As a trained observer, I have arrived at an indelible conclusion. You develop the ability to apologize earnestly about the same time you begin drinking. Typically, the morning after a bender begins the process of making amends for all that you did…and said while cavorting with demon rum the night before. Let’s look at this dance from a cold, holiday perspective…….
My alcohol based education began with the Colonel, aka, dad. Man, could he throw back the bourbon and scotch. He was a good natured drinker, but capable of unbelievable ferociousness when the opportunity presented itself. Dad was not risk adverse, as you might imagine, and while I never saw him do it, I imagine he tried to leap tall buildings. He could be persuasive, and though he likely never cleared a building, he was perfectly capable of making you believe he did! I drove a pretty nice car for a high school kid, and the threat of having it crushed, if caught drinking while driving, was enough to seriously temper my early drinking days. I did, of course, recognize the magic of a sip or two of sloe gin or orange vodka in, shall we say, reducing the absolute necessity of diplomacy at the drive in theater. Later in life, as a young officer, I attended (or hosted) a number of social gatherings where booze flowed easily and exploits grew exponentially. My experiences accumulated and there is no doubt that at evenings end on more than one occasion, I resembled Sgt. Billy Williams, an academy instructor’s, “peach orchard boar” as I crashed with one leg off the bed in an attempt to stabilize the wildly spinning gyroscope in my head. My tastes were certainly not advanced.
A daily medicine for arthritis, likely the result of teaching handgun retention techniques to the entire Highway Patrol, when mixed with alcohol produces a nasty physiological response somewhat similar to having your liver pummeled on a cutting board with a tenderizer. I love fruit and prefer the unmanly concoctions made with various juices and such. My very good friend, Dick Burlingame, who knows something about mixology and especially beer, refers to my preference as “umbrella drinks”. Dick, who traces his lineage to Germany and beyond, likes his beer to reflect many, many IBU’s, a crude measuring system by which the bitterness determines the quality. Upon sipping his kind of beer, my eyes immediately narrow, a gag reflex sets in, and my mind races back to the day when grandmother would dose us with paragoric for a stomach upset. Dick can’t help this propensity…….he is a life long Cubs fan ……familiar with the urge to drink strong beers and numbing liquors. I do take exception to his characterization of me as a light weight imbiber, as I thoroughly enjoy an occasional whiskey sour……
As we enter the holiday season, I thought it prudent to offer a few tips gleaned from my limited experience as a boozer. The following six recommendations are presented in airline, seat-pocket style, where a simple glance will prepare you for a water landing…commonly referred to as ditching.
- Hangover remedies are mostly exercises in futility. Drink water and compose your apologies in a quiet, dark place.
- Learn to drink clear liquors. Dark stuff, bourbon and such, contain congeners, the nasty little chemicals that cause hangovers. I knew there was a reason why I enjoy a Fuzzy Navel…..
- Curse your ancestors. It is estimated that some 23% of the worlds people never get hangovers.
- Leave the “hair of the dog” on the dog. Numbing your brain after a night of numbing your brain is not in your best interest.
- Take a moment to thank God for the friends who remain your friends after watching you say and do really stupid shit the night before…..
- Finally, if these remedies fail to have the desired effect…..and sooner or later they will…….drink less or not at all.
Somewhere in your inner being, there is a degree of charm that needs no alcohol to surface. It beats the hell out of apologizing incessantly…….