This is an anthropological review of alcohol- a serious work, which requires your immediate attention (since you’ve read so far- clearly you’re not knee-deep in your Nobel proposal).
Most people I know love a good drink. Heck, I don’t think I know any teetotallers- If that’s you, I bet you’re either a really good looking/intelligent male or just so gosh-darned nice.
Alcohol serves a bigger sociological purpose than being a mere intoxicant. It is the new Marx revolution - All Hail, The Great Social Leveller.
You could try it out tomorrow. Get a group together, your very own motley crew of unlikely bed fellows. Put them in a noisy bar and promise to pick up the tab.
I guarantee there will be stories repeated, common ground found and lost, hollow promises made and a lot of laughter (there’s always a crier in every group, though.)
Some of my favourite memories, and stories-- the ones I still can’t shake off-- start with “that one time, we were drinking.” This, of course, also proves my scientific hypothesis that drinking, in fact, does not kill brain cells. Just obliterates, embarrassing behaviour. It lowers your inhibition and like a true best friend, erases the memory of your idiocy (unless you were silly enough to have it documented on Youtube. Next post on- why the title ‘Best Friends’ is such a misnomer.)
It was drinking that founded and cemented several successful food businesses, around the world. Hung over people worldwide get up the next morning and crawl towards their favourite carb/sugar fest. Thus, was institutionalized- Sunday Brunch. I strongly suspect that Pancakes and maple syrup is a chaser – more on this, four Sundays from now.
Speaking of Sunday brunches, and love? The depth, breadth, madness of love is truly represented in slurred poetry. Texts are sent out and manic calls to old lovers are made (sometimes, long distance). There is a general feeling of bonhomie all around. I’m sure the detractors will tsk-tsk into their espresso shots, but who minds being told that they are still loved/ thought of?
Beauty also lies in the eyes of the Dirty Martini glass-holder. People you would otherwise not rate as attractive come across like lovable Kung-fu panda versions of themselves. Hence, proving- Alcohol helps break social constructs of beauty. I can almost hear Naomi Klein woot-ing in the distance.
Drinking with friends, is like the motivational workshop you never attended- never will your peer group encourage you for anything, so furiously.
Want to write a letter in blood?
Jump fully clothed into a pool?
Get a tattoo of a butterfly mouthing, ‘I heart Ryan Gosling’ on your tricep?
You will find support and encouragement every step of the way.
As you grow up, drinking helps you find a part of your identity. Know how to pronounce and have tasted 'Bordeaux', hello, Rich Snob (Pl contact me after reading this- you are paying for my drinks now). Still chug beer with your friends at 40? I could say something cutting to you, but I'm too distracted staring at the belly taking up the third chair on the table. A guy who loves his Bloody Mary's? You're fabulous, and we haven't met before- why?
Business ventures are started (I cannot quote an example, well, because most never took off)and Poems (with bad meter like this) are inspired
Through rough times and celebrations,
Through marriage and your friends’ subsequent gestation,
For reflection of what we gain & what we lose,
For being universally my favourite excuse.
What Charles Dickens said at his favourite English pub, “Please Sir, Can I have some more?”