As I have stated many times; beer and rockabilly seem to go hand in hand. There are, however, pitfalls associated with dealing with life after having consumed ten beers.
Everything makes perfect sense in the hazy world of ten beer inebriation, and some shit just seems a whole lot funnier. I recently sent myself into an uncontrollable fit of laughter while trying to type on Facebook after having imbibed copious quantities of cheap beer. Instead of chord progression I typed pork correction.
I laughed until my sides hurt, so much so, that it was beginning to scare me. After reading it the following day, it just didn't seem that funny.
Things get really hilarious when you actually try to build or repair stuff. Even after all those beers, I am able to see the humour in not even being able to put a nut onto a bolt. Oh the happy life of a boozehound.
A word to the wise; it's probably best to not type anything on Facebook if you are shithouse plastered. Spelling mistakes notwithstanding, you are bound to write something you might regret. The loss of inhibitions brought on by the ole juice can be a potential source of embarrassment.
Here's a partial list of things that should probably not be attempted after ten beers.
1. Any type of fabrication.
Having limited access to a friend's metal shop, I jump at the opportunity to build something when it does become available. Metal shops and beer go hand in hand, so it is difficult to abstain when you are constantly offered beers from a seemingly endless supply in the shop fridge.
Having a new design for a bike and all the metal parts mocked up and notched, I was rarin' to go. After a productive day on Saturday, I returned to complete the job on Sunday.
I had the shop all to myself, and decided to go to a local skid bar to get some off-sales ( bars sell beer to go in BC).
I returned to the shop to continue the fabrication. When you are hard at work and get into a rhythm, you don't get quite so hammered as quickly. Mathematics and precision, however, are a whole different thing.
I remember cursing and laughing simultaneously as I attempted some complicated geometric calculations. It just wasn't working out. I laughed as I said out loud to myself, " what, are you a retard?"
It's as if someone had switched my regular measuring tape with some kind of tricky clown measuring tape. The measurments I took the next day confirmed this.
There is nothing quite as exhilarating as trying to run a MIG welder while under the influence. 40 amps of juice and 6000 degree molten metal will get the blood boiling and after ten beers, you're just too stupid to be scared.
I was able to wield the welder without any life-threatening scenarios, the only problem was that I couldn't find the seam to save my life. Beautiful random welds everywhere.That when it's grinder and Bondo time.
The booze-induced bravado made me impervious to the 10,000 rpm grinder able to slice through half inch steel. At that point, it's just another amusing toy.
I realized that it was time to quit while I was ahead, not so much because the voice of reason told me so, but mainly because I had run out of beer.
I returned to afore-mentioned skid bar for a night cap. After a day of welding and grinding, needless to say, I was filthy. Nobody even gave me a second glance. Drunk and dirty, I fit right in with regular patrons.
I had a few beers and came to the realization that I would have a lot of reverse engineering to do the following week-end.
2. Keep a watch on your crotch.
Installing a new bike tire is usually an easy task, but after ten beers it becomes a job of monumental proportions, a logistical nightmare.
This is done by hand with three plastic levers. I had the wheel on my lap as I was seated in a chair. After fumbling around for what seemed like few hours, I finally got the tire seated on the rim, or at least I thought so.
After firing up my small portable compressor, I noticed that it was taking way too long to inflate. I stopped and inspected the wheel. The tire had not properly seated, and part of the tube was sticking out. It had grown to the size of a watermelon.
I grabbed another swig of beer and all I could say was , "whoa", as I stupidly stared at the huge rubber goiter. Just as I was thinking that it looked cool, the air pressure got the best of the rubber. POW!
The fonts on this computer are not large enough to describe just how big a fucking POW that was . Ear bleeding, permanent hearing damage, scared the fuck out of the neighbours pow.
Keep in mind that wheel was on my lap, just millimeters from crotch, luckily the explosion was on the other side of the wheel.
I almost laughed myself into oblivion, drunk or sober, that was funny.
3. Where's that #$%& screwdriver ?
Greasy dudes like making shit and working with their hands. Beers in the shop or the garage are a natural, and while it's fun to have a few beers while working on your latest project, you have to know when to stop.
The first indication is when you start dropping tools. After the fifth attempt to tighten a bolt fails and the wrenches go flyin' you should probably stop. When you can't tell the difference between 5/8 and 1/4 inch, you should definitely stop.
After all those beers, you tend to forget which way is tight and which way is loose. You will look demented as you make little circular motions with your fingers to try to figure it out. If you are bent over and everything is reversed, it seems like advance calculus.
Then tools will mysteriously disappear. There must be some sort of parallel universe of lost tools. A black hole that sucks tools out of this dimension and into the next.
You know that the fucking Phillips screwdriver was here a second ago, but it's gone. Vanished ! You might spend an hour on your hands and knees looking for it, all to no avail.
During your futile search, you will find other stuff which can be interesting. An errant five dollar bill, another screwdriver or unopened beer from a previous aborted project, that missing Nylock, but you can be certain that you ain't finding that Phillips.
As I have gotten older and gained more experience, I have come to terms with this and tell myself that it will eventually turn up. I will just chill and have another beer.
The weird part, is that in some cases, the missing tool never does turn up. Another mystery of the universe.
4. Fast, Loud and outta control.
I often wonder if one's senses are attenuated after ten beers. Music is never loud enough or cars fast enough.
A while ago, I had installed a gas engine on a bicycle. I had messed with carburetor and the gear ratio to make it go really fast. I had installed a brake splitter to activate both brakes with one hand. What that means is that it didn't stop worth a shit.
One night, after a particularly greasy party, I got on that contraption and rode home full bore. I was enjoying myself and was thinking I wasn't going fast enough. Filled with liquid courage, I just layed down on the throttle.
It's a miracle that the thing didn't blow itself apart. Nothing like the vibrations, racket and blue smoke produced by a cheap-ass made in China engine kit.
I guess after ten beers, it doesn't take much to amuse me. Cheap thrills indeed.
The other sense that is affected is hearing. Nothing ever seems loud enough. The raucous rockabilly parties that are the result of ten beers have resulted, over the years, in many blown tweeters, two blown woofers, several blown amps, countless fuses, many broken guitar strings, and a few irate neighbours.
Whether you're cranking a stereo or wailin' on a guitar it never seems loud enough. Sometimes you will dig some tune and get into a Moebius strip of drunken logic as you play that same song over and over.
It sure was a lot of fun, but when you turn on your stereo the next day and the volume is at eleven, you wonder how you have any hearing left at all. It's no wonder that I think everybody is mumbling all the time.
A few more words to the wise. If you are an aspiring musician, believe me when I tell you to not play after ten beers. You think you are really rockin', but trust me, you are really sucking.
I'm thinking I'm gonna lay low this weekend and finish up that project that was plagued by mis-calculations, drunken design decisions, loud rock 'n' roll, cheap booze and reclusive behavior. I'm just going to make sure that all the nuts and bolts are tightened and and all tools are accounted for before I hit the beer store.