When people get a little weird on us, I try hard to find the humor in it, and on my better days I can help even a drunk find humor in themselves while I’m at it. This has worked at campsites, beaches, backyard parties and family get-togethers.
Talking to a drunk can be a challenge because if they truly spoke their minds, they’d often be speechless. But still, words pour forth like bad beer with too much foam to fathom.
I had a conversation with one (good ol’ cousin Joe) at a large family holiday gathering, after he passed out and them came to, wondering how bad of a fool he had made of himself in front of the extended family.
That is an opportunity that cannot be passed up. When Joe asked what he had done, I told him he passed out because he tripped over the cordless phone and hit his head. He believed it. I told him he spent 20 minutes staring intently at a can of orange juice because it said concentrate.
I told him that he had rambled on and on about being broke, and finally came up with a plan to sell his car for gas money.
I told him that while the rest of us were trying to watch a Rams game, he kept loudly insisting that a quarterback was a refund. He couldn’t understand that one even though he had come up with it himself.
He went back to drinking, so just before he passed out again that evening, we sent him to the guest room with a ruler and gave him instructions to measure how long he slept. He solemnly promised he would do it.
Then in the morning (late in the morning, of course), his head was even foggier. He had a blood test scheduled for that day, and I convinced him he should study for it. He asked for a book and a cheat sheet.
It wasn’t much past noon before he managed to come up with another bottle. No surprise there. But that just provided more opportunity to mess with him. By dinnertime I had him convinced that since 90% of accidents happen around the home, he should move somewhere safer.
Please understand that I am not a drinking man. I don’t touch the stuff. Joe knows that and it bugs him.
The following morning, with another raging hangover, he rubbed his eyes, looked at me and said, “I don’t like drinking with you, man. You make no sense!”
Joe is a work in progress, but then so am I. Aren’t we all?