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Columns > David Steinberg - Some Are Mathematicians

Published: 2005/03/06
by David Steinberg

Open the Vaults!

Dear Alcohol,

As I sit here, basking in the afterglow of a world-class hangover, I think back upon my relationship with you. We have been on cordial terms for the past ten years, and together we've been through some good times and some absolutely hellish times. On the seventeenth of March, the English-speaking world will be offering a festive tribute to you. People will dye rivers green and adorn plastic hats in your honor. Is this not the most lofty tribute life can offer? Sure, some people will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day and honoring the legacy of a man who brutally murdered the Druids before ethnic cleansing became fashionable, but the rest of us will be toasting none other than Al Cohol. As this great day of inebriated joy approaches, I'm reflecting on the treasured memories you have brought me, and I think it's time for me to say thanks.

Oh Alcohol, you have helped me in so many ways. Because of you and your magical effect on the fairer sex, I have gotten laid. Sometimes, these encounters have resulted in long-term relationships. Granted, a lot of those long-term relationships were with total bitches from beyond the grave, but I cannot blame you for that, Alcohol, because you do not discriminate. You always treat everyone the same, whether you are crippling a forty-year-old man or giving the dry heaves to a wee lad of 15. Alcohol, I appreciate your impartial nature and I admire your indiscriminate but swift brand of justice.

And Alcohol, when it comes to sex, you also give me great stories. What about that time you convinced me to hook up with the French maid at that Halloween party? Sure, I was dating someone else at the time, and even though my girlfriend was an evil tyrant who deserved to have hydrochloric acid poured on her skin as she roasts alive in the seventh circle of Hell, I still feel guilty about that incident. But that's what's great about you, buddy. You never let me forget about all the neat things I've done. Along the same lines, I'll never forget that one time when you helped me to hook up with that very unattractive woman. Oh, that was a good one. Even though my friends kept shaking their heads and asking me, "What are you doing," you had the best advice.

"She's hot and you want her," you whispered. "Seize the day. Get in touch with your inner ho and go for it. Grab the bull by the horns and ride her into a state of orgasmic bliss!"

Better advice was never dispensed. Confucius could have learned a lot from you.

But it's not just about sex with you and I. There are many other things you do for me. For instance, you have taught me how to dance. At many concerts, I have impressed the crowd with my flailing elbows and random hip checks, and my frequent falls and face-plants on the floor are the stuff of legend. After two double Long Island Iced Teas at that Bowery Ballroom Robert Randolph show, strangers seemed to really enjoy the way I rubbed up against them, and many women shrieked with what must have been pure excitement. Moreover, Robert and everyone around me were very appreciative of my incessant requests for "Purple Haze." They were even more appreciative ten minutes after he had played the song, as I yelled for a reprise. Some folks even extended a single finger in my direction as if to say, "You, sir, are Number One."

Sometimes you lead me down an unexpected path. When I arrived at the first Bonnaroo, I couldn't wait for Galactic's late night gig. That afternoon, as I frothed in anticipation, I guzzled 64 oz. of Jameson and Ginger Ale, heavy on the Jameson. After quenching my thirst, you advised me to take a nap. It was a good decision, and boy, was I tired. When I woke up around 2:30 AM, I heard Galactic in the distance playing my favorite song, "Crazyhorse Mongoose." As I repeatedly barfed outside of my tent, I thought, "This is the best puking music ever!" Then I tried to get up to catch the second set, but you wisely sent sharp pains throughout my body and convinced me to lie down. I was a little hesitant to follow your advice, and yeah, I would have liked to have seen the greatest Galactic show ever, but you were right to put me down for the count because I must have been on the verge of catching a cold. When I woke up with a cranium-splitting headache the next day, I knew you were right. You were so right. How could I have ever doubted you?

Quite often, Alcohol, you embolden me with superhuman strength and superhuman cojones. Remember that time we starting yelling at those two 6'5" 300lb. bouncers at Irving Plaza? Remember how they told us to back down? Remember how we said, "Why don't you back down before I bust a cap in yo' ass, chump?" Remember how we didn't really know what that meant, but it we thought it would be a cool thing to say because we had heard it in a movie? Remember how they took us outside and pummeled us repeatedly, breaking two of my ribs? Remember how you advised me to slap a nurse's ass at the hospital? Remember how the security guard pummeled us repeatedly, breaking two more of my ribs? Good times.

And you know what? Throughout all of those repeated beatings, you dulled the pain. I couldn't feel a thing, and I laughed the whole time. Okay, well, I laughed until my laughter caused me to spit up blood, but it was funny. Then I woke up the next day, and you had been separated from me by the fascist hospital staff. And you know what, good buddy? I was in a world of hurt. The moral of that story is simple: A life without Alcohol is a life full of agony.

What I really love about you, Alcohol, is your ability to cut to the chase. While some may try to foolishly expand their mind with marijuana, acid, and granola, you serve as a virtual sledgehammer to the brain, obliterating consciousness and leaving nothing in your wake but an oozing puddle of gray matter. Yep, sometimes an encounter with you will leave me drooling, but let me tell you, bub, drooling never felt so good.

Alcohol, you are not only a friend but you are also a teacher. I have learned some valuable things from you, particularly in the world of culinary arts. For instance, you taught me that the guacamole at Denny's is probably radioactive and not fit for human consumption. In addition, through a very bitter lesson filled with tough love, you taught me that even though food in the garbage may look good, it doesn't taste good. And just the other day, while vomiting after my birthday, I learned that I need to do a better job of chewing my food, especially when I'm eating sausage.

Thanks for all you've done for me over the past ten years, and here's to another ten years of random blackouts, colossal headaches, and minor brushes with the law!

Your faithful servant,


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