Monday, December 31, 2012

Clink 'Em Up

New Year's Eve. The drinking man's (and woman's) Super Bowl. Get out there and make me proud. But please, if you're going to get it in tonight, don't get behind the wheel of a car. Unless it's one of those racecar beds. In that scenario, and that scenario only, drop the hammer and go for the win. Otherwise, call a cab (some are even free tonight—go here to see if you live in one of the participating areas).


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Is it March Yet?

When you reach a certain age, Christmas is about the past more than the present. Or presents. Maybe it’s just me, but anymore I find myself staring off into my Technicolor memories while sipping from my spiked eggnog. I’d swear my mother’s house used to be a damn castle. Each room was cavernous, and yet full of relatives, chatter, and amusement. My mother’s family was a lot more Rockwellian than we ever would have admitted. Maybe they were just the third-generation-Czechoslovakian version of Rockwellian.

It’s a strange paradox to look back fondly upon the days when Christmas music actually meant something to you, while simultaneously wishing you could hear any one of Springsteen’s darker chords instead of Burl Ives’ jolliest.

No history book seems to support me, but I’m convinced scotch was invented by some poor bastard who yearned for aid in facing yet another relative asking why he hadn’t “made his life complete” by tying himself to the wrong person for a lifetime, or why he hadn’t “given his life meaning” by living with the consequences of not pulling out.

A toast, to anyone who has had to choke down a “go fuck yourself” at a dinner table, humor a stupid question about their meandering career path, or pretend to care about an in-law over the last several days.

Don’t worry, the pain is temporary. This is why the Floating Spaghetti Monster gave us New Year’s Eve: so we can drink away any lingering facial tick brought about by spending time with family during the final ten days of the year. Salud.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Holiday Drinking Game

Not that you need any help numbing yourself during the nuisance that is the month of December...

Monday, December 17, 2012

New Beginnings

Halfway through December, and not a single post. No, I’m not lying in a gutter somewhere; though that’s the first place I would’ve looked for me, too.

I still found time to do
some Christmas shopping...
It’s been an eventful year for me, most significantly because I’ve had a change of employment. And while there are several advantages to the switch, none of them have to do with how much free time I have now. In October I started writes about my trip to Tampa and my “What I learned this summer” roundup. Both have slowly grown unrecognizable under cobwebs, while I toil feverishly on actual work each day.

Some of that should clear up after December, as the holidays and some of my new company’s initial growing pains all mercifully fade away. In the meanwhile, I’ll try to get more tales of drunken enchantment submitted for your viewing pleasure. Such as…

This past Saturday Tony convinced me to put away work and instead drink myself charming in the many bars that dot my neighborhood. After hitting a couple of them, we ended up back at Shady Grove, where the last shots and beers of the night finally polished the shine on my inebriation.

There are few people of true genius in this world, but one such immortal walks among us here in Pittsburgh. He realized that, for all of the money and bars that the Shadyside has, what it doesn’t have are lots of places to eat after last call. And so this modern-day Rockefeller did what makes sense: He got a permit to set up a hot dog stand on the main drag every Saturday night. Now, when you spill out of a nearby bar, the smell of fresh hot dogs and kielbasa tickle your nose like a prom date in a limo.

Tony and I quickly found spots in line, and I placed an order for two hot dogs. Or two kielbasa. …One of each? Within two seconds of telling the guy what I wanted, I had completely forgotten what I had requested of him. Here’s the problem: So did he.

Now, I make no excuses for myself. I’m an idiot most of the time, and when my BAC rises my IQ doesn’t exactly come along for the ride. But I’m not supposed to be the one with the good memory here. I’m a drunken customer, and in such I am the exact demographic fueling this guy’s business. He’s sober, and makes his money dealing with drunks; which one of us would YOU count on to remember an order?

Hot Dog Guy: “What was your order again, man?”
Me: “I don’t know.”
Hot Dog Guy: “You don’t remember it?”
Me: *annoyed* “Pftt no! I’m drunk, buddy!”
Hot Dog Guy: “Well how about a [some chintzy variation on a chili dog]?” *hands me hot dog*
Me: *passes hot dog to Tony*
Hot Dog Guy: “What about for you?”
Me: “Ionno.”
Hot Dog Guy: *rattles off names of other hot dogs on his menu*
Me: “Whatever man.” *walks off*

Let’s not forget that I was the one who had paid for the food. I was so irritated by the guy forgetting my order that I essentially gave him a 100% tip for the hot dog that Tony ate. I overpaid and didn’t eat, just to make my point.

And maybe one of these days I’ll figure out just what that point was.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Social Drinking Excellence: London Gentleman

Ever had one of those nights where no matter what you drank, you felt like you just weren't getting anywhere?

...Okay, so that's not quite what happened to this guy. His drinking definitely got him to where he wanted to go mentally, even if it didn't exactly work out that way physically. Bravo, nameless sir...
  1. This scene took place this past Friday at the Tottenham Court Road subway station in London. And it just serves as yet another reminder: I have got to get to London before I'm too old to fully enjoy it. You don't want to be in your sixties and walking the wrong way on an escalator-turned-treadmill. Then you'd just look silly.
  2. That was incredibly nice of that woman to try so hard to help a stranger. An American gal would probably have posed next to him while her friends snapped pictures. ...And then robbed him.
  3. What do you think hurt more for this guy on Saturday morning: his head or his thighs?
  4. ...Actually, it may have been his pride, shortly after a friend called and said, "So I was surfing YouTube, and..."
  5. It was certainly a valid bit of problem solving by his heroine, when she suggested they stop the escalator. But I would have expected a sudden stop to send him Peter Griffin'ing down the steps.
  6. So he got stuck going the wrong way on an escalator? Big whoop. I almost fell into a river. Top that, Nigel Powers.

Your Rummy is on its way to England, Nigel. It'll be waiting for you at the other end of a moving walkway—if you can find your way across.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Need for Speed

Something quick and fun for your Monday morning:'s "The 8 Weirdest Vehicles People Were Caught Driving Drunk" There are some great entries here (#5 is my personal favorite, if only for the newspaper quote included).

