Let me tell you a totally true story, in which I haven’t even changed any names to protect the guilty.
The scene is early Spring, 1988, Hudson dorm, University of Missouri. I woke up early one afternoon and for no good reason announced to my roommate David, “Tonight I shall drink until I puke. And you will join me.”
Then I had to wake David up — he wasn’t exactly an afternoon person — and make my Very Important Announcement a second time.
So we gathered a couple of female friends and gatecrashed a fraternity party up the street, because we knew having girls would help us crash the gate and mostly because we knew the beer would be free and plentiful. Dave and I hit the keg line and the girls quickly abandoned us for guys who had not premeditated a night of hurling.
We got our beers in the familiar red 12-ounce plastic cups, and took them with us directly to the back of the line. Our cups were dry right around the time we returned to the front of the line. Refilled, we proceeded directly once again to the back of the line.
I am told we repeated this procedure 14 times, but I honestly couldn’t say.
I won’t bother you with the details of my successful effort to drink myself sick, but I will tell you two things. One, the hurling lasted for hours. Two, at one point I remember being in one of the my dorm floor’s public showers at around 2AM, fully dressed, with the water on full cold, shouting “GET THE POISON OUT OF MY BODY!”
For the next 36 hours I consumed nothing but Gatorade and aspirin.
But standing beneath that freezing water was a seminal moment in my life, a Valentine Michael Smith cusp. It was in that beer- and shower-soaked moment that I decided that if I wanted to be a drinker (and I did), then I had better get much better at it.
And so with many years of practice and devotion I eventually became the drinker I had long aspired to be: Possessed of a prodigious capacity, an impressive endurance, and of a skillset too finely honed for any more three-hour-long hurling sessions.
Look at that list. Look at those bonus points.
Look, if you dare, at that face.
I admire — it’s impossible not to, really — the thought, the care, the inhuman sufferance, the Lovecraftian imagination that went into putting together this graphic.
Still, I cannot go there. I shall not play this game.
Have I spent almost thirty years training my liver to Mark Rippetoe Spec, only to throw it all away on Hillary Freaking Clinton’s once-delayed coronation? I’d sooner give up drink altogether, live life anew, clean and sober — and then cast aside years of better living for a warm can of Miller Lite.
But as I think ahead to the next four nights, I must tell you words about Hillary so true that Bill Clinton has never even lied them: The woman doth tempt me.
Oh yes she does.
Don’t let her tempt you.
Not that I’m saying you should watch this stuff sober, mind you, because I certainly won’t be. But if you live anywhere near Monument Hill, and late Thursday night you hear shouts of “GET THE POISON OUT OF MY BODY,” at least you’ll know there’s no reason for alarm.
But if you sent over some Gatorade and aspirin, that would be nice.