Kenneth, born and raised in the South, resides in Hamilton, Alabama. He enjoys sharing his unique perspectives on life through his writing.
There's drinking; Nursing a drink; Sipping; Guzzling and most holiday occasions such as: New Year's Eve, a lot of Funneling down of whatever alcoholic beverage will "get one there," meaning Drunk; Boozed; Wasted; Bagged; Blitzed and Out of it. If you have experienced this lively event, raise your hand.
Contrary to Misguided, Uneducated Opinion, not everyone who moderately drinks end up with alcoholism. Another Contrary to that Same Misguided, Uneducated Opinion says that not everyone who really "gets lit," or "bends his elbow many times" will end up on Skid Row--penniless, unemployed, looking for a cheap bottle of wine. If these terms are making you squeamish, I am just being honest.
There is absolutely nothing whatsoever glamorous about a person who lives on the very alcohol that he loves to put down his throat. Face it. When did you attend your last Office Party and well, you ended up with drinking Nine Straight Vodka's then attempted to dance with the Lounge TV? That is pretty much drunk.
Here are two terms that measure the Degree of Someone Drunk: "He is drunk as a dog." And "He is drunker than Cooter Brown." Funny terms, but oh so truthful. I am not about to poke fun at people who are Problem Drinkers or people who Have No Problem Getting Blasted clear out of their minds to the dangerous point of not knowing their name, where they are laying face down, and the Ultimate Drunk Question: "How did I get in this shape?" You don't know? Really? Maybe it was you and your best friend, "Hal," a World Renown Boozer Since 1980-something and you challenging him to a Beer Chugging Contest with the Winner watching the Loser (guess who?) drink down a pint of Good, Old-Fashioned Moonshine. Friend, did the nick-name, "King Bud," that someone yelled to "Hal" when you and him walked into (one of) the bars he frequents make you the least suspicious?
An Amateur Drinker such as yourself, I can tell you this straight and even if you do get upset, your head is too big to take a swing at me for having a Hang-Over that Would Kill a Charging Bull Elephant. I should have warned you about "Hal" who lives to drink. I would have told you prior to meeting him about how he smuggles Gin and Ginger Ale into his thermos and chugs it during his lunch hour, but I thought it prudent to mind my own business.
Oh, this is your first Hang-Over? I am so sorry, friend. The way you were bragging last week about how you "could hold your booze," caused me to believe that you were a Well-Rounded Drinking Beast. Oh, I can understand how it is so easy to get carried away when you are talking about something you love then captivating the conversation. But drinking? This is your Hobby? Drinking? I guess I need to nail you to the wall and ask how many D.U.Is you have gotten? Oh, I didn't know about that scary night two weekends ago when you went to a wild party at your lodge and well, overdid it. Drinking a half-case of beer and then being stupid enough to drive back home which is more than 100 miles away is not very smart. And you didn't even belong to that lodge where you were "drinking like a fish." Right.
I think that's time to really get into it by telling you a big of Sage Wisdom: As in Degrees of Being Drunk, there are Degrees of Being Hung-Over. If you are planning to go all out, be "three sheets in the wind," (another rural boozing term), then you should learn these things. Frankly, no one really likes a Greenhand Drinker--they embarrass their friends (who can handle their booze) and themselves and some tender-hearted friend will ultimately walk the poor Greenhand Drunk who is all but passed out, and drive him to his house and then tell his worried wife and kids that you just had a bad liver reaction when you mixed whiskey, beer and vodka in the same glass.
That will work, but for only so long. Then all of your tender-hearted friends will turn cold as ice and leave you laying face-down on someone's new carpet in someone's den and not see you until they, a Boozing Couple, wake up late the next day and discover you, half naked, laying in your own vomit, on the wife's new carpet. You are no longer a Lovable Drunk, but an Irritant When Lit. A Stumbling, Bumbling Keg of Booze with two legs and a face. This couple and the majority of your old friends shun you, never call you anymore to go eat, attend a football game or even play a game of Snooker. The party, my Boozing Buddy, is OVER.
