So I figure there’s a 44% chance that drinking will wind up killing me.
Bear in mind now, that this is data formulated through an unbiased look at my current trajectory. It’s subject to change. I’ve been crunching the numbers though, and 44% is where I’m at.
Also, to be clear, I’m not talking about a sad drawn out death from alcohol. That shit’s too depressing to even type out. The way where the bottle slowly whittles away at my insides until antacid tablets can no longer quell the fire and I just cave in like a dying star? That way is totally a possibility, but shhh children! That way’s fucking terrifying! We don’t write about that, we’re a jovial bunch here.
No, what I’m saying is that there’s a 44% chance that I’ll die from doing some stupid fucking drunk shit, like falling down a ravine while on a midnight Bigfoot hunt (you drink a lot on Bigfoot hunts.)
So then, it’s also safe to say that within this 44%, I’ll probably die from falling down something deep. That’s currently what my money is on. That, or biking off of something steep…Or maybe a good old fashioned drowning, nothing special, just a drowning.
It could totally happen.
It already almost did.
Drowning would be awful too, cause they’d find me later all bloated and nakey like Elvis…
Now, most of the time, me and my body, we get a long pretty well. We’re actually kind of best friends, that is, except for when I’m drinking. When I’m drinking, me and my body are assholes to one another, we’re in full on battle, and it is on.
I got scars folks, war wounds…This is war and war ain’t pretty. It’s a war where I try to get good and hammered so I’m having fun and my body doesn’t work so good. And then my body, being the asshole that it is, it reciprocates with guerilla attacks: making me fall down and junk.
My body fights dirty, but so do I, so I set up a little Ho Chi Minh Trail of Jameson, try to pull one over on the old body…But in the end, I’m never the victor, my body is a sly strategist…It’s like Patton. It wins most major battles, and as we’ve already discussed, it has about a 44% chance of winning the war altogether.
Here’s a short summary of the major war wounds I’ve suffered as a result of battles waged on my body. It’s unclear who the real victor is, since it’s dependent on how we spin it, propaganda!
1. 2002: Broken wrist, sprained hand, (fell off bike while riding through construction zone at night) hilarious casts on each arm.
2. 2003: Rolled ankle inexplicably…Seemed like I was just walking in basement and then…
3. 2004: Second degree burn sustained on hand. (wrestling in kitchen where a stove top burner was left on for knifeys.)
4. 2005: Broken arm, (walking to Mcdonalds, someone jumps on my back.) Note: side victory: didn’t seek medical attention until next morning, did eat Mcdonalds.
4. 2006: Broken foot (chasing someone in rousing game of tag in a White Castle parking lot.)
5. 2008: Broken wrist (Everclear+biking) Sidenote: by this point I’d gotten quite good at self-diagnosis, so I fell, got up, told everyone I’d broken my wrist, and went home to bed. I didn’t ever have this break hard casted, which has caused a litany of problems now especially since…
6: 2008: Rebreak/double break wrist (falling off of the edge of my friends back lot and into a ravine behind his yard…Did I mention I was urinating when it happened? Because I was.
7: 2009: Cracked rib (biking home in monsoon rain from a Thanksgiving party in Cayenne, French Guiana. I fell into what can only be described as a “Land Of The Lost” sized pothole in the road and jackknife over the handle bars of my bike.) Sidenote: I lose my shoes and my phone in the fall, find shoes, don’t find phone, and then eat chicken nuggets with my Brazilian roommate to make myself feel better.
In summation, it actually looks like the bike was an accessory to a lot of these injuries…As was fast food. It also seems like I’ve forgotten a wrist break somewhere in there, and maybe one more thing…And it’s unclear how much of this is just due to me being a clumsy and uncoordinated ass.
Anyway moving on, do you folks ever get this sick impulse to say fuck the 44% and just jump in front of the express bus right as it’s about to barrel through the intersection? Not because you’re suicidal but just because it’s an option on the table? And it’d be fast? Much faster than being torn apart by hungry coyotes at the bottom of the bigfoot ravine?
