How Not To Get Drunk

Thursday, October 19, 2006

FYI: Some Theoretical Not Drunk/Not Sober Families

All the experiments have some theory behind them. Some of these have clear intersections while others are pure. If you are a reader, you know they all fail but at least you know where you are coming from, so when you get to where you are at, you can throw up.

1. Cold Turkey Theory: Ah, we’ve all been here around 8 AM on a Tuesday haven’t we? Never again we say as we sweat through work craving fried cheese but too afraid to eat it, feeling like someone is going to walk up and punch us in the back of the head (and maybe feeling like we deserve it). Cold Turkey reasoning involves complete abstention periods where all consumption is flatly and expressly prohibited. This rarely seems to work because life isn’t a sober parade and no drinker wants some sober a-hole around to make him feel bad – bar ain’t a church pal.

  • See “The Sober Supporter”

2. The 6th Man Theory: We all have that friend who is all “yeah dude, peace and love and … what were we talking about” because moralizing hippy jerkoff that he is he “only smokes trees” or someother stoner logic about how no one ever died or beat their wives from bong hits etc. Well here’s the thing Moonbeam, this ain’t sophomore year at State and some of us have jobs that test for that shit. Move to Holland and shut up. 6th Man reasoning involves admitting that you gotta have something, but trying to make that something anything other than the sweet, sweet sauce. So you have to bring in a solid substitute (get it?). Popular choices include caffeine (and other stimulants) or prescription drugs like Xanax, Percoset and other thinly veiled heroin substitutes like OxyContin. [note: thanks to Jesse for correcting my pharmaknowledge]

[note: taking any drugs that are not prescribed is in no way recommended. Just say NO. Drugs are BAD. And I mean that. I do not use, or support the use of or sale of any illegal drugs or the abuse of any legally prescribed drug. That is why we have the 21st Amendment folks, God Bless America.]

  • See “The Café Onle” (upcoming)

3. Revolution Theory: You want it badly enough, you can find a way. You badly want to not want it so much but gotta have it, try a Revolution. For me, it’s wine, champagne or anything colored or tasting like candy. And fish (bleh!). Sort of a combination theory of Cold Turkey and 6th Man because really, you are trying to quit but admitting you want something so giving yourself a completely revolting (get it?) option.

  • See “O Solo Vino”

4. Sweetheart Theory “Oh honey I love you so much I don’t want anyone but you forever and ever and ever!” Yep. Just the one thing. Forever. Until it’s no longer cheaper to keep her anyhow. In this situation, you got only two options – your sweetheart or death. Hopefully death is not an option. Some clear intersection here with all of the above but of course there are differences – for example, it is one thing to only drink beer but another to only drink Guiness.

  • See “The Chubby Irishman” (upcoming)

5. Prescription Theory: Wait for it. Wait for it. No, just because it is 5 o’clock somewhere does not make it OK. Time is not on your side, fuck you Mick Jagger and your calorie rejecting old man rock body. Here, you just gots to wait. Maybe it’s days, maybe it’s hours, but you gotta wait., because you are proscribed from all that is not prescribed (get it?). Two-a-day? 12 a week? Just what the doctor ordered – and that bullshit about apples can join Jagger in getting fucked by a moose on meth.

  • See “The Doctor Slayer”

6. Marathon Theory: Go Go Go! You’ve only go so long to get so drunk sluggo, so you better hit it hard and fast whilst you still can. Early to bed, early to rise and all that other stupid shit that sober people who eat granola and have one glass of wine on Christmas say. Four hours a night (“The Father Time”)? Home by 12? (“The Ben Franklin”)? Some intersections with Cold Turkey’s but also some obvious differences as regards duration.

  • See “The Weekender”

7. Bankbreaker Theory: If you were Donald Trump you would actually be broke all the time but still have a hot wife. You are broke, but minus the former Miss USA farting in your bed. How to aspire to real-life, Bill Gatesian wealth? Surely not by spending all your money on booze – and the expensive stuff no less! You won’t be feeling good if you say “Salud!” too many times shooting $15 shots of Patron. (Not recommended for wealthy types).

