5 Things You Learn From a Lifetime of Screwing Up

#2. On the Subject of Beer


Don't buy anything good.

Don't even think about it. Not even mid-grade beer. Not even faux-mid-grade shit like Weinhard's or Rolling Rock. If possible, you want beer so shitty that it's actually a knockoff of other shitty beer. Buy beer at the Dollar Tree. Buy it from strange-smelling Russian surplus stores. Because no matter how great a beer tastes, quality starts to cut off sharply once you're about three deep, and it goes right out the window entirely the second you pour it into a funnel.

Also, you want low-alcohol beer. I know you think you don't. You're hardcore: You want the most alcohol you can get for your money. But that's a mistake. It is way more fun to get hammered on 12 PBRs than it is to get equally hammered on three pints of imperial stout. Plus, when you inevitably have to apologize for all the things you did last night, "God, I'm sorry, man, I had like 15 High Lifes" is a much better-sounding excuse than "God, I'm sorry, man, I had like two Old Rasputins."

#1. Get a Job


No, this is not the practical section of The Fuckup's Guide to Fucking Up. The only practical section is the blank chapter at the end that you can roll up and smoke. True, there are very good reasons for having a job as a young adult: learning responsibility, getting work experience, or even just funding tonight's party. That's not really why you want one, though. The real reason for an aspiring young fuckup to hold a steady job is that a job is where you make your connections. Don't know a weed dealer in your town? Get a job in fast food. Now you know 10.

Sick of hanging out around the corner from the liquor store, tapping on shoulders and asking strangers to buy you beer? Get a job at a convenience store. No, I'm not suggesting that you sell yourself beer, or even worse, steal from the store. You don't have to -- just ask Skunky Mike, your 26-year-old burnout of a manager. He will happily buy you several shopping carts full of booze if one of those bottles is for him.

"Sure, buying for minors is a crime -- but so is paying for your own Night Train!"

If you're not willing to get a job, at least get a fake ID. Work at Burger King for like 16 hours until you can afford one, then quit: You are now the beer-bringer, the holiest occupation in the entire Kingdom of Underage Drinking. Your tithe is a meager 10 percent of all purchases. Now you never have to pay for drinks again.

If it's not a job, or a fake ID, then develop a newfound respect for your older brother. Or suddenly start finding that 21-year-old douchebag from philosophy class really funny -- whatever you do, just don't shoulder-tap. This is important, not because I'm trying to get you to drink (again, I'm not advocating this stuff; I'm just saying that if something is worth fucking up, it's worth fucking up correctly), but because any complete stranger who wants to buy a kid beer is not a stranger a kid should be around. Don't go pick up your bottles from that sketchy dude's trunk, don't go with him to the ATM to get cash, don't hop into his car to hit up another store because "the teller saw you guys outside and didn't want to sell to me" -- just tell Philosophy Terry that his "Sartre? More like Fartre!" joke was fucking hilarious, and keep all of your holes intact.


And that's why I don't do advice columns.

Buy Robert's stunning, transcendental, orgasmic science fiction novel, Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity, right here. Or buy Robert's other (pretty OK) book, Everything Is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead. Follow him on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook.

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