Oh, my Friend with a Headache so bad that you cannot walk straight. You have just begun to learn more about Horrible Hang-Overs and how You can learn to either Handle your booze or simply QUIT drinking.
I am speaking now from pure personal experience. One Tuesday night, the night of The Presidential Election when Gov. Ronald Regan faced-off against Georgia Gov., James "Jimmy" Carter. My friend and publisher at the weekly newspaper where I was working, sold me a 12-Year-Old bottle of Sarky's Scotch. By now, you should know where this is going.
My friend said when I handed him my cash, he said, "Listen. I know that you like to drink beer-but Scotch is NOT beer. They are worlds apart. You need to take a small glass, put about an ounce and a half into the glass and then pour a sip of water into it--then sip it." Honestly, I lost my friend when he got to 'take a small glass,' for I wanted the Whole Nine Yards of Drinking and Partying Not Giving a Rat's Butt What Year is Was.
And that is just how it went down. Regan blew away Carter and I was on my fifth drink and feeling little or no pain. Suddenly, I felt like calling my publisher at 12:30 a.m., and for him, that is late. But thank God, he was awake and I remember sharing our victory with Regan winning and then I heard him say . . ."how many drinks have you had, Ken?" I just laughed. Then went right to bed, but not before I deposited some of the 12-year-old Scotch into my trusty commode. Yeah. That is fine. I will be great in the morning.
Oh, my Misguided Amateur Boozer, you don't know what Hang-Over means until you had a morning like me--waking up so nauseated that my vision was blurred. My wife had already taken our daughter to school and she thought that I was going to have a day off on that day. Oh, how the Drunken Tongue can take on a life of its own. She did say later in that day when I woke at 6 a.m., that I told her I was going to rest and not go to work.
I crawled from our bed to our bathroom and cleaved onto my poor commode. And I distinctly remember apologizing to it with tears in my eyes. I lay down and rested a minute. Then a wave of nausea hit me again. My wife had gotten out of bed to cook breakfast for her and our daughter--and the aroma of bacon that is cooked did not set well with my stomach. I put my head over, the third time over my commode.
Then I had a great idea. I need a shower. A good, long shower. I had heard that people who drink a lot always shower and they feel fit as a fiddle. Yeah. And I'm Eric Clapton. The shower helped me as much as Tommy Morrison, pro boxer, boxing my face a few dozen times and I got sick again. I accidentally looked into the mirror and cried again. I took on the image of a resurrected corpse--pale, hands shaking, stomach churning, and eyes so red that I thought I had poked cherries into my eye sockets. I was in worse than bad shape.
I could not hold cold water down. Friends, if you have been where I was in this narrative, you can relate. I made several vows to God that THIS WAS IT! No more, God. I give you my word. I won't stray from my plot to ask if you have ever wondered just how many vows drunks make after a bad drinking spree? I do not know, but it has to be in Quadrillions.
I managed to hold down some black coffee, dress, and head on to work. I was about a half-hour late, but when we pasted up our paper, we get to come into work the next day LATE. Thank God. But from 9 a.m. until about 10:30 a.m. I was alone. All alone. No co-workers to speak of. Not even my best friend, "Joy," who tried to teach me how to Drink Wisely, but I failed that test. But I got busy setting type, drinking coffee and sweating worse than a prisoner walking toward the Electric Chair. I stood underneath the air conditioning vents, but the sweat continued to pour. Well, I thought. This might be helping me.
Finally and mercifully, my Day After was coming to an end. My Monster Hang-Over was getting better and I was so happy. And now hungry. I was hoping that my wife would have a meal cooked and ready for me. She did. And while we ate, I had to re-live the Night Before and what I did remember was scary. Ugly, in fact. The things that I said. The things that I done. I was never a fluent dancer, but she said that I did a decent job.