  • See “The Good Life” (upcoming)

8. The Pauper Theory: You cannot spend much. You will beg, borrow and steal. You will ask hobos and vagrants where they got that Thunderbird. Because you are on a budget my friend. Oh, maybe at the bar you can pretend to be hip drinking PBR, but you will know the truth. Natty Light $5 12-packs at home hoping to catch some boon on Univision? You bet – and the squirts as a bonus! Mmm is that wine fortified? Wow, I thought they made malt liquor illegal after all those people died. Is that a flask in your pocket or are you just happy to see me grandpa? Prepare for outcasting, ridicule and obloquy. Unless your friends are also poor. Then they will think you are cool. You are welcome. [note: pay special attention to the “Toilet Tank Trick”].

  • See “The Miser” (upcoming)

9. Ultimatum Theory: It’s this or that kids – you want sex or booze? You want chocolate or beer? You want to have that burrito or just the tequila? Despite being seriously unbalanced, you are trying to walk the tight rope anyhow. Oh you can drink – but then you miss out on that other thing. Destroy what you love! Muwah-ha-ha-ha (sp?).

  • See The Ultimate Sacrifice (upcoming)\

10. Proactive Prevention Theory: Swallow first ask questions later (that totally came out wrong … and so did that). Strike first, establish position and you won’t be caught out there the next day. Popular applications of this involve taking actions before and/or during and/or after drinking to keep it reezy in the morneezy. [note: they haven’t given me ad money yet, but these things called “Chasers” are fully endorsed by S. Ober]. Water is a common and cheap attempt at this, as is food, various antacids and from what I understand, various other substances both legal and otherwise.

  • See “The Fire Douser”

An ode to dipsomania:

Choose booze?

You lose.

You will get bruised.

You will not elevate thetons like Tom Cruise.

You will snooze.

You will see in twos.

You will wake up amidst goos.

You will find underwear and say “who’s”?

You will have no clues.

You will not be found to amuse.

You will not hear the good news.

You will have watery poos.

Like Brits, you will waste time in queues.

You will fall for a ruse.

You will dance like a kangaroo.

The French will not like vous.

That “zee” will be from the woos.

You will have no use.

You will smell like zoos.





Friday, October 13, 2006

O Solo Vino

Buy/pour wine. Try to drink it. Attempt to enjoy.

Hypo: The”Solo Theory”: Only drinking wine will result in less consumption because wine is fucking disgusting.

Financial: wine is often available at events free and is relatively cheap per glass
Personal: makes me look like quite the fancy fellow.
Health: Should cut down on consumption as ordering wine at a real man’s bar would make me look like a total fruit [note: pun?]

Rules: Solo Vino. Fin. No prohibitive period. No consumption or price limits. Just nasty ass wine.

Concerns: I really don’t like wine and don’t know if I will be able to stick with it. It may turn into a “Cold Turkey”-esque experiment which is clearly doomed to fail. May stain teeth. May get hit on by men or conversely ignored sexually by women. Hangovers.

Practice: Drink wine [note: as noted below in detail, for me this means a regular sized glass goes down in 2 enormous slugs with much cat-like tongue-sticking out and other general oddity about 5-10 mins apart. Will also try to sneak ice cubes into any type of wine or mixer like soda and try to explain this is common in Southern Europe to fit in].

Duration: 6/14 (drinking/total)

Week 1 Results: Astor Wine and Spirits, how I love thee. I love your racks upon racks of sweet intoxicating liquors from around the globe. But I have on occasion wondered about these burgundy bottles and these golden hued decanters. I shall try thee. Whence shall I select? From the best under $8 natch. Highly recommended wines go unopened M-W.

Thursday: Graduate school event. Crappy wine abounds. Drink it while openly grimacing out of paper cups. Leave early. Drunk to 4; Hangover @3.

Friday: Open bottle of Shiraz-Cab. Drink with ladyfriend to impress. Seemingly impressed, clearly intoxicated. Southern European-style mixing not an option as glasses are clear and she will not buy that bullshit. Interestingly, she does not seem to notice (or doesn’t comment) that rather than sipping or drinking like human, I gulp in as much as possible, hold in mouth, swallow hard. Fight off vomiting. Wait 5 mins or until thirsty and repeat. Open second bottle of same. Drunk to 7;Hangover@6 (though wine hangover … sweatier than usual 6 from beer). Not nice. Concern about stained teeth clearly true.

