>>> Casual Misanthropy
By staff writer JD Rebello
November 9, 2003

Have you ever taken one of those "Are You an Alcoholic?" tests? What a crock of donkey shit those are. The questions make it seem like anyone who's ever sipped a glass of champagne is the next Christian Slater.

"Do you ever drink alone?"

Of course I do, so what? That's the best way to do things. You sit at home, feeling sorry for yourself, crack open a few cases of Johnnie Walker Blue Label and it's a fuckin party. Only you, your DVD player, and the hardcore, unrated director's cut of "Unfaithful" are invited, with your right hand and his date Vaseline to crash later on.

"Do you ever drink to escape reality?"

Fuck yes, I do. In reality, I'm a skinny, none-too-bright shit paying a lot of money for minimal education. With enough liquor, I'm the man. And I don't know what it is, but when I drink, I feel extremely athletic. Fuck Gatorade, you get enough liquor in me, and I feel like Bo Jackson in his prime. Of course, once that wears off, I feel like Bo Jackson after his prime.

Here's my way of telling if you're an alcoholic or not: have you ever woken up with a swollen jaw, receiving frantic phone calls from your ex-wife and mother-of -your-five-kids' attorney (all looking for this month's alimony check) while wearing a stained White Castle uniform and smelling like Robert Downey Junior's liver? Then maybe you should skip that night at the bar.

On that note, here are the seven stages of drunkenness:

Stage 1: Sober

To be ended immediately.

Stage 2: Invading the System

You know how when you start drinking, that first beer or wine or funnel of Irish urine goes down a little rough? This is the hump you have to get over.

Stage 3: 3-4 Drinks

Now you've got a nice little consistency going. The key here is to try and forget how much you've actually been drinking. My friend Chris theorized that if you're ever at a keg party, the key is to keep refilling your beer before it's empty. This will completely throw off your sense of resistance judgment.

Stage 4: Buzz Territory

Ahh, buzz territory. If there is a God in heaven, we would live this way all the time. You're still in control of your senses (i.e. you can still open your eyes and form sentences), but you definitely feel better than normal.

Stage 5: Drunk

The only problem with buzz territory is how quickly it ends. Your brain tells you that the key to staying buzzed is more alcohol. You couldn't be more wrong. It usually only takes 2 or 11 more drinks to advance to the drunk stage. But now that club-footed, toothless little fox over by the speakers is looking mighty feisty. Take her home, you stud.

Stage 6: Trashed

Like buzzed, the only key to staying drunk is…more cowbell! Just kidding. More alcohol, silly. Trashed is drunk's unshowered cousin from Maine. (Sorry, Maine). You start slurring like crazy. (Try saying "sarsparilla" whilst trashed, I dare ya, you'll drown in a puddle of your own drool). Temporary blindness and an inability to walk upright suddenly take hold.

Stage 7: Blasted

This is a danger zone. At this point you're either vomiting in a toilet or a in friendly paramedic Bob's stomach pump. You've stopped hitting on girls and are currently thinking awful thoughts about your buddy's dog, with whom a little romantic affair no longer seems out of the question. Why wouldn't she like you? You're the man. She's always been your best friend, but who's to say you can't take things a step further now? You've stopped talking and now engage in high-decibel ramblings with your buddy, expressing your disdain over how much Saved by the Bell: College Years couldn't hold a candle to the original. You black out at some point and wake up in a cheap cathouse in Oregon (sorry, Oregon) serving whiskey to the natives. "Hey Spud, can you help me fix the tranny?" At that point, don't let the magazines fool you. You, sir, are not an alcoholic.