Alcohol: An American Contribution

Ladies and gentlemen, guys and gals, lushes, drunks and everyone called anything that means the same damn thing – HAPPY ALCOHOL APPRECIATION WEEK! 

How often do we get a chance to raise our glasses and drink without guilt or shame in honor of the booze that makes us feel the way we should feel sans alcohol?  Not often enough!  Well now is the time to gather our most tainted, disruptive, uncontrollable friends, who each have no self control or sense of moderation and pay tribute to the substance that lands most unexpected nerds, losers and zeroes in bed with those folks who are clearly out of their league. 

Dating back to the early 1400s, man has had an unorthodox appreciation for alcohol.  On his voyage to the New World in the 15th century, Christopher Columbus brought with him a bottle of Sherry.  After writing and signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the founding fathers toasted the signing of the document with Madeira wine.  

If we are able, and in most places around the country, required to celebrate our forefathers for their contributions to our American history, then so shall we celebrate their choice of recreation of downing the liberties that gives this great country its uninhibited spirit.

How can alcohol be all bad if it’s contributed so much to the celebration of the New World?  It’s even a part of our great educational system – history, recess and science.  Let’s kick some knowledge a bit on alcohol and learn before we are too wasted to remember.  In chemistry, an alcohol is any organic compound in which a hydroxyl functional group (-OH) is bound to a carbon atom, usually connected to other carbon or hydrogen atoms.  An important class are the simple acyclic alcohols, the general formula for which is CnH2n+1OH.  Of those, ethanol (C2H5OH) is the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, and in common speech the word alcohol refers specifically to ethanol.  However, because most people are too f*cked up to remember the scientific formulas for the euphoric enhancing product or not bright enough to grasp the concept of what they’ve just read a few sentences ago…ALCOHOL IS GOOD BEFORE THINGS GO BAD.

Everyone does it.  Some religions drink it for their communions and remembrance of God.  Doctors drink it before a surgical procedure.  They figure if there’s a strong chance of getting sued for malpractice, why not go all out and get blasted before sticking any needles anywhere?  Dentists make you gurgle mouthwash, which is saturated with alcohol, before sticking a gigantic drill in your mouth to tackle bad breath and cavities.  In other words, they get you drunk so you can’t feel the pain or hear the screams of the other patients sitting in any chairs or rooms next to you.

People get wasted after work, before work and sometimes even during work – and no, I’m not referring to office parties.  More folks than a few have a couple of gin & tonics for their lunch.  Some feel it’s a guaranteed effort of getting through the day without beating the living day lights out of any fellow coworkers.  Some feel it will help them concentrate on not banging their heads against the wall during long and boring meetings.  Those folks however are considered alcoholics.  They have no self control and usually can not wait until they’ve gotten home, kicked off their shoes, fed the cat and thrown themselves across the couch to belligerently go into couch potato mode — you know, like normal people do.  Even after a hard day of fighting crime and using his ex-ray vision to peek beyond the fabrics of women’s Victoria’s Secrets, Superman comes home and unwinds to a bottle of 80 proof of something or other.  And seriously, there’s no greater American hero than Superman, unless Captain America comes to your mind, and even he probably hit the bottle a few times before or after facing any of those great world war battles.

In a recent study, more than 54% of the children surveyed had tried alcohol by the time they reached eighth grade, which goes to show you that booze is even growing in the adolescent community.  Sure, it may be bad now, but those young lushes in training will have something to look forward to once they’ve hit the irresponsible ages of 18 and 21, because really, who waits until they’re 21 to chug-a-lug?   Some parents even douse their fingertips in a glass of whiskey for their babies to lick on to settle them down from whining and crying.  It’s better than teaching them to smoke.  Smoking is bad for your lungs.  If your parents are your greatest influence(s), then you probably have them to thank for your dire need of alcoholic consumption, endless breathalyzer tests and countless DUI’s.  One thing’s for damn sure; if you have a police record for being under the influence, you are anything but boring and everyone will want you to be the life of their party.  Not to mention, every party needs a fall guy when the police comes knocking at the door!

Alcohol is and has been a great part of our universal culture.  It’s been used by people around the world – in the standard diet, for hygienic/medical reasons, for its relaxant and euphoric effects, for recreational purposes, for artistic inspiration, as aphrodisiacs, and for many other reasons. In a nut shell, it’s time to wobble our drunk asses over to the bar and order another round!  So what if vomiting is imminent?   That’s our body’s way of making room for more!  Nobody likes a quitter.  And all it takes is a little effort not to quit partying like a true rock star!  After all, 90% of any effort is getting started.

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Quote of the week:    “Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker.” 

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