Week 2 Results:
M-Th: Not happening. I would rather drink sour milk and hallucinate.

Friday: Time for white wine. Bartender highly suspicious. Much mockery by male compatriots. Wine so dry makes me feel like tongue dried up. Ice not helping. Clear now why the “spritzer” so popular. White guy whining. Ha. Approx 1 bottle (4 glasses?). Nasty! Drunk to 4; hangover. Drunk to 7, Sticky Hangover@6. $24 spent.

Saturday: Same ladyfriend as previous. Open same kind of wine from previous experiment. 2 glasses each in. Having good time. Girls like wine and guys who drink wine get girls. False. After going for 2nd bottle:

LF: “So you really like this red huh?”
SO: “Yes, it’s great. Nice body, great tannin”
LF: “Huh. Do you really know what that means?”
SO: “Kinda. I read a book.”
LF: “ Do you have any beer? Or vodka?”
SO: (confused) “I thought you liked wine.”
LF: “Well not really. Sometimes. I was drinking it when we met because it was free and I have stuck it out because you seem to like it so much. But generally, no.”
SO: “I fucking hate wine. I thought you like it and would also be impressed..[note: there is no telling others about experiment as would ruin variable of peer pressure – likely make failure higher with the animals I know].”
LF: “I am. Very. So that’s a no on the beer then?”
SO: “For me, right, you do whatever.”
LF: “Be right back.”
(5 mins later with 12-pack of Heine-cans)
LF: “Goddam that is a finely brewed and delicious beer.”
(2 mins later)
SO: Ah, sure is!

Theoretical reasons for result: Wine is nasty and for Europeans, women and European women. There I said it. [note: No seriously, I recognize that I have a pedestrian palate or whatever and wine is the greatest thing since manna and ambrosia. But I just don’t like wine enough to actually drink it. ]

Conclusions: I may be in love with a brew-swilling hoochie. In other news, my overall consumption these weeks was VERY LOW. My price was VERY LOW. My enjoyment was below 0. Negative enjoyment of wine. It is a good deterrent but it is impossible to stick with because I hate it so much. I also have decided to no longer eat grapes in protest.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Doctor Slayer:

2 drinks
Every day.


Hypo: Two drinks everyday takes pressure off of prohibited periods (see “The Sober Supporter”)

Reasons: Professional: With the complete failure of cold turkey-style methods (See “The Sober Supporter” above et al) something’s gotta give.
Personal: these binges are killing me

Rules: Two a day maximum. No requirements. No prohibitive periods. No limitations. No weekly total [note: next: The Grand Total trying this method] allowed. 2. A. Day.

Concerns: This may work for weekdays when I don’t usually drink anyhow … but weekends? Parties? What constitutes “a drink?” [note: I have chosen NOT to define this for purposes of experiementation]

Practice: Perhaps the second easiest so far (“Sober Supporter” technically easier since only required nothing) – simply limit to two drinks, but no prohibitive period.

Duration: 3/14 prior to failure.

Week 1 Results:

  • Monday: bought 6-pack on way home. Drank 2 beers after running. Ah! Drunk to 1; Hangover@1 (thanks booze!) Slept great. Woke up with more ease than usual.
  • Tuesday: 0 Consumption.
  • Wednesday: 0 Consumption.
  • Thursday: 2 and out. So far so good. Tough week at work helping.
  • Friday: Um. Two beers goes really, really fast. Drinks after work. Had 2 and made excuse to leave. Did not go back out that night. Luckily had no additional booze in house or likely imbibing. Thanks Sony, for such an excellent product in the PS2 and thanks Cinemax for Skinemax. Oh yes, I went there so I wouldn’t go there.
  • Saturday: FAILURE. Woke up just itching to have a beer but hung on until 9 PM. 1 beer barely made it through pre-game (4 out of 5 guys showed up with at least 6-packs and most with 12 packs they did not even bother to put into the refrigerator – yep, rather just have the box there and drink em fast enough they don’t get cold. It’s like THAT if you are wondering why I need to keep this blog in the first place. And that was an easy night). Held off on second drink until bar. Asked bartender for largest, most alcoholic drink he is allowed to make by law since “drink” was left undefined for this attempt. Wound up with some sort of corrosive chemical reaction in red that was eating through the (24-ounce) pilsner glass. Based on size and price probably had at least 6 shots of various liquors in it. Still in the safe “2 drink zone”? FAILURE? Reasonable minds can differ [note: I say I failed after the first 3 sips – the bartender said: “um, this isn’t just for you right? Because you could die.” Upon hearing this, 3 of the animals I was with then ordered one]. Nursed for over an hour. Del.cic.ous. By this point likely Drunk to 7. Sense (common, of time of any kind) shot. Decide to negate first beer (it was light! 12 oz!) and allow for more mindbeding satanic fluid. FAILURE. DRUNK to 9! Hangover@9! Sex? Impossible. Sunday? Non-existent.

