Jun 20

I recall the day, I think I was about 23, when my buddy Cleveland (ya, ya, get your Family Guy jokes in) flipped over on his back on a bar and the bartender emptied a quart of Grey Goose Vodka down his throat. Cleveland was at that club at least 4 times a week and the bartenders loved him – god bless his scales and fins, the boy was a fish. They loved him because Cleveland was a fun drunk, not one of these douchebags that starts fights, spills things or goes in on your girlfriend, he just became Cleveland x2, a more enhanced version of himself. He got funnier, danced better and became more engaging. We all were slamming drinks like fish back then, it was liquid courage, the smile enhancer, the fun maker, the cougar panty melter… you get the gist.

When I watch shows like Jersey Shore and see the alcohol life being replayed by kids being obnoxious, it sparks up memories of younger years when stupidity was life. We’d leave at 10 pm, slam drinks, get numbers, then drive home pissy drunk, managing to dodge cops, other cars, and curbs only to come back the next week to do it again. Cleveland did this 4 times a week (no worries there’s no tragic end to this tale) and managed to get away with it for years.

Drunken Wake-up Call

By the time we were in our mid-twenties we had enough tales and stripes to fuel the articles of 10 Hall of The Black Dragons and our livers were worn and tired of the abuse only lessened by the advent of our careers, serious girlfriends, fiance’s and health issues. We had our fun and it was time to grow up and move past that life, that lovely swirly life of DUI’s, pregnancy scares and hangovers. Cleveland straightened his life up, became a Minister somewhere and the rest of us became better nerds – choosing the computer over the neon club lights.

From the Outside Looking In

The immortal Frank Sinatra has a song called “Very Good Years” which I felt was penned for me and mine. It tells of all the highlights we experience throughout the most memorable of our years and how we cherish each landmark that we get to up until death. I look back and realize that as a man in my mid-30’s I would not like my 20 year old self very much. I was a big douchebag: drinking, carrying on, drunk driving, kicking people in the face (did that while dancing at one club) and hitting on women. We saw it as “fun” but we were endangering lives and being destructive to our bodies. Now I see people I hang out with who didn’t have this past, carrying on like fools with liquor on some brand new shit and I feel… embarrassed. I feel older than them and immature for being in their company. I’ve outgrown the need to be intoxicated, so much so that I lack patience for those who still do.

“There’s a big difference between liking alcohol and using alcohol”

Drunks ruin parties, they do, now please don’t mistake tipsy for drunk. This is meant for those of you, (and you know who I am talking about) who endanger your friends, turn into someone else and become assholes just because you lack the social means of being in a party environment sans fire water. There’s a big difference between liking alcohol and using alcohol. I actually like alcohol, I can tell you which brand, how to mix it and how many glasses are my limit. People who “use” alcohol seldom have these answers; just ask goofy drunk what he likes to drink and he’ll spout something generic like “GIN!” or “SHOTS!” because its not about the drink, it’s about getting drunk. A man who likes alcohol can use it for liquid courage by getting tipsy, he knows what it takes to get there and he won’t accept any more drinks once he’s good. A goofy drunk doesn’t understand tipsy and you’ll be driving him home by the time it’s all over, and he will be vomiting on your good car mats.

Enough times like this and goofy drunk will be excluded from get-togethers by friends unless they are all of a “brand new” mind-set for liquor. I can no longer do this type of thing with people who are immature drinkers, I just can’t do it. There’s no real adventure in getting shit-faced and waking up to learn that you almost died, killed some other people, and/or got your ass beaten. How is this fun? Hall family, have you ever had to dump a drunken loser as a friend? Let me hear some stories.

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