May 5th, 2000

Drinking With Your Parents

by Jason Gallagher • in Food & Drink | Personal

drunk parents

It’s not much of a surprise to anyone who knows me that I like to get drunk. I usually get a good drunk in once a week. Nothing crazy by the standards of today’s 18-year-olds or of the Bukowski’s of the world, but I like to throw one into my weekly regime. Lets just say that it’s for good luck, prosperity, and to grow hair on my chest.

Once you develop the skills to handle a weekly drunk, you’re ready to move up the ladder — to the mysterious, dangerous, and potentially life-altering world of “getting drunk with the parents”. Now if this is uncharted water for you, I suggest you pay close attention to the many variations of this maneuver.

1: Getting drunk with your parents in their house
Risk factor — minimal

This is a pretty simple maneuver to pull off. Usually best saved for family get-togethers, weddings, funerals, BBQ’s, parties — you get the drift. The first benefit to this little number is the probability of large quantities of alcohol. Usually ranging from beer and whiskey, to the scary world of Schnapps. This is a pretty risk-free maneuver, simply because of the number of people present: in case you get a little out of control, don’t worry about it. Most families have a “happy” Uncle Bob whose drunken behavior has become legendary. All eyes will be on him making sure his pants stay on.

A word of caution: If you are “getting drunk with the parents” at a family gathering, always remember that no matter how hot your cousin is, she’s still your cousin.

2: Getting drunk with your parents in their house (Just you and the folks)
Risk factor — medium to high

This maneuver is most definitely not for the novice. Even with my 10+ years of “getting drunk with the parents” experience, I rarely try to pull this one off. If I do, it’s usually after weeks of meditation, visualization, and altitude training.

The risks here vary. It is not uncommon for the inexperienced drunk to tackle this maneuver, only to have it backfire in his or her face. The most common mistake: saying the wrong things. Just because you are drunk and your parents are drunk doesn’t mean you can confess your sins and it’ll be all right. The statute of limitations on teenage sins is a good 15-20 years.

For example: 24-year-old son comes home for spring break gets drunk with parents decides to let them know that when he was 15, he threw a party while they were away and threw up in Mum’s prized rose bush, eventually killing them. In this case, the statute hasn’t passed, and now Mum’s drunk and pissed to high hell.

If you know you’re going to be in this situation, try mental visualization. Picture yourself drunk on their couch. You are having a normal conversation; tell yourself, “I will not mention the rose bush”. A good point of practice is to get drunk and call them. This way you’ll be used to having “normal” drunk conversations with them.

3: Getting drunk with the parents in a bar
Risk factor — medium to high

This is by far my favorite maneuver to pull off. I’ve practiced this one a lot and if there was a “getting drunk with the parents in a bar” All Star Team, I’m convinced that I’d be on it. In fact, if it were an Olympic sport, I’m pretty sure I’d come home with a medal. The risks to this one are pretty high, but the benefits outweigh them by far.

What you are looking to pull off here is to drink a large quantity of expensive imported pints and to get the folks to pick up the tab. You can do this a few ways. It’s key to drop a few hints that you’re having a few financial problems. Don’t overstress it, and make sure to tell them that you think things are on the upswing. You have to look positive. Don’t let them think that you’re in a bad way, ’cause Mum’s gonna get drunk, emotional, and before you know it, she’s got tears running down her face because she’s picturing you with a bad case of scurvy, eating cat food, using newspapers for toilet paper. If you’re calm, positive, and you can assure them that things are gonna be all right, then you’re looking at an ocean of Guinness, and possibly a few extra bucks slipped into your pocket.

Try to keep in mind that this is only a brief introduction to the mysterious world of “getting drunk with the parents”. It takes a lot of practice to become a master. You’ll need patience, determination, and a damn good liver. Remember that these are dangerous waters: always check first before you dive. If you think you’ve got what it takes, why not give your folks a call?


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