Stuff You Should Know: How to Drink Like a Pro

LIVING LOADEDA lot of the people who read this site like to drink for fun. But I, my friends, drink professionally. And let’s get one thing straight up front. This does not make me better than you. Quite the opposite, in fact, if my calculations are correct, my drinking habits have, over the years, made me a far worse person than you on balance (ok, not you Scott Stapp, but the rest of you I’m pretty confident about).

But what I may lack in the goodness-as-a-person department, I have gained in experience. I put a whole bunch of that experience into my new book, “Living Loaded: Tales of Sex, Salvation and the Pursuit of the Never-Ending Happy Hour” (available from fine bookstores everywhere as well as Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Borders), which was partially inspired by booze columns I wrote for and partially inspired by needing to pay off some truly monstrous bar tabs.

But enough about me. Let’s do something for you. Let’s pull back the kimono a little. I’m going to let you in on a few of the trade secrets us pros use to make sure their heavy drinking schedules are sustainable over the long haul, both physically and in the shame department. Don’t bother thanking me, just buy the book. I promise I’ll use the money responsibly. You know, for booze.

1. Never order a cocktail the color of a Smurf

Or any other Saturday morning cartoon character, for that matter. There is, of course, one exception. Namely, the frozen dacquiri, which is acceptable ONLY in the following circumstances. 1) You must be either on a beach or poolside in an exotic locale. 2) You must be with a hot chick. And 3) she must have ordered one first. (Note: this applies to daiquiris only. Pina Coladas are the banana hammocks of tropical adult beverages. Just don’t go there).

2. Avoid Cameras

Hard to overstate the importance of this one. Thanks to this thing they call the Internet, there’s a high probability that any remotely embarrassing thing you do in front of a camera will be available almost immediately for scrutiny by millions. Indeed, a Google search for “drunk photos you don’t want to be in” turned up nearly 9 MILLION results, including those great ones of Mister Braveheart himself, Mel Gibson in a bar with two blondes about a half hour before he called a female cop, and I quote, “sugar tits.”

mel gibson

Remember, cops carry cameras. Just ask Mister Nick Nolte.


Same goes for video. It might even be worse. You just know some smartass is going to remix it and it’s going to go all viral and… Oh, let’s not beat about the Hasselhoff…

And while the Hoff was pathetically wasted, there’s something that goes past pathetically wasted. And that thing is called Brad Ferro, the now-infamous Queens schoolteacher who claims to have been so befuggered at a North Jersey bar that he has no memory of doing this…

3. Let the Ladies In the Bar Know You Mean Business

You already know to never let ‘em see you sweat. And there are few better ways to stave off unsightly perspiration than with a frosty beverage. But there’s more to it than mere refreshment. You see, hot chicks dig guys who drink real beer. I’m talking mass-produced, middle-American-made, all-afternoon-drinkin’ brewskis. Cold boys. Pounders. None of that unpronounceable craft-brewed shit from Oregon. Take the model from Georgia who I met in some dive in Hollywood. I sidled up beside her at the bar and ordered a Genessee Cream Ale. This caught her attention, so I ordered her one too, without asking if she wanted it. Never ask. Just give it to her. If she takes it, you’re golden. If she walks away, hey, you got two Genessee Cream Ales all to yourself. Still golden, baby.

Plus, as we learned in the 1970s, Genesseeing is believing…

4. Lie a Little. Or a Lot.

liarWhen out drinking, everyone wants to be somebody. Somebody else, that is. Somebody a lot cooler than you. For instance, a few months back I had a grand old time in the lobby bar at The Morrison Hotel in Dublin, regaling the locals with the story of the time I was forced to turn back just 500 feet from the summit of K2. My tone grew somber as I recounted how rapidly and unexpectedly the weather conditions had deteriorated, just as the peak came into sight. Tears welled in my eyes as I continued to tell how, when my Sherpa lost his footing and broke his ankle, well, I had no choice but to strap him to my back and turn around.

“Now keep in mind it was no easy task securing Tenzing to my back, given that I was already carrying little Timmy,” I said bravely, tossing back the remainder of a tall glass of Redbreast whiskey.

“Little Timmy?” someone asked, wide-eyed. I think her name was Siobhan.

“Yes,” I whispered, my voice cracking ever so slightly. “From the Make-a-Wish Foundation.”

And then the tears came. Oh, how those tears came. Not a dry eye in the house. And not only was it terrific fun, I’m pretty sure I got laid that night.

5. Carry rubbers

condomsLike my dear old grandma always used to say before her liver finally gave out, nothing takes the shine off a drunken roll in the hay faster than a baby. Or an STD. Or a baby with an STD. While researching this item I Googled “drunk sex” and came across a rather interesting video made by a cute recovering alcoholic in which she waxes nostalgic about the days when she used to get blotto and screw every guy in sight. Among other things, she claims she loved drunk sex because it’s “sloppy and crazy and messy and no one cares and you’re bleeding out of different orifices.”

Been there. Luckily you can avoid the vast majority of the problems associated with awesome drunk sex, just by tossing a bag over Mister Happy at the right moment. But you can’t do that (nor are you likely to be willing to wait) if you’re not holding. So be holding.

6. Retox

retoxThere are many theories regarding the best way to kick a hangover. Nothing works like the “hair of the dog.” Basically you’re in alcohol withdrawal. The solution is simple: Add alcohol. Just don’t overdo it. The trick is to drink enough to cure the hangover, but not get hangover-worthy again. You’re aiming for a nap-worthy buzz here. If you get really, really drunk you will experience the Double Hangover. And friends, I have met the Double Hangover. I work with the Double Hangover. You do not want the Double Hangover. See you at Betty Ford.