Week 2 Results: n/a because I have absolutely no self control and deserve torture and pain. Drank 2 a day for the rest of this week anyhow. Weekend though … see above.

Result: Failure.

Theoretical reasons for result: The self-control needed to have only 2 drinks when everyone else is drinking indiscriminately is tough, peer pressures build quickly. Beer not a good drink for this as too weak to really have any effect after 2 (legally sober!).

Conclusions: I think 2-weekday 4-weekend could work [note: will try the 2x4x7] but LIMITS need to be put on drinks as to size and power. This is a perfectly responsible and workable strategy for weekdays. 2 a day is good – it is enough that you get a lil buzz (maybe even over 3 if you have strong cocktails). Two beers is a good happy hour amount, good for dinner date to have a glass of wine and a cocktail. Good limit that works socially all around (even at ballgame, with high price making nursing mandatory). Certainly could work for cocktails with normal people or at an event that is not about drinking. But any kind of long-term, late-night, hard-core (anything with a hyphen, whether grammatically correct or not) will not stand up here.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Firedouser:

1 shot hard liquor (tequila preferred)
1 pint (8 parts) ice water

Slam shot. Sip water until gone. Repeat.

Hypo: To achieve moderate inebriation economically, shots are best. Since simply slamming shots will result in hospitalization, there must be an appropriate chaser. Water will serve not only to greatly reduce potential drunkenness but also to greatly improve hangover (dilution, hydration, urination) to as low as level 2. By both getting high alcohol content and high time consumption, the amount of drinks (and cost) will be lower, though inebriation level may remain happily between 2 and 5 over the course of an entire night.
  • Financial: Not enough money to slam back beers. Liquor most economical way to achieve inebriation; water best way to temper drunkenness. Also, booze nasty so makes one hesitant to drink too much too fast.
  • Health: Caloric intake. Pure liquor and water has very little caloric value. Beer and wine both quite high; cocktails with soda equally high. Possibly Atkins friendly.Rules: No prohibitive periods. All reasonable days and times available for consumption. Every 2 ounces requires one full pint of water before continuing. No substitutions (i.e. 2 beers = 1 shot plus 1 pint).

Concerns: On an already tight social budget, can this be effective? Water may simply dilute alcohol to point that money is literally flushed down the toilet. Also, can I drink water without constant snickering? Do the dives I hang out at even have water?

Practice: Order single shot with pint of water as back. Drink shot at leisure (though slamming is recommended for maximum impact). Let shot settle. Kill time in between drinks with water. Drink entire pint of water before having another drink. Try not to urinate until absolutely necessary for maximum absorbtion.

