Writers Get Their Drink On . . Plus Cock Tail Recipeeps

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Ahem. We of the ivy-towered writerly persuasion are known to imbibe now and again as the occasion calls, to further fuel our fevered muses, do we not? So OBVIOUS is the highbrow calling of our spirit-quaffing that I really needn’t bother with placating the proletarian OR the bourgeois masses with the tapestretical subtleties- yea, the chakra-dwelling agni of the artist-muse conduit which is called . . er . .

oh hell, where’s my beer???

Found it.

So do writers tend to have addictive personalities? Or is that all hype and myth? Stephen King wrote the razor-sharp “Cujo” in 1981 in an alcohol- and drug-induced stupor, and barely remembers any of it. In 1987 his family emptied the contents of his trash can onto the floor: beer cans, NyQuil, Valium and Xanax bottles, and cocaine and marijuana baggies. So he sobered up. Some fans think King’s post-sobriety novels are notable for their comparative fluffiness.

KING’S THE KING, MAN, HE’S THE KING!!!

What was I saying? Oh yeah . . Is writerly sobriety worth it?

You know, we writerly types aren’t fooling anyone. Whether it’s beer or wine, sangria or Everclear, we like to get our drink on. And it’s not to fuel our muses. It’s to make the loneliness of writing a tad more tolerable take the sting out of yet another thumb-nosed rejection slip drown the gut-wrenching, hand-wringing, teeth-gnashing despair OHMYMITHRAPLEASEHELPMEEEE

OK. Just had another beer. I feel better now. Where were we . .

You say you don’t drink? You’re not a writer. No way, no how. You say you have 20 published books and you’ve never touched a drop of alcohol? Well . . then you at least have tried apple cider at some point, right? Yes? Alright, we’re back in business. Apple cider counts as hard liquor on Mars. You squeak by as a Martian writer.

Anyway, whether you’re a writer from Mars, Earth, or Betelgeuse . .

Welcome to the Writers-Are-Drinkers-Club!

As a member, part of your welcome package is some dubious advice à la Hemingway and Bailey’s Bartending Guide to Great American Writers.

Of course, we won’t forget the biggest party favor.

Funny story about my first hard liquor drink- it was Wild Turkey. I must’ve been around 10. It was at my aunt and uncle’s house. The adults were chatting in the kitchen, and my cousins were in the playroom. I was sitting at the mini-bar in the front room, looking at a bottle, and wondering why the alcohol was called “Wild Turkey.” I also thought the drawing of the bird was interesting, and that a drink named “Wild Turkey” with a picture of a pretty bird must not be all that bad. Knowing it was a “grown-up” drink, I had to move quickly. I grabbed the bottle off the bar, unscrewed the cap, and took a swig without first smelling it (pretty fast, eh?). HOLY CRAP Lucky for me it was a small swig, and I managed to not retch or fall off the stool. And to this day I don’t know how Gonzo did it. And I’m still a lightweight. Whisky is my least favorite liquor. But I’m partial to rum and vodka cocktails. And wine. And beer. And wine and beer cocktails. I guess I’m partial to cocktails in general.

What was I saying? Oh yeah . .

Gronlund, this one’s for you:

Beastie Boys-Honored Brass Monkey

malt liquor (may substitute super-sized regular bottled beer if you’re a lightweight and don’t want to hurl after consuming)

OJ (the drink)

Drink malt liquor / beer to label.

Fill to top with OJ.

Drink.

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Oh my Mithra! I can’t believe I watched that video all the way through, and then actually posted it! What about my writerly reputation? Now somebody on Facebook Twitter G+ might not take me seriously as a writer anymore! . . only another Brass Monkey can console me know.

Ahhhh. I feel bebber. An at lease that video wasn’t funny Rebecca Black parody videoie.

OK thass mean, an I’m not mean drunk, so gonna make it up ta ya. Here go cleanse yer brain palate.

brain- get it? b-rain? beer-rain? mever nind.

An cheers!

