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13 RULES YOU NEED FOLLOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR DRINKING

There’s a reason some of the greatest artists are alcoholics. It’s because alcoholism is a fine art. It requires skill, discipline, and worldly knowledge. It also takes knowing the tricks of the trade. There is a thin line between a sloppy drunkard and a seasoned alcohol enthusiast, and the good news is that it doesn’t require intelligence to be either. Here are 13 rules for the boozehound seeking self-improvement.

1. Avoid social media when wobbly.

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A sage drinker will do everything in his power to mitigate morning-after regret. The best way to do this is to forsake Facebook, Twitter, and social media altogether. If you’ve had alcohol at least once in your life, you know the urge. The world becomes a brighter place on lazy Sundays knowing you didn’t confess love, contact an ex, or send out a dick pic in a mass email to coworkers. Or, if you’re into danger, be like Carlos Danger and do your thing. Some people have smaller windows of shame on second thought, and it may be fun or even constructive to broadcast your horniness publicly. It depends on your reputation.

2. Never tell anyone you’re drunk.

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Sometimes in the heat of drinking, it becomes self-apparent that you are, in fact, blasted. Your first instinct is usually to warn everyone of your potential embarrassing acts. Don’t do it. Telling everyone you’re drunk is the quickest way to discredit everything you do and say. You never want to be the clown–even if you’re a sad, alcoholic clown. Saying, “God, I’m drunk,” makes you seem like a greenhorn, or worse: a teenage-level drinker. Both get no respect. As Dean Martin said, “You’re not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.” If you’re hugging the porcelain lest you fall off the Earth, perhaps it’s time to come clean that you are a wee bit buzzed. Otherwise, you’re bringing down the vibe.

3. Tip the bathroom attendant.

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Huffing poo, dealing with drunkards, huffing pee–the guy deserves money. He deserves your entire paycheck if I had anything to say about it. But alas, he’s huffing poo and pee for pennies. The act of giving a lowly soul a generous tip makes you feel good about yourself, too. Feeling good about yourself is key to a successful night out. Feeling like an asshole triggers a self-fulfilling prophecy where you end up doing asshole things. (Photo cred: Pitch.com)

4. Buy a girl a drink, not drinks.

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One drink is cool. Two drinks is Cosby. Keep it to a minimum.

5. There’s nothing wrong with disappearing from the party.

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Odds are, you’ve found yourself too drunk to function at a social event. In which case, it behooves you to bounce out the backdoor. No one will take offense, and the worst case scenario is they think you’re mysterious, which is cool. Just don’t say, “I went home because I was in a bad mood.” Then they’ll think you’re an asshole.

6. The most efficient drink is a vodka soda.

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The three of five most cost-effective alcohols per ounce are Bowman’s Vodka, Royal Gate Vodka, and Popov Vodka. Vodka offers calories of pure alcohol. Nothing is wasted, except you. Taking it a step further, vodka with soda is one of the most low-calorie, high-alcohol drinking choices. If there were a God of Booze–which there probably is–he would tell you that the purest drinking experience involves these two ingredients.

7. Drink the whole shot or everyone will think you’re a bitch.

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Shots are meant to be shot. That’s why they’re called shots. If you sip them, the shot glass might as well be your mother’s nipple. Slam it, goddamn it! If it doesn’t agree with your tummy, repress the bad feelings. Don’t let anyone know you have the stomach of a vegan with IBS.

Imagine the drinking circle is a clan in primitive Africa. You are about to go on a hunting expedition to kill lions, and the leader passes a magical courage potion around the circle. If one of those hunters sips it and makes an “ew” face, no one will trust him. They will think he’ll be eaten by lions. Utterly worthless. In sum, slam a shot to gain the trust of the clan.

8. Do not fear a hangover.

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Ever seen “Gattaca?” Remember the scene when Vincent tells his brother Anton the secret to his being able to accomplish so much while being deemed genetically inferior at birth? After he kicks Anton’s ass in a swimming race, he tells him, “You want to know how I did it, Anton? I never saved anything for the swim back.” Never save anything for the morning–unless, of course, you have work the next day. The pain of a hangover is an underrated pain. It’s a pain that builds character. The trope “misery builds character” is apt and congruent to the world of drinking. There is no greater letdown to a drinking buddy than the worlds, “I gotta slow down.” Speed up. This is not a game.

9. Reciprocity is the silent language of drinking.

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If someone buys a round, make it incumbent upon yourself to buy the next. Actions speak louder than words, especially if you can’t say words anymore.

10. If the bartender made your drink too weak, ask him for a double the next time.

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1) It tells him you’re not fucking around. 2) It lets him know he messed up. Bartenders are receptive creatures. They understand implication. For example, if the bar is crowded and you’re a runt trying to get to the bartender’s teet, the most effective course of action is to make eye contact with him and smile instead of scream for attention. Demanding service will immediately land you on his shit list, and it is counterintuitive to the quest for more alcohol for your money.

11. Avoid uttering false platitudes like “Beer before liquor, never been sicker.”

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You don’t want people to think you’re an idiot, do you? Not only is this statement reserved for 19-year-old sorority girls, but it’s a lie. Beer and liquor don’t magically fuse in your belly to create an evil Satanic poison that makes you yack in the bushes for five hours. It’s the fact that you were drinking beer and switched to tequila that makes it seem like you’ve gotten hammered.

12. Take two multivitamins before you drink to avoid a hangover.

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Even though I previously mentioned that you should never fear a hungover, you can take precautions to avoid the really nasty ones. According to Jason Burke, MD, creator of Hangover Heaven who has treated more than 20,000 hangovers, “A big misconception is that hangovers are entirely about dehydration. But the main issues are inflammation and oxidative stress. And it’s much easier to prevent a hangover than it is to deal with it the next morning.”

13. Never back out of an invitation.

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If someone offers you an invitation, do it. As the saying goes, if you get passed a plate of cookies, take a cookie, because the opportunity might never come again. I made that saying up. Woody Allen once said 80 percent of life is showing up. Show up to the party, and you’re golden.

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