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News From the Front

“Sometimes I wish I’d went through those good times stone cold sober so I could remember everything,” he said, “but then again, if I had been sober the times probably wouldn’t have been worth remembering.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald

Six months after the fact, I am now finally prepared to talk about the First Annual Modern Drunkard Convention.

Rest assured this delay was not due to any feelings of guilt or shame, but rather a lack of memories. Fortunately, photos, press reports and video footage have more than served to jog my memory, so let’s dig it all up, shall we?

I remember a great deal of trepidation on the part of the Stardust Casino’s staff when we arrived. Would there be looting? Would liquor stocks be pillaged by rampaging drunks? Would a whiskey-crazed and quite possibly naked drunkard army rise up and seize control of the casino and demand an exclusive audience with Wayne Newton?

I told them not to worry, and I was, for the most part, correct. Bartenders weren’t savaged, but they were savagely overtipped. Slot machines weren’t smashed, but the record for the most money put through a single cash register in the history of the Stardust was. Naked hooligans didn’t tear through the casino, but a burlesque troupe did get mostly naked on stage. Bar tabs and livers were molested, certainly, but as far as I know, Wayne Newton escaped completely unscathed.

2004-mdm-convention_95One of the few moments I do sort of remember was the absinthe-fueled, semi-crazed, fully-slurred speech I gave at the convention’s conclusion. The thrust of the ranting, I believe, was to the effect that this year we united the tribe and next year we would rise up.

Rest assured I meant every word. The tribe certainly was united in spirit (and spirits, as it were), and for a beautiful three days it seemed like we were winning. Our power multiplied with each round of drinks, and whatever differences we walked in dissolved into a sea of hearty comradeship. Though our numbers were drawn from every possible segment of society, we managed to forge a powerful union dedicated to a singular and noble goal: getting utterly loaded. 

Which we accomplished quite handily. But that was last year. This year, as I portended, we’re going to, yes, rise up.

I remember mentioning at one point in the speech (in fact, I believe I mentioned it about fifteen times, just to drive the idea home) that we drunks are one of the most oppressed majorities in the history of mankind. I hold that to be true. If you don’t believe me, go out on a typical weekend and see who they have set up roadblocks for. Not terrorists. Not escaped convicts. Us.

With that fully in mind, you may expect that at the forthcoming convention we drunks will not only be getting utterly loaded, but also utterly organized.

Drunkard, get ready.

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Frank Kelly Rich
Editor/Publisher of Modern Drunkard Magazine.