Dan Dunn is Food Republic’s brave booze columnist, the author of such stories as Introducing The Liam Neeson Drinking Game and Friday Is National Vodka Day. Who The F*&K Cares About National Vodka Day? This man does not hold back, as we see in his latest.
We were on vacation in Lake George, NY, when it happened. I was seven or eight years old at the time. My uncle, John, decided to impress the kids by performing his trick. The routine involved a diving board attached to a slip that extended out over the lake. Unattended diving boards like this, randomly attached to piers, weren’t so uncommon in those days before American society lawyered up. And, there was never any shortage of would-be Evel Knievels willing to do insanely stupid shit on, with, from and around them.
I’d seen the trick before. We all had. Uncle John, who is a big man, would take a few lumbering steps, bounce straight up in the air, do a butt-bounce-flip off the end of the board, and cannonball into the water. Now, let’s be clear. John had apparently mastered this trick at a young age and it requires a substantial degree of coordination. And though he’d usually consumed large quantities of liquid courage before attempting said maneuver, and was many summers north of 21, Uncle John always seemed to summon just enough agility and gracefulness to pull it off. Almost always, anyway.
I’d like to pause for a moment to note that, like the great jazz master Louis Armstrong before him, my uncle was a Schaefer Beer man. What’s that? You didn’t know Satchmo loved Schaefer? Well, he did…
The beer to have when you’re having more than one, indeed. Well, John definitely had more than one that day. And, while he managed to stomp to the end of the board and propel himself into the air, his downward trajectory was further out by approximately four or five Schaefers. I’ll never forget the terrible sound that emanated from him as his back scraped down the rusty edge of the board and he underwent the world’s most extreme epidermal exfoliation. Take Donald Sutherland’s ear-piercing shriek at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, marry it to the clatter of an old internet modem trying to hit paydirt, then marinate it with the climactic scene of a Hellraiser movie and you’re getting close.
I learned a few things that day — and on subsequent booze-fueled getaways — about the dangers of mixing alcohol and holidays. And since we’re smack dab in the middle of summer vacation season, as a public service I’d like to offer you The Do’s and Don’ts of Summer Vacation Drinking. To wit:
DON’T sit idly by when someone who’s clearly besnoxificated sets his beer down, hitches up his shorts and crows, “Here, watch this!” Especially if there are fireworks and/or farm animals involved.
DO provide a distraction for him. Possible candidates include, “Hey, is that Dale Jr. over there?” And, “Does that sheep look horny to you?”
DON’T drink so much that your summer music festival experience includes washing your hands in a urinal.
DO hydrate. It’s a surefire way to ward off the ill effects of a hangover. And, so easy to do. Here, allow this guy to demonstrate:
DON’T spill your margarita all over yourself. Firstly, there are poor kids going to bed sober in Africa, and you’re dumping booze like it’s a supermodel and you’re Leo DiCaprio. C’mon! Secondly, limes + skin + exposure to sun = phytophotodermatitis. And, that’s not nearly as badass as it sounds, according to Rachel Ahrnsen.
DO drink beer cocktails. Because they’re a thing now. Here’s a good one, courtesy of The LCL: Bar & Kitchen in New York City:
Head Above Watermelon
2 oz Fresh Pressed Watermelon Juice
1.25 oz Casamigos Blanco
.5 oz Fresh Lime Juice
.5 oz Simple Syrup
2 oz Allagash Hefeweizen
Shake all ingredients together except the Hefeweizen, pour into chilled brandy snifter, add Hefeweizen and garnish with a mint leaf.
DON’T ever go camping with Ted Nugent. Or, worse, this dude:
DON’T leave your cocktail unguarded at the beach. The reason, which we’ve covered before, is obvious: drunk monkeys.
DO have a go-to hair-of-the-dog cocktail. Like the Suffering Bastard, which according to legend originated in the dessert during the African campaign of WWII to help British soldiers recover from the previous nights’ drinking…
Courtesy of The Original Dinerant in Portland, OR)
1 oz gin
1 oz brandy
.5 oz lime juice
1 dash bitters
6 oz Cock and Bull ginger beer
Build in an ice-filled Collins glass, top with ginger beer, garnish w/ orange twist
DON’T drink bug spray. Sure, it tastes great, but that shit will fuck you up.
DO hydrate. Again, I cannot overemphasize the importance or sheer simplicity of this. Or can I?
DO what comes naturally, no matter how unnatural it may look to the rest of us…
Follow Dan Dunn on Twitter: @TheImbiber
Read more from The Imbiber on Food Republic: