Issue #193 – “Proof of Life” – September 19th, 2011

-I recently had to explain to a buddy that the “proof” listed on a bottle of liquor is just double the percentage of alcohol. So if vodka is 80 proof, that means it’s 40% alcohol. He reacted like I’d just unlocked one of life’s great mysteries (though, to be fair, he was pretty wasted at the time). It is amazing to me, though, that for a generation that gets as fucked up as ours does, we’re still so clueless about drinking culture and etiquette. I know most of you only have a handful of brain cells remaining, so let’s make this count.

-The bottle opener on the bottom of your flip-flop is a conversation piece only. If I need to crack open a beer, under no circumstances is it appropriate for you to hand me your shoe. I mean, you just stepped on a used condom in the parking lot.

-Chasing a disgusting shot with a slightly less disgusting shot does not work. If the SoCo lime you just ripped isn’t sitting well, don’t follow it with tequila. Be smart and have a beer or sneak to the bathroom and pull the trigger.

-If you’ve confided in me, and then weeks or even months later we’re in a bar and run into the person the secret is about, don’t remind me not to say anything. I had already forgotten the whole story. But now I’m drunk and it’s the only thing I can think about.

-One of my buddies broke with tradition by having beer and wine but not hard liquor at his rehearsal dinner. He explained to the guests that some of his high school friends have a tendency to hit the bottle too hard and he didn’t want the party to get of hand. To a man, everyone turned and looked at me. I tried to shrug sheepishly but didn’t want to spill the chardonnay I was double-fisting.

-On a similar note, if you invite me to your wedding but I’m not a groomsman, my obligations end at the bachelor party. I will not send you pictures for the slideshow or help hoist you up on a chair. A groom once asked me at his reception, “Karo, why aren’t you dancing?” I handed him my gift, said “My work here is done,” and hit the bar hard.

-I was recently introduced to the “Flabongo” at a barbecue. It’s a beer bong in the shape of a flamingo. It’s a classic lose/lose/lose situation. If you’re offered a Flabongo and pass, you’re a pussy. If you accept the Flabongo and can’t chug it, you’re a pussy. And if you accept and succeed, well, you just fucking funneled a beer out of a pink lawn ornament.

-A friend of mine works for this clothing company Hugh Simms. He sent me a free tie. I don’t know why he sent me a tie, because he knows I have a “weddings and funerals” policy – I will only wear a tie at a wedding or a funeral. So I’m always unhappy wearing a tie. Anyway, the other night I’m going to a party and I decide to class it up by throwing on the tie. Whatever. Halfway through the night, I’m absent-mindedly scratching my beer gut when I feel something strange. I look at the smaller end of the tie – and there’s a fucking miniature bottle opener attached inside! It’s the convenience of a portable opener without the tuberculosis on the bottom of a flip-flop! I can’t wait for my next funeral…

-Of course, the most universal principle of drinking is that if you’re invited to a party, you should bring some beer. I had some people over my place in May and, for whatever reason, everyone drank way less than they brought. I was left with literally an entire fridge full of booze. I mean, I could barely shut the door. I’ve spent the entire summer slowly drinking my way through it. Entire shelves have been liberated but there are still pockets of cans holed up in the fresh produce drawer. It’s like the Libya of light beer.

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

-Halloween comes way too early these days. I can’t believe October 31st is on a Monday this year. In September.

-The gridlock in LA is so bad that honking has lost all meaning. I have no idea where the honks are coming from or who they’re even directed at. Are you honking at the pedestrian in the crosswalk or at me for stopping for her? Because at this point I’ll run her over just to be safe.

-It cannot be a coincidence that two of my best friends – one in New York and one in San Francisco – have cats. They know I’m allergic to cats and that owning a cat means I can never crash at their places ever again. I mean, jeez, there’s gotta be easier ways to keep me from the hard liquor.

-At another barbecue this summer, someone offered me a jalapeno stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon. I love all of those things – especially combined – but a whole jalapeno pepper is not a party snack. That’s something to be enjoyed at home, alone, with no chance of human contact for a few hours.

-Being told upon checkout that a store doesn’t take American Express is doubly annoying because my only non-Amex card is a debit card. So instead of forgetting about the charge until it shows up on my statement in two months, it’s being sucked instantly from my account. It’s like paying cash whereas otherwise it was basically free.

-If you have a side view mirror protruding from your bike helmet, please use said mirror to locate your fucking balls.

-And, finally, a few months ago I was at this exclusive club in West Hollywood when I noticed a second doorman inside, guarding the entrance to the kitchen. He was only letting people who had special bracelets – and were therefore somehow better than me – go past. I had no idea what was back there and became obsessed with finding out. But no matter how much I tried, I could not finagle a stupid bracelet. One night, I came home from the club drunk, frustrated, and alone, and did the one thing that everyone always says they’re gonna do, but never actually does: I bought every single color bracelet they make on eBay. Seriously. The next weekend, I headed to the club with all the bracelets in my pocket, figured out which color they were using that night, slipped it on, and marched right past the second bouncer. I strolled through the kitchen…and into an entire hidden VIP club on the other side. Stunned, I spotted this super hot chick that I sorta kinda know and approached her. “Hey!” I said. “This is crazy, I didn’t even know there was a back.” “Really?” she replied, flipping her hair. “I didn’t even know there was a front.” Fuck me!