If drinking at Yale has taught me anything, it is that I don’t like drinking. And should avoid it. I have never been sick as a result of the imbibement of spirits, no. I can hold my liquor. That’s not the problem.
The problem, for me, is that liquor tastes bad. Really bad. And you want to know something? It tastes bad to you, too. That’s the thought that runs through your head every time you sip your rum and coke, with every shot of tequila, every chugged beer. Admit it. Every screwdriver brings the imminent question, if only momentarily: “Why’d I have to go and ruin this perfectly good orange juice?”
Liquor tastes bad. There, I’ve said it. It makes your throat burn, it leaves a terrible aftertaste, and, on its way through your system, it makes every organ in you want to purge whatever fluid is inside of it. It’s sour, vile stuff. You know that face you make after taking a drink? That squinty face with your tongue sticking out? That’s called disgust. It’s the same look you get after drinking pee. True story. Thanks, but I’ll just stick with the chaser, if that’s alright.
“But not all liquors are the same,” says Joe College. “Sure, rum is gross. But vodka is delicious”! No, Joe. No, it is not. I hate you, Joe. Not all liquor is the same. This is true. But there is no “delicious” liquor.
There are delicious drinks. White Russians, vodka and cranberry juice, and– White Russians, just to name a few. What do these have in common? They’re delicious because of all that other stuff you throw in to try to distract you from THE TERRIBLE TASTE OF LIQUOR.
What are the best drinks? What are your favorite cocktails? Those which don’t taste like liquor at all. Malibu & pineapple juice? “It’s like drinking candy,” says the Frosh in the tube top and strap heels. Quickly adding: “Provided that candy is in liquid form. I thought that was assumed.”
“And then there’s beer,” says one of the eleven Frat boys at Yale. Sorry – Ten. “Beer tastes great!” Again– Think hard, now. Beer. Remember beer? Sour, funny-tasting stuff. Be honest, now. If it weren’t for the fact that beer (and, for that matter, all liquor) loosened you into a state of depressed incapacity, you wouldn’t touch the stuff. Look at non-alcoholic beer. Ever had one of those? Allow me to answer for you.
You: Hell no. I’m not going to drink beer if I don’t get trashed.
You: Yeah. You’re right. Point taken. Will you marry me?
Those old folks who swish their brandy and smell their wine corks? Yeah, they like getting sloshed, too. Just like the rest of us. It’s merely a question of their weapon of choice. Some people spend their lives critiquing liquors- using terms like “full-bodied” and “robust” and “interesting” to describe booze. These people are not worth talking too, believe me. They are the worst people in the whole world.
Look at it this way: Do you like it when that dude at that party keeps talking about exactly how bad this beer is in comparison to the beer he once drank at this one other party with his buddy Eric and this other dude Sean? Allow me to answer for you:
You: No. Anyone who talks about liquor while drinking is-
Me: A certifiable loser?
You: That’s incredible. I was just about to say that. We’re soul mates. Marry me.
Me: Again, no.
And here I am, talking about liquor, defeating my own point. We are in college. And in college, we drink. We’ve all seen the movies. That’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s our culture- the culture of mixers, the culture of cocktails. The culture of shots that don’t feel like shots. The culture of drinking to get drunk without drinking at all.
I’ll take pot.
Gregory Yolen is a sopomore in Pierson College.