Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Seven Deadly Drunks.

Here's an article that I wrote at work today for the magazine, which may or may not drop on Friday, possibly depending on whether or not I decide to pull an all-nighter this week. It should probably be noted that, copy-editing wise, this probably isn't the final version. Anyway, pulling from my wretched wealth of experiences as a bar patron...


Whether you're out for a night downtown or just out on a leisurely stroll to the neighborhood bar for a drink or ten, the faces might not always be familiar, but the archetypes typically are. Here is a list of seven types of people that we've all met in bars.

The Meathead.

Aliases: Biff, Jocko, Cro-Magnon, Beef Supreme, Captain Destructo.

Drinks: Light Beer, Jager.

Likes: Yelling, headlocks, punching holes in the drywall in the men's room, throwing friends into tables, throwing friends into barstools, throwing friends at other people.

Dislikes: Swatting glass shards out of own face, Getting thrown out, thinking.

M/O: Fun to observe from a distance, meatheads almost always travel in packs and can usually be identified within minutes of their arrival by the sound of glass shattering on the ground. The alpha male is typically the most clever of the group, maintaining dominance over the collective by shifting blame to compatriots upon notice by the bar staff. Meatheads aren't known for conversational skills and become easily frightened and confused when approached, especially by bouncers. Remember the guy last week who decided that it was a good idea to take a swing at a cop? You get the picture.

The Party Girl.

Aliases: Glitterati, Squinty McBlinderson, The Flash, The Walking Wardrobe Malfunction.

Drinks: Lemon Drops, Tequila Shots...actually, the Party Girl is about as picky with drinks as most goats are with food.

Likes: Dancing on dance floor, dancing on chairs, dancing on barstools, dancing on bar, guys that treat girls like pets.

Dislikes: Buzzkills, blacking out, waking up with mystery bruises.

M/O: While the Party Girl rarely travels to bars alone, it isn't uncommon to find one dancing by herself, sometimes to low volume music, if any. Give caution to proximity, as a strong increase in localized gravity usually follows Party Girls wherever they go. Party Girls are not above making out with others of their kind to impress you. Conversations are typically one-sided, and if you leave their line of sight, they probably won't remember who you are, regardless of how many shots you did together, how many times you helped picked her up off of the floor, or how much of her last drink ended up getting mixed with her stomach acid and somehow got on your leg. Guys, beware...Party Girls make surprisingly formidable stalkers when they aren't at the bar.

The Loner.

Aliases: Second Stool on the Left, Bob Seger SuperFan, Resident Evil, Kaiser Permanente.

Drinks: Wild Turkey, PBR.

Likes: Mildly offensive trucker hats, Cowboy Killers (Marlboro Reds), NASCAR, darkness.

Dislikes: People messing with America, getting up off of his barstool, the wife kicking him out of his own %$#& house.

M/O: The Loner knows that people go to bars to hang out with friends or meet new people, and he doesn't care, because he hates people and he thinks you're stupid. The Loner typically inhabits sports and/or dive bars, and, presumably, gains some form of photosynthetic sustenance from the light emanating from neon bar signs. Whether the Loner is drinking before or after work is a time-tested mystery, if he works at all. Maintaining the same basic function in the bar that Black Holes have in the universe, The Loner has a tendency to warp or completely absorb all forms of fun, and much care should be taken to avoid his event horizon.

The Hipster.

Aliases: Captain Emo, Johnny Thriftstore, Skellington, French Cuff, PDSD (Post-Dodgeball Stress Disorder).

Drinks: Coffee drinks, if that.

Likes: Clove cigarettes, plastic eyeglasses, uncomfortable sweaters, women's jeans, leaving bar early to go home and write in diary about going to bar.

Dislikes: Movies you like, music you like, getting thrown like a javelin by the herd of guffawing Meathead mouth-breathers in the corner.

M/O: The Hipster is cooler than you, and isn't afraid to make sure that you know that, even if it means eavesdropping on your conversation just to tell you that he doesn't like what you're talking about. Fortunately, if you actually pay attention to current alterna-music and/or independent film, hipsters can be fun to argue with as long as you don't cross the line that hurts their feelings; unfortunately, if hipsters get to like you, you'll end up knowing more about their innermost thoughts and feelings than you wanted to, probably during a poetry/photography exhibition you got roped into attending. Be very careful when buying hipsters alcohol, unless you don't mind consoling them about their cheating ex-girlfriends from six years ago.

The Viper.

Aliases: Sub-Zero, Medusa, Dr. Claw, High Maintenance.

Drinks: Cosmopolitans, whatever's expensive.

Likes: Open hostility, tanning.

Dislikes: People, other people.

M/O: Eternally prodding, Vipers can usually be seen making rounds in search of her next victim. Stock moves include accepting a ten-dollar drink from some poor sap before returning to her pack of harpies to rip on him, or pretending to walk to the bathroom with the intention of pointing out an article of clothing on someone that they think is outdated by at least a few weeks. Vipers usually don't speak to anyone besides other Vipers and Frat-Guy Metrosexuals (nominated, not listed). Vipers are usually attractive, but should be regarded with caution, as they have sharp and/or abrasive edges.

The Train Wreck.

Aliases: Mr. Hyde, The Smashtronaut, Bomberman, The Escapist, The Time Traveler.

Drinks: Omnivorous. Will drink the Wounded Soldiers left on the table by strangers.

Likes: Vomiting, gravity.

Dislikes: Following advice, public intox laws, public urination laws, indecent exposure laws, etc.

M/O: A lot of us have friends that function in a complete state of alcohol-free normalcy during the week, only to have the peaceful coexistence of brain and liver loudly interrupted by the induction of a little Stupid Juice. The Train Wreck has limits, they just can't recognize those limits within a hundred miles. It should be noted that any attempts to put the Train Wreck to sleep when you get home from the bar will eventually end in an escape attempt. A mixture of this archetype and alcohol will result in all of your neighbors' potted plants ending up on your front porch at 3:30 in the morning last night, but will not help him explain it to them when they find him sleeping in your driveway the next morning.

The Liar.

Aliases: The Chameleon, The Politician, Jerkstore, El Chacho Grande.

Drinks: What are you drinking, Honey?

Likes: Talking to women about a fictionalized awesome version of himself.

Dislikes: People that talk to him long enough to call him out for contradicting himself. For non-Party Girls, this takes around fifteen minutes.

M/O: It isn't that The Liar lies...we all typically do that to some extent. When you cut yourself shaving (face or legs), and then you told everyone at work that you were attacked by the League of Shadows on the way to your car, or when you told your nephew that he has to take a nap because that's when when you do your levitation exercises, or when you tell a stranger that your job title is "Russian Cosmonaut" but that you're a part-time celebrity body double, that's lying, or more specifically, that's fabricating. The Liar, however, doesn't tell creative sarcastic stories, in fact, they're usually pretty boring. The problem is that a) they're purposefully believable and b) that purpose is luring unsuspecting girls back to The Liar Lair.

...and that's pretty much it. For reference, I think I probably fit somewhere between Hipster and Meathead.

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