We're not celebrating drunk driving, folks, only laughing at the dumbasses that do it. Especially those who do it on a motorized scooter.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Scary Hot

If you're under 30, allow me to introduce you to the frightening banshee above: Her name is Claire Forlani. And she's not Scottish.

She was born in England, though she's lived in America for much of her life, and has rarely shown any effects of an accent on or off the stage. Her husband, however, is a Scot (no, his name's not Angus), so she does have some Scottish in her, occasionally. *rimshot* He's also an actor, so I can only imagine Dewars chose her over him because he doesn't look quite as good sitting on a table in a miniskirt.

Coincidentally, if you ARE under 30 and are wondering why you've never heard of Forlani—or if she seems vaguely familiar—then let me share the "Career" section of her Wikipedia page for reference (this is the entire section, which will only further illustrate my point):
Forlani's parents moved to San Francisco in 1993, in order to allow for wider casting opportunities in Hollywood films. Subsequently, Forlani was cast in the television mini-series J.F.K.: Reckless Youth and the film Police Academy: Mission to Moscow. In 1995, she played the supporting role of Brandi Svenning in Mallrats. In 1996, Forlani appeared in a supporting role as Sean Connery's daughter in the film The Rock. She continued to appear in both widely released and smaller-budget films. In 1998, she starred with Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt in Meet Joe Black. She then appeared in Antitrust, a thriller released in January 2001. Forlani was the new face of L'Oréal in 2001. She has been ranked No.51 (2000) and No.89 (2001) in Stuff magazine's 100 Sexiest Women, No.85 (2001) in FHM magazine's 100 Sexiest Women and was slotted in Loaded's Hot 100 Babes. In 2003, she co-starred with Jackie Chan in The Medallion.

In autumn 2006, Forlani joined the cast of CSI: NY in a recurring role as a medical examiner, Dr. Peyton Driscoll.[4] In February 2007, Forlani portrayed Tori Bodeen in the film version of Nora Roberts's best-selling book Carolina Moon. In 2008, she starred opposite Daniel Craig in Flashbacks of a Fool. In 2011, Forlani played Queen Igraine in Camelot and Kate Templeton in Love's Kitchen alongside her husband Dougray Scott.[5]

In 2011, she also made an appearance in NCIS: Los Angeles as Agent Lauren Hunter replacing Henreitta Lange (Linda Hunt) temporarily as the operations director at NCIS for the end of season 2. She also appeared in season 3's finale, where she is killed in a car blast.
You'll note the steep and sudden drop off in high-profile acting gigs. For a small period of time she was every Mallrats-loving stoner's dream girl; now she's inciting fear boners on the behalf of a blended scotch people drink when they don't have an extra few dollars to buy entry-level bottles of Johnnie Walker Red Label.

Every company starting a new marketing campaign does an "extended cut" ad exclusively for the internet these days, and Dewars is no different. It appears below, but if you've got a weak bladder, beware: this shit's like a trailer for a Scottish version of American Horror Story.

Change Up the Game

Sometimes, to turn the ordinary into the hilarious, all that's needed is one little change.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Social Drinking Excellence: Niles Gammons

There are those among us who say that time travel is impossible, and that pursuing it is nothing but a fool's errand. Well, my dear readers, I propose that it's not only possible, but that it has already been achieved by Mr. Gammons!

The report from The Smoking Gun reads like a piece of perfectly-choreographed art:
Niles Gammons, 22, was first pulled over by an Urbana cop when he was spotted driving an Oldsmobile the wrong way in an alley. Pictured at right, Gammons was pulled over at 1:08 AM by an officer who reported that he reeked of booze and had glassy eyes.

Sergeant Dave Reese noted that when he sought to have Gammons perform a Breathalyzer test, “I could hear that he had something in his mouth.” As it turned out, Gammons’s mouth was filled with pennies.

“I then advised Niles that pennies in the mouth were a myth and that it did not help in taking a breath test,” Reese noted.

After Gammons’s blood alcohol content was measured at .116, he was arrested for drunk driving. After being transported to the Urbana police headquarters, Gammons was issued citations and “released to an adult.”

Following Gammons’s departure, Reese wrote, “At 2:00 AM, the time changed from daylight savings time to standard time and 2:00 AM became 1:00 AM.”

At 1:08 AM--“exactly one hour after the first stop”--Reese was driving his patrol car in Urbana’s municipal parking lot when a vehicle “backed out of a spot rapidly and nearly collided with my cruiser.”

Reese quickly determined that Gammons was behind the wheel. “I asked Niles why he was driving, because he was under suspension and still intoxicated.” Gammons replied that “his friend that picked him up dropped him off and refused to take him home.”

Then, in a sterling example of intoxicated logic, Gammons explained that he “was afraid of getting arrested for public intoxication so he decided to drive,” according to the police report.

Gammons was again arrested for drunk driving and transported to the Urbana Police Division, where his blood alcohol content registered .109.

The separate tickets issued to Gammons both carry the same date and time--November 4 at 1:08 AM.
Bravo, Mr. Gammons. Who needs a DeLorean and a white-haired meth addict, when you have daylight savings time and a penchant for making poor decisions?

*cracks knuckles*
  1. "Gonna go back in tiiiimmme..." (I couldn't resist.)
  2. This guy just one up'd Groundhog Day like a boss. "Oh, you relive the same day? That's interesting. Me? Oh, I just relive the same HOUR. Your move, Murray."
  3. Not only did Gammons get arrested at the same time twice in one night, it was by the same officer each time. This guy should play the lottery.
  4. ...Or, you know, just stop driving drunk. Whatevs. Though you could argue that he did save money by only incurring one court date.
  5. I wonder if the police bothered with a second mugshot, or if they just did a quick "right click" => "copy" => "paste".
  6. The report doesn't mention it, but the officer had to be looking around for a Candid Camera crew when he walked up to Gammons' window the second time.
Mr. Gammons, your Rummy Award is in the mail. It comes with a Polaroid of your drivers license—and it's slowly fading out.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Trailer: 21 & Over

This flick looks like it could be a good one. This comes from the makers of The Hangover, which is one hell of a pedigree for a movie about heavy drinking.

