Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Alcohol Ad Nauseum

A few nights ago, my wife and I sat in a movie theater in front of a gaggle of college freshmen. The movie hadn't started yet which meant that I had no reason to turn and glower at them, so I was stuck between the repeating series of nauseating pre-movie "fun facts" on the screen in front of me and the ridiculous frat-house chatter from the row behind me. Listining to this inane conversation, I realized something I've always vaguely thought, but never explicitly acknowledged: alcohol is THE ONLY THING that your average 18-23 year-old can talk about. In this case, the topics these guys hit were, successively: How do we get it? How much of it does it take to get each one drunk? (and the most interesting and/or successful topic) What each of them did while they were drunk?

I'm no teetotaler. Drink if you want! Drink as much as you want! It doesn't bother me!! But why, oh why, is it that college kids cannot talk about anything else? I have lots of friends in the 24+ age group who drink, and they seem to be about to converse about a wide range of subjects, and quite adeptly I might add. Admittedly, I'm a non-expert on drinking (and therefore I'm not an expert about talking about drinking), but I nevertheless have a few theories to explain this phenomenon: (1) drinking is the only thing that brings enjoyment/happiness/fun to their lives so that's the only thing they talk about; (2) drinking isn't that fun, but talking about drinking makes them feel like their lives are sexy and that their drunkenness is somehow adult; or (3) their minds are so empty that they have nothing else to talk about.

I'm not sure I buy any one of my theories. In any case, I'd be curious to see if anyone else has had experience with this. Am I wrong in my characterization (granting that it is exaggerated a little) that this group of human beings refuse to speak on any other subject? Assuming you agree (and why wouldn't you?) with my characterization, do you have any competing theories to explain this phenomenon?

3 Comments:

At 5/09/2006 08:33:00 PM,

I would broaden it to include the general law school population as well. I mean, when was the last time you sat in a group of law students where they weren't talking about either 1) the Law or 2) something that (happened/ will happen/ or should happen) at (last week's/ this week's/ next week's) (Thirsty Thursday/ Bar Review/ House party)? See, it's not an age thing.

Which begs me to ask - what did WE talk about at ages 18-23? And finally, would it be better to talk about alcohol related subjects or tort related subjects (referring of course to our King Kong preview discussions)? ... Sheldon, you know what I'm talking about here.

 
At 5/09/2006 08:54:00 PM,

One thing I have noticed, alcohol seems much more exciting when you have had a lot of it. In high school one of my friends who liked to party a lot was a depressed drunk, he would get drunk, then sit in a corner weeping about his last bad girl experience for a few hours, then maybe try to pick a fight with the guy who was supposedly interested in said girl (always unsuccessfully because by this point he could usually not stand up on his own). But without fail the next day he would be talking about the kickass party last night, and did you see when that guy totally backed down, and how much fun he had. I never got it.

Maybe interest can be chalked up to reckless youth. It seems like for a lot of people it kind of wears off as they get more responsibilities (job, bills, etc.)

 
At 5/10/2006 12:02:00 PM,

My family lived in Germany for several years and the only reason any of our extended family came to visit was to come for Oktoberfest. I remember being 9 years old and not understanding why my uncle was passed out on the couch and smelled really bad.

So, I think it is everywhere, especially in the 18-23 group, but everywhere.

I also have a dear friend who did a study abroad in Wales and was the queen of the pubs. All she did is drink. She got 15 credits for drinking. You get drunk, wake up in the morning and can't remember what you did ( or didn't do) with some guy? I don't see what is attractive about that?

I've often heard that people who don't have the Spirit in their lives try to fill a gap that they feel ( though they don't know what it is ) with other things- drinking, sex, drugs, whatever. Maybe that's what it is???

Regardless I think it is a disgusting habit, right along with smoking. It stinks, it can ruin your body and all that fuss about wine being good for you- you get the effect from the grape, NOT the alcohol, so that is a wad of BS.

Does anyone remember Bill Cosby's bit on getting drunk? " I love you toilet...."

 

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