30. Drinking In Bars

Alright folks, confession time. I drank when I was underage. For most of my life, I was a straight edge teetotaler. I thought that only losers drank, smoked, and did drugs. I still maintain this belief, the only thing that has changed is that I now believe that everyone is a loser.

That all changed after one particularly hard day at work. I went over to one of my older friend’s house where this (poorly transcribed) exchange took place:

Max: You look like you’ve had a hard day, Corbin.

17 Year Old Corbin: Yeah.

Max: You should get drunk.

17 Year Old Corbin: ………Sure.

As you can see, my now-famous willpower was strong even in my younger days. I wish I could tell more of the story, but I became acquainted with drinking and blacking out in the same night. Trial by fire, as it were. After surviving the Pandora’s Box that is a rum hangover, I decided that drinking wasn’t as bad as my health teacher had made it out to be and began to partake when I could with my other cool friends. Through that period and going into college, my friends and I would talk at length about what we would do when we were finally 21 and able to get into a bar and experience being drunk in a bar instead of the basements and dorm rooms that we were used to.

In my impressionable mind, the bar was a magical place where alcohol was ever-present, the music was great, the people were fun, and you always had a great chance of getting laid. Unfortunately, just like Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, and Obama’s Presidency, reality just couldn’t resist destroying my youthful fantasies. It wasn’t long after I turned 21 that I began to see bars as they are: sleazy, sweaty money pits with bad music and proof that human beings are basically animals with clothes.

I went to see a show a couple days ago (they were called the Floozies, here’s their Soundcloud page if you want to be as hip as I am) and the bar looked exactly like the one in the picture above. It was a writhing, angry mass of impatient drunk people shrieking at the three female bartenders who looked like they might, at any moment, drop dead of fear and stress. And they claim that we’re evolved.

That’s not to say that bars are without merit. The best bars are the ones that no one goes to. You don’t have to wait in line for 20 minutes to get a drink, you don’t have to shout to be heard over anything, and there’s no danger of having anything spilled on you by some fedora/P90X/Affliction-wearing douchebag that’s trying to impress a girl with 20 pounds of makeup and stiletto heels with his shitty breakdancing skills so that maybe she will take him home and they can have awful, greasy sex to the greatest hits of Pitbull and Ke$ha (now on sale in Hell) and never speak to each other again. One day I will write a guide to these bars and the cover photo will be me drinking straight from a bottle of Jack Daniels in a solitary booth while gleefully mocking the poor bastards who are stuck in line across the street. This is my dream.

And then there’s the money problem. Last night, I was drinking in downtown Kansas City (an altogether horrible experience that was the catalyst for this entry) and somehow spent over twelve dollars on three beers. I’m no professor of economics, but twelve dollars can buy you, depending on how much or little you like yourself, a pretty respectable amount of beer, wine, or liquor from your local supermarket. What, I demand to know, are we fucking paying for when it’s the exact same beverage at a 500% markup in a, more often than not, high stress and unpleasant atmosphere? So far, I’ve only found one place that I really appreciate when I’m doing my own drinking. It’s a local place. It’s called My Couch.

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