Friday Firesmith – Drinking Buddies

Friday firesmithWhen you are nineteen and already a very serious drinker there are going to be some momentary lapses in judgment. Some of these lapses will last for months and some of them will last for years. Mostly, the problem with being a serious drinker is the people who are not serious drinkers cannot stand to be around you and you cannot stand to be around anyone who isn’t serious about their drinking.  Professional football players aren’t prone to hanging around with arena league players. You don’t see professors with a PhD hanging around with middle school teachers. And you wouldn’t have caught me dead around someone who couldn’t drink an entire case of beer in one night.
The late seventies and early eighties were pretty wild times. Drinking was the least of the worries with affected human beings and I don’t remember anyone getting a DUI except for Old Man Kingston who stood alone at the peak of drinking ability. The man was never, ever, sober. He drove down the road at about thirty miles an hour with his passenger side wheels off the pavement by about six inches, just to let him know where the road was. Old Man Kingston was hell on mailboxes as well as tires. Drinking killed him before his driving did and it was an ugly, ugly, death. The circulation is his body slowly shut down and the things that were going right were eventually outnumbered by those things that were going wrong. The two pack a day habit, believe it or not, wasn’t the worst habit he had.

Old Man Kingston had a drinking buddy named Jones and Mr. Jones ran a store, which coincidentally, sold beer. We all knew that by about seven on Friday nights those two would be a lot drunker than we would be so we could get beer very cheap. “Just leave the money up there, dammit!” Mr. Jones would say and he never knew if you were leaving a little less than you ought to have or walking out with what someone else left before. His wife finally stepped in and took over but the damage was done. Far too much inventory had walked away and far too much of it had been drunk away.

One of the guys I knew that had dropped out of High School in his senior year became my first roommate and my first real drinking buddy. We moved away from our tiny hick town to become big time drug dealers, dangerous men, and irresistible to women everywhere. I would up getting into two car wrecks in two weeks, arrested once, and beat up by the cops. I also got a job as a dishwasher at a truckstop and was damn happy to have a place to work that would feed me.  My drinking buddy got kicked out of the apartment because I just knew that sooner or later he was going to get me into more trouble that we could get ourselves out of, but I never thought that so much drinking was really that big of a problem. No one I knew did.

I sobered up a while back, about the time I started writing, and now I can’t drink a six pack in one night without getting sick. My drinking buddy hung himself back about the time I quit drinking, so I guess he did too.

Take Care,
Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

 


8 comments to Friday Firesmith – Drinking Buddies

  • eyeball

    As a social (or “anti-social”, on some occasions) drinker, I’ve never understood the reasoning behind the boast of being able to drink so much beer in a night (I always considered that as somewhat ‘childish’ anyway). I mean, if someone can get bombed on 5 beers, they’d have beer left over for another night or two. So, it was quite economical to be a beer “light-weight”. Then again, I no longer classify myself as a beer drinker.
    Being a whiskey drinker (as I am), I’ve learned that there’s a certain time when you need to either slow down or just call it an evening. Fortunately, I saw myself in, what I felt, were the very early stages of alcohol dependency, and gave myself (and my liver) a 10 year break from boozing. And that’s where I developed an appreciation for “moderation”. I can still go out to the pub with buddies for an evening of drinking and whatnot, but (happily), the police are no longer involved and since I very rarely suffer from hangovers anyway, it’s all good.

    • Eyeball,

      The crowd I grew up with never knew that drinking was for anything other than long term endurance drinking. It’s like people who couldn’t run one hundred yards but had to run a marathon if they took a step.

      A lot of them are dead now.

      The rest of us learned.

      It is all good, yes..

  • Karl

    Glad you made it to sobriety, Mike. A six pack in one night would probably put me in the hospital now. Like eyeball I was a “light-weight” but getting shit-faced seven nights a week and 2-1/2 to 3 packs a day does terrible things to the human body. After digging a garden for my girlfriend on a hot August day a while back I had three cans of beer to chill out. On the fourth day I was still sick and finally realized the math was not working out. Now an occasional glass of wine and a toke doesn’t lay me up for the weekend. Life is good.

  • xoxoxoBruce

    Everything in moderation… including moderation.

  • revrick315

    I completely understand what you’re saying, Mike. I used to drink a case and I’d be the designated driver because I was the sober one. I quit drinking 29 years ago, but I’d probably still blow a .06.

 
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