Twenty-five re-usable rationalizations for spending an entire day drinking
By Dave Chamberlain
NOVEMBER 15, 1999:
It's not just the kids, the rent, the deadlines and the grades. Responsibility washes down from everyone around you. Joe Schmo over here can't imagine having all your time, what with his three businesses and five kids. Sally Schmo's the same way, except she has three kids and two jobs and volunteers her entire weekend to teaching blind kids the scripture.
Everyone is so wickedly responsible, it makes the acts of pure irresponsibility harder and harder to share, much less do. Especially the time-tested activity of drinking away one entire day. Throughout history, this activity has never been so looked down upon once you reach the age of responsibility‹say, 24. In the Old West, it was expected that a cattle driver would spend at least a full day drinking after getting off the trail. Romans enjoyed nothing more than spending the day getting lit and watching wild animals rip apart those conscious-driven Christians. Jack Kerouac used to christen every new town on the road by heading straight to a bar for a few beers, regardless of whether or not it was 8am.
But those days are gone. Too many Baby Boomers-gone-401K holders, too many Generation Xers DIYing it for eighteen hours a day. Too few people are taking a day off to do nothing but drink; everyone's on a personal time clock against their life.
But the Nineties are also the age of validation, a time in which accepting personal responsibility is as foreign as picking up a hitchhiker or walking fearlessly through a forest in Maryland.
So here you are, a list of reasons/excuses to drink all day. To enjoy an art form that is all but dead. Twenty-five reasons for the modern Homo sapien to get out there and drink away one full day, each designed to cut down at the knees that pesky Puritan guilt and stave away the condescending voices that surround. In honor of our Holy Trinity of day drinkers, Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson and former Newcity booze muse Frank Sennett, we lay upon you the quintessential rationalizations.
1. Romantic break-up
No one, NO ONE, will question you for an eighteen-hour drinking day under the auspices of just finding out your boyfriend is married, or seeing your flame at the movies with her "mother," a 6'2" quarterback named Blake. Turning to the bottle during a period of love-life turmoil is a time-honored tradition, practiced everywhere from Chaucer to Pushkin, Marlowe to Miller. Tradition!. Not only will nobody question your motives, but you'll even get some sympathy for that hangover; a tender "We understand" and a supportive shoulder pat.
2. Just got a new job
It's a celebration! You just halved your workweek, doubled your salary and told your bloodsucker boss to suck the rotting innards of a fetid pigeon corpse -- ALL IN ONE DAY, ONE MOVE! The only real dessert to such a full-course day? Liquor, lots of it.
3. Just got fired
You got axed for that stupid little oil spill in a wildlife preserve. Don't get melancholy, get pissed. Go spend some time -- like sixteen hours -- at your favorite watering hole. Start with Bloody Marys, the tomato-red a symbol of your inner rage at The Man. Move to beer and get sloppy, then on to the expensive shit -- just to prove an economic point.
4. Your dad just got re-married...
...to an 18-year-old fashion design major named Mindy, which makes her just young enough to be your daughter! The ONLY way you'll prevent yourself from strangling dad or "mom" is to start drinking at the crack of dawn. By the time the actual wedding rolls around, you might actually even like "mom." At the very least, you'll be too plastered to throw a fit, much less a punch. Plus, everyone around you will understand.
5. Trying to keep alcohol away from kids
If you hide it, they'll find it. If you tell them they can't have it, they'll want it. Leave a bottle of vodka out in the open, and you'll notice it hardly gives you a buzz, as if it's watered down. Do the world a favor: Keep kids away from alcohol. Drink every bit you see. Make a monthly effort to crusade through bars and liquor stores, personally insuring that the alcohol gets inside you, not a kid.
6. It's the millennium
This isn't just a totally irrational excuse on which to base the plot of "Scream," it's a reason to drink. After all, if all the doomsdayers and biblical interpreters are right, we don't have long. But there's no reason to get all glum about it. Drink, and keep on drinking right up until the crack of 2001. It's the end of a millennium, and possibly the end of civilization as we know it. Enjoy!
7. You just lost in the playoffs -- on Playstation
After forty-two hours of streaking through the regular season, some bullshit computer play that involved a little hedgehog killing your quarterback with a bazooka just eliminated you from the best part of the season. You could erase it and start over, but you'll have to get a new controller, what with the old one having been thrown against the wall and stomped into 2,000 separate fragments. Better chill out and wait a day before heading to the toy store.
8. You're on vacation
Vacation means carte blanche for all known body abuse. It is a completely validated reason to wake up drinking piña coladas and go to fall asleep with half a zombie in your hand. And the term "vacation" is workable into many situations; no one has to know that your vacation is only a two-day affair, covering the Saturday-to-Sunday time period.
9. You're on a flight to Singapore
You've got a tidy eighteen hours to kill, and they'll strap you to the chair for the entire trip if one little bump shakes the plane. So take advantage of the free booze on international flights and get absolutely bamboozled. Drink every last drink that the staff will bring you. Annoy them with your persistence for another drink. At some point, go to the bathroom, throw up, and come out for another drink.