TJ with the assist.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

True Romance

No, Kiss Cam Guy, I love YOU. It's nice to see that the high beer prices in our nation's sports arenas aren't driving happy couples apart.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Family Matters

I may be a victim of my own success.

Last year—somewhat miraculously—I managed to scribe the highlights of the 7th annual 837 Bar Crawl. In the weeks leading up to this year’s event, however, I gave little thought to repeating that output. First, there’s the simple difficulty involved in accurately reporting something so gleefully awash in beer and shots. On the Rocks’ rich archives notwithstanding (I mean, seriously, look at that list in the side bar on the right; nearly five years of drunken mayhem!), having enough material memorized and available for reporting in the days immediately after a night of high-tempo heavy drinking is asking a lot of your cerebral cortex. It’s almost a contradiction; you’re either taking notes, or you’re drinking like someone gunning for that year’s MVP award.

[Note: Yes, this is a real thing. Participants can make nominations in the days following the crawl, with the award winner named by J-Sun and T.C. shortly thereafter. No, I have not won yet. Yes, this bothers me. Much like it bothers Derrick Rose that he hasn’t won an NBA championship.]

Second, as fans who have been around since the early days of those aforementioned archives can surely attest, my writings for On the Rocks have been much more infrequent this year. My free time has been at a premium as of late; and, even when I find a chance to journalize any recent shenanigans, laziness often steals my attention away. I have about four or five unfinished writings that I am continually juggling on my home and work computers. If I ever hit the Power Ball jackpot, there’s a better-than-even-money chance you’ll see at least three stories a week written and posted, right up until my eventual death in a swimming pool filled with bourbon.

(To the police detectives that will eventually work the case: It wasn’t the Thai hookers. Those gals are saints.)

I had resigned myself, then, to allowing this year’s bar crawl to fly under the radar. But five minutes after I walked into T.C.’s house that Saturday night, I started to realize that wouldn’t be an option. As he, his sister’s husband (“Bear Cub”), his cousin-in-law (Po-Po), and I stood in the kitchen drinking warm-up cans of Miller Lite, T.C. began effusing about last year’s blog post. “I read it again the other night, dying. I sent it to everyone. ‘You HAVE to read this!’

T.C. is nothing if not excitable, though—as evidenced by the six-message-long series of mass texts he sent out that morning in anticipation of the night’s festivities. [Note: There’s nothing quite like being 20 seconds removed from a vigorous sex session with a girl you’re dating, both of you panting and shaking, when your phone starts going nuts on her dresser. The look of “I’d be angrier right now if I hadn’t just had all of the strength fucked out of me” in her eyes is something to behold.] Or by Exhibit B: He did a dry run—actually, as he himself corrected, “A not-so-dry run”—of the crawl course on the Wednesday night prior. Maybe, I thought, I should take his enthusiasm over last year’s blog post with a grain of salt. Maybe his excitement was just that: his excitement. I couldn't even be sure that anyone had read it after he sent it to them. I mean, it’s not like everyone’s eagerly awaiting this year’s edition, right?

But, shortly after arriving at the night’s first bar, Pit Stop, J-Sun and I got to talking.

J-Sun: “Tommy sent me the blog from last year—it’s hilarious! I’d forgotten half that stuff! It’s great to be able to go back and relive it all again...”


The night started steadily but earnestly. Bear Cub and I teamed up, buying each other rounds of Miller Lite draughts at Pit Stop, and Miller Lite bottles at our second stop, the Floreffe Hotel. Our 50+ person, black-t-shirted army swarmed the surprisingly roomy bar in the basement of the building, quickly tying up the three female bartenders with drink orders that came at them from all 360 degrees. Earlier at Pit Stop, I had mentioned that my favorite part of the crawl was seeing regulars walk into their small, just-down-the-road dive bars and freeze in their tracks when suddenly confronted with our huge, loud flock. Then, as T.C., Po-Po, Bear Cub, and I stood talking in the Floreffe, that very scenario took place: Two local women, one wearing a bright yellow sweatshirt, walked through the door and instantly halted in shock. They then cautiously waded their way through our crowd, after Yellow Hoodie did a quick double take and mouthed “What the…”

A younger, rather attractive woman at the bar drew Bear Cub’s notice, though only because of her demeanor. “She looks really pissed off that we’re all here right now.” Indeed, she sat alone with a beer, occasionally sneering at all of us in disgust. But I had a different theory about what we were witnessing. I watched her briefly interact with a bartender, who then came from behind the bar to sit and talk with Angry Girl for a while, before getting up again to shoot pool with some regulars; I spotted the symptoms of a jealous lover. “Actually,” I offered, “I think that she and that bartender in the black are lesbians, and she’s upset that the bartender isn’t paying more attention to her. We forced her to go behind the bar to help handle the rush, and now she’s over there playing pool with those guys.” Bear Cub was initially skeptical of my analysis, but a few minutes later he tapped my arm. “Holy shit, I think you’re right!” Angry Girl had now relocated to near the pool table, and vigorously competed against the guys for her “friend’s” favor.

Me:I am the lesbian whisperer.

The next stop on our tour was Scotty’s Bar & Lounge. Last year’s visit was made slightly awkward by a bartender who was as bitchy as they come, despite the windfall in tip money that our drunk-and-happy group represented. Thankfully, this year she was nowhere to be found, and instead we had a bartender who was her polar opposite, and who cheerfully served us drinks. Bear Cub and I took turns ordering rounds of Stoney’s draughts, by now tipsy enough to not think too much about the fact that we were drinking Stoney’s draughts. But the awful beer is part of a terrific tradition, as were the shots of whiskey toasted en masse to the memory of J-Sun’s grandfather. And so is the group photo we took in the rarely-used dining room, on the dusty stage for live music that I doubt is ever played there. In essence, the stop at Scotty’s is the family reunion of the bar crawl. It’s where everyone takes a small moment to acknowledge…well, the moment. Ticking clocks and drink counts become inconsequential; camaraderie and family are the only concern.

