So this morning, a friend of mine got a phone call from a guy he was drinking with the night before, “Hey man, #@$% is in jail, and I think my car got stolen.” My first reaction to this information is the grunt in me giving the thumbs up for an obviously successful night of drinking. I mean you literally hit every check in the book for an excellent night filled with blurry drunken stories that are guaranteed to make the listeners pee their pants from laughing so hard. On the other hand its a side effect of what has recently been called by our little group as going to the dark side.
The dark side is the moment when you have that one more beer and you either slip into your grumpy suit or go absolutely crazy. Its a dangerous thing with us veterans, going to the dark-side that is. We get there in a mili-second and will stay there all night. We are beyond reason or being consoled we just get mad at the world, at least I do. Others seem to lose all sense of reality, not to mention dignity. We fall into this common pit fall filled with nasty punji sticks, in the pursuit of a good time. I have noticed that as a group we have started to watch and wait for the dark side and the dark places to come out.
We as a group have learned the warning flares and air raid sirens that start to go off when one of us is drifting to close to the flame or drowning something in their beer. I often wander if its just the alcohol talking, or is it because of the alcohol that we are talking, or is it something else like too much testosterone or unresolved anger and daddy issues. Who knows, I will tell you its fun to watch when someone goes nuts. Its great to see just how high on life someone can get, with the added booster rocket of a shot a jack. The problem though is when it gets grim, or they want to fight, or they want to make someone else feel their pain. It gets darkest just before it goes pitch @#$%ing black as one of my friends so eloquently put it. Thats when the bail-out and pull-up procedures must start.
The Task of being the bail-out master, is one that requires and interesting split of skills, you have to be firm, but diplomatic, obvious but not offensive, helpful but not baby a grown man. Its a heck of a trick with a dog and pony show thrown in for fun. First step, diffuse time bomb or fist-fight in progress. Second step WATER is your friend, you can lead a drunk joe to water and you sure as hell can hold his head under it until he chokes some H2O down. Third Step, if in public, remove thy-self before the local law gets upset with your just slightly intoxicated friend makes a big enough scene to attract their love and affection. This takes some talent, removing a guy from a bar, that doesn’t want to go, its not fun. I find that lies are the best policy at this point. “Bro you totally could have kicked all 50 of those dudes asses all by yourself, however I think they called the cops and we should pop smoke.” Its a lie within a lie and in his drunken state there is no way he will notice the second one, because he believed the first one. Another option, is the opposite sex, get a girl to help or a guy if its a drunken female vet. Have them act like they want to leave with us, then they can bail, the drunk one won’t even notice.
If they are adamant about not leaving and that they want to drive, first you try a trick, ” Hey bro have you seen that thing on the news about if your key has three bumps on its a defect and you need to stop driving immediately, cause you have like a 20,000 dollar law suit on your hands,” the more details the better. Old boy will whip out his keys flip to his ignition key, and thats when you snag that thing like grass-hopper stealing a pebble from the master’s palm. If that doesn’t work, resorting to physical violence to stop someone from driving drunk, seems perfectly logical to me.
But what we have discussed this far, is how to evacuate a drunken nut job. How about how not to fall into your own pitfall? Oh the lost art of maintaining a buzz. We drink too hard, too fast, like we were still 18 and living in the B’s. Find your buzz, moderate with time and water. Eat something before you start and eat during if you out say I dunno… tail-gating. Make sure to put yourself and your buds in a prik-free zone that helps to stop someone from wanting to hurt people. We drink, its like the military’s favorite past-time. Maybe we should just practice a bit of control, believe me this is aimed just as much at me as everybody else. BEWARE THE DARK SIDE, the punji sticks and handcuffs hurt.