If you fancy yourself a hard drinker and aren’t following notoriously unrepetent drunkard Colin Deal (@Dear_Booze) on Twitter, then you are needlessly depriving yourself of a singular pleasure.
Tell us about your first drink. One of my earliest memories in my life is from when I was about three or four years old. My grandfather let me try a sip of his beer. It was probably Olympia. I hated it. Also interesting about that day was it was also the first time I fired a gun.
The first drink I had that I enjoyed was a beer from a schoolmate’s garage refrigerator. It was summer and it was hot and it was one of the best things I ever tasted in my life.
The first drink I ever ordered in a bar was a Singapore Sling. I was 18 or 19 and had a fake ID. I had heard the name of the drink and thought it sounded exotic.
What’s your usual and why? I generally stick to Captain and Coke because it’s pretty hard to fuck that one up and it never disappoints.
Have your tastes changed over the years? Of course. Just like anything else in life, when you’re learning you figure out what works and what doesn’t. When I was just starting out, my go-to drink was a Greyhound because I really like grapefruit juice. I drank those for years. Along the way I discovered that certain liquors affect me in different ways. Brandy, for instance, is something I really like, but it tends to make me mean; I like gin just fine, but after a gin bender I really stink for about 48 hours; and when I drink whiskey, stuff tends to get broken and I know where I’m going — and it’s Hell.
What setting do you prefer to drink in? I like bars. There’s something special about them. I’m talking about real bars, not clubs or chain places. I prefer a good dive bar. You know, a cool, dark place where getting stabbed is not out of the question.
I enjoy listening to the stories that the regulars tell and interacting with them. I enjoy seeing how other people live their lives. It’s like reality TV without the TV. Or the chiseled abs.
When I’m in a bar, I prefer to sit at the bar itself. It’s where the action is. If you sit at a table away from the bar, it’s like ordering take-out food.
By the way, dive bars are really in fashion with the dirty Pabst-swilling hipster crowd so it’s a must that the dive bar is selected on its true virtues. Basically, if the place has “Dive Bar” in its name, it’s not the real deal.
Your favorite drinking story? Shit, I get this question a lot. But I have so many great drinking stories that I wouldn’t know where to begin. Here’s a list of my top 25 (in no particular order):
- Told a guy in a bar that I owned a saw-sharpening business and set appointment for him to bring in his saws.
- Told a guy in a bar that I owned a transmission shop and set appointment for him to bring in his car.
- Pissed my pants in San Diego.
- Lost my car in Las Vegas
- Lost my car in Tijuana.
- Accidentally stole a car.
- Threw Vice Presidential china off the balcony of a hotel.
- Fell asleep in a bar’s restroom and woke up after closing time.
- House-sat for someone I did not know for an entire summer.
- Accidentally committed a hate crime.
- Re-routed traffic on a very busy street so that all cars were forced to drive through a resident’s front yard.
- Convinced all the patrons in a bar that I was the mayor of St. Louis.
- Gave a guy a tattoo.
- Sat in the owner’s seats at a St Louis Cardinals game.
- Mowed a friend’s lawn at 3am.
- Invited a bum to drink with me for Happy Hour.
- Got in fight with the band Faith No More.
- Stole the golden arches from the side of a McDonald’s.
- Pissed in John Wayne’s boot prints at Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
- Stole a keg of beer from a pizza parlor.
- Got robbed by a stripper in Las Vegas.
- Got robbed by a stripper in San Jose.
- Threw up over the side of a cruise ship only to spray all of the passengers on the deck below.
- Got charged $4 extra by a cabbie for “farting in cab.”
- Joined an Elks Lodge.
Dream Bender Team: I’ve always wanted to take Pope Francis, Moshe Shulman, and Billy Graham to my favorite bar. Mostly because it would be really cool to walk into a bar with a priest, a rabbi and a minister. I also think it would be cool to drink with Neil deGrasse Tyson. He’s a really smart scientist. But I would hope that after a few pops, he would cease to be Mr. Scientist—Mr. Smarty Pants—and just be Neil. I’m fairly certain that I could talk him into getting into a little trouble.
Mark of a good bartender. The bartender can make or break my drinking experience. I look for a bartender who will keep my glass full and my ashtray empty and who talks as much or as little as I need.
Mark of a bad bartender. I don’t want to have to chase the bartender down to order another round. There’s nothing worse than having an empty glass in front of me while the bartender is fucking around on Facebook or Twitter instead of interacting with the people who will pay their rent.
And I hate when they say, “Do you want another drink?” First of all, it’s a stupid question. And second, don’t you think “Ready for another?” sounds better? I do.
A bad bartender is one that goes out of their way to let you know that they’re above their place in life. You know, those bartenders who have to make a point to tell you that bartending is only a temporary stop to bigger and better things. Fuck that. Bartending is an honorable profession. If they don’t recognize their importance, then they shouldn’t be there.
You spend a lot of time drinking in Vegas. Aside from the obvious (24/7 drinking & high tolerance for drunkardy), what makes Vegas a great town to drink in? Las Vegas is the Holy Land of drinking. I see it as a place to renew my faith. I don’t change when I get there, I just have more options to be myself. Miracles happen.
The Vegas bender is a religious experience. There’s nothing quite like it. The sun comes up and you feel dirty and ashamed. There are only two choices at that point. Either draw the blinds and hide from the light like a vampire or embrace it and find a dark building with plenty of booze and drink through it.
One of my favorite trips to Las Vegas took place last summer. Highlights included driving all night to arrive at 3am, drinking all day, buying and carrying around a blue plastic sword, cutting through every valet and cab line, offending old French people, telling a restaurant hostess about masturbating to Margaret Thatcher, a pitch dark Tiki bar, winning lots of money, speaking with an Australian accent for three hours and not being able to stop, pretending being gay to avoid tranny hookers, and welcoming the bartender starting her shift at midnight who served me my first drink when I arrived 21 hours earlier.
Do you have a drinking philosophy? If you’re gonna drink, then drink. Don’t fuck around.
Are there any hangover cures that work? The best cure for a hangover is to simply not stop drinking.
If I have to stop, for whatever reason, I go for a red Gatorade and a Sourdough Jack Burger from Jack in the Box. The problem is that when I have a really bad hangover, I can never seem to muster the energy to go out and get those things.
How do you know it’s time to stop drinking and go home? Why would I do that?