Duration: 5/12 (drinking/total)

Week 1 Results:

  • Friday: Successful. Bartender initially skeptical by order but got with the program eventually. Friends had usual reaction [“you are a freak”] Total of 5 shots in about 4 hours (one buy back). Initially drunk perhaps as high as 5 but wore off quickly. Average Drunk to Level 3. Hangover at 2. $23 spent.
  • Saturday: Successful. Night also began well, though double shots more economical. 6 doubles (two buybacks). Harder to keep up with water. For Doubles, tried halfshot-water-halfshot-water. Also tried fullshot-water-water. Bartender not happy with all the water pouring. High amount of urination (at least 2x an hour). Got tired and bored, left earlier than normal. Neither awakening effect of booze nor drowsy effect apparent. Drunk as high as level 5, average lower. Hangover to level 4. $30 spent. Feel a bit cheated for amount spent-to-result. Social concerns with method getting worse.
  • Wednesday: Stayed home hung out, played video games. Sucks alone. Rather not drink at all. Feels like a real waste of money to do shooters like this. Constant urination made gameplay annoying. Drunk to 2. Hangover@2.
    Week 2 Results:
    Friday: Successful. Attended gallery opening. No liquor, only wine. Went to liquor store and purchased pint of bourbon ($8). Bought large bottle of water at bodega ($2.50). [note: this is economical, explore]. Did all drinking outside or in bathroom. Water bottle not particularly odd for crowd. Considering starting to smoke. Hard to gauge appropriate shot-to-water ratio. Art was boring, social interaction awkward when not slamming cheap wine like others. Constant deflection of questions about water not wine. Left when drunk to level 5 [note: likely due to heavier-than-allowed drinking more quickly than allowed] Hangover@4.

Week 2 Results:

  • Saturday: Mets game. No booze available. As preliminary measure, drank considerable amount of tequila before leaving, took large bottle of water to round out. Stretched method too far. Drunk quickly to level 7. Finished water quickly. Multiple illegal public urination. Game going well, high level of social interaction. Feels odd to not have beer to sip (guzzle). Constant peer pressure of rounds being bought. As tequila wears off (perhaps to level 5) and only [$4] water available, project fails [note: $4 water vs. $6 beer tough on short budget]. Beer consumption begins. Drunk to 8. Hangover@7. Spent over $40.

Result: FAILURE.

Theoretical Reasons for Result: This reduces drunkenness and hangover levels well though it does same for social interactions. Removes the “social lubricant” element of drinking – both chemically and in actual action (clinking glasses, buying rounds). Straight booze feels a bit nasty on belly. Too much water means considerable time waiting on line for bathroom. Embarassing to keep asking bartender for water (also not allowed to bring water to many bars). Any place/situation that does not have readily available liquor and water must be avoided for this to be successful.

Conclusions: Overall, this is the most successful to date from a chemical perspective, though effects peak early and the wear off nearly completely. Socially, this is a disaster. Feel a bit cheated by money spent. Heavy urination. Irritates bartenders who will not supply large amounts of water, especially if crowded. Strange looks when ordering and when drinking. Look a bit fey drinking all the water. Terrible for public events (ballgames) very difficult to accomplish at home or in small settings.



Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Sober Supporter

1 part fully sober person
Mix with social interaction
Add sex (if available, try to stay away from sober-by-religion)
Keep Stirring.

Hypo: Out of sight, out of mind – if those we spend time with are not drinking, nor will we.

Personal: desire to be with sober person outweighs even social drinking inclinations.

Rules: Cold turkey.

Concerns: Impossible. Could kickstart a reformed alcoholic.

Step 1: Meet sober person. AA is a good place to start, rehab is not. Church/religious functions can work but realize those sober because of religion are not likely to have other vices that keep one busy (i.e. gambling).
Step 2: In order to be with sober person, stop drinking,
Step 3: Enjoy! Finding sober responsible person at party or event works well also. Always get a ride home. Enjoy early mornings on weekends.

Duration: 1/12 days (drinking/total).

Week 1 Results: Technical success. 0 Consumption following moderate consumption allowing for meeting of said sober person. Drunk to level 4. Hangover@3. Outlandish quasi-intoxicated sex. One sober brunch date. 3 days of better than average sober sex. So far, so good. One weekend sober date. Getting boring. Sex not that good or interesting. Sober person not nearly as interesting when also always sober. Sober person not nearly as good looking when also sober. Weekend feels like waste. Drunk to 0; Hangover at 0

Week 2 Results: Ultimate failure though successful until final day. Feel healthy but bored on Monday. Sobreity begins to wear off midweek. Stay strong by taking Kava and other herbal supplements. This is not effective. Increase Kava prior to date. No effect noticable. Getting socially anxious on date. Others drinking and having a good time at tables. Bar looks fun. Waitress disappointed we are drinking soda like children. Sneak beer at bar during sober date on way to bathroom. Sneak lychee martini (yum!) on way back. Feeling good, admit to sober person who is disappointed. No longer also sober, do not care. Order another. Finish dinner alone. Take home leftovers. Bonus! Drunk to 6. Hangover at 4.


