“Here, pass this to Will,” is something I heard three times this weekend. I knew no one was handing me my wallet that I had inadvertently left on the bar. And I knew no one was trying to pass a five-dollar bill over to me for the Miller Lite I had just ordered for them minutes prior. No, what they were handing me was something awful, destructive, and irresponsible: a shot.
I get it. You think you’re doing something nice, something celebratory. But what you don’t realize is that I just can’t handle it anymore. With every shot you give me in the heat of the moment, there’s a fifty-fifty chance that I’ll be found fast-walking into the nearest bathroom stall before losing my dinner. I’m never going to be the guy who throws the shot behind him onto the ground rather than taking it because I’m not a wasteful prick, but I will turn into a prick if I start relentlessly shooting bottom-shelf gold tequila named after some general animal that’s native to Mexico. Don’t put us both through this.
Sure, you can look at it like I can’t handle my liquor. That’s fair. But when you get to the root of the problem, it’s that I’ve already established how I’m going to perfectly pace myself for the night. So, with every shot of Jack or Vegas Bomb that you throw my way, it’s a total wrench in my plan to simply maintain until I finally force myself to go to bed. It takes me from buzzed to hammered which only inhibits my decision-making skills even further than normal. Next thing I know, I’m buying them for you to reciprocate (you’re welcome) and we’re piling late-night pizza in our mouths while arguing who the best character in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was.
This isn’t easy for me to admit, but I’m just simply too old to do shots at this point in my life. Hell, you’re too old to do shots at this point in your life. Do we need these one-and-a-half ounces of pure, unadulterated liquor? If you’re going to buy me a drink, can’t we discuss it first? Can’t we run through the merits of maybe getting a nice scotch neat that we can share over a half hour as opposed to shoving it down our throats in five seconds or less? Can’t you ask what I’d prefer rather than assume I want to ingest some 80-proof devil water? The chances are, I’d probably just ask for a three-dollar domestic and save you a few bucks. Shit, just hand me the five bucks and let me use it as a tip tomorrow at our inevitable brunch.
I like liquor as much as the next guy. A nice margarita on the rocks while I’m max-relaxing at the pool? Sign me up. A casual Mai Tai at a tiki bar when it’s touching 100-degrees outside? Yeah, let’s do it. Or even a nice glass of bourbon on a cold winter’s night when I’m reading some Hemingway while Sunday Night Football is on low volume in the background. I’m fine with that. But just don’t force my hand when it comes to boozing, man. Finishing a drink faster than a Usain Bolt 100-meter dash? I’ll pass.
If I wanted to ruin my night, I’d just turn to my girlfriend and say, “How scorching hot is that girl at the bar?” At least that would simply end in an argument as opposed to bringing on an existential crisis-fueled hangover where all the Advil in the state of Texas can’t cure my headache. But no, instead, we’re all doing an experiment to see if my gag reflex still works.
Save yourself the money, save me the hangover, and save everyone at the bar from seeing me drunkenly put “What Do You Mean” for the fiftieth time on the jukebox after another round of Fireball. Just please, for the love of God, stop fucking buying me shots. .
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