10. Didn't want to smoke pot every day this week
Sticking to one vice all the time is uncreative. Time for a change. Take a day off, get up early and get to the bars before that urge to spark up comes along. Before you know it, you're smashed, the bars are closed, and you haven't smoked a single joint. You might be hungover, but while you're sitting there at work, you can proudly tell everyone that your 265-day in a row pot binge has ended.
11. Your name is Hunter S. Thompson
You're not the REAL Hunter S. Thompson, mind you, but you happen to share the same name as a man whose daily breakfast for the past twenty years has been Chivas Regal. You want to live up to the name, of course. After all, what man named Wilt Chamberlain wouldn't want to live up to that?
12. You don't know HTML
Screw the HyperText Mark-up Language -- every new job in the next twenty years already wants you to know how to make your own Web page, and that "HTML for Dummies" book just isn't sticking in your head. Give up. Drink.
13. You're a certified genius
Your IQ is well over the 160 mark of genius; MENSA has been begging you to join for the past ten years. You, not all those non-genius members of society, know what's best for you. You can drink all day if you want, damn it, you're a genius!
14. You accepted the challenge of smoking 100 cigarettes today
The only way you're going to get through five packs of smokes in one day? Down them with booze. By the time you open that last pack, you won't even notice that your throat feels and possibly looks like a silver mine, and that every word you say accompanies a cough. In fact, drinking all day may be the ONLY way to accomplish this bold feat.
15. Mom and dad are coming to town
...for two weeks. Sure you love mom and dad, but they wouldn't drink beer were it was the last liquid on Earth. Plus, two parents staying with you will bring back too many memories, reminding you of why you moved 2,000 miles away from them in the first place. Get it out of your system early, preferably a couple days before they arrive, to give the apocalypse in your head time to dissipate.
16. You have insomnia
The entire story of "Fight Club" could have been avoided had the protagonist just settled in for an eighteen-hour drinking day. Can't sleep? Bet that won't be a problem on top of fifteen Newcastles and ten shots of Jamieson. Screw sleeping pills, this is natural sleep. This is sweet, oblivion-based, pass-out sleep.
17. You're thinking of becoming a priest
It's been a long time coming and now you're about to make that final step. And because the only thing priests CAN really do is drink and smoke cigarettes, you might as well try it for a day: do nothing but drink red wine, while trying hard not to scope attractive passersby or think about sex.
18. There's a two-for-one sale on malt liquor
This way, you don't even have to sit in a bar. And afterward you can knight yourself a warrior among bargain hunters. Just bring a wagon or a shopping cart, but six forties of whichever malt liquor the store is liquidating, spend the rest of the day getting loaded. Yeah the hangover will be evil, but if you're smart, there'll be just one more forty in the fridge to take the edge off.
19. Can't get over the Los Angeles Rams losing to Pittsburgh in the 1979 Super Bowl
This can be any sports-related heartbreak of choice. Perhaps you're from Houston, and the endless reruns on ESPN Classic Sports of the "greatest comeback ever" by the Bills over the Oilers has opened some tough adolescent wounds. Or you're from Cleveland, and you've pretty much seen John Elway's "The Drive," but now it's "classic" football. Or you're Chicago born and bred -- enough said. Drown your sorrows, even if they are twenty years old. Think about what could have been.
20. College Football
Gotta be college, because you can arrive at a bar for the East Coast games in the morning, and not leave until Oregon and USC have played their last down. The relatively short day of pro football doesn't allow for enough genuine recovery time. This validation is tops: it's reusable for the fourteen weeks of the college season, right up until New Year's Day.
21. You lived at home when you went to college
It doesn't have to be college. Maybe you lived at home after you graduated high school -- for the next four years. Either way, mom and dad just ground up and baked too many wild oats meant to be sowed. So get out there, and be young. Irresponsibly drink an entire day away.
22. You just invested your life-savings in Schlitz stock
If you are the proud owner of 1,500 shares of Schlitz, you should be doing nothing BUT drinking Schlitz, all day, every day. This is a successful venture, two-fold: first, by spending an entire day downing Schlitz, you make sure that your money is invested wisely; second, every time those dividends come in, you're making some of that drinking money back.
23. You just got out of prison
With so many non-violent offenders in the prison system, it's completely believable that you've spent time, and now you're living it up. Because there's no booze behind bars, you've got lost time to make up for. This might not be the best excuse to use in the workplace, especially with potential dates.
24. You're a complete idiot
What kind of moron who's not in college goes out of his or her way to imbibe a poisonous substance from the beginning of the day until the bars close? An idiot, that's who. Embrace the title. Love it. Answer to it. If everyone thinks you're an idiot, expectations are lower, and when expectations are lower, you can't disappoint. Proclaim your idiocy and empty that glass.
25. You're an alcoholic
Screw excuses, validation, justification. Explain to everyone that you are an alcoholic, plain and simple. Whether you are or are not, that's not the point. Remember, alcoholism is a disease, by declaring it proudly, your daylong drinking binge will be met not with consternation, but empathetic acceptance. Ride this.