Hi, my name is Kieran, and I am a pathetic, hopeless alcoholic.
At least, according to the Bear I am.
The kernel of her belief started when I moved to Tucson for work 9 years ago. It’s weekdays in Tucson, weekends in Gilbert, Az.
She suspected I was spending my weeknights “having fun.” (Fun is beer-related and Tucson’s middle name is “beer-related”).
Her belief grew stronger about 5 years ago when she visited me and the pendejos at the Third World Racquet Club. I thought she was having a good time until we got home.
“How many beers do you think you had tonight,” she asked.
“I have no idea.” I said. Wrong answer.
“You had at least 5 beers and other booze,” she said. “And it’s only Wednesday.” (No idea what Wednesday has to do with it.)
So I instituted the 1-beer per night rule.
I did not define it for the Bear. Meanwhile back at the Third World, I defined one beer as one glass. If you refill before it’s empty, that’s still the same glass of beer. Empty a glass or get a new glass, and that’s a second beer.
I can honestly say for nearly a decade, all of us at the Third World have followed my one-beer rule like we are drinking the Kool-Aid in Jonestown.
In the meantime, I have added Tuesday and Thursday nights to my Third World ritual. That’s 3 beers a week for you math majors.
Her belief in my alcoholism was set in cement a few weeks ago on a Tuesday. She came down to Tucson for a short visit.
“You go play tennis like you usually do,” she said, and gave a little hand wave like she’s the queen turning down the extra cup of tea. “I’ve spent enough time with you.”
We had spent 3 straight days together (ouch).
Went to the Third World, followed the one-beer rule. Rolled home around 10:30.
She was on the couch playing Candy Crush. I could see the lips starting to strain and purse. The game isn’t that hard — so here it comes…
“You know you are really drunk right now,” she said like Bob — the state trooper at my car window. “We are going to talk about this…”
The next day at lunch, we didn’t really talk. She talked, and I took the 5th.
She’s worried about my health: “I don’t want to outlive you.”
She’s worried about my mental capacity: “This can’t be good for your job.”
She’s worried about my criminal record: “You shouldn’t be driving.”
The responses (only in my head):
Ok — so after the 30 years of death threats and watching the fucking Investigation Discovery channel to figure out how to kill me and not get caught (Wives with Knives), it’s good to hear she may be planning the full murder-suicide rather than just smothering me in my sleep.
Unlike teaching, I could easily do this “management job” drunk or hung over every day — not that I do, boss. I’m just saying I could…
And most of the time I cycle to the club — it’s barely 2 miles and faster to ride than drive. No cops on the bike path. So there…
Her last argument was the strongest:
“What would your doctor say if he knew how much you were drinking every week.”
Studies show we all lie to our doctors. We drink about 60 percent more than we say we do. (By the way, your doctor doesn’t believe you — they know we are lying.) But they base all the recommendations on the lies. They correlate how much we say we drink with disease states. More on that later…
But after a little research and a little math, I believe I could tell my doctor the truth.
According to the NIAA, the average man can have 14 drinks a week. They figure that based on blood-alcohol-content. That is figured based on weight — so I am not the average man.
The average man is 5-9 and weighs 170. I’m almost 6-foot Let’s cut off the equivalent of a golden retriever and just say a healthy weight for me is 200.
Like all the children in Minnesota, that’s 15-percent above average. 15 percent of 14 drinks is another 2.1 drinks per week. So I get 16.1 drinks per week.
A drink is defined as 12-ounces of 5 percent beer. (factor of 60). But at the Third World we drink 48-ounce pitchers. We pour 5 glasses per pitcher. So each “drink” is about 9.6 ounces.
Drink of choice is Dos Equis Amber, which is only 4.7 percent alcohol. So each Third World beer is a factor of 45.12 — which is only 75-percent of one drink.
According to my bar bill, we usually get 3 pitchers per night. (I had to check the bill, because who the fuck can remember).
So let’s say I’m a pig and steal an extra drink from my friends each night. That’s not an admission, fuckers — just an estimation. That’s 4 Third World drinks each night — which equals 3 drinks per night.
At 3 nights a week in the Third World, that’s 9 drinks a week. Leaves me a cushion of 7.1 more drinks a week to share with the Bear.
But like I told her: “I don’t need to drink with you to have fun, honey. But with these assholes, beer is a must.”
Now let’s think about this national recommendation bullshit. They base the disease state compared to how much people “say” they drink. And people only report 40 percent of what they actually drink (compared to alcohol sales).
So we can inflate all the numbers by 60 percent. Meaning the recommendation for the average man should be 23.33 drinks a week.
But remember I’m not average. I should be able to drink 26.33 drinks per week before I get close to any disease states…
That’s right mother fuckers, it’s not that I’m drinking too much; it’s that I’m drinking too little. I’m not making my quota.
My math says I’m only drinking 9-12 of the 26 beers I should have per week. If I had a sales job and performed like that, I would have been fired long ago.
And that my friends is what makes me a Pathetic, Hopeless Alcoholic.