Monday, Jul 28, 2014
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Don’t stay thirsty, my friends


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Liquor. White lightning. Giggle juice. Booze. Hard stuff. Sauce. Suds. Moonshine. Barbara Walters. Such expressions for “adult beverages” seem never-ending.

Okay, maybe Barbara Walters doesn’t belong there, but who hasn’t swilled a cold one now and then? And maybe a second shot just between old friends. Ah heck, and one more for the road.

People drink to celebrate. People drink to drown their sorrows. We raise glasses in toasts at wedding receptions, luncheon speeches and with Barbara Walters. Geez, there I go again. I just downed my second gin & tonic and for some reason my fingers keep typing Barbara Walters.

But enough about Barbara Walters.

Sensible imbibing is as Americana as, well, Chinese buffets. Even the image of a “real man” often is associated with drinking. For example, alcohol and Hemingway conjure the image of a passionate novelist in a heated tryst with a bottle of Bacardi and his Olivetti.

Of course too many slugs of firewater aren’t wise and don’t mix with some activities.

Driving, of course, plus I no longer imbibe while fishing. This is partly due to a tipsy afternoon years back when the ol’ nose went numb and suddenly my appendages decided to act independently of each other. Bleary eyed after an umpteenth brewsky, I mindlessly let go of a $1,500 rod-and-reel combo and watched helplessly as the expensive rig went bye-bye into the prodigious depths of the Gulf Stream. The skipper of the boat still doesn’t speak to me.

An even worse bout with the whiskey man occurred while attending a marlin tournament in the Bahamas. Arriving at the resort the day before, I camped out at the tiki bar and tossed down a series of Captain Morgans & Coke as if Prohibition was being brought back the following day.

By dinner time I found myself doing impressions of Richard Nixon in the cockpit of someone’s charter boat. As I attempted to leave, a gust of wind pushed the vessel away from the dock and suddenly I was doing the splits. Although waistline impaired, I somehow managed to hit only water rather than the boat or pilings and quickly surfaced sputtering but unscathed.

I then submitted to the pitiful humiliation of being slid through the transom door of the boat like a bloated bluefin tuna. I spent much of the next day not only hung over but hung under. The only comfort was the realization of just how low I’d set the expectations for me the rest of the trip.

One last admission of poor behavior occurred in Scotland. After leaving Edinburgh Castle and walking back to my hotel, I decided to stop in a pub to slug down a pint and maybe enjoy some Gaelic music. Instead, an American band named So Sioux Me — four lads sporting saggy pants, gaudy tattoos and frightful body rings — jammed away.

After about an hour, to no one’s amusement, an older fellow sitting in a corner who obviously had too much to drink began loudly singing Sweet Caroline and Brown-Eyed Girl – I truly apologize for the interruptions.

Um, a third gin & tonic just went down the hatch. Or was it the fourth? Ah, no matter, a little imbibing never harmed my righting accurasy.

So now comes time to fisnish this collum, and just remeber that even celebritees sometimes drink abd party, people like Opra Winefrey, Britney Beers, Booze Willis, Chevy Chaser, Mick Jigger, that CNN guy Wolf Blitzed and the great Dutch painter Rumbrandt. I wuv u, Barbara.

– Doug Kelly of Clearwater is an author and successful freelance writer, who’s worked on the editorial staffs of state and national magazines. He’s a member of several media organizations as well as the Society of American Travel Writers.

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