A Tale of Young Dizzy – Courtesy of Today’s Gin and Tonic Hangover

A shot of me, courtesy of @americaneyesd.

This roiling headache is nothing new – just the stamp of a typical night well-spent with friends. It lingers for a few hours in the AM, but fades with a markedly more healthy breakfast, copious drinks of water, and plenty of Tylenol. And then I’m back to working order – ready to perhaps do it all over again, if the occasion allows.

Cue the long, exaggerated cigarette puff – made glorious in the light formed by a monochrome palette. The shot fixates on the lips, relaxing post-pucker. You can practically taste the tobacco.

…my head really fuckin’ hurts, guys. 😀

There’s a minor twinge that comes along with hangovers for me in particular, though. A sort of relief that comes with knowing that the morning dry mouth, head pain, and dented reaction time is nothing compared with the two day bender that held me captive one particular weekend a few years ago.

This, like many of my drinking stories, comes with the obvious disclaimer that alcohol consumption should be done in full awareness of the risks that come with it. Really. Don’t be fucking stupid. 

Now, if any of you have read my other post about drinking, you should know that my taste for the lovely poison has evolved in phases. This story takes place very early on – right in the twilight of the nonsensical blind cocktail phase of my life. That being said, the actual -story of this particular error isn’t really too interesting. I drank and played video games much more back then, and my drink of choice was a highball Rum and Coke. The rum in question?

The Devil’s Brew.

Satan’s Spicy Excrement.

The Scourge of the Seven Seas.

Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum.

Now, like I said, the actual story of me getting drunk here really isn’t that interesting. I was gaming hard, and when you’re a teenager in that hyperfocused state, you really don’t notice how many Rum and Cokes you’ve slipped down your gullet until it’s too late.

Eight. Eight is the answer to your question here.

But moving on, this is more a story about sensation. The feeling generated by this one night, and the lasting burns it ended up leaving.

My last vivid memory of the night is the walk to and from the bathroom. If you guys have ever been on an airplane, you’ll be able to relate with these few moments. Usually, after takeoff, the plane with make a tilting, banking turn to get on course with where the flight is going. The entire world shifts, and depending on which side of the plane you’re sitting on, you’re either staring down at a crooked, shrinking neighborhood, or up at the endless expanse of blue.

Each step was the plane banking in a different direction.

And then, morning caught up with me.

I think that you know a bad hangover right away – from that first moment of vague lucidity after you claw your way from sleep, back to the waking world. You know when you’ve done yourself in when you’re immediately terrified to move, for fear of disturbing the crooked, endgame jenga tower that is your internal organs any further. 9 AM to 10 AM that beautiful Saturday morning felt like a small day in and of itself – covered in a cold sweat, stomach waiting to rebel, seconds dragging out like weights on your ankles.

10 AM passes and there’s a knock at my door. It sounds like dull cannonfire.

All hands on deck.

“Hey, can you give me a ride to the dentist?”

I am an underage teenager with currently impaired reasoning processes, trying to mask the fact that I am on the verge of embarking on a full two-day bender.

I manage “Yeah, sure” with some measure of certainty.

I meant to say “Aye, aye”.

The battering came like the tides that day – in waves and unpredictable. There were moments where I thought I was rallying, and then moments later, I’d be doubled over – back in my bedroom, riding the current. Nothing remained settled in my body – not for long. I think it was the combination of the alcohol overload and the sheer amount of sugar from the cokes I’d consumed back to back, but my entire system felt like it was shutting down – incapable of mustering anything close to a normal operational level.

And then it happened AGAIN the next day, when I thought that we had finally pulled into safe harbors.

The Captain keelhauled me, and I didn’t come out of the experience unchanged. I fully attribute the fact that I don’t get into any drunk trouble nowadays to this night – to this stern reprimand from a cold captain tossing about on caramel waves. Everyone has a moment where they define their limits. This was mine.

And to this day, I can’t look at a bottle of rum without feeling the boat rock a little bit.

Cue the music.

Hope you guys are having a fantastic day. 🙂



A Tale of Young Dizzy – Courtesy of Today’s Gin and Tonic Hangover

The Developmental Arc of the Casual Alcoholic


I’ve got twenty one and some change years under my belt at the moment. Which means I’ve absolutely got more than one, maybe closer to three or four years of heavy drinking experience under my belt.

…don’t look at me like that. A good number of you probably have track records that go much further back before you got the magic number on your driver’s license. Yeah, it’s by no means an acceptable thing, and we have laws that prohibit blah, and something something responsibility, but the important part is that I played it smart, knew my limits, and am currently sitting here today, alive and well enough to smile about it.

Obvious drinking disclaimer before I go forward: know YOUR limits, drink responsibly, and don’t do anything stupid.

Anyway, I’ve had a weird developmental arc as a drinker. Before I legally could, my method was mixing whatever I could find in my parents’ liquor cabinet together to make what I thought at the time was just the strongest, most badass, potent sneaky cocktails possible. Tequila and three different kinds of whiskey? Great. Oakheart Rum mixed with Fireball and moscato? Hell yeah. I think at some point I mixed a Glenfiddich 18 year old scotch with a Glenrothes 1995 and felt like I was the classiest kid on the fuckin’ block.

Present me wants to kick past me repeatedly in the shins.

But later on, I managed to get alcohol through a sibling of a friend who was clearly above the legal age, and my tastes turned to lukewarm beers from the bottle, sitting around a bonfire – far from the eyes of prying parents. After that came frosty ales from the tap from an amazing Japanese bar in New York that doesn’t card their patrons. And after THAT came different sorts of whiskey – not mixed this time – first on the rocks and then neat.

Now, as you might have guessed from the picture sitting smack dab at the top of this page, I’m back to mixing stuff together. Thankfully, I can do so now with a level of panache higher than that of a high school kid sloshing things around in red solo cups with the lights turned off, but I still find it funny to look at the endcaps of this little arc of mine, wondering if there’s any sort of connection at all. Granted, I don’t mix to get absolutely slammed anymore. I mix because, well, mixing’s pretty damn cool. You get to experiment around with how spirits mix with fresh ingredients, and find out how temperature and dilution play into different cocktails, or how different garnishes add different effects that make a drink. It’s consumable art that’s easily appreciated by a wide majority of people, without having to be too high brow. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy an well-made, ice cold cocktail among friends?

Sometimes I wish it was that easy as a writer – that the feedback was as immediate as, “Damn, that looks pretty good. Give me another.”

Guess I’ll just keep chugging along on both fronts, eh?

The Developmental Arc of the Casual Alcoholic