Recently, a friend dragged me to a party at an art gallery in Silverlake, an area that in recent years has become the preferred stomping ground of the most insufferable hipster fucktards Los Angeles has to offer. (That’s right, all you skinny-jean wearing latte sippers in Los Feliz, you’re last year’s fucktards. Deal with it!)
My first instinct was to trap everyone inside and set the place ablaze. Future generations would have thanked me. But alas, I still cling to one or two vestiges of politesse, so I tried to mingle, drifting into a conversation with a diminutive Asian dude named Tae-Song and a chick who looked like Marcie from the Peanuts comic strip if she grew up, dyed her hair purple, and developed an eating disorder. I never got her name. I just called her Marcie. In my head, that is, not to her face. To her face, I called her “babe” and “sweetheart.” And I’m pretty sure she didn’t like that one bit.
Tae-Song said he worked in banking. Or maybe it was Bangkok. Fuck if I remember. What I do recall is that he wore a Jens Lekman t-shirt and spoke with a severe lisp, which made his incessant uttering of the meaningless phrase “it is what it is” even more hapless. The fourth time he did it I nearly snarfed scotch out my nose. I’ve done it before. Not all that fun.
Marcie didn’t divulge what she does for a living, but I’d bet dollars to donuts she works in psychology. She started analyzing me the second I told her I’m a professional drinker.
“Do you think maybe you’ve got anger issues? Do you use alcohol to quell that anger?” she posited, after I’d finished enumerating the many elaborate, painful and unnecessary surgeries I believe should be performed on meter maids and the programmers at Facebook.
Now between you and me, the notion that I have anger issues is patently ridiculous; only I didn’t use the word “ridiculous” in my response. I believe I went with something more along the lines of “Go fuck yourself, four-eyes.” Though since I said it without irony or sarcasm, Marcie, being a hipster and all, didn’t seem to get it.
What she also couldn’t seem to grasp, no matter how much I shook my fists, no matter how many balls of spittle came flying from my mouth as I shouted, is that I don’t use alcohol to quell my anger. On the contrary, alcohol stokes the precious inferno of fury that rages inside me. That fire goes out, and I’m out of a job. Plus it’s a good defense mechanism against douchebags whenever I’m out on the town. It’s like a skunk’s anal scent glands, only with colorful profanity instead of stank spray. Both can clear a room if it becomes necessary.
And I’ve found it’s worth unleashing from time to time, just to shake up the thoroughly spayed and neutered urbanites that are attracted to the shining shores of Los Angeles by the truckload. They fear anger more than they fear earthquakes, car crashes or terrorist attacks. Which is a shame. More anger coming out the right way means less coming out in the passive-aggressive nuspeak that passes for business lingo these days. Fuck them. Hard. With a broken beer bottle.
Which is why I revel in being an angry drunk. I’m trying to set a good example. It’s like my dear old Uncle Murph used to say before the enlarged blood vessels in his esophagus burst, “An angry drunk is a happy drunk.”
Or I guess I could have cut to the chase and just told you I’m from Philly. We don’t do non-angry drunks there.
So here’s to drinking angry. It beats the fuck out of drinking pretty.