I Love Alcohol!
Sometimes, Iím truly awed at this wonderful thing we call alcohol. Awed at how, after all these years, it still has the power to make me happy. There are few "sure things" in life, but alcohol is definitely one of them. I can be pretty certain that if I start a night drinking alcohol itís going to be cheer me up and make me happy. True, if I keep drinking thereís a good chance Iíll be found beating the pulp out of a 1968 VW bus yelling "You must dieÖ so that I may live!" but as the Bible says, "Moderation in all things."
I recall a period a few years ago where I was maniacally depressed over, what else, a girl. So I went to this party pretty intent on committing suicide in front of everyone there, and I happened to grab hold of a forty ouncer to summon up the courage. This was back before I was 21 and a certain amount of effort had to be put into accruing alcohol (It usually involved trading sexual favors with the deviant transients that lived downtown.) So I was coming off my third or fourth day of brain-swelling depression and I started downing the forty. And a funny thing happened: I became happy. I started experiencing the zest for life that I thought had left me forever. Because of sweet, blessed alcohol. So I grabbed the guy next to me and shook him while screaming, "Iím happy, man! Do you understand?!? Iím happy again!" As a result of this epiphany I was able to get over this girl whoíd broken my heart and have my heart broken by many other girls in years to come.
But I do think alcohol is the one thing thatís saved me from suicide several times. And all my greatest chick stories involve alcohol. Truth is, without blessed liquor, Iím a simpering fool when it comes to women (as are all men.) But fuel me up with some eighty proof unleaded and Iím a walking Lothario. When it comes down to it, romance IS alcohol. None of us would be here if our parents hadnít gotten drunk enough to become convinced they found each other attractive. (Iím not sure what my parents were drinking but Iím pretty sure it ainít legal.) In fact, one of my most treasured romantic memories stems back to a full bottle of Absolute vodka. I was baby-sitting the neighborís six year old daughter when I came across the liquor cabinet andÖ. just kidding folks, put away your pitchforks. Actually an old fling showed up to my house in Olympia and we proceeded to hike up to the state capitol building, lie down on the front lawn and spent the whole night just talking and drinking. And thatís what the devil liquid is about: Sharing. Nothing brings people together like alcohol.
And when liquor isnít bringing out the tender sensitive side of me, itís unveiling the next best thing: The psychotic and violent side! Iím pretty sure the property damage Iíve inflicted on the world under the influence of alcohol is well into the thousands of dollars, but hey, Ďtwas all in good fun. (Iím not going into specifics since some of those cases may still be open.) Whatís even better than the physical damage Iíve caused with alcohol is the hurt feelings Iíve caused. More than once I reduced people to tears and blown at least a few good friendships. One of my favorite stories occurred when I was wandering around downtown Seattle several New Years eves ago. The area was packed and my homies and I happened to pass this 90210 chick who was crying in the middle of the street, yelling something like, "Ohmigod, I lost my gold watch. That was a present from Brad! It cost a thousand dollars. Snivel. Whine. Shriek." So I did the only responsible thing you could do in that situation. I pointed my finger at her and said ,"Ha-ha." (Simpsons style.) Her response was to grab me and shake me profusely, yelling something like, "Donít laugh at me you bastard! No one laughs at me. Blah, blah." I was so drunk I could not defend myself and it took her friend to calm her down and spare me her wrath. That was a great night. Later that evening I smashed in a truck window and threw up on someoneís car.
So Iím actually quite surprised at the negative reputation alcohol has acquired. Sure it created the occasional wife beater or drunk driver. But think of all the good itís caused. All the lovers itís brought together, all the music it has made tolerable (think Jefferson Airplane), all the poetry itís made profound. (The Wasteland reads a lot better after a fifth of Mexican Rum.) Thatís the great thing about alcohol: everybody enjoys it. No one calls for itís repression the way they do drugs and cigarettes. Because, despite all the lives itís destroyed, all the people itís killed, no one wants to give it up. It truly is a great thing.
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