Drinking isn't overly expensive.

Drinking in bars can be expensive.

Drinking in karaoke bars in New York is the entertainment equivalent of shaking your wallet into a dumpster while drunk Koreans warble '90's pop hits you didn't really like when you liked them.

I steadfastly refuse to pay 9 bucks for a beer AND pay for karaoke, and doing karaoke sober is like going to the zoo sober: fun when you're a kid, but you can only take so many inhuman grunts and squeals before looking for better sources of Schadenfreude.

Because I have a reputation to maintain (mostly among myself and my pets) as a man about town, I continued to patronize these establishments, sneakily bringing my own fermented beverages tucked discreetly in the pockets of my overcoat. I suppose I overextended my frugality when, in a moment of thenspiration, I decided that I could manage to bring an entire 40 oz. beer into the bar without being noticed. An elegant and recession-proof solution to the problem of sobriety if I ever heard one.

Well, it turns out that my overcoat isn't quite as big as I thought, and I failed to consider that I'd have to do more than shuffle into the bar, arms folded naturally and not-at-all suspiciously around my own waist. Unfortunately, the bouncer had different plans, and asked me to legally prove that I was, in fact, of the age of majority.

As I went to comply, the 40 tumbled out of my coat and crashed at his feet in the vestibule of the bar, spraying cheap beer and constellations of shattered glass around our shoes. Before I could offer to clean it up, he frowned and told me to have a nice night.

The moral of the story, of course, is that if I'd been more gainfully employed, I could afford to buy a bigger coat with which to smuggle beer.