Theoretical reasons for result: Sober people boring. Never drinking again bleak. Cannot go to normal hangouts. Cannot see friends with sober person. Sober person thinks friends are idiots; idiots think sober person is judging them. Lots of tension, sex only fun for so long before painful.

Conclusions: Complete abstention is pretty tough without a very good reason (i.e. pregnancy). Clearly this is very effective but takes extreme will power, alteration of all social habits and events. Must become acquainted with mornings and appurtanent activities (i.e. breakfast). Just sex not enough (can have sex while drinking too). Legal herbal mood elevators suck. Complete sobriety overrated.


FAQ: Hangover@ -- Anything over 5 and you living foul homey.

1. Better Than Normal: Slept quickly and deeply work up refreshed. Thanks booze!

2. Normal: Just another day.

3. Groggy: shouldn’t have stayed for that last one. Ah well.

4. Water Me: Few pints of water and you’re right as rain, but take it easy next time!

5. Oh No: That was dumb. Now you feel like crap. Need water plus grease and probably Pepto. Functional for below average performance. Will think about sleep all day.

6. Ouch: See 5 above. Water will not do, need sports drinks. Starving constantly. May have slept for proper time, but booze interrupted sleep. Still able to function.

7. Shhh: See 5 & 6 above. Head feels like a sensitive little bean. Everything is annoying. Eyes and ears have betrayed you. Functional if minimum human interrelation.

8. Make It Stop: See 5-7 above. Minimum productivity possible. Can pretend to work. Can eat very small amounts of salty/greasy food. OTC medications useful.

9. Never Again: See 5-8 above. Unlikely to get anything done though possible to move. Maythrow up upon waking. Swearing off drinking forever while thinking about drinking all day common. Prescription drugs for sleep and anxiety will help.

10. Kill Me Now: see 5-9 above. Call in sick to work. Cancel all appointments. No chance of productivity. May pray for death. May stay in bed all day and still feel like shit. Too wasted to drink water. Seek help.


FAQ – Drunk Levels 1-5 are positive levels; 6-10 are negative. 5 is the “sweet spot”

1. Smiley: Less than one non-liquor drink, with actual meal. Nearly no effect.
Sociable:Up to three non-liquor drinks, with actual meal, potentially minimal effects

2. Friendly: Up to three drinks, on top of actual meal or with some food, noticeable effects

3. Chatty/Charming: Over three drinks but under 5 in a 4 hour period. Very little food Noticiable positive effects. No longer safe to operate heavy machinery.

4. Controlled Buzz: Regardless of drinks, having a good time. Perfect for sporting events or gaming. Noticiable effects but still under complete control of voice and body.

5. Buzzed: Had enough to drink but not too much. Time to start heading home unless excellent at pacing or nothing left to drink. Potential for embarrassment lower than potential for fun. Eat soon to extend if must remain out. Should stop drinking for at least one hour at this point ant attempt to sober to Level 3 if possible.

6. Drunk: Too much. Should already be home. Having trouble speaking to anyone under level 6. Some slurring. Likely rambling and repeating. If alone, may speak to self in third person. No longer safe to use telephones.

7. Hammered: All symptoms of 6 if in public place. Should try to get food immediately. Caffeine recommended. Can still salvage self at this point though unlikely.

8. Bombed: All symptoms of 7 combined with loss of motor function. Likely to be thrown out of bars or into fights. Should not be left alone. May feel like can run fast or dance well. Sitting down feels heavy. Drunk dialing likely to alienate loved ones.

9. Shitfaced: All symptoms of 7 and 8 but in desperate need of food and bed. Stumbling, slurring, bothering strangers. Likely to be arrested if in public.

10. Blackout: Just plain sad. Hope autopilot gets you home and friends forgive you. If over 16 and not first time this has happened, seek help.


