“Drink the booze you lose kid.” Once words from a funny movie but also unfortunate words that that have  destroyed lives. I’ve always had a crazy relationship with alcohol. I really love beer. I love the way it tastes. I love the history. I love the way it’s made. I can usually find some nice attribute about any and all beers. I love wine. Now that I am a Northern Californian, I’m surrounded by wine culture (love it). I like bourbon. I like some tequilas. Vodka is ok. I hate the way beer bloats you. I hate what it does to my digestion. I hate the headaches that wine will give you. I hate the way it dehydrates your body. I hate hangovers. I hate what it does to families. I hate alcoholism. I hate DUIs (never had one). I hate when people die on the road, being killed by drunk drivers. I hate liver cancer.

I started drinking at a later age than most of my contemporaries. You see, my Mom owns a bar and has been in the business for 30 years. I had a front row seat to the shit show. I watched as lives were altered because of the addiction to alcohol. I watched as grown men and women chose the bar versus their own families. Over the years, I’ve observed a lot, not all, of those frequent visitors die way too early

They develop horrible cancers or die in accidents. Most of them have the attitude that they are going to die anyway , as ALL of us do, they might as well have a good time. The quality of life is destroyed, how much of a fun time is liver cancer? Addiction truly irritates me. It’s irritating because I understand it. So growing up I watched all of this and yet, it was because of these people the bills got paid. The drunks of Sheridan Wyoming put shoes on my feat and food in my kitchen. That can fuck up a kid. It’s an unusual dichotomy of life.

I use the cliche, “in moderation.” It really does work. I now only drink probably an equivalent of a six pack a week, possibly less. On occasion, for parties like last weekend, I take it a little further and overindulge. The good thing about being only an occasional drinker is that when you do go hard, you’ll end up with a massive headache and hangover lasting for possible multiple days. I’ve learned to appreciate the hangover as a sign that this kind of a full time gig is not for me. On that note, I need a beer and if I get a chance, I’ll buy you one too.

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