Anyway, we spent a good two hours in this shop, and I probably spent all but five minutes of those two hours with my nose deep in a book called The Modern Drunkard by Frank Kelly Rich - which I subsequently bought and now cherish (not really, but it is hilarious). This gem of a book is an irreverent and full-throated response to the largely unanswered question as to what happens after you've consulted that bar guide, mixed those cocktails, and sent them down the hatch. Its pages are dedicated to the art of being drunk, and catalog all the wonderful shenanigans people have pulled or should pull, at some point in their life, while drinking...heavily.
My favorite section in the book is titled 40 Things every Drunkard Should Do: Checkpoints on the road to excess.
An excerpt from this section's intro reads: "Fortunately, imbibers have historically been immune to popular opinion, hence this list. If you manage all forty before you take a bar stool at St. Gabriel's Pearly Gate Lounge, you may feel secure in the fact that you've lived a rich and full life, even if only the boys and girls down at happy hour think so. And when you do belly up to the big open bar in the sky and the bartender asks, What sort of life did you lead?, you can look him right in the eye and say, Gabe, baby, I'm glad this is eternity, because I've got a helluva lot of stories to tell."
Here are a few of the more colorful and memorable entries on the list...
6. Get drunk on the grave of your hero. Wait until the cemetery closes for the evening, then slip over the fence with a bottle of something strong. Prop your back against the gravestone and tell your hero how much he inspired you, how much he changed your life. Revel in the fact that your inspiration is only six feet of hard-packed earth away. It'll be the greatest one-sided conversation you'll ever have. Then pass out. Let the groundskeeper be your alarm clock.
8. Embark on an impromptu road trip. Out of the blue, propose a trip to Las Vegas, London, Jack Kerouac's grave, or, for the love of God, the Two-Headed Cattle Museum. It doesn't really matter where; the joy is in the journey. There's nothing like a burst of irresponsible freedom to shake up your worldview. It will be an adventure you'll never forget or tire of talking about.
17. Fight a good fight. Samual Johnson said, Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea, and those who go to their graves without ever getting into a fistfight undoubtedly feel the same way. How many times have you gone home thinking, Damn I should have clocked that jerk. Next time, do it. Swing first, swing hard, and make sure you're in the right. You may not win, but at least you were in there swinging.
28. Send a friend a bottle of good liquor. Apropos of nothing and don't tell him it's coming. Attach a card reading: Tonight the drinks are on me. He will never forget it.
39. Make your own beer, wine, or moonshine. It's akin to spinning gold from straw, except this gold gets you loaded. There are few finer feelings than getting drunk on alcohol you yourself coaxed from the most unassuming of ingredients, Do it once and you will forever feel secure in the knowledge that no matter what goes down in the future, you will drink.
Another great section is titled The 86 Rules of Boozing: There's more to it than tipping a glass and acting foolish.
And I quote...
5. Buying someone a drink is five times better than a handshake.
20. Drink one girly drink in public and you will forever be known as the guy who drinks girly drinks.
31. If you have been roommates with someone for more than six months, you may drink his beer, even if it's hidden, so long as you leave him one.
34. If you bring cheap beer to a party, you must drink at least two cans before you start drinking the imported beer in the fridge.
51. Never brood in a dance bar. Never dance in a dive bar.
69. If there is ever any confusion, the fuller beer is yours.
Good stuff, and I'd be curious to hear your additions to these lists...