Monday, March 23, 2009

There's a Reason I Quit Liquor

Back in college, I can't remember a party that didn't involve me being heavily inebriated by the end of the night. That was before I learned to love beer and I was entirely a Jack Daniels, Rum, Vodka, and Goldschlager (screw the spelling) kind of guy, and I wasn't much into mixing drinks, either. Sometimes, I'd mix up a Jack or rum and Coke, but usually, it was just straight up liquor.

And there were a lot of really crappy mornings because of that, like the one time I had to go to K's church the morning after one of my biggest binges. If you've never experienced the combination of a bad hangover and heavy use of incense in an Orthodox church, I don't advise it. I still have flashbacks of wondering how much one of those priestly robes would cost if I had to replace it after projectile vomiting on the guy.

I'll save you from a lot of details about college parties and their aftermaths. For those who knew me back then, you've already drifted off into your own little reveries of flips onto couch cushions, foot wax, and stealing chicken fingers not intended for the party. For the rest of you, all drunken college parties are pretty much the same, and the ones I attended really weren't all that riotous, so you'd hear nothing new anyway.

What I will let you know is that I quit drinking hard liquor almost entirely by the time I graduated college. A few too many bad experiences with the hard stuff had left me unable to stomach most of it. I still find it almost impossible to down anything besides Laphroaig 15 Year and decent Cognacs/brandies. Luckily, I can't usually afford any of those and when I do, I can't bring myself to drink more than a single serving at a time.

However, about the time that I quit liquor, I developed a taste for craft beer. With my size (I'm 6'3" and about 240 lbs.) and other factors affecting alcohol tolerance, it's nearly impossible for me to get really drunk off of beer. By the time I'm getting an okay buzz going, I'm starting to feel a little too full to drink more. I like it that way. I don't have to worry about my buzz feeding me more drinks.

Despite that, there have been three nights since I left college that had me staggering drunk. My bachelor party (really before I switched entirely from liquor to beer), a random visit to a friend while he was still living near a college campus (Rat Poison is a deadly concoction), and this past weekend.

All three occasions involved a brief return to hard liquor. The first, like I said, was before I quit the hard stuff for good. The second and third have something very much in common: a very strong drink that doesn't taste very strong. Apparently, any Georgia Tech marching band member or alum will know about Rat Poison. Infinitely drinkable and two cups left me waking up in the middle of the night to puke on my friend's couch. Honestly, I was a little embarrassed. I'd been out of college long enough to change careers at this point and I felt a little disappointed in myself that I was puking after hanging out in some college party. This weekend was a different friend's housewarming party and it involved his St. Patrick's Day version of a Long Island ice tea.

I will have to say that I'm rather proud of myself this time, although I don't think that my wife was. I didn't really make a fool out of myself, as long as you don't count trying to enter the house through the doggy door, but that was just my normal way of doing things. I hadn't even finished my first beer at that point. Besides, after my failed attempt (damn my barrel chest and large ass), at least half of the other attendees attempted the same feat. Sadly, only I and frequent commenter Julie's husband failed. He's a fairly thin fellow, but apparently shares my glorious glutes. I felt a little sorry for him that he had to have his svelte self lumped in my my lumpy self, but not sorry enough to refrain from calling his Large Ass all night. Hey, a fat guy can make fun of thinner people for being fat, especially when their not. If he'd called me a fat ass, I would have agreed, but had my feelings hurt and never spoken to him again. I also would have taught my young son to despise this man and to avenge me by eventually murdering this man's future progeny in front of him. I'm sure Julie would have understood. Luckily, he's always been very nice to me.

There was also that one time when a random girl walked into the room as I started to say, "If I ever had to go into hand-to-hand combat with a dog..." and she promptly turned and walked away. Again, that's just me being my everyday self. There were no intoxicants necessary to make me say something like that.

Despite the fact that by the end of the party I had had way too much (five Michelob Porters, two cups of that St. Patty's Tea, and however much Natty Light I consumed during the playing of beer pong), I was proud that I did not puke and was not hung over the next morning.

I'm still not sure how I woke up on Sunday around noon without feeling like crap. I did drink a couple bottles of water during the party, but I didn't have access to my normal mega dose of vitamin B that really keeps the hangover symptoms away. I could have said I was proud that I also didn't do anything I now regret. As always, I remember pretty much everything I did or said. I did spill that one drink toward the end of the night, but I didn't seem to piss anyone off, or take off any clothing, and K seemed to have forgiven me by the time we got in the car and left.

I seriously have to remember to stick to the beer from now on.


courtney said...

Oh, so no hangover for you, eh? LA DEE DAH. I hate you. And I wanted to die yesterday.

We need to work on our beer pong skills (only without the beer, because SWEET LORD I AM NEVER DRINKING AGAIN.) We got our asses kicked.

Jacob said...

I'm pretty sure I'm a large part of the cause of your suffering. Be comforted by the fact that I wouldn't have poured you such a giant cup of St. Patty's Tea had I not been drunk.

You also would not have accepted my offering had you not also been mentally compromised by drink.

courtney said...

I still choose to blame you.

Julie said...

I got drunk not too long ago off one bad glass of wine and two Jack & Cokes. It was a miserable Sunday afterward so I'm slightly annoyed with you, too.

But mostly, I had a good time at the party. So, woohoo!

A Free Man said...

I spent far too long in college and far too much time at college parties and far too much time drinking liquor. I switched to beer and wine for a while but found that I kept getting drunk on that too. So I just quit.

I'd be willing to place a pretty large bet that I could get through that dog door, though.

Mickey said...

You're a happy drunk. Actually, I'm not friends with anyone who is not happy when they're drunk. I don't think we'd tolerate violent drunks.