Drunk of the Week

It had been a long week, and by Friday, several members of the Institute of Drinking Studies were looking forward to what would prove a cataclysmic night in the Vortex. As if reading our collective mood, Mother Nature had crowded the western skies with ominous thunderheads by the time JP collected me at home. While it would have been more appropriate to spend the evening building an ark, like most sinners we decided to live for the moment and brave the elements to join a birthday celebration at Forest Room 5 (2532 15th Street).

We at the Institute are big fans of the Highland area -- thank God that was our destination, or we might have been washed into the South Platte -- and plan on fully discussing our experiences there as soon as we are able to decipher our increasingly drunken scrawls scribbled on a traffic-violation envelope that I found in JP's truck. "I pay all my tickets online," he said. "I'm savvy that way."

That was pretty much the end of any savvy behavior. Our party was in the front room of the bar, draped across a couch behind a small table already crowded with dead soldiers. We pulled up stools and got down to serious business. With myself, JP and the Head of Instant Drunks all buying drinks, it took half an hour, max, to each get four or five beers on board. The Head of Instant Drunks was clearly making a bid for a new position; the more he drank, the more enlivened he became. At a point when previously he would have been leaning against a wall, out cold, he hung in there and made a run at becoming the Head of Sloppy Drunks. He would have gotten the title, too, if others weren't already in fierce competition.


2532 15th Street

We may soon have another vacancy, though, since we're considering action against JP. The birthday girl, a friend of his, revealed that he never drank during college, which means that his seemingly vast experience in the art of regretting the night before was gained over just seven years. (His defense is that he's making up for lost time; the executive council is taking this under consideration.) This stunning revelation silenced our group, slowing our rate of consumption for upwards of ten seconds.

More astounding to some people (the women) was that many (meaning "all") of the guys in our group were unable to complete a sentence or continue such vital bodily functions as breathing any time a well-displayed bosom strolled by, as it did when a blond bombshell wearing an extremely low-cut top came into Forest Room 5. We at the Institute can only conclude that many women have never walked by a magazine rack (rim shot!) and noted the parade of breasts on guy magazines like Playboy, Maxim and the New Yorker; we're even held accountable for the covers of Cosmo, Vogue and Ladies' Home Journal. Breasts are everywhere. Still, the women were disgusted by our behavior and made the mistake of trying to get us to explain it.

One theory holds that men who were breast-fed remain obsessed with breasts. But while the Institute agrees that any child old enough to ask for a feeding is destined to be a serial killer or airline employee, we also recognize that once puberty hits, it is natural for a guy to seek out breasts like a Sidewinder missile. Another theory suggests that men who weren't breast-fed feel a void in their lives that they constantly seek to fill, which would make sense but for the large number of breast-fed guys. "I was breast-fed," JP pointed out, "but they still soothe me now."

Between the beer and the breasts, we forgot about food, even though Forest Room 5 offers a major array of tapas (translation: what snotty people call "appetizers") and paella that smelled fantastic. Instead, we spent most of the night wandering into bosoms and their attached women in the large back room with its big-screen TV, and in a cozy side room that probably could hold forty people -- or even eighty with questionable morals. (Due to the inclement weather, we never got to sit on the patio.)

All told, the night was worthy of your favorite, most socially unacceptable beer commercial (the only true use for mass-produced American "beer"), and we didn't exit the Vortex until well into Sunday. We heartily endorse Forest Room 5 as shelter from any storm: With its good crowd of women, any guy might feel the need to get in touch with his inner child.


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