As all of you certainly know, my life almost completely revolves around drinking. And no, not the "red wine with my Ramen noodles, beer every other Sunday when I am watching Jay Cutler show Navy Seal like mental and physical toughness" kind of drinking, but the "blacked out, party-naked, end up tweeting dong pics that will get me fired from my job as a high powered Advertising Executive (spoiler alert...that's what happens to Don Draper in the Mad Men season 35 finale)" kind of drinking that this country was founded on. And that's what makes this nation great, our abhorrence for moderation that pushes us towards the top of the world rankings in war, alcohol/fried food gluttony and real football. I mean if Ulysses S. Grant can send thousands of men to slaughter and stop slavery after chugging 2.5 handles of Jack Daniels every day since he was 11, then we as Americans can embrace alcohol and make sure that it is now, and always will be, the focal point of our every social existence...right?
I wouldn't be so sure. Lately I've been noticing a disturbing trend, especially amongst 20 somethings, to ignore the alcoholic traditions that made this nation great and instead embrace some sort of European based "I might drink, but I am going to handle my liquor and not be too ridiculous" alcohol consumption as a foundation for their lives. Honestly once you sit out one Saturday night hammered fest without having a terminal illness/funeral to attend or spend your St. Patrick's Day showing up to work instead of pounding Jamison or deciding that attending your son's weekend morning little league games without a hangover and having them grow up to know that their father can show them sober affection is more important than ditching your family to meet the fellas at the bar 5 nights a week...then you're already a goner. You've already lost it, and the sad thing is...you may never be able to get it back.
And this isn't to say that you shouldn't love your kids or that your alcohol consumption should hinder your ability as a parent. Actually I am trying to say the exact opposite of that. What kind of example do you want to set for your children? What do you want them to learn in life? Do you want them to learn how to have fun? Do you want them to learn that successful people embrace alcohol as a the truest form of substance dependency? Do you want them to learn how to fight through adversity (like a hangover) to persevere and become the best student/athlete/worker/person that they can be? Because that's exactly what you would be teaching them by pounding alcohol like your are the slutty chick looking for an excuse to run through dudes on her cruse ship during spring break. That's what drinking does, it gives you an excuse to do any sort of hilarious/horrific/morally questionable act that you desire. Because, if you are too hammered to remember it...then it never really happened. That's just the God Damn American Way.
Binge Drinking Life Cycle
So now that we've all decided to keep up our binge drinking since we're good Americans that love our family, lets take a look at we can age gracefully while still keeping our eyes on the blacked out hammered prize. Here is how your drinking should progress throughout your life...if you truly love God, your nation, your family and country music. (And, when in doubt, always ask yourself WWDDD or What Would Don Draper Do? Spoiler alert...the answer is get f'ed up)
The "Sneaking Warm Natty Lights in your Parent's Basement" Stage-Look everyone finds alcohol at different points in there life. The lucky ones discover it in 9th grade when their sense of pubescent rebellion bubbles up and they start pounding drinks and heading down a distinct road in life (which may or may not end up in several appearances on the Jerry Springer/Steve Wilkos Show).The luckier ones discover it when an Applebees accidentally fills their sippy cup up with vodka and causes them to make a trip to the emergency room/Betty Ford clinic as a 4 year old alcoholic. And, the luckiest ones, find out about the glory of liquor when they are infants and their mothers force feed them Jim Beam so that the pain of their teething process will go away, the baby will stop crying and she can go back to watching General Hospital and neglecting her young children. But, no matter where you fall in stage 1 of the binge drinking cycle, if you don't end up stealing Natty Lights, hiding them for weeks under your bed and then pounding them so that you can show up to a freshman mixer hammered...then you are way behind in life. And, if at said mixer you aren't hung upside down from the gym ceiling and beat with wiffle ball bats like some sort of gigantic pinata...then your life is better than mine. So...congrats on that.
The "Drinking is Still Frowned Upon, but Everyone Knows You are Doing it" Stage-This is one of my favorite stages (but who am I kidding...they are all one of my favorite stages). This usually happens between the ages of 17-25 (depending on how progressive your parents are). How do you know when you have entered this stage? Well when you can 1-Steal a bottle of gin from your parents, show up to your buddy's house carrying it in a paper bag and then head up to his room without being questioned, 2-Ride in a car with your parents slurring words and speaking as coherently as Muhammad Ali without getting in trouble, 3-Spend the night out 4 times a week and get applauded because at least you aren't driving hammered or 4-Vomit in various places of your or your friend's houses and then hide it for weeks until the smell becomes unbearable...then this is where you are in the cycle. And it's a glorious place to be. Just Glorious.
The "It is Just Assumed that I'll be Hammered At Least 4 Nights a Week" Stage-In other words...College. What's the best part about this stage? Everyone knows that getting drunk is the most important thing in your entire life...and they are alright with that. There is no pressure to be sober, no "your an alcoholic" rants from parents, no "how dare you yell obscenities in front of my small children" looks at collegiate sporting events. Actually at this point in your life people judge you a lot more if you are sober than if you are drunk, and that's how it should be...at least in my book (and by "my book" I obviously mean this blog post).