The Weekender:

2.25 parts binging
Extract 4.75 days worth of drinking

Hypo: Limiting drinking to weekends only (6 PM Friday to 11:59 Sunday) will result in cloudfree workweeks, increased spending money, more sleeping, lower calories. Key to success is that there is a big reward for abstention.

Professional. Dragging out of bed and wasting days at work may be noticed and is starting to have effect on over all work quality.
Personal: too many hard weeks followed by harder weekends.

Rules: There is to be no consumption of alcohol of any kind from Monday through EOB Friday.

Concerns: Binging during prohibitive period may be far more than usual (though should be an overall reduction). May hamper social activity.

Practice: This one seemed to be very simple. Just don't drink for 4.75 days a week. Sleep better, work better, feel better. More time. Thinner. No hangovers at work! This is a very typical starting point for many people who want to be Not Drunk and at the same time realize they are Not Sober people either. The WO approach has the added benefit of being able to say to people "ha! I haven't had a drink in x days!" and/or "nah, I don't drink during the week."

Duration: Less than two weeks. Successful 5 straight days. Mostly failure other days.

Week 1 Results: Successful. Summary--Heavier-than-usual drinking around prohibitive period though complete abstention during week. +1 Bonus given for abstention Sunday to be used by end of month or lost. Still, must be careful about powerful binge during non-prohibitive period.

  • Sunday :[Hangover at 6.5]. Ordered burrito from downstairs, drank as much water as I could, took an Ambien and woke up cloudy but mostly unhungover at 7 Am Monday.

  • Monday-Thursday: 0 consumption. Contemplating giving myself a bonus day for next week. Really, the rule is about NOT drinking on certain days rather than what days I can drink right? [*note: in retrospect, this is where failure began].

  • Friday: End of the day could not come fast enough. Rather than go to gym, meet Mike and Micah after work. Fat Man comes minus Chica (who later shows up accompanied by Cousin It). Twofers get four pints of Guiness to go down smooth. Accidently expose Micah for sleeping with more guys than Mike know about. Much cover-up lying ensues. Start using word "cunt" too liberally as regards MLB Playoffs. Old men bristle. Friends not longer laughing. Apparently asked to leave. Skip dinner with everyone else and meet up with Big Red at The Stomp. Insult tall people. Drunk to level 8 Nearly pass out in cab. Hangover suprisingly low at 7.

  • Saturday: Drink would help hangover, but must attend friend's child's bday party. Not too painful (though no booze available). Very few comfortable conversations with anyone. Realize now why there is always wine. Hold out until 5 PM. Wind up screaming about politics halfway through game and end night telling stories I shouldn't tell to people who don't care. Resolve not to see this group for another few months. Remember why I haven't seen them in as long. Drunk to 8. Hangover at 9.

Week 2 Results: Early quasi-success, late failure. Summary -- forced social interaction caused deviation and ultimate failure.

  • Sunday: Terrible. Can do nothing but whine. Looking forward to a week of total sobriety.

  • Thursday: In-house work happy hour. Forced social interaction. This is why there is booze. No one has anything to talk about but work. Everyone cautious. Drinking continues, desire for a quick one growing stronger. Everyone else is drinking and wants to feel like they aren't being naughty. Feigning illness does not work ["a little alcohol is good for a cold!"]. Peer pressure building. Whispering in corners. Those in AA or religiously opposed sip soda alone in corner. Nearly all are foreign, in technology and in no way friendly. No support for abstention. Boss pulls me aside and asks if I am having problems or need to talk. Assure him I am not and grab a beer. Get out ASAP but get 6-pack on way home [Drunk to level 5].

Result: Failure.

Theoretical reasons for result: The potential for binging is too much. This is too inflexible to allow for success. A complete moratorium enforced for 4.75 days with no flexibility or exceptions is good, because it does not allow for false exceptions (ballgame, birthday of a random acquaintance, State of the Union address) but too inflexible for valid exceptions.

Conclusions: Having a strict "hands off" policy seems incongruent with life of single urban professional. Social events during week include drinking. Professional networking uses drinking to foster interaction. Dating can not be contained to weekends. Blame put on society in general.