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LetusPonder Columns

10/18/05 The Ten Commandments - What They SHOULD Be

12/27 Do You REALLY Want World Peace?

10/15 Support Ribbon Overload Awareness

7/18 The Ultimate Guide to Kissing - Part 2: The First Kiss
(Pure romance - the best lesson you may ever receive)

7/7 Part 1: The Bad Ways to Kiss
(A humorous exploration into all the different ways people kiss badly)

4/19 Do You Truly
Get Over Your First Love?

3/1 Which Drunk are You?

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LetusPonder Column:

Which Drunk Are You?

- Rob Daugherty

Before I begin, I thought a simple list would be handy. If you've experienced any that I've missed, slide it down to me.
The HUGGY Drunk (along with specific details from the Hugging Rules and Regulations Handbook)
(There's a special tribute to the beer-filled plastic cup)
Seriously-Invading-My-Personal-Space-Right-In-My-Face Drunk
Laughs-at-Anything-and-Everything-and-Can't-Stop-Giggling Drunk
The Way-Too-Much-Loves-The-Band Drunk
Have I missed any? Email me, dammit!

So... which one are you?

According to the commercials, there appears to be only one kind of person who drinks alcohol -- beautiful, fun, in perfect shape, and white-teeth-smile charismatic.  But most everyone has experienced, first-hand or otherwise, alcohol-induced multiple personality disorder.  Join me as I re-experience last weekend...

Knowing that a good band was playing and being a musician myself, I intended to simply hang out on the side and get rejuvenated and massaged by a wall of sound and bass. No dancing, no drinking, no hoping to meet the lady of my dreams. Just pure, therapeutic, rattle-the-windows loud music. Such was not the case...

Approaching the door, I saw a former co-worker outside talking on her cell phone.  Recalling her many drunken-stupor-dance-on-tables stories she's told and being obviously reminded that she just isn't my type, I try to to sneak past her with but a small wave.  It wasn't this easy.

"R-R-ROB!  OH MY HELL.  I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE HERE!"  (Into the cell phone, "I gotta go.")  She grabs me and sqeezes me tight.  "I AM SO HAPPY YOU CAME!"

Meet Sheila: The HUGGY Drunk.

"I haven't seen you in so long," she continues.  "I have missed you so much."

In the Hugging Rules and Regulations Handbook, Rule #1 states that at the point when either party begins to break the hug, the other party should naturally and comfortably release the squeeze.    This rule is followed by most everyone.  Everyone except the Huggy Drunk.

I'm still being held on to as I hear, "Everyone is going to be so happy to see you." 

Thankful to learn that there are more people here, "Who else is here?" I ask.  Hugging Rule #2 states that unless you are romantic partners or a long-lost family members, any attempt at conversation warrants the breaking of the hug.

She continues the hug, "I'm just so happy to see you.  I can't believe you're here.  This is f'ing great!" But she says this three times, each time somehow using different words, as she also manages to acquire the characteristics of yet another type of drunk...


I manage to manually extricate myself from the Hug as it starts to drizzle rain.  I suggest, "Sheila, I'm really happy to see you, too.  Is it possible we could maybe go inside?"

"Oh, Rob, you're so funny.  I'm so happy you're here."  Another hug. 

This is the re-hug that breaks Hugging Rule #3: Do not repeat the hug.

I somehow manage to move the hug inside out of the rain, but that's as far as we get.  The person taking the money at the door, who's sitting just a few feet inside the door, gets to witness not one nor two, but three more hugs.  The first took place once inside.  The second after I reached into my wallet for money.  The third after I paid the cover.  Yet another hug took place after I asked who else was here for the fifth time.

I realized then, which was far too late, that in the Huggy Drunk's mind it is perfectly acceptable to replace any form of conversational interaction with a hug.  So, instead of actually replying to my question, she just gave me another hug.

Something had to be done.  I finally said, "Sheila, I'm loving all the hugs. I really am.  But if you hug me again I'm going to have to kill you."

I spot the former co-workers alluded to ten minutes prior and notice something both wonderful and troubling: they're all women.  Wonderful because, well, hey, I'm a guy and there's women and there's alcohol.  Troubling because, well... I'm a guy and there's women and there's alcohol.  One woman under the influence of alcohol is usually a good thing.  Sometimes even two women is a good thing.  But three or more women together, all in various states of being sloshed, and it becomes no-man's land. 

