I am not a particularly heavy drinker. Having grown up with a mother that sometimes veered into borderline alcoholism, the notion of being in a perpetual drunk state scares the living crap out of me. Further, I don’t really like the taste of any alcoholic drink except maybe sissy wine coolers. So by and large I consider my alcohol-drinking habits to be pretty normal. When it comes to people that I’ve lived with, however, it’s very abnormal. All three of my college roommates Hubert, Dennis, and Saresh were non-drinkers. My post-college roommates Karl and Dennis (same guy) were non-drinkers. My wife? Non-drinker.

I respect non-drinkers on the whole. Society would be so much better off if there were more of them. But as the drinker in a crowd of non-drinkers or in mixed company, it can be decidedly inconvenient.

My friends Kyle and Clint, my college roommate Hubert, and I were all at one point part of a small little production company. We were contemplating special features on a DVD and decided that it might be funny if we all got piss drunk and filmed ourselves. We’d make it an easter egg or something. Kyle, Clint, and I were drinkers, but Hubert was not. Hugh wanted to be included, though, and this presented a bit of a problem. He wanted to pretend to be drunk, which we were all quite unsure about.

I don’t remember a whole lot from that night. One of the things that I do remember, however, was when I spontaneously decided that I would become a spokesman for Delosa’s Finest Beer. I held the bottle of DFB in my hand and said, “Delosa’s Finest… great f***ing beer!!” Then Clint did the same thing. Hubert wanted to join in, but I said, in front of the camera, “You can’t, man, you don’t drink!!!!” That kinda teed him off because he was pretending to be a drinker. Kyle then got in front of the camera and we did a “great f***ing beer!!” together. A couple minutes later Hubert stole the camera and did his own rendition of my Shakespearesque line. His faux-stumbling looked far too deliberate. His fake-slur was awful. Dead silence. Then, in the back behind the camera you can hear Clint exclaim, “Oh my god, he killed our ad campaign!” That brought back the laughter and we commenced acting stupid in a non-deliberate, believable manner. Except Hubert, who started to pout.

All of the material was likely entirely unusable, but we wanted the ad campaign portion of it. Unfortunately, Hubert said that the tape had accidentally been taped over so we never got to see it.

In another case involving Hubert, Dennis, and Karl, we came up with this game to play a drinking game with F-Zero, a challenging and unforgiving Nintendo game. The thing about F-Zero was that unlike other racing games, one of the challenges was just to survive the course. There were 100,000 ways to fall off the track or run out of energy if you were sober. The idea was that we would make a reverse-drinking game out of it. In most drinking games the loser has to chug, but in this case the winner would. That would make it easier for someone else to win next time and they would drink. By the end everyone is drunk and going two miles an hour try desperately not to veer off the track.

The entire game, though, requires that everyone drink. Hugh absolutely failed to understand this and kept trying to come up with ways that he could play (“I’ll drink Diet Coke instead!”). Dennis, meanwhile, accused us of rigging the rules just to exclude him. Karl said he would play and drink, but we were a bit cautious about serving him the first alcohol he’d ever had in his life when we didn’t know if a sober person would be there if he had a reaction. Unfortunately, drunken F-Zero was basically banned from the dorm because of all the ill-will. Dave, Clint, and I played it one New Years. I played it on a couple other occasions with a girl that I was sorta dating, though it wasn’t as fun with two people, and every now and again some of us would have access to the dorm when no one else was there and we’d play. The second Hugh came in, though, one of us would dart (stumble) to the TV and turn it off so he would think that we were just drinking rather than playing some sort of game that he would have to be left out of.

Of course, having non-drinkers can be awfully handy at times. Before he turned 21, Kyle was our constant designated driver. When he turned 21, he celebrated by we mourned.

Category: Ghostland, School

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8 Responses to Drinking With Teetotalers

  1. logtar says:

    I have only had a drinking game experience once, it was a poker game that I am not even sure I can remember the rules too… I ended up way too drunk. Not sure how much fun it was.

  2. Barry says:

    Until you said you were drinking beers, I was wondering exactly how many wine coolers you were planning to imbibe to get anything resembling drunk in your video…

    I like an occasional dacquiri (though I rarely ever feel any effect from them), and will drink a Tom Collins or Sloe Gin Fizz socially, but usually all I ever drink is a wine cooler. And that’s maybe once a week. Just one, maybe two. I can’t stand to even smell beer.. Gag.

    I was the designated driver/keep-everyone-out-of-trouble guy in college a lot, too. I told myself I just enjoyed watching everyone make fools out of themselves, too.

  3. Spungen says:

    I had a boyfriend for a while in college who never drank. He had a lot of assholic control tendencies — not macho, just snide and passive-aggressive. So it seemed to me that refusing to ever drink was just another way to be difficult.

    My former friend Myra (whom I used to call Bessie but then I realized you had a Bessie) made a big deal of being down on drinking. She said it was because she was Jewish but I know plenty of drinking Jews. I think it was more just that she wanted to claim the moral upper hand. She also liked to play innocent because she felt guys would value her more, so whenever she drank anything she had to be wheedled and coaxed and taken care of, and would make a big deal out of acting tipsy.

    One of the last straws in our relationship was when I had a wine and cheese party. (Spungen, trying to be classy.) She didn’t have to bring anything, but she chose to. She brought Peach Zinfandel, which she *knew* was not real wine, it was a cooler. We had had lengthy discussions about the topic. I figured, OK, fine, that’s what *she* wants to drink. But she *didn’t drink any.* It was like she was trying to rub her deliberate, false naivete in everyone’s face.

  4. trumwill says:

    She also liked to play innocent because she felt guys would value her more, so whenever she drank anything she had to be wheedled and coaxed and taken care of, and would make a big deal out of acting tipsy.

    That would have the opposite desired effect to me. Or at least the first part would. When Clancy first told me that she didn’t drink, I saw that as a real potential problem. Julie was anti-alcohol and until I corrupted her it was something of a problem (now I fear sometimes that she may veer towards borderline alcoholism). But Clancy, perhaps in an attempt to head off such fears, was quick to say that her views on alcohol were particular to her circumstances (namely the alcoholism that runs in her family. Having come from an alcoholicish family, that was something I could relate to.

    The whole feigning tipsiness would totally have worked on me, though. My first kiss after all was to a drunk girl that I was taking care of.

  5. trumwill says:

    Sorry for steeling the Bessie name. I had to actually look up where I used the name. I can change it to something else if you’d like to reclaim what is rightfully yours as she is not likely to become the ongoing character that Bessie/Myra is for you. Ironically, I used to have a Myra or Myla (can’t remember which), too, but I changed that one to “Laney” when I went back and changed all of the Quentons to Kyles (Kyle and Myra/Myla sounded a little goofy as roommates).

    I actually had to create a spreadsheet to start keeping names straight, how funny is that? 🙂

  6. Spungen says:

    No, Myra is better for my person. It sounds sort of shrill and old and asexual. Bessie I liked because it sounded like a cow, but it also sounds kind of innocent and sweet.

  7. Spungen says:

    I may have overplayed the role of the Peach Zinfandel. Just to make it clear, our relationship ended because she was a phony who sold me out to keep the social support of creepy guys she wouldn’t admit she found sexually repulsive. I never complained about the PZ, in fact I drank it later. But it seemed like one of many examples of her trying to play innocent at my expense.

  8. trumwill says:

    The last straw is very rarely the biggest. I figured that if the PZ really bothered you that it was just a flashpoint for much, much bigger issues. Sounds like there were quite a few of them.

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