What are we to make of drink? For probably the entire history of our fine species we've been consuming alcohol. At least I think so. If there's one thing that'll become clear in this shitty little essay it's that I don't do research just so I can get my facts straight. That aside though, It seems like drinking has become a fairly integral part of human society and (dare I use the word) culture. If anyone doubts that people have been knocking back the piss for a damn long time, though, I direct them to the creation myths of the Babylonians, which basically hold that the first thing the Gods forged out of primal chaos wasn't the world, or even each other. No. It was booze (can't remember the type, but if Egyptian beer is anything to go by, it was probably pretty fucking awful). The Gods, having never drunk before, did what most first-time-party-drinkers do, to whit: massively misjudge their capacity to consume this stuff safely, and proceeded to empty their guts in the spectacular manner of which only divine beings are capable. The pile of steaming vomit became the world. The subsequent suffering and tribulations that characterise the human condition can presumably be attributed to the eternal hangovers of the supreme beings.

But enough of this! Let us celebrate what our irrational desire to get sloshed has done for humanity over the ages! It's certainly proved versatile in its applications. Alcohol is used as a social lubricant, a memory suppressor, a marker of important events (It's a boy/girl/wedding/deal/new year! Let's get pissed!), a test of manhood, an aphrodisiac (it even works. though the results tend to be slightly disappointing for everyone concerned), an engine fuel, a fire starter et cetera. I've even seen a guy try to use it as furniture polish, though admittedly he'd previously been using it for a few of the other things listed above. The trouble is that most of these uses are just variations on the theme of 'pour it down your throat'. I believe that we're missing the point here. This wonderfully versatile little chemical (chemists, please note that I have absolutely no idea whether or not alcohol's a big molecule), which has given us so much while asking for so little in return, can go far beyond its traditional, pedestrian use(s). A favourite example of mine is flambéing.

Let me digress here a little to tell you about my father. Dad's a cheerful- mannered, genial man who suppressed his latent desire to bring about the violent deaths of his intellectual inferiors in order to join the public service, and has since channelled the urge into what I can only describe as a culinary pyromania. Dad will flambé anything, from Christmas puddings, to pancakes to fruit. I've seen him try to flambé his muesli before breakfast. I don't know whether it's genetic, or just a product of my upbringing, filled as it was with slightly scorched eyebrows, but I find very few things in life as invigorating as watching the beautiful purpley- blue flames dance on some poor unsuspecting item of food.

So I think we can all agree that the fermentation of stuff to produce alcohol is one of the more wonderful things humans have done in their not- too-glorious history. The question remains, though, of whether it was actually a good idea or not. I mean, whatever foodstuff you're getting it from has to be massively overripe for fuck's sake! I'm frankly at a loss to explain why we tried this in the first place. I can only imagine the first experiment with consumption of fermented beverages went something like this:

'Gosh darn it,' (I know, it's pretty tame by today's standards, but remember that no-one had ever been hung over yet, so swearing hadn't developed into the fine art that it is today) 'Thag, all our fruit's spoiled!'

'Hmm. Looks like you're right.'

'Well, what're we going to do?'

'I don't know, Grog. Perhaps.'

'Perhaps what?'

'Perhaps. We left it alone, right?'


'And then it went off.'


'So maybe if we left it alone some more.' (Thag pauses at this point.) 'It'd go good again!'

'Thag, that's a stupid idea. Who ever heard of that happening?'

'Yeah, I guess. Should we give it a try anyway?'

'Well, I suppose I don't have anything else on for a few weeks.'

Thus history was made.

What's more, we've kept doing this! Every time humans have moved into a new area, we worked out a couple of things. We worked out what we could eat, we worked out what could eat us, and then, with the tiresome business of keeping the tribe fed taken care of, we worked out what we could ferment and drink. Some of us also worked out what could ferment and drink us, but they couldn't pass this knowledge on due to all the drooling and walking into things, and thus humanity will remain ignorant of the true masters of the world until the Strange Eons etc. etc.

Speaking of strange, what the fuck is with tequila? I tell you, if I came across the guy who decided that fermenting this weird cactus juice would impress chicks I'd fucking slap him around like a red-headed stepchild with the words 'I Am Not Your Child' stamped on their forehead! If I retained the power of coherent speech I'd be shouting 'The fucking juice is hallucinogenic already! Fermenting it can only lead to pain!'

In light of this, I now announce the official list of Drinks Which Really Shit Qualia: 1) Tequila, 2) Campari, 3) Amaretto, 4) Vodka and energy drink combo-cans, 5) Californian wine, 6) Tequila, 7) Any liqueur containing metallic flakes, 8) Beer with additives (like shots of vodka), 9) Any drink priced at over $50 that isn't older than I am, 10) Mescal.

So anyway, we have our two cave dwelling pioneers of the brewers art, who I'm also about to blame for the fact that alcohol production became widespread. Picture if you will the following conversation:

'Hey Thag.'

'Yes Grog?'

'You remember when all our fruit went off,'


'And then we left it for a month and drank all the juice, and started laughing really loudly at something neither one of us can remember, and I started to think I could stare down cave bears, and you told the chief that his wife was an ugly bitch and she'd always liked you better anyway, and the next morning we had crippling headaches and all those bruises that neither one of can remember getting?'


'Let's do it again!'

I know this is exactly how it happened because I observe the same sort of behaviour in my brother, who's like a functional alcoholic except for the functional bit and operates his own still. I can only put this down to some defective gene which I hope I don't share with him.

In summation of this extremely well-structured and persuasive essay, I can only say that we need to look beyond the traditional role that booze has been kept in by the powers that be in this world and allow it to join the rest of the world's substances as an equal. For too long it has chafed under its confining bonds, and the time has come to let it realise its full potential! To that end I announce the formation of the BFP (Booze Freedom Party), which will stand for election in every area we have a representative in, some more that we don't, and will advocate for free elections in all areas currently denied the proper and correct democratic process (Florida springs to mind), so that all peoples of the world can figure out what we should be doing with the stuff anyway! Membership is free, meetings every day at 5:00 pm at the Pig and Whistle. See you there.