From there we moved to Beer Belly’s. Bear Cub, T.C., and I talked by the bar, putting away Yuengling draughts as we did. “Wait…,” Bear Cub said incredulously as he watched a bartender pour a beer from a tap. “That’s the woman—the woman in the yellow hoodie!” Indeed, the older of the two bartenders on staff was Yellow Hoodie, who we had seen at the Floreffe Hotel—less than an hour before that—posing as a common 837 native at odds with our locust-like takeover.

Me: “The fuck?”
Bear Cub: “Did she…pregame her bartending shift?”

Next up: Tim’s Corner Bar…and the realization that I was hitting some rough waters. I had made sure to eat on the way to T.C.’s house earlier in the night, so that I wouldn’t be playing on an empty stomach. But I was putting away beers at an aggressive pace (When in Rome…on a bar crawl…), and my central nervous system was begging for a chance to come up for air. I conscientiously slowed myself down, drinking only two bottles of Miller Lite. I’m nothing if not responsible.

I like Tim’s, but there’s one undeniably fantastic fact about leaving there: You know you’re heading to the Elrama Tavern, the bar crawl’s final location. It’s the stretch run, since the stay at Elrama is the longest of all the bars and their kitchen is open late. If you’ve made it this far without succumbing to attrition, you’re going to finish the race.

Once inside Elrama, I quickly got myself to the bar counter and asked for a menu. After ordering chicken tenders and fries, I returned to drinking my beer and taking in the surrounding crush of exquisite drunkenness. Sitting at the bar next to me was an older couple, probably in their late-40s/early-50s, who were not part of the bar crawl. The gentleman had a wiry-Sam-Elliott look, with straight, steel gray hair that hung just above his shoulders; his wife was short and chubby with a cropped haircut, and carried the overall appearance of a 3rd grade teacher. We exchanged a few pleasant words of small talk. Then, strangely, the wife suddenly rushed to correct a confusion that had never existed. “We didn’t mean…I’m not trying to pick you up.”

I assured her that I hadn’t thought that. I forced myself to blink when they looked away, and wondered if I was so drunk that I’d missed something. Up until that point, I had only considered our dialogue to be polite conversation between drunken strangers sitting at a local bar. And since I have a Ph.D. in that particular field, I felt comfortable in my analysis. …So what the fuck was she talking about? When my food came, though, my attention shifted. I focused on fortifying myself, while the odd couple moved off to another part of the bar.

Bear Cub, unfortunately, was in that part of the bar. And when he later appeared in front of T.C. and I, with a sheepish look that spoke to his violated sensibilities, things became all-too-clear.

Bear Cub: “I just had someone say something racist to me.”
Me: “What was it?”

As you might expect, I was one the few people of color in the bar, and probably in all of this small, somewhat rural community. My guard was up as a matter of protocol, despite being amongst “family”.

Bear Cub: “I… I just got propositioned by two swingers!”
T.C.: “What?!”
Me: “Were they hot?”
Bear Cub: “NO! They’re old! And…”
T.C.: *laughing* “What?!?”
Bear Cub: “They asked if I wanted to come home with them…” *to me* “…And they asked about you.”
Me: “Me? Why?”
Bear Cub: “They said, ‘Your tall friend…is it true what they say? Once you go Black, you never go back?’”

Yup—a victim of my own success.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Target Practice

Once, while hanging out with friends around a beer pong table, I joked that I trained by throwing pong balls through a tiny tire hanging from a tree. This may be about as close to that concept as you can get.

Lil' Reds sells sets of 1.75 oz cups for beer pong, ratcheting up the skill level required drastically. The daunting odds of winning a game where you're throwing at cups this size is intriguing. I may have just found a Xmas gift for some of my peoples.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Social Drinking Excellence: Jeremie Calo

*sigh* Fucking Florida. It's always Florida.

From The Huffington Post:
Jeremie Calo was arrested earlier this month for refusing to pay his $101 bar tab and fighting with a Florida restaurant manager after he and his date, Tiffani Lynn Barganier, allegedly had sex on a patio table in view of children.

...On the call, Murphy can be heard telling Calo to "sit down." The employee also tells the responder the man tried to flee the bar with two beers in his hands.

"He's shit faced now. He's being combative," Murphy explained.

Start the clock...
  1. Is it just me, or does this lose credibility right around when Calo starts throwing up? The timing and sound are rather...convenient.
  2. ...Never mind. All credibility was restored when the police called back.
  3. In reading this account, one of the first things that popped into my head was "Well...wait...where did the girl go?" When you hit about the four minute mark of the recording, though, you realize...she got away! What the fuck?
  4. That must be some good nook-nook, to be willing to catch a case while she escapes.
  5. ...Or to, you know, feel the need to hit it on a table at a restaurant filled with people and kids.
  6. Then again, they do know her name, which means he must have snitched at some point. Someone just gave up some hero sex.
  7. I'm not sure what the absolute-worst-case scenario to wake up to after a blackout would be; but this has to be close to it, right? Typically, when you nervously ask your friends what you did the night before, you get something rather tame. "You tried to hit on some chicks but they laughed at you." Or, "You were too drunk to get into the bar, so I had to abandon my pursuit of true love." But in the back of your mind, you're just waiting for them to say, "Well, you had sex with some slut on a table at the restaurant, in plain sight of some little kids. Then the manager called the cops and held you under citizen's arrest while the chick ran..."
  8. In case you were curious (I certainly was), Miss Barganier is pictured at right. Which brings to mind an observation I made while sitting in the Tampa airport last week...
Mr. Calo, your Rummy is in the mail. It's coming with a Holiday Inn gift certificate and a pack of Trojans.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Swedish Fishing

Will Ferrell is a damn fool. The Huffington Post uncovered four ads he's done for Old Milwaukee—in Sweden. There's not much I can say about these, other than...well...Will Ferrell is a damn fool. (These two are my favorites.)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Wifey Material: Joy Glass

I'm not a big fan of PBR, as I've documented before. But Joy could change all of that. What up, guhl...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Social Drinking Excellence: Andrew Bishop

I suppose it's only right that, as November's presidential election nears, even things at On the Rocks are getting a little political.

