The Joys of Public Drinking

A.K.A. more reasons to avoid the barscene:

1.) Drunks are drama. Whether they mean to be or not. Comes with the territory, unavoidably so.

2.) It’s expensive. You’re paying a high premium for the social atmosphere itself. The alcohol is far cheaper if purchased at a grocery store or gas station and taken home. Consider the average cost of a beer at a bar: $3 for a 16-oz. (or less) draw. Add $1 for tip. Multiply that by 4-6 on any given outing. Now, multiply that by however many outings per month. Adds up quickly.

3.) You’re subjected to others’ musical tastes (and jukeboxes have become very expensive as well, many now charging $1 per song). Any day I manage to get through without listening to modern country (pop) music is a good day. Or the latest rap music.

4.) Idiots abound. The barscene serves as a refuge for some of the least responsible and most obnoxious persons out in society, especially after 10pm. Fights break out. Drinks get spilled. Stupid comments are made, especially by those seeking hook-ups. And arguments can and do occur over the most trifling matters, including sports teams and random trivia. As one bartender said to me in recent months: his job winds up feeling like babysitting adults with mental problems.  lol

5.) Avoiding DUIs/OWIs is a high-risk game. Cops prowl around waiting for barhounds to drive off. The only way to avoid this is to befriend someone who doesn’t drink who’s willing to drive you home (good luck with that) or to pony up even more cash for either an Uber or a cab ride. Walking home would also be a viable option if not for risking public intoxication charges (a favorite routinely doled out by police in this city).

6.) Dangers to one’s health and safety. Setting aside concerns for our livers and kidneys, there’s all sorts of other risks we take while drinking out in public. Like falling down. Steps are a bitch some nights. Or pissing off a hothead and getting knocked out (witnessed that happen to a guy fairly recently and, once down, other bar patrons began filming his unconscious body with their phones, snickering about posting up the footage on SnapChat — how lovely). Not to mention the number of brain cells we’re probably burning off on a regular basis even while managing to remain upright and otherwise uninjured.

7.) Gossip is the norm. The only saving grace there are drunk people’s tendency to not remember all the details. But then the stories just wind up morphing into fantastic fiction, like a garbled game of telephone.

8.) Public drinking is directly linked with impulsivity. Already have impulse control issues while sober? Drinking is guaranteed to magnify that! Perfect way to wind up saying the wrong thing to the wrong person, spending more money than you planned to, or thinking that booty call with a stranger is a good idea. Been there, done that (especially in years prior). Got the t-shirt and all the medals on that one. Waking up with regrets isn’t much fun.

9.) Hangovers suck. Sipping a few brews at home while trolling the internet is one thing, but out in public we have the added pressure of drinking among others, plenty of whom want others to share in taking shots. Can feel difficult to resist, especially when the shots are bought for you. I do believe Hank Williams Jr. was right about how hangovers get to hurting more than they used to — oh joy, so much to look forward to in years to come. Nothing like waking up with a raging headache and foggy eyesight and needing to go about your workday in such a condition. Then we discover that one cure for a hangover is simply to have another drink (after work). Oy. And the cycle continues…

10.) Bar food only tastes good when you’re drunk. Any other time you’d likely avoid it like the plague. Another waste of money on crap calories that tends to leave you with regrets the next day.

11.) Political discussions are discouraged. Even private conversations among relatively quiet patrons who are keeping it calm and friendly. Why? I don’t know. Guess it’s viewed as likely to instigate an argument. The notion of pubs as Public Houses has gone to the wayside in American society apparently. But you can still openly feud over sports, sans the stigma.

12.) Beer Goggles are a real phenomenon, and so is Beer Ego. She looks better after you’ve had a few drinks, AND, thanks to liquid courage, you now have the cojones to saunter up and tell her that — boldly, blatantly, without apology, despite swaying and slurring in the process. And if she turns down your advances, well, she must be some stuck-up broad deserving to be told that too!

13.) Dude, where’s my car? Where are my keys? Where’s my debit card? How much money did I spend last night? How did I get home? How did I land in this ditch? (All legitimate questions after a night of heavy drinking.)

*Pulling from my own experiences and others’ in compiling this list.

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