If a group of women get together and start talking while around a guy, the guy will either have no clue as to what they're talking about and sort of sit around like a lost puppy surrounded by laughing female humans OR he'll become the butt of all anti-male rants and jokes. 

AND he'll still be clueless.

As I get closer, I see two of them consoling a third.  The third is Carla.  But wait.  Yet another hug as I am also introduced to everyone as though I've never met them.  During the hug, I rotate the hugger and I around and wave to each of them, who all think, "She is SO drunker than me."  Several introductions ago I had already released the hug and sort of just stood there waving, hands shrugging, while my body continued to be squeezed.  This leads me to point out Rule #4 from the Hugging Rules and Regulations Handbook...

Rule #4: If, during the Hug, one party's hands are not at all touching or squeezing, the other party must assume that the hug is being manually terminated and should thus release the squeeze.

Back to Carla.  Carla is the drama queen -- that person whose life is a parade of horrid circumstances; on-again-off-again relationship with the father of her second child, this father/partner is abusive who continually cheats on her because he's a good-looking asshole, the girl he cheated with is now pregnant, she's concerned she might have AIDS, no it's not AIDS but some other disease, this is her fifth major illness - all of which require drugs of some type, the state just cut off her welfare because the bar she works at started reporting her income, her oldest child called last night from the hospital -- she got in a fight, the guy she met on the internet while her on-again-off-again-father-of-her-second-child pseudo-boyfriend moved in with some floozy who lives in Connecticut somehow managed to set fire to her apartment while he tried to be all romantic and burning candles, the guy she met on the internet turns out to have been discharged from the military for violent rampages against women, Department of Social Services wants to take away her youngest child because she wrote a story in school about how she'd like to kill all her classmates, her youngest child is in the first grade, but they won't take her away as long as she promises to take her medications, her daughter lost her medications...

And on and on and on.

Some of you reading this are probably thinking I'm just being a creative writer and making all this up.  Not only was I, along with roughly 30 other people, privvy to all these personal problems on an almost daily basis at work, but we all got the benefit of hearing her life story throughout the entire evening.  This is because Carla is...


Sitting next to the Crying/Confessional Drunk... it's like one of those funny mechanical carnival horoscope gurus that have a sensor in the seat that will greet you and start spewing your horoscope as soon as it senses someone has sat in the chair.  It doesn't matter who it is, but whomever sits in the chair next to Carla turns her on and she begins replaying the horrible life drama message.

Similar to the CRYING/CONFESSIONAL Drunk, but definitely much more entertaining, is the CHATTY/TALK-ABOUT-ANYTHING Drunk.  There were several of these sitting together telling their own stories all at the same time.  Fran is in mid-sentence...

"... when me and a bunch of people called a cab and I told them, 'I really gotta pee, guys' but that didn't seem to bother them so we got in for a 20-minute ride and I was like, 'No, really, I gotta go.'  And the cab driver said, 'Don't pee in my cab!" but he had that accent so we thought he said, 'Homer ate my corn-on-the-cob' which totally didn't make any sense.  I thought I held it, but the cab driver stopped at one of those drive-thru car washes and made us get out while he hosed down the back seat."

"That happened to me once," says Stacy.  "Some of my boyfriend's friends asked me to drive them to New York and I was like, 'No problem.  What's in it for me?'  They gave me free sneakers and money."

"Free sneakers?  What the hell is that? That's almost as bad as Heather stealing surfboards."

"We didn't steal them.  We just MOVED them to someone else's house.  A whole bunch of them. Hey, I was really drunk.  But not as drunk as YOU are, Sheila."

Sheila gives me another hug, "I'm not drunk."  This time, though, she still has her drink in her hand and I'm totally expecting beer poured down my back.  It's miraculous how drunk people, who can't walk across a room without stumbling, can somehow never spill anything from THE PLASTIC CUP.

As I hug her I notice that I'm giving the dreaded patting-on-the-back hug. 

Hugging Rule #5: The Pat-on-the-Back Hug.  Let it be known that should one party, mid-hug, start patting the other party on the back, then this would indicate that the patting party really is not all that sincerely interested or enthused about the current hug and is moreso in "Hug Toleration" mode.  Should YOU be the patted party, simply accept this and never initiate a hug with this person again.  And should the hug be a required hug (like those given at Wedding Parties, family reunions, etc.) then you must also pat so as to let the patter know, on a subconscious level, that you, also, would prefer not to hug and instead would be quite content with a hello and a handshake.