From the Wisconsin State Journal:
A Minnesota man was charged Tuesday with felony criminal damage and entry into a locked building for allegedly breaking into the state Capitol through a fifth-floor window early Sunday.

Andrew C. Bishop, 21, of Roseville, Minn., had apparently scaled the outside of the Capitol and smashed a window to get into the building, then grabbed a fire extinguisher and threw it through another window, according to a criminal complaint filed in Dane County Circuit Court.

When police found him, he appeared to be passed out on a dome outside one of the windows, but woke up and began kicking at the glass, the complaint states.

Asked how he got where he was, Bishop replied, "I don't know." He apologized several times and said he felt like an angel and wanted to fly. Officer Justin Wichman said Bishop was very drunk, the complaint states.
I've always been a big supporter of a government by the drunks, for the drunks.
  1. Wisconsin may have a very legitimate claim as the nation's drinking capital. Not only is the University of Wisconsin renowned for its partying, but the city of Madison itself is attracting some special drunks from neighboring states.
  2. I feel like the fact that he climbed five stories up the side of a building with no equipment—while hammered—isn't getting its fair due in this story. Didn't they gloss over it a little too quickly?
  3. How do you feel, as a Wisconsinite, knowing that a drunk guy can scale the side of your state Capitol building undetected? And there's no way that this was a quick ascent, either. It had to have taken him a good deal of time to get up there, and no one that drunk is stealthy. Bishop was probably alternating between loudly singing Neil Diamond songs, laughing, and leaving rambling confessions of love on his ex's voicemail as he climbed.
  4. There's a Bishop / on-the-roof joke in this, somewhere...
  5. ...And an Ocean's 11 / Seagram's 7 lyric, too.
  6. Bishop broke in through a window, and then broke back out through a separate window. Does this make him a "flip-flopper"?
  7. ...Maybe he's related to Mitt Romney?
  8. Doesn't it almost feel strange that he wasn't naked? It seems inexplicable that the phrase "found laying nude" wasn't a part of this article...
  9. *thinking*...Maybe I've been doing these Rummy Awards for too long.
Mr. Bishop, your Rummy is in the mail. It comes with a grappling hook, 500 ft of rope, and a small pair of angel wings.

TJ with the assist.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Say Their Names

As Americans, we have a bad habit of treating the pronunciation of foreign words like a video game villain standing between us and the next level. This can be an especially challenging setback when discussing and ordering Scotch. Esquire and legendary actor Brian Cox, however, are here to help, beginning with The Balvenie.

In all, there are 48 different brands (go to Esquire's site to see the others). You'll notice that, after about the eighth video, Mr. Cox stops sipping with every take. I'm guessing that was a self-preservation move. God knows how much longer he could have been relied to properly pronounce anything if he had kept tipping them back.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tip It Up

I've never watched the show; but, given all the boozing they're doing, I don't understand why these Men are so "Mad".

TJ with the assist.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wifey Material: Oktoberfest Frauleins

Okay, so technically they're Polish. But, if I can manage to trip up Dupa as we race in their direction, it won't matter.


Man Men down!

Don't worry, they're not dead (so far as we know). They're just at Oktoberfest. Alan Taylor gathered 34 fantastic photos of the annual German bacchanalia for The Atlantic. I've provided a few of them here, but the full gallery is definitely worth a look. Unless seeing these is causing you to seethe with jealousy because you can't go. In which case, I totally understand. Totes.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Shake It Up

I have officially started my 2012 Xmas list. And I'm sure my fellow mixology n00bs will join me in that move after reading this:
Ready for an extra shot of fun? This shaker and dice set is grown-up drinking game for people with a thirst for adventure. It comes with a set of eight wooden dice and a working, 16 ounce cocktail shaker that will help you shake up your drink menu, spontaneously generating unique cocktail combinations--including your brand new favorite!

The dice are marked with a variety of potent "variables", from basic liquors like gin and rum, to fruit juices, seasonings and soda waters. Roll the six colored dice, survey the results and eliminate up to two of them to determine your recipe. Roll the two black and white dice to reveal how your cocktail will be prepared and served. With a new surprise to savor with every use, this set will add an extra kick to your next party, as well as offering a fun way for you to explore your liquor cabinet and expand your mixological expertise.
If you've ever tried creating a new drink of your own, you'll surely appreciate the brilliance of Cocktail Dice. It's like Russian Roulette with booze. How can that possibly go wrong?

Social Drinking Excellence: Robert Hagerman

More and more, Florida is becoming the biggest collection of crazy in this blessed 50-state union. From MSN Now:
Some people have a unique definition of the word "emergency." That’s certainly true of Seminole, Fla., resident Robert Hagerman, 56. He called 911 because his daughter wouldn’t get him a beer, police said. Of course, that’s not what he told authorities when he rang them up. He said his daughter was hitting him, throwing things at him and using drugs. When police arrived at the house they found a very intoxicated and uncooperative Hagerman. His daughter, luckily, had recorded the melee on her phone, and played it for the officers, who arrested Hagerman for making a false report of a crime. So until he pays the $150 bail, he'll be doing the kind of time that has nothing to do with Miller.
My thoughts:
  1. The most shocking part of this story might just be that Hagerman's daughter isn't currently dating TJ, Dupa, or me.
  2. ...Of course, it may also be that neither TJ, Dupa, nor I are Robert Hagerman.
  3. They never explain just why his daughter was being stingy with the beer. Whatever happened to respecting your parents? I mean, he brought you into this world...
  4. ...Then again, if he's crazy enough to call 9-1-1 on her over it, I guess it's safe to assume she was of sound reasoning.
  5. Am I the only one who thought to himself, "He really needs to adopt a rescue dog"? I need to stop watching so much TV.
  6. I said it before, and it bears repeating: "Considering how many crazy news stories come out of Florida these days (naked, face-eating man, anyone?), just how jaded do you think 9-1-1 operators in that state are? ...These folks might be the closest thing America has to the Royal Guards in England."
Mr. Hagerman, your Rummy is in the mail. It can be taken apart, and the pieces can be used to construct a conveyor belt from your fridge to your couch.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Jaws of Life

