Saturday, July 14, 2012

Grease, Booze and Brain Cells.

Beer drinking and Rockabilly have been symbiotically linked since the day that some unknown hung over hillbilly uttered the word " Rockabilly". " Dang, my head" was probably the phrase that followed.

Greasers ( and many, many Canadians) do love their beer. What could be better than an ice-cold beer on a hot day? It is a social lubricant that loosens tongues and elevates spirits. Make no mistake however, there can be pitfalls ( refer to one my older posts called "so you think you can drink?"

No matter what the social occasion may be or the individual's disposition in regards to booze there are bound to be some bad decisions that will be taken. Not necessarily bad decisions, more like dumb decisions, some bordering on the truly bizarre. While it is true that knocking back a bunch of beers gets rid of inhibitions, in sometimes alarming ways, it also impedes sound decision-making. It often removes that filter that lies between the brain and the mouth, and can sometimes result in Tourette's like behavior. We usually know that we are about to do something ridiculous, but that little voice in the back of the head always says, " fuck it, do it anyways, what could possibly go wrong.  The aftermath can have unpleasant consequences. I think that we are are familiar with the origins of the term " coyote ugly". You can thank booze for that one. I think that emergency room staff are all too familiar with stories that begin with, " and then I said, hey, watch this!".

Through personal observation ( and more than a few questionable decisions) I have come up with a few guidelines of things that should be avoided once that ninth beer kicks in. I am well aware of the futility of this guide, because, let's face it , once the twenty beer tango begins, all rules will be forgotten or we just simply won't give a damn.

1. Upright Basses

Greasers in general seem to be fascinated by upright basses, and why not, these instruments are the rhythmic force behind Rockabilly and give it it's unique sound. After nine beers, however, all bets are off. If there happens to be an unattended bass lying around backstage or at a party, greasers are drawn to it like moths to a bug zapper. Trust my sober self, most of us can't play that dang thing. It's nothing like what it is usually perceived as in a drunken haze as " a really big guitar". You're not going to hurt yourself, unless you're really shithouse hammered and then you might end up with a broken finger or two. The only thing that will happen is that your buddies will think you are a goof. Sometimes mishaps occur and the bass ends up with huge gaping hole in it's side which will only raise the ire of the owner of said bass. In my experience most bass players are big and mean, so the only thing left is to prepare for an ass whoopin'. ( Apologies to my friend Eve Hell who is not big and mean, but would probably whoop my ass anyways if I damaged her bass).

2. Other Music.

Even if you do know how to play a musical instrument, it's probably best to not attempt it while drunk. Most jams are bad enough, but even on a good day, it's hard to find cats who understand the musical language of Rockabilly. If you happen to find yourself somewhere where the booze is flowing and there are instruments lying around, there's gonna be some bad music going on. You might attempt to engage the other musicians in a Rockabilly tune, but it's going to end up sounding like really bad blues. Being drunk, everybody's abilities are already diminished, so the end result will be some atonal nightmare that will scare cats and cause small children to cry. If you happen to be in a band and you have a show scheduled, you best beware. The chances of tripping on a guitar cord, falling ass-backwards into the drum set or stepping off stage to punch an audience member in the face all increase exponentially which each beer. I am not saying that I have done this, it's a hypothetical scenario. Chances of sucking also increase exponentially. There is also nothing more torturous and arduous as toting heavy guitar amps at 3 in the morning. It's a good way to fall on your ass and it has been scientifically proven that puke and electronics don't mix.

3. Craigslist.

As I have stated numerous times in the past, selling items on craigslist can be trying even trying even on a good day. Often, you are expected to solve someone's engineering dilemma over a $20 part,  hear a detailed explanation of the inane project that the buyer is working on, or being asked to drive 75 miles to deliver the $20 part. You sometimes have to interact with strange people, the worst being the dreaded low-baller. I'm not sure why this archaic practice has re-surfaced when doing craigslist transactions, but is quite annoying to be selling a 20 dollar part and be confronted with " will you take 17 for ?". Now this can all be managed with aplomb and a certain amount of tact when you are sober, because you want to get rid of that piece of cra.... I mean useful item and you want the money to buy more booze. Should someone respond to your ad after  you've had nine beers, the end result will be quite different. Even drunk, you know you want that piece of shit out of your life and the cash in your pocket, so unless the person on the phone is really abrasive, you will refrain from telling him to fuck off. What usually happens, is that you have no idea what he is talking about, and find it hard to explain what the item is to begin with. You might give him bad directions and he never shows up. If the person does show up, you will do the standard drunk thing: try to act sober, which actually makes you seem even drunker. If the person low-balls you, the simple mathematics elude you, and you agree to whatever he said just to avoid doing that math. You might be really hammered and wake the next day and wonder why the advertised item is still right there on your kitchen table, but your toaster, microwave and stereo seemed to have mysteriously disappeared. Also what is that 13 bucks doing in your back pocket.

