Drunk of the Week

We here at the Institute of Drinking Studies are nothing if not conscientious. We advocate strict rules that govern the planning and execution of a night out, guaranteeing a successful recovery sometime the following week. For example, you must carefully choose venue, transportation, food intake, poison of choice, whom you end up with for the evening, and the time to slam that glass of water and fifty Motrin. When these issues are properly addressed, the result will be a night that others will remember for you for the rest of your life.

We recently enjoyed one of those nights at the Minturn Saloon (846 Broadway). I'd finally armed myself -- after several return trips to my apartment for keys, ID, underwear, etc. -- when I was struck by a thunderbolt. I immediately called Chris, the only female displaying enough lack of judgment to not only join us for the evening, but to already be at the bar, and asked: "Is this a cab kind of night?"

After repeating my question to the ongoing riot, I heard one of the guys yell, "I took a cab!"

Needing no more empirical evidence, I dialed a bunch of 7s in accordance with the first rule of a social evening: Don't be the only person with a car, because you may wind up driving drunken cretins all over town at the end of the night while they give you wet willies and jab different parts of your anatomy.

Having ensured my place as one of the cretins, I hustled to the Minturn and located the rest of the party perched on the rooftop patio. Playing quick catch-up with several superb margaritas and passable enchiladas, I soon joined them in breaking several drinking rules.

While still sober, you should always scout your environs for such key features as bathrooms, spider holes concealing Viet Cong, the actual bar and stairs and/or elevators. The Minturn may have the slowest elevator in Western civilization, so JP and I didn't use it in our journeys to the john, because the result would have been a major urologic disaster -- but it would have been nice not to have tripped on every other stair on the way back up to the roof. Of course, we could have avoided this if we'd done the requisite scouting and located the men's room just inside the patio door.

Another rule advises keeping women away from serious drinking expeditions, because they'll swear off men forever, be institutionalized or tell every other woman they come across what an unmitigated misogynist you are (whatever the hell that means). Chris had to endure hours of blather about how big our hands and feet were and how we hope to stave off any meaningful relationship as long as possible. One of the guys, for instance, has been dating a woman for seven years. But she lives overseas, so it's really only three and a half years. Factor in sleep, work and time drunk together, and the true time is six months. As my hero said, "We're really just in the 'getting to know you' phase of the relationship."

The only rule we didn't break concerned cell-phone use: We kept our cells secured at all times. If you go out drinking with friends -- who, in my case, already are well on their way to a deeper pit of hell than Dante ever imagined (I often ask myself, "Where am I going? And why am I carrying this handbasket?") -- you need to guard your phone like it holds the launch codes for all the ICBMs in the U.S. Losing control of your phone and its attached phone book can be the social equivalent of being bombed back into the Stone Age. In the past, "friends" have called my mother; every ex-girlfriend I've ever had to tell them what a mistake I made breaking up with them; and every other female who appears in the listings -- who could be someone you're trying to convince that you walk upright or the secretary at your place of employment, who won't appreciate getting a highly suggestive message regarding the copying machine and compromising, if not physically impossible, positions. Once relieved of your phone, your only recourse is to find the "Mom" entry on the offending party's phone and leave a message that you're at her son's bachelor party for a wedding the next day to a woman he met that night.

To my knowledge, none of us drunk-dialed anyone, either. This frowned-upon, under-the-influence activity involves calling every ex-girlfriend you ever had to tell them what a mistake you made breaking up with them -- then forgetting all about it until the next day, when they call back and your brain explodes from simultaneously trying to extricate yourself from the situation and recall who you're talking to.

Despite some bending of the rules, we here at the Institute certainly recommend the Minturn as a great place to catch up with friends you haven't seen in a while, swap a man hug (two quick slaps on the back) and trade some lies and bad advice. Perhaps the elevator will be a little faster for you. If not, just remember to look to your right as you leave the patio.

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Patrick Osborn

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