Three and a half years ago, I told you about the Boozing Field Survival Kit. A good bottle opener was the very first item of the kit that I listed, and I still have my trusty opener fastened to my keychain. But that might all change very soon. The folks at Cranky Monkee are here to reinvent the game.
Weighing just 1.14 grams (.04 oz.) KeyShark is the World's lightest keychain bottle opener. That's less than half the weight of a U.S. dime! How did we do it?

Highly engineered using the same sophisticated stress analysis and optimization techniques used to design aircraft tooling, KeyShark is lightweight, ergonomic and comfortable to use. KeyShark uses your own keys for leverage and seamlessly integrates the index or middle finger in optimal position in use. Fabricated from the highest strength tempered aerospace aluminum using a state of the art waterjet cutting process, KeyShark provides minimum weight and maximum performance.
I see you, KeyShark. And, at only $5 (and only $1 for shipping and handling), I plan on seeing you in my mailbox, too. Very soon.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

No Rest for the Bleary

This smacks of genius. These glasses are finely-crafted; so finely-crafted, in fact, that they won't stay upright when they have liquid in them. Which means you'd better tip it at your lips, or it's going to tip all over the table.

Order them from

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Work It Out

Who wants to be my spotter?

Also: This would certainly give a new slant to the phrase "hit the showers".

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Big Swag Steps Off Laughin'

I wrote in May that 30th birthdays are kind of a big deal. They represent the end of a process that begins with the first loosened baby tooth and then carries through puberty and on past using a proper name when ordering a cocktail. On your 30th, the last remnants of youth are shed. Sure, some try to accelerate the aging process by jumping into marriages and parenthood in their 20s—the less-homophobic cousin to “pray away the gay” camps. But, in those rare moments when these misguided souls find themselves free of the shackles by which they have willingly come to be bound, they still fall back on the their birth certificates as evidence that they can party all night and laugh it off in the morning. And it’s accepted currency—until they turn 30. Then they’re as tattered and worn as the rest of us, if not worse.

Dupa has done it. T.C. Aff. Mitch Canada. I did it before all of them, though not before TJ, Tony, and Pak. But two weeks ago it was finally Jay Swag’s turn to join the Grown-Ass Man Club.

For a guy who treats his ordinary birthdays like full-blown, must-see events, turning 30 presented Swag with a new mountaintop of shenanigans to ascend towards. His birthday was Thursday, August 8th; being that his good friend Tennessee (or “The Nashville Knuckler”, as I kept calling him that week) was coming into town that morning, Swag called off work for both Thursday and Friday, with every intention of staging a (minimum) three-day boozathon. He even suggested holding Beer Olympics on the first day, but relented when he realized he didn’t have most of the supplies such a sporting spectacle would require. He fell back on a tried and true game plan: I’m drinking, Tennessee’s drinking; come on over if you want to drink, too.

What he hadn’t factored in, though, was that Wednesday nights he and others play in a kickball league (…I know). After every game they then retire to their clubhouse—a.k.a. Rumshakers—and proceed to party like they have just won the World Series. This led to Swag drinking away the final hours of his twenties, and led to me receiving pictures the next day from both Finger Bang and TJ, in both of which Swag was laying shirtless in his backyard. In TJ’s photo (which was accompanied by the text, “The last photograph ever taken of [Swag] in his 20s. Rather fitting.”), our boy was facedown with a lit cigarette in his outstretched hand, his pale back seemingly intensifying the moonlight that it reflected amid a green pool of grass.

I arrived at Swag and Canada’s Mt. Washington home around 7:30 Thursday night to find Swag, Tennessee, Belle, Bang, and Entertainer drinking Leinenkugels and in relaxed, jovial moods. Then TJ and Canada returned from a beer run, carrying into the house a case of Miller Lite…and a case of Four Loko. I mentally high-fived myself for having had the forethought to call off work the next day.

We watched the Pittsburgh/Philly preseason game, hung out and just enjoyed the moment, drinking and laughing like a group of good friends in a primetime sitcom. Belle danced on a chair, I cracked open a Loko to the cheers of those around me, and everyone fired bottle caps and good-natured jokes at each other. Alex eventually made it up to the party, took the stick, and carried on the pace as if she had been there all day. When I found Bang laying on the couch and drifting away around 9:30 p.m., she blamed her sluggishness on being drunk.

Me: “Would it sober you up if I took you upstairs and banged you silly? Because I’ll do it.”
Bang: “Will you bang me sober?”
Me: “Yes, sweetie. I will do that for a friend.”

By 10:30 we both made our exit from the party; Bang needed to go home and rest up for work the next day, and she dropped me off at the home of a “special *wink* friend” who lives a couple of streets away from Swag and Canada. …Yup.

I played the sidelines Friday (I mean, I’m not a machine…), but Swag certainly didn’t. He, Tennessee, and Belle hit the Pirates game, and managed to fill their time before, during, and after it with booze. “A man got to have a code.

