Geez, when you read all these “side effects” warnings listed on the sides of medicine bottles, or hear them rattled off in television ads (oh so swiftly in a sing-song tone as if they’re listing a set of beatitudes not maladies), it gets your friendly bartender to thinking… should he be listing “side effects” warnings on his bottles? Because check out this disclaimer for a simple hay fever medicine. “Could cause nose bleeds, blurred vision, loss of balance, upset stomach, vomiting, muscle cramps, confusion, and in very rare cases death… if it leads to a crime committed in the state of Texas.”
Okay, so I went for the cheap joke there but didn’t everything else sound like something that could occur from your favorite cocktail? Me thinks it does and thus the following list…
Vodka: Possible side effects could include blurred vision, vomiting, memory loss, horribly impaired judgment… often resulting in a “one night stand” and a “morning after” from hell when vision returns. Vomiting could also recur at this point and in rare cases broken legs, as some have tried to escape through a second-floor window. (A woman in upstate New York dropped a full five stories!)
Recommended Usage: Two drinks a day if served as Martini or Gibson, four if mixed with soda water or tonic. (One if part of a Long Island Ice Tea.)
Single Malt Scotch: Possible side effects could include Acute Reverse Amnesia… your friends don’t recognize you! This is the result of their bearing witness to a heretofore unseen pedantry in all things Single Malt, disorienting those who knew you as a Bud Light. And further blurring their powers of recognition is your uncontrollable cork and snifter sniffing in public. Vomiting could also occur here, but again, only by your peers. (Caution: In very rare cases a distinct blackening under the eyes has occurred and a flattening of the Malt drinker’s nose when his pedantry has pushed a bartender way too far.)
Recommended Usage: Find a brand you like, stick to it and shut the fuck up about it!
Gin: Possible side effects could include, in addition to blurred vision and its attendant vomiting, V.B.S. or its full name… Verbal Diarrhea Syndrome. This results from a sudden rush of pseudo-knowledge in sports, politics and entertainment, which has to be expressed immediately and at great length. A blackening of the eyes is again a possibility, the result of a disagreeing viewpoint by a non-gin drinker. (Caution: A sudden English accent could also creep into your speech, but only if you’re wearing a bow tie and hate your station in life.)
Suggested Usage: Two drinks a day if served as Martini or Gibson, four if mixed with soda water or tonic. (None if you are standing next to a beer drinker.)
Beer: Possible side effects could include farting, bloating, belching, gloating, diarrhea and a severe loss in IQ points. Swelling of the palms could also occur due to excessive high-fiving, and sternum bruises from constant and unchecked chest bumping.
Suggested Usage: None if standing next to a gin drinker.
Irish Whiskey: Possible side effects could include blurred vision, rushes of manly bravado and, (especially if ingested as Jameson’s), acute Tourette’s Syndrome whereby “fuck” is inserted every third or fourth word per sentence. Blackened eyes could also occur here but only to the person standing next to the Irish Whiskey drinker.
Suggested Usage: Four drinks a day if ingested “neat”, three if “on the rocks” (a heavier pour), but none if ingested within two blocks of an elementary school.
Wine: (See Single Malt Scotch.)
Tequila: Possible side effects could include vomiting, blurred vision, vomiting, swollen tongue, vomiting, memory loss, vomiting, a “one night stand”, excessive vomiting, and bruised heels due to excessive dancing. A bruised forehead could also occur but only if most of your falls happen face first. (Caution: the word “party” will no longer be pronounceable as you will only be able to express it as, “pahhhh-teeeee, pahhhh-teeeee!”)
Suggested Usage: Three a day if part of a Margarita, four if done as a shooter, and one in any form if drunk in Mexico. (That shit is lethal down there!)
Rum: Possible side effects could include blurred vision, the desire to purchase a parrot, and in some cases a parcel of land down in Tortuga. Slurred speech could also occur as “Arrr-be-garrrr!” starts appearing in between sentences. (Caution: In very rare cases rum drinkers have started revolutions and overthrown governments, so if the urge occurs make sure you have an army!) Oh, and did I mention vomiting? Yeah, vomiting is often quite likely… and a corny Latin accent when ordering the Cuba Libre.
Suggested Usage: Two a day if part of a Mai Tai, three if in Cubre Libre, but none if flanked by a beer drinker and a gin man.
End of List.
PS: If you think I exaggerated about the parrot and the the rum drinker, check out this disclaimer (this actual verbatim disclaimer) for a pill that supposedly cures Restless Leg Syndrome. “… and could cause increased sexual drive and the urge to gamble.” Can you imagine? “Hey, Dude, how’d those pills work out you were takin’ for your legs?” “Like you wouldn’t believe, man. My legs are fine, I have a constant boner and I just won six hundred dollars in Atlantic City.”
Over and out from Bar-land… see ya’ next week-end.