Thursday, 27 March 2008

The Elder Cousin's Guidelines on Drinking

Back in college, Adit and I came up with a set of guidelines for drinking (fairly) responsibly. They were for a cousin, not for ourselves, of course - we did the research to come up with them. Having done a fair bit of R & D then as well as subsequently, I figure it is now time to put up a slightly expanded list for the benefit of a wider audience (also, I'm a little bereft of stuff to blog about). I originally planned on mailing this out to a couple of cousins only, but then I figured this way I could invite anyone who reads this blog (yes, all 4.5 of you) to put in your suggestions in the comments and build up this list even further. Besides, this way I can direct my cousins here and increase my readership.

So, without further ado, here are my Guidelines on Drinking:

  1. Never drink on an empty stomach: Fairly obvious; it lowers your resistance, also makes you feel worse the next day
  2. Make sure you keep yourself hydrated: That means drinking enough water, not adding a little Sprite to your vodka
  3. Don't mix your drinks: Alcohol is alcohol any which way once it gets into your system (unless it's Lady Di vodka, in which case it's repackaged paint thinner); the issue with mixing your drinks is that it can mess up your estimate of how much alcohol you've imbibed, and accordingly, how much more you can take
  4. Your 'capacity' is not an absolute number: See 1-3 above - all of them make a difference to how drunk you get. Also, lack of sleep, fatigue, stress, etc can mean your threshold is lower. Watch it.
  5. Value quality over quantity: Even (especially) if someone else is paying. It will taste better going down, you'll feel better the next day, and you can claim it's part of your 'education'. None of that holds true for Bonnie Scot.
  6. If you think you're good for another 2 drinks, stop now: Once you've got some booze inside, you're likely to overestimate your singing abilities, sense of humour and sex appeal. What makes you think you can estimate your capacity correctly?
  7. Take a Disprin and a Digene before you sleep: The Digene will help calm the stomach, the Disprin calms the head. More importantly, get sleep.
  8. Drink with people you can trust: It's safer, less embarrassing, and more fun. It's an added bonus if there's someone who can carry you home (trust me on that).
  9. Sometimes it's better to let it out than to keep it in: The booze, not your feelings for your crush from class 5.
  10. It's never just about getting drunk. Enjoy the experience: Even if you don't believe that, it's the kind of gyaan you should come up with when you're drinking. That way you don't come across as a potential alcoholic.

Bonus Guideline: If you do get drunk, try not to walk off on your own in the middle of the night.

(That last one will have to be explained face-to-face, in strict confidence.)


  1. Strewth! For the most part.

    In my experience, as long as you drink loads of water before you go to sleep, you can skip the other steps. Also, before I turned 23, I never ever got a hangover, no matter what I did.

    I like mixing drinks occasionally, if the plan is to get drunk. (Normally that's my plan!) Quality over quantity is truer than you think -- it's much harder to ruin your head/stomach if you drink expensive liquor.

    Letting it out is good for feeling too. Especially the first few times you get drunk (with close friends). I think that if you admit to yourself that sometimes you use alcohol as an excuse to say things you actually think, then you'll find an equilibrium between the sober state and the drunken state.

  2. I dont really know but a couple of times I had tea before going out for drinking and was surprised how much I could take in.

    Maybe it has something to do with milk lining the stomach...?

  3. @y: Please - I'm being the Responsible,Protective Elder Cousin here. The guidelines were originally for a female cousin, to ensure that she didn't get beyond a state of mild tipsiness. For a level of drunkenness that's higher than mild tipsiness, these would be more useful as a checklist of what not to do.

    Considering that you would have done a fair bit of drinking in college where, of necessity, we would have dinner in the mess at abt 7.30 and start drinking later, you would have anyway been fed and watered before you started. Hence the lack of hangovers. Also, we did get a lot more sleep back then.

    So you use alcohol as an excuse to say what you actually think, huh? I would htink that works more for people you don't like too much but wouldn't want to hurt when you're sober. What's the point of close friends if you have to be drunk to say what you think to them?

    @k: Milky tea followed by alcohol? Punjus, I tell you...

  4. The thing about being reserved is that you don't even say nice things about your friends when you're sober.

    I'm sure you've at least seen those "I love you man" scenes, if not been a part of a few.

  5. I'd like to hear more about the story of you waking up at some random bus stop in Delhi after some party.
    I remember mum mentioning it once, and since she could never connect St. Christy with any debauchery, she told me something to the effect of you being mugged.

    In all these years I never believed her.

  6. St Christy! Haha!

    I guess in comparison with many of the people around you you might be considered vaguely saintlike...

    Hmm. Maybe not.

  7. Awright so this really is a family blog now!Welcome, boyo!

    Yes, the mugging story is true. The bus stop incident is another aspect of it - I woke up at the bus stop after the mugging.

    Further details shall probably be shared in person. Unless of course I decide to commemorate the fifth anniversary with a blog post or something.

    @y: Hey this isn't the first time I've been called a saint - Aparna did it back in college, but that was after she had found out she was distantly related to mym om, so I guess it might have been in a fit of aunt-ish generosity (incidentally, I can't seem to find an aunt-related parallel to 'avuncular'; any suggestions? )

  8. Aparna called you a saint eh? Hee hee. As for the female equivalent of avumcular... I would just use auntlike or aunt-esque. If we want to move into pun territory, we could always make up something from the latin word for "ant" (thereby implying the American pronumciation. Hehe.) Formic? Formicidic?

  9. Pardon my bad spellings. Some days my fingers are made of jelly.

  10. Check this out!

  11. Materteral, huh? Thanks.
    Though what is suggestive about aunts, I wonder...