I used to love beer.
As a chaser.
See, I was hardcore.
I didn’t drink alcohol to appreciate the centuries of unparalleled craftsmanship, nor the age-old traditions that spawned legendary concoctions throughout history.
I drank to get fucked up.
Not to be sociable; I’m already sociable.
Not to be funny; I’m already hilarious.
I didn’t leave the liquor store without a bottle of some kind to serve as the main entrée for the beer to lubricate.
I once tried to set a world record (or so I claimed) by consuming 24-12oz. cans of Coors beer. I had even talked a local newspaper reporter into coming out to my house believing it was a legitimate news story.
Once he saw that I was only seventeen and already drunk as hell, he loaded up his camera and skedaddled.
I actually made it quite smoothly through the first ten cans. I thought I might have a shot at the record.
I got through eighteen and one ill-fated last gulp of the nineteenth before I started spewing like Vesuvius.
It was not pretty.
The first beer I started on (weaned on?) was Budweiser because my Grandpa, Dad, and all my uncles all drank it and would sneak me sips (“snorts”) when Mom wasn’t watching.
I was three.
I remember the very first alcohol I drank was my parents’ Cherry Brandy from the liquor cabinet.
I was five.
When I was seven, my brother would take me along with him when he went to the whorehouses in Japan. While he was occupied, I would sit amongst all the pretty perfumed women who would spoil me rotten. They gave me sake and beer and showered me with kisses.
No wonder I turned out this way.
In Europe, in my training as a gourmet French Chef, I earned a certificate as a sommelier, but retired without ever using it.
And did I drink a lot of different wines throughout the two-years of classes and travelling.
Now that I only have one leg, and I stopped drinking alcohol, sommelier is probably the last job I would want.
The Domestic Despot can pound some beers, let me tell you. It was a nightly ritual with her and I, but I was also drinking whiskey back then.
Lots of whiskey.
The very most I ever drank without waking up incarcerated was when I was a GM for a restaurant and a fellow manager, and my golf buddy Paul, came over one night with a quart of Stolichnaya vodka.
Now, I was 6’1” and about 230 pounds while Paul was about five foot 5 inches and maybe 125 pounds soaking wet.
Like they say, don’t let the glasses fool you.
Paul was one tough little dude. He was an ex-Navy submarine captain and he matched me shot for shot, through sixteen rounds.
We killed the entire bottle.
Paul went to the bathroom, got sick, slicked his hair back with water, and went to work.
He was working the opening breakfast shift for his restaurant.