British Colony Drinking

Americans are not able to drink at the level of fellow British colonies.  Fact.  An effect of its strict twenty one year old drinking age and fear of giving a child even a drop of alcohol.  I am a product of this poor situation.  My first drinking experience was in high school where I passed-out at a party because I did not understand the effects of what I was drinking and the time it took to go through my system.  In the years since I have realized the severe drawbacks of complete abstinence until hitting the drinking age.  American students that go to Mexico for Summer break, where the drinking age is eighteen, or their first year of University have many problems with alcohol.  I once worked  in Cancun during Spring Break as a Paramedic and it was unbelievable.  The amount of eighteen year old students with alcohol poisoning was astronomical.  Not to mention those passed out in the streets or of the number of sexual assaults.

Now I compare my drinking experience with that of my wife.  She is a Hungarian and like most Europeans is raised on, and with a respect, for alcohol.  She could have drinks as a child with her parents for birthdays, celebrations, and such.  She got to see how alcohol effected her body under the supervision of her parents.  So when she got of age and went to clubs she knew her limits.  She has never passed out or gotten obnoxiously drunk.  I see no ill effects from her being given drinks as a child and youth.  Granted that different people are affected differently.  Some will become alcoholics and some Europeans still get pissed and pass out.  But starting drinking young does not make you an alcoholic, and Europeans do not get pissed on the same level as Americans.  I do remember seeing lots of billboards and advertisements in New Zealand asking citizens not to drink so much, but I wonder if it was really that bad.  From personal experience they seemed to have fewer problems than Americans with booze, but granted that I did not meet every Kiwi and I do not know every American.  I can only go by what I have experienced.

Then there is tolerance.  Being an American makes it difficult to go out with citizens of other countries as American beer barely qualifies as carbonated water(Water with gas).  When I moved to New Zealand I had an impossible time going out to the pub.  There was no way I could drink at the rate they do.  For some reason it was quite embarrassing.  Then when I moved to Poland I got my hair set on fire in a pub(story to come), as I had to contend with vodka instead of beer.  And finally it all came to a head in Hungary when I met my arch-nemesis Palinka.  Just drinking with my in-laws and I blacked out for the only time in my life.  After living in Hungary for a few years I can now drink anyone I know in the USA under the table.  It is even possible to keep up with my Irish friend.  It took some time but I am now drinking at a Hungarian level.  I’m so proud.

People of the world, especially parents, please realize that your children will drink.  Take the time and teach them the effects of alcohol at home under your supervision so it does not take them by surprise in a strange and sometimes dangerous location.  It is truly the best way.  And America for your part lower your damn drinking age to join the rest of the world and don’t be so prude and strict about giving a child a taste.

The Best Night Out Ever

Location: Washington D.C.

Time: See title

I was about three weeks into the Washington D.C. Fire academy as a new hire firefighter.  Two of my fellow recruits decided to join me for a night out at a wonderful Irish pub.  Now let us get some facts straight.  Guys go out to pubs, bars and clubs for two reasons.  To get drunk and pick up chicks(or guys if that is your thing).  Girls on the other hand go out to network, be seen and flirted with, or just hang out.

So the three of us go out.  My name is David, and then there is Mark and Joe.  Mark and I have no problem talking to girls, but Joe is shy.  So we decide to work as a team and help Joe pick up a girl tonight.  No problem.  We spend the first hour or so chatting about work and drinking some nice beers.  None of of that watery garbage.  I’ve always been high class.  Newcastle at minimum.  Once the pub has filled up we start looking around.  Joe points out the object of his attraction and I move in for the kill.  I’ve always hated small talk and prefer off the wall conversations but the majority of the public disagrees with me so I stick to the usual script.  After five minutes we have a good but boring conversation going and I direct her over to where my friends are sitting and we join them.  So now the four of us are having a little chat.  Slowly Mark and I direct our attention away from the conversation and Joe and his mark begin a nice one on one.

beginnings

Fast forward a few hours.  Joe is still carrying on very well while Mark and I are getting quite worse for wear.  The pub is now a slow motion blur in my mind.  Our lady friend excuses herself for a moment and Joe leans over the table to tell us she will be going home with him.  “Excellent” we both say before going back to our glasses.

Our lady friend returns and a little conversation starts up.  I’m not sure what it is about mostly because somebody appears to have unkindly put cotton balls in my ears, but no matter.  I concentrate to the best of my ability and realize she is talking to me(after she lightly slapped me on the cheek).  I catch the words “Do you like guacamole?”  For some reason this set me off.  I reply clear as a bell “Hell no I don’t like guacamole”, reach over the table, and slap her in the face.  She quickly stands up, spilling her beer into her purse, and walks straight out the door.  Joe starts cracking up.  He says “You know what, I should be pissed at you right now, but that might have been the funniest thing I have ever seen.”

But I was not to escape that night events so easily.  The next day at the academy saw crawled across my locker in huge letters the words “Hell no I don’t like guacamole.”