Every once in a while, the media likes to throw one of its predictable shit-fits over those kids these days and their many ridiculous ways to get drunk, like shoving booze-soaked tampons up various orifices or straight-up injecting vodka into their eyeballs. Of course, these are almost always isolated incidents some dipshits did over a dare that the media bloated into a "nationwide craze." If a college kid drank rum out of his hat, you wouldn't be able to go five minutes without seeing the headline "FEDORA GULPING FAD SWEEPS NATION AND RUINS FAMILIES" on Fox News.
But does that mean insane, unexpected ways to get wasted are complete horseshit? Nope! In fact, you could be drunk right now and not even know it.
5Your Body Might Brew Its Own Alcohol
Around last New Year, a Hamburg, New York, woman found herself in hot water when she was stopped by the police and tested for a blood-alcohol level over four times the legal limit. She found this strange for a very good reason: She hadn't been drinking. The hospital where the cops took the woman was equally baffled, as she completely failed to poop all over the walls in a blackout-drunk fit, and all in all displayed precisely none of the symptoms of a DUI dipshit.
After hearing all of this, one might logically conclude that the lady was secretly six Bud Light-filled balloons stuffed into a dress. However, she was actually suffering(?) from a condition known as auto-brewery syndrome. Symptoms: Your body hates you for being a dickhead that refuses to pour sweet alcohol into it all the time. So the yeast bacteria in your stomach go all Al Capone on your fascist ass and start making their own booze instead.
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"Goddammit, guy. This is the tax office."
The condition appears to be fueled by carbs -- one guy can get a buzz simply by eating french fries. However, spending your days in a constant state of joyful inebriation isn't quite as neat as it initially sounds. Alcohol made by your own belly still behaves like the alcohol you deliberately put there. The downside of having an endless kegger in your gut is that you're also hungover all the time. It's less of a 24/7 party and more of a constant hair of the dog.
Oh, and there's also the part where the condition can get so bad that your constant, involuntary bender wrecks your academic and athletic dreams in equal measure, rendering you into a waxy, ashen shell of the person you were hoping to be. That part's pretty bad, too, I guess.
4Your Mouth Can Cheat You Into Getting Drunker Than You Should
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If you were a student or otherwise in possession of no taste buds at some point between 2005 and 2014, you might be familiar with Four Loko, the infamous alcoholic beverage of various fruity flavors, all of which looked and tasted like unicorn piss. Its combination of stimulant (caffeine) and depressant (alcohol, duh) briefly turned many a house and campus party into vomit-themed reenactments of Animal House, causing massive media outrage and bans from multiple states.
I'm not saying nixing Four Loko was necessarily a bad thing. I'm deeply against any and all Rainbow Brite fruit booze horseshittery, and the only way I'll stand on barricades in defense of caffeine-alcohol fusion drinks is if someone confiscates my hip flask before morning coffee.
"What the hell are you putting in there?"
However, the whole caffeine-and-booze thing may not actually be behind Four Loko-induced antics at all. According to some researchers, the real reason behind its effectiveness is far stranger: It's because the drink was just too weird for our senses.
The phenomenon is called situational specificity of tolerance, and the science behind it is simple: An unfamiliar context can make an experience far more intense than it should be. A social drinker's body operates in a strictly Pavlovian manner: It learns to anticipate alcohol before you even ingest it, based on the environment you're in. If the environment is "looking at a beer bottle in a bar that smells like beer," it knows to hit Beer Mode. If you're in a house party ingesting a colorful elixir from a Lisa Frank can, there are no cues for it to do that. The alcohol will come as a surprise to your body and brain, so they react by turning you into a teenager having his first drink, tolerance-wise.
"I couldn't remember if you pissed or crapped your pants back then, so I played it safe and did both."
Unsurprisingly, researchers have nicknamed the phenomenon the Four Loko effect. I recently got to experience it myself, when I attended a fair and decided to try these strange gelatinous cubes a stall was selling. Turns out, they were made of absurdly strong Hungarian fruit alcohol called palinka that someone had turned into a solid treat with one of those super-strong gelling agents molecular gastronomy is so fond of using. I ate maybe a shot's worth and felt like I'd just slammed several tequilas for the next hour or so. I would've eaten more, but apparently, burning your pants so that you can make a smoke signal for your ex to see is "against fair rules."
Still, even if you're consuming alcohol the usual way, the situation might bite you in the ass ...