Why I Shouldn't Be Allowed to Serve My Own Alcohol, but at the Same Time Should Maybe Be Allowed to Serve Other People Alcohol at Least Some Time in the Future
Preface: During finals week, my roommate and I were caught blasting music late at night with a bottle of tequila during 24 hour quiet hours. I took the rap for this crime against common sense and was designated one point. My roommate got away scot free, but not to worry, we are still good friends. During my judicial hearing, I revealed that I was a stand-up comedian. Like most times I do this, it was a mistake. When the time came to assign some sort of punishment, I was asked if I could perform some stand-up about Wesleyan drinking culture. I asked if I could just write something kind of funny instead. My area coordinator said, “Of course! I better be rolling on the floor laughing!” Let the record show that I could have taken a 20 minute alcohol education program online and been done with it. Instead, I made this:
If you have ever read the children’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, you might be able to follow along with the formula of If You Give a Few 19-year-olds a Handle of Dirt Cheap Vodka and Some Mixer. It’s basically a simple tale of cause and effect that starts over and over again every weekend. If you give the 19-year-olds a handle of dirt cheap vodka and some mixer, they are going to mix a drink. If you let them mix a drink, they are going to want another approximately 3-5 minutes later. If you give them another, they are probably going to want at least one more. If you give them one more, they are probably going to want shots because they didn’t really taste the alcohol in that last one and by this point you are probably out of mixer. If you give them a shot, you will also notice that it seems like there is not that much alcohol in the bottle. This is because while you thought you were manning your dorm room speakeasy pretty well, you are not as observant as you thought you were and a few other people have taken some shots.
And you too are taking some shots. You feel pretty great, and you also don’t feel like throwing up at all so you can totally do more shots. You’re thirsty, but why waste mixer without putting alcohol in it? You, of course, know that this is the single most rookie line of thinking ever, but that is mainly in hindsight and I guess in foresight as well. You’re operating in the middle ground between hindsight and foresight. You’re drunk. Anyway, your night is going to end with you throwing up, drinking copious amounts of water, and then getting sober enough to Swiffer the bathroom because when you threw up, you hit your shirt and the floor more than the toilet. There will always be nights where one screws up in the pursuit of getting drunk in the span of an hour. Under those conditions, it’s bound to happen.
The pre-game is an interesting beast: it’s a social event that is perpetually involved with another social event in the future. You are not drinking for the moment but instead you are drinking in an effort to make a student band more tolerable in 45 minutes. Maybe you’re trying to get drunk enough to end the night on Fountain. Maybe you’re trying to get drunk enough to start the night on Fountain. I personally don’t know where you would end up after that. The only places I can think of that combine trashy fun and the potential for serious bodily harm the way a Fountain house does are either a junkyard or the University of Michigan. So worst case scenario, you wake up in a junkyard in Michigan.
You’re kind of talking to your friends at a pre-game, or the people around you, but not really. You’re just focused on what you’re drinking (until you stop being able to remember how much you drank) and where you’re going later. I used to ask myself, “Why can’t more of us drink like they do on Mad Men?” When I said this, I wasn’t wondering why I couldn’t drink brandy for lunch and become an undiagnosed alcoholic. I was wondering, “Why can’t we have drinks and talk?” Why are we rushing to get drunk, to “turn-up” when we can “drink responsibly”, or something. I’m not against the pre-game practice entirely; but I’m just wondering why it is frowned upon to take your time with a drink, to mix it well, and to enjoy it at a reasonable rate. It’s why I think we need bartenders.
Bartenders are (debatably) sober people who get other people drunk. Sometimes they are very sad individuals, but they can also be like Tom Cruise (see: Cocktail). They control the bottles of alcohol and mixers from behind a table and sometimes flip them around in ways that make the girls go crazy (see: Roger Donaldson’s 1988 film, Cocktail). The time it takes for them to make a drink is useful in making sure that no person gets too drunk too quickly, as is their ability to keep track of how many drinks somebody has ordered. Also everybody loves them and they are pretty cool people (see: Golden Globe-nominated film for Best Song featuring the Less Talented Beach Boys, Cocktail).
The pre-game could be like a bar, a destination in and of itself, where people will order drinks and the bartender will make them using the finest ingredients the patrons can collectively afford. There will be drink specials, music that is not too loud during 24 hour quiet hours during finals week, and seating for everybody to be able to unwind and, for heaven’s sake, enjoy each other’s company and their drinks. And the bartender will be the ringleader of it all. They are to be trusted, and earn that trust through their skill and aplomb, even if they maybe decide later in life to believe in a weird galactic lord made up by a semi-popular science fiction writer (see: The star of the Razzie Award-winning film, Cocktail). It’s better than Swiffering throw-up.
I,of course, am not of age to drink. I cannot legally obtain alcohol; but for some strange reason I can get a bartending license in both Connecticut and New York. I have a great sense of showmanship and decent hand-eye coordination. I know what it feels like to get too drunk (it sucks) and I know how to tell when people should maybe slow it down or even stop. I scored 90% accuracy when pouring a standard drink on AlcoholEdu and have “Kokomo” by The Beach Boys on several playlists. My point is: I shouldn’t be allowed to serve myself alcohol, but at the same time maybe I should be allowed to serve other people alcohol at least some time in the future.