10 Great Things About Booze
We got an email from a faithful reader last week, who was looking for some fundamental truths about booze. This person was looking for the bright side (and hopefully the light side) of drinking, and came to us. We were flattered, and it also made us think a bit. There are all sorts of people out there who demonize liquor, but there's a positive side to the stuff too. We wouldn't know half our friends if bars had never been invented, and we certainly wouldn't have screwed up the courage to actually talk to girls without a few stiff belts.
So, without further ado, our paean to our favorite hobby, or as the Bard says, "the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems."
[Edit: Looks like the Modern Drunkard beat us to this topic, and their execution was better too. Check it out at 10 Best Things About Booze. Frank Kelly Rich, we bow to you yet again, you beautiful bastard...]
1. Drinking Can Make You a Dancer
Picture this with us: a wedding, let's say June. Horrible 70s music blasting from the DJ's tower of power, and all the women from age 7 to 70 are out on the floor, writhing and gyrating like someone dropped a live wire into a puddle in their midst. As you see grandma drop her walker and power slide at the end of "You're the One That I Want" from Grease, you ask yourself...where are all the men?
Oh, right, there they are. Clustered by the bar with a panicked look in their eyes, pounding down open bar drinks like Popeye on spinach. Most of them will be there for a while. Occasionally one or two will be picked out of the herd by their significant others or lope off looking for bridesmaids. And the drunker they get, the more likely they will be to lead that chicken dance the DJ is begging for, or do some kind of Steve Wozniak-eque worm in the middle of an impromptu break dance circle. By 11:45 even the most resistant stragglers will be out on the floor, weaving and bobbing to the music, drinks clutched like Linus's safety blanket in their hands.
More great things after the jump.
2. Drinking Can Make You Healthy
There has been study after study about the health benefits of drinking in moderation, so we won't beat a dead horse. But did you know that drinking is the cure for the common cold? Probably not, because we just made it up! But people have been drinking hot toddies when they were sick for hundreds of years, so it has to help at least some. Here are some other facts about the health benefits of alcohol, from Alcohol Problems and Solutions:
The U.S. government reports that moderate consumption of alcohol (beer, wine or distilled spirits) improves health and increases longevity. Distilled spirits (whiskey, brandy, rum, tequila, gin, etc.) contain no carbohydrates, no fats of any kind, and no cholesterol.
Based on this information alone, we should be turning into some kind of ubermensch any minute. As you might expect, we are strong like bulls and plan to live to 1,000 years old, give or take a decade.
3. Drinking Can Make You Look Classy
There's just something sophisticated about an old-fashioned glass or martini glass. Even if you're usually found swilling beer directly out of a keg hose, if you walk into a fine establishment and order a Manhattan, you're suddenly in the upper crust. Your torn jeans and stained "Property of Gap Athletics" shirt melt away and turn, however briefly, into a Hef-style smoking jacket and classy slacks. That feeling you get as you twirl the stem of your cocktail glass between your fingers is beyond the pale, and as long as you don't swill them too fast, you can keep up the illusion of being a non-mouth breather all evening.
4. Drinking Can Make You Social
And by "social," we mean "able to talk to girls." This is due to a combination of factors, including a lowering of inhibitions and the gradual donning of what is commonly called "beer goggles." Taking a drink makes your tongue more limber, helps you puff out your chest a bit, and get over yourself enough to strike up a conversation. And we're not advocating beer goggles, but they do have a leveling effect where every girl in the room is of more or less equal attractiveness, which makes it easier to chat them up. Just don't overdo it, or suddenly you're Eli from Freaks and Geeks, except you're replacing "homecoming dance" with "men's bathroom," and no one wants that.
5. Drinking Can Make You Strategic
We've all heard the old saws of drinking advice, handed down from generation to generation. The big one is "Beer before liquor, never been sicker," and say what you want about whether it's true, at least it's an ethos. You know what it's like to go out for a night on the town - in order to pull it off, you have to be the Patton of the pub, from picking the right venue to organizing rides home. Everyone's got their own strategies to help them avoid the pitfalls, from saying "I'm only having two because I have to work in the morning," to alternating booze with water, to staying away from certain drinks (tequila anyone?) Your evening, and all that planning will probably fall apart quicker than Pickett's Charge after a drink or two, but hey...at least you tried.
6. Drinking Can Make You Honest
There is no greater truth serum than liquor. OK, maybe sodium pentathol, but that's it. What other socially acceptable practice gives you the ability to tell off your annoying boss AND call your old college roommate with a weepy "I love you man" ramble? Nothing, that's what. Just make sure you're careful about just how honest you are, and make sure to look behind you when you do.
7. Drinking Can Make You Tough
One of the reasons we we love drinking is the feeling that nature is in balance. For every dizzying high, you've got to feel the soul-crushing low, or everything gets out of whack. We've had some hangovers where we felt like our eyes were going to explode out of our head, our bowels were going to do something similar, we had a headache from head to toe, and our teeth and hair hurt. We made it through that, and we're tougher men for it.
8. Drinking Can Make You a Time Traveler
Anyone who has been to college knows what we're talking about here - the booze-given ability to shift through time without the use of even a souped-up DeLorean. Those mornings you're sitting there with your friends, and someone says "Well, I remember we at the bar for a while..." Then someone else pipes in with, "Oh yeah! After that we went to Denny's!" Someone else throws down, "Right, we got kicked out of there because you didn't have any pants on. Where'd we go next?" It's like part Memento, part Choose Your Own Adventure, part Time Cop, all fun.
9. Drinking Can Make You a Storyteller
"OK, OK...so we're up on the roof of the parking garage, and the cops just got there because we threw the shopping cart full of pumpkins off the fourth floor. We've got nowhere to go, so Adam takes this running jump and lands on top of the mall. I do the same thing, but apparently there's a motion sensor up there because all of a sudden more cops show up. They climb up the ladder and there's nowhere for us to go, so they pull their guns on us and make us put our hands behind our heads..."
Where else are you going to get stories like that, unless you're a complete psycho. Our Editor in Chief's Top three stories of all time involve drinking (Actually, they all involve Jagermeister. - Ed.). What better way to harvest some interesting stories of your own than to just consciously decide to go on a bender. We recommend bringing a sober friend along as a scribe, or to bail you out after you've had your cool 1980s Sean Penn fun, however.
10. Drinking Can Make You Sexy
This goes beyond the social aspect of drinking, and right into a fundamental shift in how you perceive yourself and your surroundings. In other words, this.
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Posted by Jake Jamieson at April 7, 2009 8:20 AM