How to Talk to Drunks
>>> Primal Urges
By staff writer Nathan DeGraaf
April 19, 2006
Nathan: You’re wasted, Luke.
Luke: You never say that when I’m sober.
Nathan: I’m driving you home.
Luke: That’s only because you’re ugly.
Nathan: Are you even listening to me?
Luke: Of course, everyone loves pancakes.
Many of you out there are complete and total alcoholics. You drink when you wake up, you drink to get to sleep, and in between, you drink because you’re not drunk enough. You drink to make your boyfriend/girlfriend look better, you drink to escape the hard reality that is life, and you drink because, dammit, that’s the buzz America legalized. You, essentially, are a raging drunk. And as such, perhaps you behave a little irresponsibly. Perhaps you are rude and overzealous. Perhaps you deserve an ass kicking. Regardless of how badly you behave though, we have a saying in this litigious society, and that saying is, “It’s somebody else’s fault.”
So in keeping with that saying, this column is addressing you sober people. (I know you sober guys don’t comprise much of the Points in Case audience, but hopefully one of your drunk friends will print this out and hand it to you.) The following are some tips to keep in mind when dealing with raging drunks.
Do Your Best to Avoid Confrontation with the Drunk
"Telling a drunk he’s too drunk to keep drinking is like telling a woman she’s too fat to wear a certain bathing suit."
No matter what a drunk person tells you, they are right. If a drunk person tells you that they jumped off the Empire State Building and survived, just nod your head and ask for details. If a drunk person tells you that they were one of the people who shot 50 Cent, just laugh and act impressed. If a drunk person tells you that they banged your girl, pop them in the eye as hard as you can, then blame it on the biggest guy in the bar (hey, I didn’t say you gotta let them get away with everything, now did I?). By doing your best to avoid confrontation, you allow the drunk to feel included and taken seriously. This does wonders for the overall peace of the bar in question, which is really what we’re all aiming for here.
Never Turn Down Free Alcohol from a Drunk
Depending on whatever just happened in the last few seconds, alcoholics often sway between loving you with all their might and hating you with all their heart. When a drunk gets into “I Love You” phase and buys you a shot, turning him down is the equivalent of rejecting a Valentine from a 9-year-old girl, then watching said girl become heartbroken and decide she hates you. The difference here is: the alcoholic is bigger, probably not attracted to you, and likely far more obnoxious. So never turn down the drink.
When he asks you (as he invariably will) to return the favor and buy the next round, telling him that you have no money is the only acceptable way out of buying. Any other excuse will result in him constantly reminding you that you owe him for the next round. And, because he loves you and has already shown you proof in the form of little glasses filled with liquor, he’ll be insulted if you do not return the sloppy love. When drunks get to this stage, well, you know they’ve had too much to drink. Of course, you never actually tell the drunk to stop drinking. That’s suicide right there.
Do Not Tell the Drunk He’s Had Too Much to Drink
Telling a drunk he’s too drunk to keep drinking is like telling a woman she’s too fat to wear a certain bathing suit. The repercussions are painful. The best thing to do, if he truly has had too much to drink, is to beat him up and take his car keys. In the morning, tell him that he got his ass kicked by a whole bunch of women. This way, he won’t go looking for the people who kicked his ass, and he’ll hope to God that no one remembers what happened. And since he probably won’t remember what happened, and he doesn’t want to remember what happened, you can usually pull this off.
Regardless of whether or not you have to knock him on the head with a brick, put him in a choke hold, or shoot him with a TASER, you do not tell the drunk that he’s had too much to drink. Not one time in the last one thousand years has a drunk agreed that he’s had too much to drink. Here’s an example of a conversation that’s never happened.
Sober Person: You’re way too drunk. I think we need to cut you off. No more alcohol for a while.
Drunk: Wow. What a brilliant suggestion. Thanks for looking out for me.
If drunks responded responsibly to suggestions that they drink too much, they wouldn’t be drunks.
In current American society (as opposed to the past), where people sue for mental anguish when you accidentally step on a lady bug on their property, failing to cater to a drunk’s emotions can be cause for a disastrous lawsuit. After all, nothing is the drunk’s fault. And you don’t want him screwing up and suing your favorite liquor company.
Because whiskey is expensive enough already.