Tuesday, October 21, 2008

On Wisconsin!

     I have known some celebrated drinkers in my time.  People in all the places that I have lived have consumed alcohol in legendary amounts.  It's a sad fact that alcohol and its consumption have become an important part of the culture of American youth.  So, here is the deal then.  Since drinking is such an important part of our social agendas, then I have just this to say.

Suck it America.

     Yeah, that's right.  I said it.  But why am I telling America to suck it?  An article recently appeared in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that began with the sentence "Beer for beer and shot for shot, when all 50 states belly up to the bar, few can hold their own with Wisconsin."  That's right, kids.  My Homeland was recently tagged as the drunkest state in The Union.  And since being drunk is apparently so cool, that means that we are the coolest.  Let's look at the statistics.

Binge Drinking - #1
This is a crazy statistic because I am not sure if it counts all the college students or not.  Also, what this particular study defines as binge drinking would cover what I had with dinner tonight (Two beers, one cocktail in about two hours) and what you had during the football game on Sunday.  So keep that in mind.  But the same goes for all the other states included in the study, so bite me Arizona.

Percentage of Drinkers in the Population - #1
Ummmm...yeah.  Not much I can say about that other than to ask Maine if they are jealous.

Driving Under the Influence - #1
Yeah, okay.  This one is not so good.  But everyone has that one grade on their report card that raises eyebrows.  This is like the straight A student who gets a bad mark for effort because she is bored in the algebra class.  Sometimes you just have to rank in the areas you would rather not.  It is this statistic that is in my mind then I walk home from the bar in the middle of the street.  Because all those drunk assholes will mow me down if I am on the sidewalk.

Brandy Consumption - #1
Vodka Consumption - #1
Beer Consumption - #4?
This is an interesting set of statistics.  First of all, I don't know that we are fourth in beer consumption.  But I know that we are not Number One.  And so I wonder, what's the deal with that?  I mean, there are a bunch of breweries here.  That is one of the things we are known for.  Our baseball team is the Brewers.  I drink lots of beer and I live in Wisconsin.  Back to the report card analogy, this is like the captain of the football team failing the football unit in gym class.  The guy might be synonymous with football but sometimes it happens.  The brandy is from all the old people drinking Old Fashioned, which is a uniquely Wisconsin drink as far as I can tell.  And the vodka?  I have no idea.  Not a lot of Russians floating around, but someone is drinking the clear stuff.  Actually, it's all of us.  And you guys thought you were supposed to carry water in those bottles to work every day.

     Wisconsin also has, per person, three times the taverns as the rest of the country.  It's true though.  To be considered a town in most states you need like a store, maybe a gas station or a post office.  Not here.  Bar.  Only in Wisconsin will you see a bar on the side of the road with a 40 mph speed limit and a green highway department sign out front that says "Nelma: Unincorporated."  And yes that is a real town.  Part of it though is that we are sneaky.  We actually probably have a lot more but we call them "supper clubs."  That's right.  There are hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites getting sloshed at supper clubs every weekend.  And they aren't even counted in the stats.  How do you feel about that, Hawai'i?
     The great Lewis Black, on his White Album, stated that he "...had been drunker [in Wisconsin] than he had ever been anywhere else."  He went on to say that we were not alcoholics, but we were professionals.  And to a certain degree I think that is true.  Because some people go to the bar every day.  And they actually spend about 40 hours a week there to be honest.  We are so professional and politically correct that libations aren't even called alcoholic beverages in out state statutes.  They are referred to as alcohol beverages.  It's amazing the connotations that that simple "-ic" can have.  But even we know that we are not alcoholics.
     A 32-year old mother performed a 14 second keg stand on opening day at Miller Park in Milwaukee.  I am not exactly sure to to treat that sentence.  On one hand, I am astounded.  On the other hand I am impressed.  I can't picture most mom's doing a keg stand, but just about everyone in Wisconsin that I know who has a child I can picture going to town on a keg.  There was also a group out in the parking lot going beer bongs that included a doctor, several lawyers, and a banker.  Yep, that the people that are making out society run sucking beer out of a beer bong with room for eight.  Oh, and one of them is in their 60s.  
     So we are drunks.  But we are fun.  And we are cute.  At least I am.  And we are not winning the drinking contest by a small margin.  Over the last 10 surveys the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have conducted on binge drinking, The Homeland has led all ten,  And typically we out-binged our nearest competitor by 13%.  That shows how when we do something in Wisconsin, we do it right.  It speaks to our dedication and work quality.  So lets look at the positives.  In a culture where drinking is king we are the kings of drinking.  So suck it.  Wisconsin is the best.  And that's on the Internet, so it must be true.

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