RECORD STORE TALES #918: Drinkin’ Thinkin’
A buddy of mine said the other day, “I saw your clips from the first live show. I was killin’ myself laughing, that was great”. The part a lot of people laugh at is when I say “Have I had too much fruit punch this evening?” I appear drunk but was not. I told him that, and I had to convince him. But it’s true. I don’t really drink.
Note that I said “don’t really”. I don’t call myself a “non-drinker” or an “abstainer”. Two summers ago I had a beer with Max the Axe, so I am obviously not a non-drinker. But that was the first drink in many years, and last drink until present. I just don’t like the way it makes my stomach feel. As I got older, my stomach got worse, exacerbated by anxiety and stress. It’s just not an experience I seek out anymore.
From my mid-20s to my early 30s, I enjoyed a sometimes-drink. I was a lightweight. T-Rev was a great buddy to hang out with, and he tried to get me to be more social. We’d be hanging out with a whole bunch of girls that he worked with at the Waterloo Inn, and I loved hanging out with that group. They could take it much further than I could, but I did my best. Beer, shots, depth charges. Usually, I was just the designated driver.
When I wasn’t driving, I’d have some drinks at work functions. The Record Store had a birthday party for me at Jack Astor’s. I loved Jack Astor’s because they had the most amazing seafood linguine, and still to this day, the best lemonade. None of my co-workers particularly liked it, but it was my birthday so it was nice of them to go there. As for the drinking, it started with one beer and picked up from there. Everybody wanted to buy me a shot. It was a great night and I distinctly remember grabbing a dude’s ass. No homophobia here, folks. I’ll save him the embarrassment of being named, but it was a friend who played guitar in one of my favourite local bands.
I am pretty sure I puked the next morning, but I can’t even say for sure which birthday it was. I think it was my 31st.
Even though my relations with the boss that I refer to as “The Bully” were always rocky, she did attend my birthday party. Having seen me grab a guitar player’s ass, I thought it might be prudent to just pro-actively apologise in case she was offended by anything she saw. “Sorry I got a little loud and rowdy when I was drunk,” I said.
“You weren’t drunk,” she flatly responded.
What? “Yes I was…they started buying me beer right away,” I said, taken aback by her response to me.
“I’ve never seen anyone get drunk off one beer before,” she claimed.
I didn’t know what to say. She thought I was putting on an act? I was a little disturbed by her accusation.
At that time I was a skinny guy. I had very little alcohol tolerance. Whether she believed me or much, it didn’t take much to make me tipsy. Add in the natural high you get from your own birthday party, when everybody is nice to you and at least pretends to like you. Not only was I drunk, but I think that might have been the best drunk I’ve ever been.
What a strange accusation to make. There was something wrong with this boss. The professional response would have been, “Apology accepted, hope you had a nice birthday. Have a good day.”
Circling back, when I appeared drunk on fruit punch in that live clip, I was completely sober. I was having a lot of fun, and being live on Facebook was kind of like a birthday party. It’s a natural high. Your friends are there and you are the centre of attention. Being “drunk” doesn’t depend on how many beers I’ve finished. If I’m already surfing the high of life, it just takes a little. I’m a cheap drunk if I’m in a good mood!