And one for the road

When I first started working as a copy editor, I was told it would make an alcoholic out of me. Coming up on a year later, this is largely true, although real hell raisers and big dogs would be insulted to have me lumped into their company.

I any case, copy editing’s relationship to alcoholism is not so directly connected as it’s sometimes made out to be. Many people say after a day of work, “I need a drink,” and go sip longnecks at hotel bars habitually. Most of those people, though, do not get off work at midnight.

Every now and then I mention a bar in a column, and some people don’t like it. I understand their distaste for establishments specializing in alcoholic beverages, but I don’t have much other choice.

If your social life is your family, what this means is you go home to bed at a somewhat decent hour, get up in the late morning and keep to a roughly diurnal existence.

If you’re single and your social life is your peers, the evenings are a wash because you’re at work the whole night, and you get off several hours after the diurnal world has shut itself down, right as beer is no longer sold in convenience stores. In other words, there’s nothing to do (out in the world) except go to bars (or IHOP, or Denny’s, or Whataburger, Pojo’s or Catfish & Company, which most people make it to eventually at about the same time: 2:10 a.m.).

More importantly, once you get to the bar, you’ve only got two hours to drink. Well, less because last call is half an hour before that, depending on how skewed bar-time is to the time used by the rest of the civilized world, and less even than that because you have to drive to get somewhere, order, and get actually your drinks in-hand.

So at best, you’ve got an hour and fifteen of drinking to do, an hour and fifteen minutes to cram in an evening’s worth of consumption and stupidity. This, you see, is why copy editors become or at least act like alcoholics. One cannot drink enough to get drunk and forget the day’s work on beer alone but by every shot that comes from the bartender’s hand.

The point of social drinking is to become inebriated enough not to care about the stupid things you say and do, and to have an excuse the next morning when you remember and do care. For a copy editor of a morning edition getting off work at midnight, this is a goal that requires marked determination if you want any chance of success.

Now the upside is that it’s practically impossible to drink yourself passed the legal limit unless you really, and I mean really, are trying. The downside is that this is a lot more expensive than some other choices you have during the day, and it forms bad habits for alcohol consumption if you get started any earlier than midnight. (“Oh hey, I still have four more hours before the bar closes!”)

It’s tough being nocturnal, is all I’m saying. Enough to drive a man to drink.

Young people don’t know anything, especially that they’re young

My birthday was Saturday. I turned 22 and no longer feel young.

“Pshaw.”

No, you’re right to say it. But I always did feel older than I was. Not more mature. I stopped maturing sometime in the seventh-grade (unless maturity is the ability to better-stifle your laughter at fart jokes), but I always could see what was up ahead and fear it.

Twenty-one is the last birthday that means anything for a very long time except that continuing to get them is better than the alternative. When you’re a child, they’re all important, and when you’re a teenager, you look forward to the new things you get to do, but after 22, what is there? My dad couldn’t wait for his senior discount, but that’s quite a ways from here.

Then again, life comes at you fast.

Continue reading Young people don’t know anything, especially that they’re young

No taxation without majority representation

In light of certain gubernatorial comments and the aftermath, I was trying to think, what exactly justifies secession? The answer to that is pretty simple, namely sufficient force to be able to do it, but rhetorically or ideally or whatever, when does it become OK to start the conversation on breaking away from the larger country? More frankly, when does whining cross over into the territory of legitimate grievances?

Actually looking at the American Revolution, for example, you’d be hard-pressed to say the British were really all that mean to their American colonies, especially compared to the colonies the British possessed in other parts of the world – or even how the Americans treated their own slaves.

Continue reading No taxation without majority representation

Which of these magical objects would you take?

The other day I saw a poll, one of those ridiculous hypotheticals I think was designed to test a person’s personality, although what exactly was being tested and what the answers meant are still beyond me.

There were four magical objects offered, each with an impossible ability but having a limitation. They were a notebook, a car, a pen and a wallet, and these were their descriptions: Continue reading Which of these magical objects would you take?

It’s hard to run into a rich person these days

The other day I was at a bar with a friend, sipping longnecks at the end of an otherwise empty table, conversating lazily about this, that and nothing really.

I know what you’re thinking. No, it wasn’t the Crawl On Inn, and no, I didn’t see Bubba┬«. This isn’t that kind of column.

Anyway, about halfway through the first beer, some feller gripping a bottle of Coors Light moseyed up, stood right next to our table and started talking to us. Never seen him before in our lives, but there he was, joining in our conversating without any invitation. He was pretty far ahead of us, and slurring a bit, so that may explain why he didn’t mind intruding, and why a few minutes later, without any prompting, he didn’t mind pulling up a stool.

And we didn’t mind, either, because the drinks in our hands were the last we paid for ourselves that night.

Continue reading It’s hard to run into a rich person these days