After 60+ hours of nearly-nonstop alcohol consumption, you would expect a newly-30-year-old man to slow things down, right? Wrong. At 10:18 a.m. Saturday, Swag posted this to Facebook:
“Well, I'm awake so anytime you dickheads want to come over, I'm going to crack beer #1 in less than 5 minutes. Since I've nearly refused to make any decisions about times/places, I'm just going to check-in on here. Otherwise, I'm sure you have Mitch or [Tennessee]'s number. I hope everyone remembers to bring loose women. Extra credit for ones that are morally bankrupt. Can't wait till see all of you fuckers. Deuces.”
He’d later tell me, “Remember when I said I was going to ‘crack beer #1 in less than 5 minutes’? That beer turned into a Four Loko.”

I walked through the door carrying a 30-pack of Miller Lite at about 4 p.m., commanding, “Shut up, [Belle],” as she told some story to Swag, Canada, their buddy Tim, Tennessee, and Canada’s ladyfriend Collette. I squeezed my case into the fridge, where two more Miller Lite 30-packs and a case of Miller Lite pounders were already residing. I cracked open a beer, joined them in the living room to watch Olympic handball, and away we went.

Swag, Belle, and Tennessee had a new—albeit really strange—obsession that week: Listening to “Goodbye Horses” and dancing around like Buffalo Bill

*sips his drink*

…I have no punchline for this, folks.

I also have no cause or explanation to add. The most telling fact about all of this, though, is that I had no real moment of shock as it was happening. “Swag and Belle are imitating a cross-dressing serial killer from a movie. …So what’s the score of the handball game?”

We were eventually joined by JL, Bang, Courtney, and Alex, and we made our way to Rumshakers. Once there…well, I’m having trouble remembering exactly what happened there. I know Tony met up with us in time. I remember talking with Joe, a bartender (who bears a striking resemblance to Chad Johnson, and who is nearly as charismatic), as we watched female members of my crew run around goofily. Which girls, or what exactly they were doing to make the two of us shake our heads…yeah. Gone with the booze. I also remember going across the street with several others to get some dinner from Dairy Queen, which we brought back and ate in the bar. But what I drank, what quotes others or I made, what hearts I stole, and what laws I broke are all a blur.

From Rumshakers, we backtracked back to Mt. Washington, heading to Redbeard's. We drank and celebrated there for a couple of hours before finally returning to Swag and Canada’s around 11:30. Checking out from the bars before midnight during a birthday bash? How positively “30” of us. We finished the night throwing back beers at the house, some people congregated (relatively) quietly in the living room around the TV, others (including the birthday boy) loitered on the front porch, enjoying the summer night.

By around 1:30 I moseyed off into the darkness, finding my way over to my “special friend”. Since she had taken in a healthy night of drinking as well, it was 11:30 before either of us got out of bed with any real resolve the next morning. In doing so, I checked Facebook and saw a 6 a.m. post from Swag asking if anyone else was awake. “Wow…” After a hearty brunch, my friend dropped me off at Swag’s, and I walked in to find Collette, Canada, Belle, Courtney, and JL in a joint state of “fml”. They reported that, though most everyone else had called it a night around the time that I did, Swag stayed up well into the morning, drinking and roaming the house. “I probably woke each guy up at least once to do a shot with me,” he explained when I went upstairs and found him awake again. “Mitch and I did a shot of Red Stag at 6:30.”

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

Splashin' Balls on the Mountain

I don't know if this is fake, but I really, really want to keep believing that it isn't. How these two could have smuggled the fake pong table onto the ride, I don't... I REALLY want to keep believing that it's real.

Where's the sign-up sheet?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"I haven't had a nice 'Old Familiar' in years..."

Do you drink beer? Do you comb your hair? Have you ever been stuck trying to decide between carrying a comb or a bottle opener in your limited pocket space? Well my friend, there's hope for you yet!

All jokes aside, this is a pretty cool little idea. I've mentioned before that a bottle opener is a key piece of the Boozing Field Survival Kit. Owning one that doubles as a comb is just good sense. It's multitasking at its finest. Well done Mr. Prince. Well done.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Social Drinking Excellence: Justin Gilpatrick

This isn't Justin pictured here; it's his patron saint.

I've always been interested in visiting Portland. Now I'm not so sure. If nothing else, this incident is not a good look for the area's professional drinkers.

From The Huffington Post:
After a night out at a Portland, Oregon bar on Thursday, the 27-year-old made the wise decision not to drive home drunk.

Less wise, however, was the choice to curl up in a recycling dumpster to sleep off the booze.

Waste Management crews emptied the contents of the dumpster-- including Gilpatrick --into a compactor truck at around 1 a.m. on Friday, KGW reports. The truck driver drove for about a quarter of a mile and compacted his load twice before hearing Gilpatrick's terrified screams.

Gilpatrick survived largely because the truck was relatively empty, according to the New York Daily News. Had there been more recyclables in the compactor, the drunkard's prospects would have been grim.
Mr. Gilpatrick didn't just cheat death, he cheated Darwinism.
  1. Okay, you're out on the town; you're drunk, and you want to sleep it off. How far down your list of bedding options is "recycling dumpster"? Fourth? Fifth? Maybe higher? There certainly are benefits in this location. Presuming there's only plastic in there, there is slightly more cushioning than sleeping on the ground. It's a dumpster, but nowhere near as foul as a regular garbage dumpster. And no one is going to see you in there and harass you. The only real con is that you could be crushed to death if you don't know the collection schedule.
  2. Is it just me, or doesn't this sound like the backstory to a new superhero? "He was an ordinary man, living an ordinary life in Oregon. Until one night, when a terrible accident fused his body with recycled materials...and made him invincible! He is...CAPTAIN REUSABLE!"
  3. I find it interesting and/or disturbing that no mention is made of Gilpatrick's friends. He had to be at the bar with other people, right? Had they parted ways before he decided to book a room at the Go Green Inn? Was his buddy a little further down the alley, laying on top of a stack of milk crates?
  4. Wait, just watched the video at the HuffPo link, so I know the answer to #3. His friend's just a dick.