After dinner, I poured the rest of my Scotch down the sink. It was about two drinks worth. And while I was pouring the Scotch down the drain . . .my friend's voice kept echoing in my mind, "just SIP it. That's it. Just SIP it." That would (at that time) made a perfect line to be carved on my tombstone. I would have loved to be watching from Heaven and see the people who passed by my grave marker then start looking at each other scratching their heads trying to figure out what I was really saying. Codes. Yeah, they exist.
I would love to go further and share more about the Severity of Hang-Over's and how they can, if you let them, teach you a lot about life and more importantly, how to treat your life. But for me to keep on with talk about hang-overs, might be on my part, beleaguering the issue.
A joke to end with: Why did God create Passing Out when Drinking too much? Answer: To show His Mercy in letting the Boozer NOT have to face the Deathly Hang-Over in the morning.
Don't, and I am very serious, Drink and Drive.
© 2017 Kenneth Avery
Kenneth Avery (author) from Hamilton, Alabama on November 11, 2017:
My dad used to say, "Bought experience is the best teacher." He was so right. And until I felt the real suffering that a person deals with, no one will ever know and I am glad that they won't.
Boozing is no way to live. It is dangerous enough without driving. It is very addictive and can take over lives.
The guy you talked about sitting in the road is SAD. I mean sad. You would think that in years ago, only the hobos and homeless were apt to be drunks, but in this case, I was so sad to hear about you having to see him home--but YOU and your coworker were responsible for saving his life.
Appreciate Your Comment more than you know.
Write me anytime.
Kenneth Avery (author) from Hamilton, Alabama on November 11, 2017:
Thank you kindly for your comment.
I am here to Thank God, for His amazing grace and patience in dealing with me about this once-social pastime. But toward the end of my drinking to have fun, the rules changed and like RoadMonkey said below, I am so glad that a person even barely having their breath tested by an officer can lead to an arrest.
I am not boasting of myself. But of My Maker.
I have not touched the stuff since 1989 and never desired it again. Oh, there were some who would come around with beer in their hand--drunk and trying to talk to me and like you, I got sick to my stomach.
I think that I have made my point.
But do not think that I am perfect. No. Just someone very thankful to live without booze.
Kari Poulsen from Ohio on November 10, 2017:
What an awful day. And to not even remember the "fun" of the night before, lol. That would make one heck of an inscription on a tombstone. I'm feeling a little sick just reading this. :)
RoadMonkey on November 09, 2017:
Oh Kenneth, what a great description, I have never and I am so glad to say that, had a hangover and having one like you described would have been horrendous! I am not saying I have never had a drink, I have and even several but no more than that. I didn't like the feeling of not being in control.
I have seen several situations like you describe. You have described it very humorously for someone not suffering but people really do suffer. One time, I was running a training course, held in an hotel. One the last night of course, all the men (it was a mainly male course) spent the night boozing. They all showed up the next morning but one in particular had to keep leaving the room to talk to "the great white telephone" as it used to be called. I tell you, my education was well rounded out running those courses, I learned stuff I never knew before!
In one place I worked, I used to get a lift home with a co worker, lovely man, a real gentleman. As we were driving down the main road, I saw a man sitting on the pavement. I thought he must be ill. He was elderly, well dressed, very neat and I persuaded my colleague to stop and see if he needed help. It turned out he was drunk. He lived a short distance down the road and as he couldn't walk, we got him in the car and took him home. The house was obviously well-to-do with a front driveway and parking space in an affluent area. I got out and went to ring the doorbell to tell his family he was back, thinking they would rush out to bring him in but his wife (I assume) was very offhand and left us to manoeuvre him into the house. We left, it was no more of our business. That was maybe 30 years ago but I still think of it. That man lived in a big house in an affluent neighbourhood, yet the wife's reaction was one of, "again!", so it seemed he was a regular drunkard, hurting himself and his own family.
I am glad you reminded people not to drink and drive. It is no longer socially acceptable, thank goodness but it used to be that people would offer a driver "one for the road". No wonder there were so many drink drive deaths each year.