Ughh…Me neither….No, but seriously, I’m too hungover to bullshit, we all think about it. Or the subway…That was always a big one for me because there’s that moment of serenity and peace right before the hot air hits you. Right before that roar and mercury blur; you could step forward and it would just blot you out.
Now, I know what you’re all gonna say, you’ll say: “get out of my head! And “quit being so goddamn macabre!”
Well, I will not do any such thing my friends, because I’m in there with tenure, and we’re kindred spirits so get used to it.
As of late, I’ve been thinking a bit about mortality. A man get’s it on his mind from time to time, at a certain age…Especially when the ol’ remorsephins are churning high octane.
Last night, while drunk, (It was Wednesday, which I now call Woopsday, as in, “woops! I’m drunk on a Wednesday” you get the gist.) I was recanting, to anyone who would listen, this story of how a few summers ago at a wedding me and two friends crawled down 6 stories of hotel from balcony to balcony in order to go for a night dip in the pool.
This, in retrospect, was insanely stupid.
In the pool, we then played “Marco Penis,” which is like Marco Polo but you say Penis instead of Polo.
The game was a smash hit, but after a little while, the Romanian hotel concierge, who was very nice, convinced us to quiet down and retire to our respective chambers, no harm done.
Anyway, while I was telling this story, I was also thinking about how fucking stupid that climbing decision had been and how at least three or four times, while it was happening, I missed a bar and almost fell. Then, I sobered up for a moment and was scared shitless. But then, luckily, I was like,
“What are you doing! You’re in the middle of a race! Get your head in the game! And also, that woman is looking right at you from her window!”
So I pressed on.
Hero level stuff.
Now, I say 44% chance because I’m an optimist, and because making the figure over half scares the shit out of me. 44% is still big enough to show I’m taking it seriously, but without making it so big that I just throw in the towel.
Another reason I’m making the number low though, is because hangovers exist and hangovers guys…
Well, hangovers are my guardian fucking angel.
Now, again, I know what you’re all gonna say, you’ll say,
“FUCK YOU DOC! Hangovers are the worst, I thought you had our backs!”
And I do folks, I do. Hangovers are the worst, believe me, I’m in the thick of a real fuzzy one right now, but they are also vital to our survival: they keep us in line.
Let me put it to you a different way, if hangovers didn’t exist, i.e. if all of the detrimental effects of alcohol were there internally but you didn’t wake up with a jewelry box of scorpions in your chest and a head that feels like it’s been Cheney-boarded…Well that’d be great right? WRONG.
If that were the case, then I’d look like John Goodman and I would have died in 2010 or 2006. Without the severe pain and anguish of a really good hangover choque full of remorsephins, I’d be unchecked, I would go crazy, and I’d probably be an asshole.
Whereas excessive alcoholic confidence slowly blows your ego out of proportion until you invariably act like a douche, hangovers are humbling. They’re the equalizer, the yin to all those shots of yang…And they work: I’m much more human and empathetic to the needs of the world when I’m all hungover. I don’t have the energy to be cocky, and I can somehow see people wearing their sadness all over them like beautiful shawls. I want to be nice to everyone, because I feel guilty for selfishly having been drunk. It’s a strange pseudo-sociopathic way of thinking but it puts my heart in the right place, so I go with it.
That’s one reason that, on some level, I can’t totally trust or understand teetotalers. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with them, and I’m even impressed to an extent. But If they’ve never drank, then they’ve never had a hangover, and so they’ve never had all of those remorsephins showing everyone’s sadness shawls…Maybe then, they don’t know the utterly painful terrible bliss of being put in your place by your own body. They might not know the cosmic understanding that comes with a really good hangover…And that makes it hard for me to relate to them, you know?
I’m not sure though, maybe teetotalers get all of those feelings, but just from something else, like serial adultery or something…I mean hey, I don’t purport to know everything, I’m too hungover to make a brash statement like that…
Photo courtesy of seamoor/flickr.com