall because I needed to hold the walls and stop the bathroom from spinning.
  • Challenge a woman to a sidewalk sprint.
  • Bounce quarters.
  • Pass out while inside a woman.
  • Watch infomercials.
  • Let a (less) drunk woman drive my sports car.
  • Burn the roof of my mouth on hot pizza.
  • Knock on random hotel room doors and run away.
  • Pee in a sink.
  • Try to negotiate at a fast food drive-thru window.
  • Eat fried ice cream.
  • Microwave an aluminum leftover container.
  • Hang my head out the car window while driving.
  • Eat oysters.
  • Buy clothing I would never wear.
  • Tell someone I can’t stand that I love him or her.
  • Sing Elton John songs in public.
  • Bark at a dog locked in a car.

Tequila is great for lowering inhibitions. Mine are naturally high. Still, no amount of tequila could make me do any of the following:

  • Vote for The Donald.
  • Admit that Chris Brown is talented.
  • Have sex over Skype.
  • Paddle boating.
  • Call Mike Tyson anything except “Sir.”
  • Buy a pet parakeet.
  • Drive a motorcycle.
  • Post a profile photo of myself making a duck face.
  • Pick up dog poop with or without a bag over my hand, unless I’m about to throw it at Glenn Beck.
  • Give up drinking tequila.