Someone comes up from behind and rubs my chest, "Rob, come dance with me."  It's Melissa...

Meet the FLIRTY/SLUTTY Drunk.

The FLIRTY/SLUTTY Drunk is a huge source of confusion for all men with a conscience.  On one hand, despite the 80s-mesh-overly-sexy-but-somehow-just-not-right outfit, she's still quite the hottie.  And so, when she flirts and dirty dances against my bod -- or, more likely, when she lap dances on me since I stayed sitting when she insisted on dancing -- I can't help but to get a thrill.  On the other hand, however, she's drunk so it's not like I can ever let anything happen because then I'd be pond scum for taking advantage of the FLIRTY/SLUTTY Drunk girl who really, deep down, just wants to find a good guy and settle down.

Out on the dance floor she says with a surprisingly astute ability to reason given her intake level and the amount of slurring and stumbling, "The way I see it, Rob, you have a choice.  You can have ME or you can go back to hugging Sheila."

She is very right and so I "allow" her to continue seductively grinding her pelvis into mine.

While trying to keep up with my new dance partner, some guy pushes me from behind and slurs, "You're dancing with my girl." 

Allow me to introduce...


I don't need to explain them.  These guys are everywhere.  Apparently, Melissa was flirting with him earlier and now I'm stuck with the Drunk Asshole spitting in my face.  Since no amount of reasoning or apologies will ever stop him from insisting on fighting, I use the only possible working non-fighting tactic...

I let Melissa step up and kick his ass.


This, of course, brings out the FEMALE FIGHT ANYTHING Drunk, who is the girlfriend of the guy Melissa flirted with.  The type of drunk is actually named "The female who insists on kicking any girl's ass who in any possible way accidently flirted with her husband/boyfriend OR who was in some way or another - even if it was imagined - insulted and so now feels inclined to fight - male or female, it doesn't matter - as a way to prove something or other," but this is far too long of a title, isn't it?

Throughout all of this, I sneak away and am confronted with...


This is that person who simply cannot handle being with, or having a conversation with, or just standing next to, someone who is NOT drinking.  At any cost, they make sure you have a drink in your hand - AT ALL TIMES!  Since I, myself, do not drink, I meet these kinds of drunks CONSTANTLY.  People just can't handle the non-drinker.  They think it is impossible to enjoy one-self unless alcohol is involved.

And so I hear, yet again, "Dude, you're not drinking?  You're not going to have fun?  Oh, here, have my Slippery Nipple."

And when people see me drinking a Coke or continue to refuse their offers, they automatically assume I'm a recovering alcoholic, "Dude, way to go," they say.  "Way to be strong."

I actually once made the mistake of trying to explain to a group of people who seemed sincerely interested as to why I don't drink; "I'm a hypnotist and a Reiki Master and when I drink I notice that the impurities in my body impede my ability to channel the energy and thus my abilities to heal are dramatically diminished."

I was met with silence and confused, blank stares.  Seeing how that completely killed any and all conversations and fun they were having, I said, "Ha ha ha!  Just joking.  Really.  I got trashed last night so I'm trying to be good tonight."  And they loved me yet again and resumed their conversation about what, VERY SPECIFICALLY, did they drink tonight and every other night during their entire lives; "Oh my GAWD, that was the night I had three shots of Jack, a half bottle of Dewars, and someone brought in some Jello shots and..."

And undoubtedly, somewhere, at some time, if any amount of conversation takes place throughout the evening, there's at least one person who is the Seriously-Invading-My-Personal-Space-Right-In-My-Face Drunk. This is that person who moves closer... and closer... and closer as you talk with him/her. What's strange about this is it's usually a guy.

I heard the first few sentences but then nothing else this person said registered in my mind. All I could think of was, "This guy is like SIX INCHES away from my face!" I look around for an escape route, step back around a chair, and I'm followed because I didn't really end the conversation. And once again, there he is, talking to me about the overhead cam in his car or about the greatest guitar player ever that was his cousin who once toured with Whitney Houston -- and I'm worried that if someone bumps me from behind, I'll end up kissing the guy.

