By Al Koholik
Happy Drinking Day! Or for those of you who insist on pretending it’s not about the drinking, Happy Purim. You’re welcome to get involved in explaining how and why the festival encourages imbibing wine and other intoxicants. Me, I don’t need Purim as an excuse to get drunk and make poor decisions.
Getting smashed and living with impaired cognitive processes is not something I need Purim to enable. I’m quite capable of downing a couple of six-packs and then deciding to hang-glide off my second-story rooftop using bed sheets and a metal bed frame on any day of the year – cursed be Haman or not. Just last week I ended up in the ER after trying to open a second bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey with a hedge trimmer, because it sounded like a good idea at that point. No, I didn’t mangle myself too badly – just got cut by flying glass. To get seriously messed up, like losing a limb, it would take three or four more swigs of the good stuff.
Besides, the way it’s technically supposed to be done on Purim, the drinking is part of a festive meal, which negates some of the effect of the alcohol. Me, I prefer getting into the spirit – by which I mean getting the spirits into my bloodstream – on an empty stomach, to maximize the effect. Also, there’s less food to throw up as a result. Priorities.
And don’t you go thinking I even need to be all that drunk to make poor decisions. It just makes them more obvious. For example, whenever I sit down to watch the Buffalo Sabres play, it’s before I get rip-roaring drunk. Drunk is the inevitable result, because there’s no other way to cope with the tragedy-comedy that the team embodies, but I know going in what’s in store for me. Yet I persist, like Haman trying to impress or outwit his wife. It’s a ritual at this point, much like your Purim feast. Only I dispense with the inessential elements, such as food and… well, anything that’s not alcoholic. If Achashverosh could have a bunch of drink-fests, I can manage them too. Except mine won’t be spread over several years. And he didn’t have any heavy machinery to operate under the influence. Pathetic.
So you and yours can continue to labor under the assumption that you need an excuse or context for drinking and irresponsibility. I let go of that long ago. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to drink Jim Beam until yelling obscenities at passers by seems perfectly natural. Happy Purim.
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