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12 Comments

  1. Raymond Chandler wrote screenplays as well as novels. He fought against liquor many times over the years, famously so. During a long bout of sobriety he was approached to save a movie project which needed a script almost right away. He tried to write it and got nothing, bupkes. He told the producer, “I’m sorry but I simply cannot do this unless I start drinking again.” The producer had a case of liquor delivered to him that afternoon. Chandler turned out the script in about three days.

    Reply
  2. 3 days?!

    Kind and brand, please? 🙂

    Reply
  3. CM, my drink of choice is a Boilermaker. Second choice is Chianti. I like martinis, but they hate me. I drink a martini, it puts out a contract on me. Maybe a Vodka martini would be kinder. Hey, it’s worth a try, right?

    Reply
  4. From one writer to another . . yes, it’s indubitably worth a try. 🙂

    Reply
  5. I must be a weird exception. I RARELY drink anything. Almost never. But my drinks of choice if I do? Sangria or Amaretto Sour. 🙂

    Reply
  6. Amaretto Sour? That sounds weird. I’ll have to try that. 🙂

    Reply
  7. Beer is my usual choice, but I’ll drink pretty much anything. I think my lowest point was probably Four Roses whiskey mixed with hot chocolate powder. But that was a long time ago… *shuffles feet and studies ceiling*

    Reply
  8. Whiskey + hot chocolate powder? Maybe I should’ve tried that instead of those straight whiskey shots I had when I was single. I didn’t like whiskey- still don’t- but my “friend” (not really accurate, but more accurate than “boyfriend”) showed up with some, and I was going through my “easy-going party girl” phase. A couple whiskey shots later, I guess I was *too* easy-going, and my friend said, “Oh god, I’ve created a monster . . ” A couple shots after that, the night ended when I discovered I coudn’t keep down 4 whiskey shots.

    Reply
  9. The business of work and life…you get busy and finally catch up on the other things that matter (like your blog), and there you are talking about drinks AND the Beastie Boys! (The first concert I ever saw–in the Dallas Sportatorium– that left me feeling…old! Every gang in Dallas was there to listen to the B-Boys, Cypress Hill, and the Rollins Band.)

    So…a decent reply to this awesomeness: my first real drinking experience: my father. In his shop. (He was a mechanic.) Peppermint schnapps and a fully automatic pistol and a bunch of railroad ties. I was maybe 10?

    Whenever Jaws 3D came out…my step brother took me and I had a few beers. First buzz? I went swimming and remember thinking I could stay underwater forever. I was maybe 13 or 14?

    First REAL drunk was the one and only time I ever got sick drinking. (I was 14.) Half a fifth of Jack Daniels and a BIG bottle of brandy. My mom found me face down in a Piccolo’s thick crust pizza. My best friend, Mike, said, “Chris is sick…” An understatement.

    After all that, I looked at my father’s drinking habit and that first REAL drinking experience and vowed–never again–will I drink to excess. Not that I didn’t come close in my early 20s, but I was always keeping tabs on it when there was a big party and people said, “DRINK!!!” I’m a big guy, but I know my limits.

    So…sometimes I drank; most times, I didn’t.

    I LOVE a good drink. But like you and your discovery about 4 shots of whiskey…I refuse to go to a point where there’s a struggle to keep it down. I savor a good drink, but anything more than that is just too much for me.

    You’ve inspired me. Friday’s Juggling Writer entry will be about drinking, and I think Monday will, too.

    Thanks for the Beastie Boys video 😉

    Reply
  10. Ha! Those are some great drinking stories, thanks Gronlund! And I’m glad you enjoyed my post. 🙂

    Face-down in a pizza? You have me beat there. But I have you beat on number of times to vow “never again.” But then, your “half a fifth of Jack Daniels and a BIG bottle of brandy”- by yourself- at 14 (holy Mithra, man!)- trumps any alcohol thing I ever did or will do (I solemnly hope).

    About that whisky incident- the whisky *did* sneak up on me. I guess the rocket fuel-taste of the foul liquid distracted me from noticing a few crucial physical reactions. Funny, one of my works-in-progress has a set of alcoholic triplets. Two of the three are moonshiners. The whisky sneaks up on them too. Wine leads to the gruesome end of the third one.

    I look forward to your long weekend of inspired drinking posts!

    Cheers!

    Reply

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