Thankfully, I hear giggling and I turn around to see that the Laughs-at-Anything-and-Everything-and-Can't-Stop-Giggling Drunk has just witnessed someone slipping on some spilled beer. She's kind of cute, so the Seriously-Invading-My-Personal-Space-Right-In-My-Face Drunk scoots on over and starts breathing on her. This doesn't bother her in the least. She spots a boogery hair in his nose and starts cracking up.

As I return to my co-worker's table, the stories are continuing...

"...and we got pulled over because we were going too slow and the policeman smelled weed in our car and I started crying..."

"... and those people at the YMCA wanted us arrested because we'd been sneaking in through the Daycare and using the facilities..."

"... and I had to spend a night in a holding cell on the Tijuana border and take a MADD class and go through alcohol rehabilitation and all I can remember about the courses was that there were these three guys who would fall asleep on a bench leaning against each other and they'd wake up all flustered and embarrassed having slept on each other like women in love."

Speaking of LOVE, from out of nowhere...

"Rob, can I just say this to you: I love you. I really do. I just love you so much."


She continues, "And I love you, too, Heather. You are the greatest friend, ever. I love those pants you wear with all the pockets. Those are the coolest. And what is this drink? I LOVE this drink!"

And on and on and on.

Have you ever been to one of those New Age/Self Help seminars? If so, then I'm sure you heard variations of this theme: The True Meaning and Purpose of Life is LOVE.

Well, if this truly were the case, then all they'd have to do is round up a handful of I LOVE EVERYTHING Drunks and get them liquoured up. The world's problems would be totally solved!

Probably the most enjoyable drunk is the HAPPY FRIENDLY Drunk. Drinking just makes this person, usually a female, happy. And friendly. Everyone is her friend. Everyone is invited into her circle. Everything is Ok. The world is good. Life is good.

This is a very confusing drunk to men who are unwise to the Happy Friendly drunk because men always believe they actually have a chance with this girl. They never do. She's not being happy friendly because she's interested. She's just the Happy Friendly drunk. She's in a great mood. She's dancing. She's enjoying the music. She spills beer on her new cool boots - that's ok, because she's happy. It doesn't matter what happens because she's a little tipsy and she's having a good time.

And she never has time for a real conversation. This is why, when the guy she just bumped into because he was standing on the outside of group of people who are sort of not listening to him, she quickly leaves. She doesn't have the time or the slightest inclination to answer...

"You know what the meaning of life is? I'll tell you what the meaning of life is..."

Ah yes, The Everything-I-Say-is-the-Most-Breathtakingly-Original-and-Meaningful-and-Wise-Once-I-Start-I-Can-Never-Shut-Up-Let-Me-Explain-Man's-True-Purpose-and-All-of-Religion-and-Here's-How-Men-or-Women-REALLY-Think Drunk; aka The PHILOSOPHICAL Drunk.

"The meaning of life is kind of like, you know, when you look up into the stars and you're like, 'Whoa!' because we are totally INSIGNIFICANT, MAN! And then when someone dies, you know, it's like, THEY ARE F'ING DEAD and then, you know, life is just too F'ING SHORT to be worrying about smoking because you know, live life to the fullest. I mean Carpe F'ing Diem! Burn the candle at both ends because it is SO F'ING BETTER to burn out than to fade away, you know what I'm saying..."

And as I start to leave, I hear what every musician who's ever played in a club has heard many times over...

"OOHH DUDE! You are awesome! You. KICK. ASS."


"You ROCK, man! You played the SH* out of that m'ther f'er! KICK. ASS. MAN!"

These drunks also think that compliments laced with vulgarities are more meaningful to the person receiving the compliment. Usually, though, we musicians just smile and hope that the guy -- and it's always a guy, girls never do this -- doesn't trip over a chord or an amp and smash some of the equipment or spill beer on our speakers.

All in all, I had a great evening listening to the music and cavorting once again with my friends (even if I didn't drink; so yes, it IS possible to have fun without alcohol-induced euphoria/stupor).

Hug Rule #6: The Sincere Hug

Often, you really do want to show someone that you care and that you truly appreciate them.  The Sincere Hug consists primarily of a tight, 2-3 second-long squeeze followed by the backing up and sharing of a kind word...


And so, Consider yourself Sincerely Hugged.

I appreciate your interest in my crap. 


As I stated earlier, if I've left you out (or someone else), then give me some quick feedback.


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