Issue #95 – “Don’t Be Dumb” – September 12th, 2006

-Each year, there are a handful of occasions where I know ahead of time that I’m going to get drunker than usual.  These bloodbaths typically include my birthday and New Year’s Eve, as well as a few wild cards such as weddings, Yankees playoff games, and any instances of daytime drinking.  Before these events, it has become a tradition of mine to write the acronym “DBD” in black Sharpie on the back of my left hand.  This is meant to remind me during moments of severe inebriation not to say or do anything stupid.  In a sense, though, DBD is more than just a personal admonition – it’s a universal caveat for all those who believe that your twentysomething years should be a cherished time.  A time spent finding yourself.  Drunk.  And in the beds of strangers.  So the next time you go on a celebratory bender or just need to blow off some steam at an open bar, remember these words: “Don’t Be Dumb.”

-Sometimes, you just can’t help being dumb.  At my friend Christina’s wedding a few weeks ago, she had a clambake in lieu of a traditional rehearsal dinner.  Oysters and lobsters as far as the eye could see.  Unfortunately, I’m allergic to shellfish.  A dozen glasses of Pinot on an empty stomach later, Chris asked me to make a toast.  I grabbed the mic and, about halfway through, accidentally dropped an F-bomb on the crowd.  Little did I realize in my state of drunken euphoria that wedding speeches are actually not supposed to make babies cry and guests walk out.

-Sometimes, barriers are put in place ahead of time to prevent dumbness.  Chief among them is the policy of many resorts and hotels to keep the pool closed from dusk until about 8am.  I can’t tell you how many times while on vacation I’ve returned from a club with a bunch of people (or just one girl) and vainly attempted – while fully-clothed and shitblasted – to get in to the pool area and engage in what surely would have resulted in aquatic disaster.  The last time this occurred was my buddy Brian’s bachelor party in Vegas, and I responded by taking my dumbness elsewhere.  Stymied at the pool gate, I promptly turned around, stumbled to the roulette wheel in the casino, threw my cell phone down, and loudly announced I was betting it on red.  That’s when Triplet #1 turned to me and said, “Karo, you’re standing at a blackjack table.”

-Of course, I’m not the only dumb one.  For example, there’s Triplet #2, who once blacked out on the hallway floor right in front of his apartment.  When I asked him the next morning if he’d lost his keys or been locked out, he simply shrugged bewilderedly and said, “No.”  Or my buddy Claudio, who had a few too many Captain and Cokes and referred to the girl he was dating for only a few weeks as his girlfriend – right in front of her.  Claud didn’t remember what happened and she never said anything about it, so he just never brought it up ever again.  And then there’s Ex-Girlfriend, the girl I dated seriously for a year and a half until last summer.  A few months ago, she got slamhammered, then texted me to ask if I looked at other girls when we dated since her current boyfriend has a wandering eye.  Which would have been fine had her drunken text message not been the first time she ever mentioned to me she had a new boyfriend in the first place.

-I wouldn’t say I’m a bad drunk, just an inefficient one.  I tend to lose all short-term memory.  One night, my buddy Chi called me sixteen times to tell me where to meet him, but by the time each call ended and I put the phone in my pocket, I had forgotten the address.  Chi also likes to say that I’m a terrible person to tell your secrets to because I get drunk and reveal them.  But technically that’s not really true.  I usually get drunk and reveal my own secrets, which is actually worse.  I think there’s hope, though, for those of us who can’t even follow the simple advice written on the back of our hands.  Last month, when Brian called me hours before he was to be married and told me he was hungover, I took solace.  If he can be that dumb the night before his wedding, we all get a free pass to hit the pool at 6am whenever we want.

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

-Have you ever been to a swanky club in the middle of the day when the lights are on and seen how disgusting it actually is?

-I recently spoke to my old boss from my Wall Street days.  He told me how his three-year-old daughter has learned to rip the bathmat from the shower, and throw it over the toilet to give her better traction when trying to climb up on it.  She also figured out how to pull the kitchen drawers halfway out and use them as makeshift steps to climb in to the fridge.  I was like, that’s not a toddler, that’s a velociraptor.

-I think hitting on a girl when I’m drunk but she’s sober is like trying to beat a team in football when they have your playbook.

-When I moved in to my new apartment, I bought a set of dishes and silverware that came with four of each piece.  A few days ago, I emptied my dishwasher and realized I only had two forks.  I turned my kitchen upside down but couldn’t find the other two.  Sure, they could have fallen behind the counter or been thrown out.  But losing one fork is an accident.  Two forks is a conspiracy.

-I’m always dumbfounded when in the movies one guy asks another guy if he’d like a drink, and then just pours him some generic brown liquor in to a glass with ice cubes.  And the other guy drinks it, no questions asked.  At what age do all men receive a memo declaring that they must accept and enjoy any brown liquor handed to them?  If a buddy asks me if I’d like a drink, that’s one instance where answering a question with a question is OK – that question being, “Well, what do you have?”

-My labor union, the Writers Guild, recently sent a postcard to my new address, asking me to confirm that the address was correct.  However, if the address is incorrect, the card states, please call to update it.  I’m not sure if I want my pension handled by people who don’t realize that if the postcard was sent to the wrong address, I’d never have received it in the first place.

-And, finally, I think that we all go through a series of drinking phases.  First we’re downing anything we can steal from our parents’ liquor cabinets or pound in the local park.  In college, we develop a taste for cheap beer, vodka in a plastic bottle, and liquor with gold flakes or cinnamon chunks floating in it.  After college, we become somewhat more refined (I don’t remember much of 2002 owing to a torrid love affair with dirty martinis), then more picky (these days, I pretty much only drink Goose on the rocks), until finally we’re older, more mature, and drinking generic brown liquor while rocking fedoras (or at least that’s what they seem to do in the movies).  But no matter what I imbibe to excess, the worst feeling in the world is still having someone say to me ominously, “Karo, you were wasted last night.  Do you remember what you did?”  And I think and I think, but I just can’t remember.  I glance at the “DBD” scrawled on my hand, then back up at my friend, who merely shakes his head and says, “Yeah, that shit didn’t work.”  Fuck me!