  5. ...That Jasmine Bailey is tasty piece of yes ma'am. Damn...
  6. ...wait, this is about Gilpatrick. While I'm happy he made it out of the situation relatively unscathed, I find it ludicrous that he blames it on drinking. If you drive your car off a cliff, you don't blame the people who made the upholstery.
Mr. Gilpatrick, your Rummy's in the mail. It has a compartment to stash emergency cab fare.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Kicking and Screaming

As Grandma Klump would say: I walked over, but I limped back.

Well, to be more realistic, I stumbled back. I’m guessing. I mean, I was about 85% blacked out. And I was in a hurry—the curtain was falling fast on that final 15%. I was in the wilds of Shadyside on a Saturday night, and the pathway to my apartment—and to safety—was quickly disappearing. Not that the streets and sidewalks were going away—just my ability to see them. It was a race to the finish; I fell through the doorway of my apartment building just as the darkness closed in around me.

I awoke the next morning lying facedown, perpendicular across the top of a made bed. Thankfully, it was my bed. I was wearing an undershirt and boxers. My Tommy Hilfiger polo was on a couch in the living room. My cargo shorts were on the floor in my bedroom. So was the silver string of plastic, star-shaped beads. My socks were missing in action. What caused all of this cataclysmic destruction, you ask?


More specifically, it was a charity kickball tournament. One in which Pakistanimal, Mrs. Pak, TJ, Alex, Shannon, Jay Swag, Mitch Canada, Belle, and others had all taken part last Saturday. I, like any sensible adult on a humid, 90°F August day, stayed home. And when I did leave my place, it was just to go to the barbershop. My friends, in all of their wisdom, began drinking around 9 a.m. in the muggy misery of Pittsburgh summer. Then they ran, sweated, and injured themselves…playing kickball. And they tried to argue that I was being the silly one.

After the tournament, all of the aforementioned suspects (aside from TJ, who was on Daddy Duty) headed to Mario’s Eastside Saloon in The ‘Side. I finally walked over to join them at a little before 5 p.m. But, while I was just beginning my day’s imbibement, I was a solid eight hours behind the rest. Given the wide range of behaviors, intoxications, and events to discuss—not to mention several significant gaps in my memory—I’ll just bullet point the highlights:
  • Jealous that I was freshly showered, several of the Gym Class Heroes tried to hug their sweaty nastiness onto me when I arrived. I came oh-so-close to swinging away like Ashtray in Don’t Be a Menace.
  • Alex jumped up and down dancing for a moment. When she saw me pause and fixate on her quite ample chest, which was active in her shirt, she seemed to learn for the first time that big boobs bounce. “Wow,” she said, continuing to jump up and down with her eyes glued at a downward 90 degree angle. I’m not quite sure how she didn’t end up with two black eyes.
  • When I met up with the group, they were on the deck upstairs, which was a sauna. Why they thought this was acceptable is as unknown to me as why they felt it worthwhile to play kickball. Canada, Swag, and I soon led a migration to Shady Grove, where there was air conditioning.
  • After the tournament, our buddy “Wall Street” was the only one sensible enough to get a full shower. While he did so at Alex’s apartment, her cat pushed open the bathroom door; this gave anyone who walked past the bathroom—including a suddenly prudish Shannon—a full view of him in the glass-walled shower. When Mrs. Pak (who was successfully tanked) later learned of this anecdote, however, she was aghast that neither girl took the opportunity to check out Wall’s goods. She (repeatedly) explained in no uncertain terms the ogling, fondling, etc. that would’ve taken place had she been in their shoes. Nodding towards Wall, I said, “I think [she] just added you to her ‘Exceptions’ list, man. ‘George Clooney’…‘Brad Pitt’…‘[Wall Street]’.”
  • Pak was…well, Pak: Drunk, audacious, chain-smoking, boastful, etc. And loud. After an hour or so at Grove, our bartender—sensing me to be the voice of reason soberest member of the group—asked me to keep him under control. It seems that, though he was only spending about half of his time standing near me, Pak had provoked four separate groups of diners to move from the tables in the dining area on that side of the bar.
  • Being as far behind in the pickling process as I was, I decided that my drink orders would be liquor instead of beer. Earlier that week I had come down with a minor head cold, and had taken to drinking bourbon—and, in most cases, Manhattans—as a home remedy. Therefore I decided to continue improving my health with the bourbon, vermouth, and bitters mixture. I’m not sure exactly how many I put away, but…well, refer to the opening paragraphs above.
  • Midway through the night Alex produced three strings of plastic beads: one red, one silver, one blue. They had been accessories of hers to the Olympics Opening Ceremony party she and I had attended the week before, and were now stowaways in her purse. I vaguely remember snatching the silver strand out of her hand and throwing it around my neck. I've always found boozing to be a patriotic experience.
  • While others soon departed (Swag and Canada had a bachelor party to attend; Pak and Mrs. Pak are married, and therefore cannot be out after sundown; Belle and the rest left to pursue various acts of depravity), Alex, Shannon, Wall Street, and I held firm. Despite our advanced state of blotto, we each had the good sense to order dinner. Hindsight being 20/20, I can only imagine the carnage that would have resulted had we not made that experience-taught move.
  • Shannon’s aforementioned prudishness melted away as she drank. With no provocation from the rest of us, she took the uneaten tater tots from her meal and some dipping sauce, and made a work of art. (Clearly, Mrs. Pak wasn’t the only one questioning her refusal to prey on Wall Street’s earlier state of vulnerability.)
  • This is an excerpt from a text conversation I had the following Wednesday.

    Me: “I don’t remember leaving, but I vaguely remember pretending to be on a phone call as I walked down the street. Which leads me to believe I was running away.”
    Me: “It’s a standard drunk tactic of mine.”
    Me: “Wait, who wasn’t wearing pants?”
    Alex: “Ahha I will remember that.”
    Alex: “I wasn’t wearing pants…I found them in front of my kitchen sink the next morning.”
    Me: “LOL. Totes…”