The early pages of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited describe the drunken antics of students Lord Sebastian Flyte and Charles Ryder (the narrator). Ryder makes the later observation that he “got drunk often, but through an excess of high spirits, in the love of the moment, and the wish to prolong and enhance it; Sebastian drank to escape.”
This difference is the same difference G.K. Chesterton touched on in his early book Heretics: “If a man drinks wine in order to obtain pleasure, he is trying to obtain something exceptional, something he does not expect every hour of the day, something which, unless he is a little insane, he will not try to get every hour of the day.”… Read the rest
I’m thinking about becoming an alcoholic. Beer and wine are my favorites, so I’ll drink a lot of them. I don’t like hard liquor, but I’ll drink it if that what it takes to realize my ambition. Unlike some people out there who want things handed to them, I’m willing to work and am dedicated to achieving my goals.
I have little doubt that alcoholism is a good career move. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers can’t take adverse employment action against a reformed alcoholic based on his alcoholism. As a practical matter, this means any time an alcoholic is denied a job, a promotion, or a raise, he can scream, “It’s because I’m an alcoholic, isn’t it!” As Dick Vitale would put it, “Protected class, baby!”
For guys like me, alcoholism is the only way to get such protected status. I could also lop off an arm or something like that, thus becoming genuinely disabled, but I hear that’s painful and it would adversely affect my golf game. (Drinking, incidentally, doesn’t — nor does it impair my bowling.)
I’m not just working the legal angles, either. I also look at alcoholism as a way to build up my credentials.
I’ve noticed that reformed alcoholics (and drug addicts) are uniquely respected. Once a person goes through rehab, he’s certifiably sensitive. I often strike others as unfeeling, so I could use a credential like that.
Reformed alcoholics often have new career opportunities, too. Once I go through rehab, I could work to become a counselor: a rehabbed alcoholic who helps struggling alcoholics. I might also get a job in a high school to help troubled teens; I’d latch onto those public school employee fringe benefits without even getting a teaching certificate.
Today I learned: Max McGee, the first player to score a touchdown in a Super Bowl, did so hungover and getting barely any sleep the night before. He was a backup who didn’t expect to play, and when the starting receiver got injured, he had to grab a lineman’s helmet because he didn’t have his on hand. Also, that first touchdown was a one-handed grab, and he went on to have two touchdowns that game for 138 yards.
“There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.” Samuel Johnson
Like Samuel Johnson and Alicia Bridges (see title), I like a good bar.
Heck, I like many bars. I love a good bar.
COVID, of course, has crippled the bar scene, which has hit me pretty hard.
You see, I’m a religious guy. I like to worship.
I’m pantheistic in my approach. God, for me, isn’t found only in the brick-and-mortar church sanctuary. God is everywhere.
Oh yeah, to be sure, he’s found in some places better than others. I believe He is present in every church. I also think He’s present in other people and acutely present in the poor.
I also believe he’s present in quiet places. It’s a belief that goes back almost 3,000 years, to the time of Elijah:
A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the Lord — but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake — but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire — but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound,” a “still and small” breeze, and then the Lord spoke, “Elijah, why are you here?”
I’m a silence monger. I seek it wherever I can find it. On the worst winter days, you’ll often find me outside, taking in the silence born from forcing the world indoors.
On a weekday afternoon, you might find me in a bar, taking advantage of the dead period — that time from, say, 1:30 to 4:00 — when the bar has virtually no customers. The lunch crowd … Read the rest
Halloween lands on the weekend! Far out. If you have costume parties to attend, and you want to embrace your Catholicism, and you want to embrace the (drinking) weekend, I have ten great ideas.
The Liberated Nun, circa 1518
This one might be hard to set up with your crowd, so you may want to limit it to a small setting. The point is, to look like a drunken tart, without the moral sensibilities that continued to persist in Protestantism after the Reformation. Of course, you could go for the Munster Anabaptist look, which would pretty much blow wide open your options.
The Liberated Nun, circa 1970
This one is great fun. And simple. You just need a pantsuit, a dainty glass of wine, and an annoying air of complacency.
The Drunken Monk
Go for this look.
You’ll have to give yourself a tonsure, which kinda sucks if you’re trying to pick up chicks. Then again, you can forego the tonsure and point out that you’re not a medieval monk and that the tonsure was banned by Paul VI in 1972.
Okay, you might need a fat suit for this one. If you don’t, well, good luck with your doctor at your annual physical.
To pull this one off otherwise, put on a cape, carry a swordstick, tousle your hair, grow a mustache, laugh uproariously, and drink enormous amounts of wine or beer.
And oh yeah, no matter how drunk you are, continue to be brilliant.
Hold a large glass of wine and a scowl. Be nice to the Catholics. Be a dick to everyone else. Talk about how Whig history sucks and H.G. Wells is a real ass.
On the Road
This one has the greatest potential of all, especially if you don’t mind … Read the rest
I tried one (stripped of its hallucinogenic properties) while at the 2018 marijuana convention. I wasn’t impressed by the taste.
But I am intrigued by this development. I have long maintained that marijuana is substantively different than booze because you can’t “dial in” the buzz. You go from 0 to 60. So you never slide from sober, to enjoyable relaxation, to venial sin, to mortal sin. It’s just, wham, mortal sin.
If there were a way to slide into the buzz more, then maybe it would be alright.
Cannabis beverages might be the ticket. When I spoke to that one vendor back in 2018, he said that was exactly the market they were looking for.… Read the rest