So when I told the Cracked editors I wanted to write a drunken adventure story, they were skeptical. "Can't you just write another story about why it's hard for a Chinese woman to own cats?" (Point #1: You are always tempted to eat them.) "You can't write a personal experience article about an experience you don't have."
Old family recipe.
"But all the cool columnists have stories about drinking," I protested. "Or stopping drinking. I don't really distinguish. The point is I don't want people to think I'm the old fuddy duddy of the bunch who only cares about relationships and news stories and cats. I'm cool too! I am a badass!"
"Of course you are!" they said convincingly. "But drinking stories usually involve drinking, and you, uh, you don't drink."
At that point I realized they were just making excuses. Here's why I can totally write a crazy drunken adventure story and why everybody's going to be sorry about how wrong they were.
Just because I'm not always "chugging the beers" or tossing back Mai Tais or appletinis or pina coladas or whatever all the crazy party people have when they party at the bars doesn't mean I don't occasionally indulge in an alcoholic beverage or two. Sometimes I've even been known to over indulge, if you catch my drift.
Why, just last night I was sharing an entire bottle of Wente Vineyards 2008 Duetto Cabernet Sauvignon blend with my fiance as we played Star Wars: The Old Republic. We were totally chugging it and finished the entire bottle in probably less than three hours. I felt quite flushed and had a difficult time choosing my crafting skills, no doubt due to the dangerously high level of intoxication.
Why isn't this exactly identical to WoW like all the other features?
What I had forgotten before carelessly consuming such a monumental amount of wine was that I'd had a pint of very strong dark beer about a week before, which was no doubt still in my system. I don't care what the doctors say, it was clearly still there, which is the only explanation for my subsequent reckless behavior.
You see, there's a line of old folk wisdom that goes, "Beer before liquor, never sicker. Liquor before beer, never fear." If I had known that at the time, I probably would have hurled that wine bottle as far away from me as possible, but at a soft surface, because it cost like $40. Unfortunately, I had heard the saying before, but from a person who was, ironically, drunk at the time, so what I got was, "Beer before liquor, get better quicker. Liquor before beer, go home with a queer."
That would have been pretty bad advice if I had remembered it, but actually it made me uncomfortable because it seemed kind of offensive to gay people so I just decided to forget it entirely, so the end result was that by last night I was completely unaware of the saying in any form.
As I staggered to my feet to get more aged imported Welsh cheese, the room started spinning, and my head was pounding from all the crazy alcoholic beverages (beer and wine) wreaking havoc on my system. I knew I had to do something fast, or I wouldn't be able to concentrate long enough to get to level 10 and get my Jedi a lightsaber.
It's cool, Whoopi Goldberg eventually got her lightsaber.
Everybody says you're not supposed to take Tylenol when you've been drinking because Tylenol + alcohol leads to liver damage. And everybody knows the liver is responsible for the smooth flow of qi throughout your body and the last thing I wanted to do was have my qi blocked, because it would ... well, I don't know what would happen but whatever it was, it would probably bring shame to my family and my mom would yell at me.
So I took Advil instead. Sounds harmless enough, right? Well, a couple of things you should know. It wasn't brand name Advil from a reputable neighborhood drugstore. No, I took some no-name back alley brand of ibuprofen ("Kirkland") I bought off of a guy in some warehouse. If there's anything I've learned from action movies, it's that large warehouses filled with shipping containers are always sites for some kind of illegal activity or nefarious scheme, no matter how many families are walking through it eating hot dogs.
Or no matter how much they dress it up with a fancy facade.
Very likely those pills weren't filled with ibuprofen at all, but with cheaper, inexpensive materials like cocaine, in order for them to cut costs and siphon off the profit.
So it's possible I was getting totally buzzed up or hopped out on cocaine or whatever you kids say these days, but even if it really was just ibuprofen, it turns out I would have totally been increasing my risk of stomach irritation which is obviously just as crazy and dangerous, and not the sort of thing a safe old fuddy duddy would do at all.
So there I was, dizzy and completely wasted, barely able to make thoughtful decisions about selecting talents in my skill tree, either high as a kite on cocaine or having slightly increased my risk of stomach irritation. I was this close to rock bottom. I couldn't have imagined it at the time, but things were about to get worse.
One hallmark of drinking stories is mistaken identity -- you spend the night talking up a pretty girl and find out later she is a lamp, or you spend the night partying with Gary Busey and later you find out it was just a homeless guy. I guess the last one doesn't really require that much alcohol.
Not surprisingly, I myself experienced a crazy mistaken identity story during my wild night. I needed to sit down and get my head sorted out, so we went to the living room and put on the Bears-Packers game. "Wait a minute!" I said. "Wait a minute. Wait a minute." (Drunk people are supposed to say mundane things multiple times, as I have learned from watching Family Guy.)
No, I haven't learned everything I know about drunken behavior from cartoons -- why would you say that?
"What?" asked Mike.
"What's the right tackle doing where the guard should be?" Green Bay's current right tackle, T.J. Lang, was clearly lining up next to the center, when he should have been the second player to the right. Was this some kind of crazy trick play? Was this a mistake?
"I'm pretty sure they're in the right place," said Mike.
I looked again. It turned out that I was looking at the right guard, Josh Sitton, who was exactly where he was supposed to be. It turns out his number is 71, while T.J. Lang's is the completely different 70. "Oh." I couldn't believe I'd made such a glaring mistake.
Looking back on it, these guys look nothing alike. I feel terrible.
The mix of alcohol and drugs was clearly knocking me right out of reality. I gripped the couch tightly before I slipped away entirely. "Well, why is Jake Gyllenhaal playing quarterback?"
"That's Aaron Rodgers."
"Is that his stage name?"
"No, they're two different people. Are you serious? Do all white people really look alike to you?"
This is one of those relationship trick questions where there's really no right answer, so I cleverly deflected it by saying, "Uhhhhhhhhhh ..."
"When you saw Robert De Niro in that Limitless trailer and you asked me if he was Jack McCoy from Law & Order, I thought you were making a joke."
Maybe? No? OK fine, I guess I'm a racist.