The "I Should be Slowing Down My Drinking, but It is the Only Thing That Makes Me Happy" Stage-Otherwise known as your life immediately after college. Graduating from college is a lot like being a young tiger cub who is raised in the zoo and then suddenly released out into the jungle. Are you ready for it? Hell no. But, for whatever reason, society thinks you are. So you revert to your old ways, showing up to work still absolutely smashed after a big Tuesday night out. However, this shouldn't hurt your job performance in the least. In fact you'll probably end up being admired by your coworkers and superiors for being a trooper who can put aside physical/mental/hungover pain for the good of your $20K a year job selling rich people Health insurance policies for their pets. This will impress your bosses so much that you'll then get promoted and be hailed as the savior of a company who's business structure/entire concept probably isn't the best one out on the market place. Yeah that's right...alcoholics always finish first (just ask Mickey Mantle).
The "I'm in Some Sort of Committed Relationship, but I Still Wanna Get Shit Housed" Stage-This is where the men are separated from the boys. Look I have no idea what it's like to have a serious girlfriend, be engaged or to be married (and I probably never will) but if the presence of a female hampers your drinking...then you need to get a priorities straight. I mean I've had a mother for the past 8 or 10 years, but that hasn't stopped me from drinking one time. Yes to be fair I understand that every once in a while you will have to split a bottle of Wine and a summer salad and watch Chocolat (you mean Chocolate...with Johnny Depp?) with the gf, but even that shouldn't stop you from partying. Just pound the wine, wait for your girl to pass out, and then hit the town. Just as good as pregaming I think. (If you don't believe what I just wrote look at Doug Heffernan in The King of Queens. He's married but that doesn't stop him, Deacon, Spence, The guy who played the Hulk on TV and Danny from downing brews in the garage. Now that's what I call having your cake (Carrie, Doug's wife) and eating it too. Well done Kevin James, you are truly an inspiration to us all...now everyone go out and see Zoo Keeper ASAP.)
The "My Wife is Pregnant" Stage-Best thing about having a pregnant wife? Sober ride home. Hey yo!! Oh yeah, plus you get to steal her junk food. Unlimited Cool Ranch Doritos? Yes please.
The "I Got Kids So my Life is Over" Stage-Look kids may ruin your sex life or be the cause of your eventual divorce, but they should have no impact on your drinking. Just read my introduction to see how and why. You need to be setting an example God Damn it!
The "My Kids Are Old Enough to Drink" Stage-What's the best thing about having high school aged kids? Well in my book it's a 3 way tie between 1-Being able to steal your kid's alcohol, 2-Being able to have your kid invite his friends over and then steal all of their alcohol and 3-Having kids who are also old enough to work so you can make them give you their paychecks and buy alcohol with it. I mean honestly, if you ever pay for your own liquor at this point in your life...you just aren't that smart. Or you have a heart and/or conscience. Gotta be one or the other.
The "Retirement on a Cruise Ship" Stage-This is a great point in the cycle because you have no responsibility, you are flush with funds that you earned in some sort on Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme, and you aren't quite old enough to be crapping yourself or forgetting who you are. Plus you are taking trip after trip around the world, and if you don't drink on vacation...then you just don't have a soul. Not to mention that crushing up some Viagara, putting it in your morning cocktail. and walking around the ship's pool deck hammered with a raging erection all day is one of the best visuals I could ever imagine. That would literally be living the American Dream.
The "I'm Gonna Die at any Second so I Might as Well Go Out in a Blaze of Glory" Stage-I've never understood why super old people don't party their nuts off. When you honestly think about it, they have it made. First, like Uncle Leo exhibited during burglarizing spree in Seinfeld, they can't get in any sort of trouble with the law. Second, they are all about to die at any second, so what do they have to lose? Logically it's the old people who should be partying harder than anyone else. I mean when I am an old fart I am going to be snorting blow, chugging whiskey by the bottle, stealing condoms and nuddy magazines, driving around town like Jeff Gordon and shanking people in the nursery home showers. When you have nothing to lose, you might as well live like it...assuming you can still breathe without an oxygen mask, remember your wife/children's names, or move three feet without dropping a load in your depends.
Text Updates and Big Ups
My current text messaging score since June 24th is +238 (200-inbox, 176-sent, 14 from females). Once again there is not a whole lot of vag represented here, especially considering 4 of those texts are from my aunt, but I am ruining out of jokes to represent my lack of communication with the opposite sex so, I'll just let it go for the time being. Also my twitter score is sitting at 172 followers, and even though I've gotten several new followers in the past week every time I get a new one...I lose 2. Stupid internet.
I don't have a lot of big ups to extend in this post. I'd like to once again thank Dan Flynn for bringing me to the Irish world and for tweeting at me yesterday. I also gotta give some love to my boy John Greysun because I never knew he read this...and despite some of his tweets I am still not sure he does. I also gotta give props to the funny Edwards, my man Andrew, for showing me the 2nd youtube video in today's post. Finally to anyone and everyone from the Suburbs who should have been offended by what I wrote last week (if you weren't then you have no pride in where you're from)...I will never apologize. But I can offer you a membership to the Sack Rewards System, where basically you give me money...and every so often I send you a hat or something. Sounds like a good deal to me.
Back next week with an update on the Red, White and Blue inspired American dream. Happy Independence Day everyone...I just hope this one isn't like the Will Smith movie.
Sachary L. Poelker
"The Sack Artist: Jack of All Trades"