4. Facebook.

Facebook has rapidly become an important communication tool for millions of people. It is a form of social interaction that is unprecedented, so much so that standard forms of communication like phoning someone, seem to be on the decline. This is great in the sober world, you can keep up to date on the latest events, stay in touch with distant friends and share your ideas with hundreds of people, If you are drunk, going on Facebook is like giving a loaded pistol to a monkey. Someone's gonna lose an eye and shit will be flying everywhere. It's that pesky social filter again. Instead of make your mouth say stupid shit, this one is connected to your finger tips. Posting shit on Facebook while hammered will invariably result in posting something you may end up regretting, and unlike the material world, where embarrassing  evidence can be burned or flushed down the toilet, in the cyber world it will be there forever for all to see. Calling your boss an asshole on FB is probably a bad idea, because he or she will certainly find out and they will shit-can your ass faster than Myspace went down the tubes. Contacting your ex is also a bad idea, all your mis-spelled blubbering, deranged ranting in all Caps, or incoherent ramblings will just make her  madder and thinking that you are even more of an asshole than she previously thought. It is certain to become common knowledge and your friends will never let you live it down, until the next round of drinking, where everything will soon be forgotten of course. Picking drunken fights on Facebook is also a bad idea, because you might have to own up to it one day a get a real punch in the face, which hurts a lot more than name calling on Facebook. You know the old saying, " picking a fight on the internet is like running in the special olympics, maybe you won, but you're still a retard."

4. Transportation.

I don't want to proselytize or get preachy about drinking and driving, because we've all done it at one time or another. It's just that the laws are getting more draconian and the consequences more severe. If you happen to be driving a hot rod, you might as well paint a target on doors. I once thought that I could circumvent this problem by installing a gas engine on a bike. In a bout of drunken logic, I thought that this would make perfect sense and the cops would be none the wiser. That cheap-ass made in china piece of shit rattled, vibrated and spewed blue 2 stroke smoke to the point of making me hurl. It was fast as hell though, and that's what made it even scarier. Due to a need for a clutch on the left side, I hooked up a brake splitter on the right side. The end result was two bicycle brakes that had nearly zero stopping power. Even drunk, I figured that this whole deal was a bad idea and had enough sense to have drunk-helmet with me. I ended up selling it to some sucker.... I mean fine gentleman on craigslist. I saw it being resold a month later. He either had a drunken crash or his wife called him nutso. Riding a bus may seem like a reasonable idea, but at 2 am when everybody's even drunker than you, this can turn into a nightmarish experience. A loser cruiser full of obnoxious drunks is not a good way to wind down a night of partying. Fist fights are bound to happen and you might have to intervene, and that's just the chicks. One might consider walking, but man that is slow when you are doing the one step forward three steps sideways walk. That leaves cabs which can be expensive, but will get you home safely. Considering the harrowing cab rides I 've had however, safely is a subjective term. It is probably a good idea to memorize the route you want the driver to take, because some of the more unscrupulous drivers out there might take advantage of a drunk guy in the back seat. You may wake up the next day and wonder why there is a $610 charge on your ATM card. Also you might want to know why you woke up on a park bench in downtown Boise, Idaho.

5. Some Random Thoughts.

Here's a few short guidelines.

a) Chances are that dude over there is not giving you the hairy eyeball. Even if he is, you're gonna lose the fight.

b) That chica over there is giving you the hairy eyeball  because you tried to pick her up and said stupid shit. Also you were staring here boobs the whole time. Oh yeah and you got booze on her sweater because your beer was sloshing around.

c) Don't pee on a police station.

d) Don't pee on dogs.

e) Don't put your face into the face of a dog and say "nishe doggie" he will bite half your nose off.

f) Don't argue with the guy at the liquor store and call him a " white trash sack o' shit". He will not sell you booze.

g) A lot of people have bad taste in music, don't engage anybody in profound musical discussions.

h) Don't try to do any type of precision measurements. You will have to start the whole project over. If you must fix something; Righty-tightey, lefty-lucy. Also don't call me at 3am, I don't know where your torque wrench is.

i) That pizza with double anchovies that you ordered at 4 am is gonna get you and will soon make another appearance.

j) Same goes for 7-11 hot dogs

k) Try not to watch movies when too drunk, you just won't get it, you will constantly get angry and yell exhortations at the TV such as " who the fuck is that guy!? and you definitely won't remember how it ends.

l) 12 beers, 6000 degree welding temperature, 2nd degree burns.

Well, fellow boozehounds, I hope that helps. As for myself, I am going to see some Rockabilly bands tonight and will raise a glass to all of you and will take a nice, safe cab ride home. See you all Boise.

1 comment:

  1. Hilarious! Very hard to avoid since any Hot-Rodding Greaser worth his salt has a fridge in his garage full of beer!