“Care for a cocktail?”
How many times do you hear someone accepting an offer for an adult beverage by claiming,
“It’s 5:00 p.m. somewhere.”
As if there is some arbitrarily acceptable alcohol tipple time.
Well, over the years, I have come up with my own personal schedule as to when it is time to let the good times roll.
Back in the day, when I lived up closer to the backwoods and drove an old Ford pick-up truck, replete with the requisite gun rack mounted on the back window, it was pretty much de rigueur to pack a six-pack on hunting and fishing trips, and for those really early morning, sub-freezing conditions, a flask of 100-proof Rumplemintz (schnapps).
Hell, it might barely be 5:00 A.M. by the time we were warming ourselves…from the inside.
Walking around the woods with a loaded weapon after a few belts of booze…what could go wrong?
Years later, when I found myself a lot closer to San Francisco than Woodsy Owl, I discovered what Coach Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) typified as “Early Drinking.”
That’s part of what is becoming a rabid fan of English Premier League football (soccer), and by “rabid fan,” I mean be willing to get up at 4 a.m. to watch a game live.
I have spent many an early morning at Maggie McGarry’s pub trying to decide between a warming Irish Coffee, or a chilled glass of Magner’s cider, or a frothy mug of Guinness.
And, by “decide” I don’t necessarily mean which one, but rather, which one first.
“Oo To, Oo To Be, Oo To Be A Gooner.”
As I am a real opponent of driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs…or texting, thank goodness I get to sleep it off on BART on my way back home.
Let’s see, where else have I found a lame excuse, I mean weak rationalization, I mean plausible deniability of good judgment in early A.M. imbibing?
O.K. I have no fear of flying—as what good would THAT do—but, as oft mentioned in this space, I have been known to enjoy an early morning airport Bloody Mary, while waiting for a flight.
(Hey, I don’t even ask for a double; the bar at SMF just pours them that way. Oh darn.)
What harm could that do? I have no position of responsibility for the safety of a massive flying transport containing hundreds of humans.
Or do I?
On a recent flight to Maui, I opted to pay for an exit row seat, primarily for the extra legroom. I have this personal preference to not having my knees scrunched up into my chest for any flight lasting over five hours.
What I did not initially realize, was that the upgrade came with another perq (which, given my C.V., you’d think I would have noticed immediately):
So, in one moment, I am sternly told of my stated obligation to the safety of my fellow passengers, which they require a verbal acknowledgement and acceptance of responsibility, and then almost in the next,
“Would you like an alcoholic beverage, say a shot of straight whiskey?”
And, as it happens, on a five-hour flight, they make multiple passes down the aisle with the drink cart, bless their hard work.
“Why yes, since you offered…I will take another.”
I thought that was more than generous, but wait…there’s more.
As we approached the Magic Isle of Maui, lo and behold, EVERYONE on the plane was offered a Mai Tai.
“Wait, what…ANOTHER drink?!?”
Hey, don’t worry. In the one-in-a-gazillion chance they call on me, I guarantee I’ll be the first one to open the door and lead you to safety.
I was once in the back seat of a helicopter where smoke came billowing into the cabin as we were getting ready to take off. As soon as the co-pilot turned to the back seat and motioned to exit, I was quick to open the rear door and the first to get out.
The “funny” thing was, I wasn’t even the passenger sitting next to the door.
(This is an absolutely true story.)
So, in the case of an emergency, just follow my footprints on the guy’s lap who was sitting next to me.
You think a drink, or two, or even three will slow me down…think again.