Sunday, November 21, 2010


First things first:
You: “Aaron! It’s been a while since you posted anything. What’s the deal man?”
Me: “I’ve had my hands full for the last month or so.”
You: “Seriously, that’s your excuse? What could you have been doing that’s kept you so busy?”
Me: “I proposed to my girlfriend, and she said yes.”
You: “Oh.”
Me: “Yeah.”
You: “Wedding fever, huh?”
Me: “Pretty much.”
Okay, I’m overdramatizing a little bit. I did get engaged at the end of October, and it’s been good so far. She’s handled pretty much everything (the venue, the preacher, tracking down a reception area, etc). The only thing I’ve had to do so far is pick out a first dance song (“Baby You’ve Got What It Takes”, Michael Buble’) but it’s still been a hectic process.

That said, what I have today isn’t a new short story (been trying to wrap up another novel idea recently), more of an observation. Yesterday my brother and I were in a book store when a handful of children ran by, screaming something at their mother.
My brother: “Man, kids are just like drunks.”
Me: “…that’s pretty good. Can I blog about that?”
Him: “Sure, as long as you don’t make any money off of it.”
Me: “Don’t worry, it’s a blog.”
(Seriously, I can’t even figure out how to make anything off of these stupid banner ads)

But he was right; the similarities between drunks and children are strikingly similar.

  1. Short attention span. Many people have found themselves in the following situation: That one friend gets drunk and decides what a great idea it would be to discuss the time in fifth grade when you puked on yourself on the school bus (or another similarly uncomfortable topic). If you’ve encountered this situation before, you’ve likely discovered that the easiest way to put an end to the awkward situation is to change the topic. For instance, you could bait your political friend into the fiendish nature of free-market capitalism. Just be sure to not inadvertently pick another topic that leads to another awkward conversation. 
Similarly, children can easily be distracted from one topic to another. Parents swear by this technique. Kids don’t want to eat their vegetables? Misdirect their attention to the cake at the end of the meal, and they’ll destroy those peas. The drunker the individual is, the more childlike they may become; as such, it’ll take less and less effort to distract them from the potential party-stopper.

If he or she is drunk enough, a set of jangling keys may suffice.

  1. Commentary on anything and everything. One of the easiest ways to distract the drunk friend featured in comparison one is to point out something- anything, really- in the environment. Your drunk friend will no doubt have a story or opinion one way or another on said object or situation. Beware, however; your friend is very likely to instead speak about the most noticeable qualities of the biggest, meanest-looking guy at the bar. If your buddy ever utters, “A Harley-Davidson jacket? Harleys are for wimps! I’ll say it to all eight of you!”, best to leave them to their own devices and clean up the mess afterward. 
If you have children, you have no doubt encountered “Mommy, look at this!”, “Why does that guy walk funny?” or “What does ‘combustible’ mean?”, you know that  everything in a child’s field of vision is interesting enough to verbally comment about at one hundred and forty decibels. Worth noting is how often this similarity coincides with the third comparison…

  1. Shouting. This one is obvious. If you’ve ever been around the drunk girl who honestly thinks “This song is about me!” or that guy who will “Totally kick your ass at beer pong!”, you know that some people cannot control the volume of their voices when drinks are involved. Why is that, anyway? I speculate that the alcohol adds a kind of white noise that they think they have to shout over in order to be heard. Eventually though, the white noise turns to a test pattern at the end of the night when there’s nothing else to see. 
Everything that a child sees is worthy of your immediate and undivided attention. And if you ignore him or her, you must not have heard them the first time and require a louder reiteration. If you did not find what he or she had to say funny, or interesting, or spiritually and metaphysically enlightening, you did not hear them correctly and the process must begin anew, continuing to increase in volume until the situation has passed or their attention befalls something else (refer to comparison 1).

Is my comparison unfair and one-sided? Of course it is. That’s my attempt at comedy. It’s a joke. I’m joking. I love kids and I’ve taken care of my share of intoxicated people (and been taken care of a time or two as well), so please hold the angry e-mails. It’s just comedy. 

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