Issue #77 – “The War on Alcohol” – October 24th, 2005

-The past century’s epidemics, revolutions, and catastrophes have, in most instances, demonstrated the resilience of the human spirit.  This refusal to give up is evidenced throughout our great nation.  For instance, in recent years, Cornell University’s annual sloshfest known as Slope Day has been significantly curtailed.  Outside liquor is no longer allowed and purchasing beer at the event is a deliberate pain in the ass.  In response, the students have taken to sneaking onto the slope under the cover of nightfall and burying booze deep in the ground and in sewers.  A few days later, they return for Slope Day and clandestinely excavate (then chug) the contraband.  This will likely escalate to the school lining the slope with land mines, at which point the students will probably resort to dropping bottles of Jack tethered to miniature parachutes from model airplanes flying overhead.  In my travels across the country, I’ve learned that the human spirit to get wasted cannot be defeated.  High school proms may be canceled, frat rows may be turned into ghost towns, and bars may close early, but someway, somehow, somewhere, we will get fucked up anyway.  America is vainly fighting a battle it cannot win – the war on alcohol.

-The principal of a high school near my hometown on Long Island canceled this year’s prom in part because last year’s seniors attempted to rent a ridiculous, $20,000 house in the Hamptons for a post-prom blowout.  There’s talk, of course, of putting on the prom anyway, without involving that pesky principal at all.  There’s also talk of renaming the school “Best High School Ever!”

-Whenever I perform on campus, I always take notice of how many frat houses are boarded up or converted into other buildings.  Unfortunately, the number is steadily creeping up.  I was never quite sure what throwing a frat off campus was supposed to accomplish.  Perhaps scare the shit out of the new tenants?  Even my frat house at Penn is now temporarily a dorm.  To whoever is living in Room 16 – those handcuffs were chained to the radiator when I got there, I swear.

-Here in Los Angeles, the bars close at 2am, with last call at 1:30.  Now I know I’m new here, so I don’t want to complain too much…but I can’t understand how anyone would ever voluntarily live in a city with such a system.  I just moved from New York where the bars are open until 4am.  There’s plenty of time to eat, nap, shower, pre-game, go out, meet chicks, get home, and throw up.  Plus, everyone knows that 2:30 – 3:30am is magic hour – when women are most agreeable to my inappropriate advances.  In LA, everything is condensed – magic hour starts at about 11:15pm.  In other words, while I’m in LA trying to take a girl home, my buddies in New York, even with the time difference, aren’t even drunk enough to talk to one yet.

-If anything is going to stop us from getting hammered all the time, it’s not going to be our principal or college or government.  It’s gonna be that guy with the downstairs bathroom that always gets all fucked up when you have a party.  I always feel bad for downstairs bathroom guy as I’m pissing on his toilet seat and rifling through his year-old copies of FHM.  Strangely enough, though, the next morning I forget all about him.

-In the end, the war on alcohol will never be won because there’s too much to gain from booze.  The beer companies make money.  Sports teams get sponsored by beer companies.  And I watch sports while drinking beer, then boot in the parking lot on a patch of grass that, now fertilized, will eventually grow up to be a tree.  So to me, what the principal of that high school is basically saying is, “Trees are bad.”  And, frankly, I won’t stand for that.

-OK, I’ve got a great drinking game for you guys.  This week, watch “I Love the 80s 3-D” on VH1.  Every time you see me make a joke, you take a shot.  I can’t promise how drunk you’ll get, though.  I did my best to make witty comments about the 80s, but then again, I was born in 1979.  If that’s not enough Karo fix for you, you can always pick up Penthouse magazine, which is now running my new advice column.  And yes, guys, I know – now you have an excuse to buy Penthouse.  Nice try, but my dad already used that joke.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-I’m excited for my first Halloween in LA.  My costume is my old high school soccer jersey.  If I hook up, I’m gonna keep the jersey on.  I’d like to score at least once while wearing that thing.

-I realized two things while watching the Yankees play the Angels in the playoffs this year.  One, A-Rod is a fucking choke artist.  And two, in my mind at least, I’m still very much living in New York.  After one of the games, my friend asked me why I wasn’t going out.  I was like, “Didn’t you see the game?  It’s rainy and disgusting.”  He was like, “Dude, the Yankees were home.”

-What is it about barbers that makes them beyond reproach?  Whenever I see myself getting butchered in the mirror, I can’t bring myself to say anything.  I share my deepest thoughts with the entire world in this column.  Yet I have a problem telling some guy with a thumb ring that my sideburns are crooked.

-I had this photo shoot recently and the stylist straightened my hair with some sort of device he called a straightening iron.  I couldn’t get over how it looked.  I mean, I’ve had curly Brillo pad hair my whole life.  When the shoot was over, the stylist was like, you know, you could do this yourself, it only takes like five minutes.  I was like, let’s not get carried away, chief.  Once you’re plugging something into a socket, you’ve already more than bypassed my threshold for hair care.  I draw the line at gel.

-This summer, I experienced a seminal moment in the life of a twentysomething male.  I discovered my first gray hair, nestled in my right sideburn.  I actually recorded the date in my Palm Pilot – August 18th, 2005.  Thankfully, there haven’t been any more gray sightings since then.  Then again, thanks to my last visit to the barber, I don’t have a right sideburn anymore either.

-It took a little while, but I finally figured out how to order everything I need in LA online – that way I can avoid speaking to humans, which I hate.  Sometimes I’ll go weeks without seeing anyone except deliverymen.  In fact, I bet them all on the Yankees/Angels series, which turned out to be a big mistake.  Not because I lost, but because I don’t like the feeling of knowing I owe the FedEx guy money.  I feel like if he comes to deliver something and I’m not home, he’s gonna think I’m avoiding paying up.  I can only imagine the day when I open up a package from and find a 12-pack of Charmin and a severed horse’s head.

-And, finally, I will admit my fight against the war on alcohol is taking its toll on my body.  First, there was the gray hair.  Then, I threw up from drinking for the very first time since moving to LA (pretty good color, but didn’t get great distance on it).  Finally, a few weeks ago, I had to change planes in Cleveland on my way home from a gig when I found myself too hungover to walk another step.  Luckily, I flagged down one of those carts with the flashing lights and the guy drove me to my gate.  Next thing I knew, I was landing in LAX.  I awoke with a startle, looked at my watch, and then slumped back in my seat.  I had flown backward through four time zones yet still missed magic hour.  Fuck me.