It doesn’t take a lot to get driven to drinking in this culture. All it takes really is taking a cold and hard look at the world in which we live in and listening to the news about the economy, the gas prices, corruption in federal and local state politics, joblessness, the foreclosures and the utter lack of hope, and the tables get set for a dance with the drunken devils pretty quickly. Either that or your team has been losing all season.

And to throw one more variable of Murphy’s Law into the equation, we’ve just had the first of the month this week, so chances are that there are probably legitimate reasons why you don’t have money at this minute too. You paid important bills. Alimony is always a bitch. It could be because the paycheck didn’t clear yet, or hell, it could be because you haven’t seen a paycheck in a few months.

Let’s face it, excuses such as “I spent it on whores down on Manheim Road” can only take you so far. Also, losing bets on sports teams that had no chance in fucking hell aren’t good either.

But the fact remains that you want to get a bit tipsy tonight and that “Money doesn’t grow on trees” phrase doesn’t do shit for you at this point in the game. Truth be told, something had snapped in your head during the day, be it your boss riding you like he was recreating Pulaski’s last cavalry ride, your girlfriend JUST got on the rag and the rent was due and you lied to the landlord AGAIN about one of your relatives being sick. You need a drink. And not one beer, either, because, who the fuck drinks just one beer?

We’ve all been broke to the point when you search through all of the pockets of clothes that you haven’t worn since prom. Sometimes you don’t find shit except expired condoms, broken cigarettes, USED condoms, receipts from four years ago, one lonely Advil pill, and chewing gum that has hardened more than stale semen on an ugly pair of tits.

What I’m saying is that there are plenty ways of getting loaded on a budget. Or at least filling you up with something until that check does clear the next day, or you finally succumb to blowing people for a living. Don’t knock it until you try it. Sucking dick has helped many downtrodden people get Comcast in order to watch Neil Funk call the game. Or so I’ve heard.

And since people start drinking when the tough gets going, this is the perfect time to start drinking. Now I’m not talking about drinking what the bums drink to get you through your rough patch, but this will be pretty close. Don’t worry, I once took a “Bum Wine Challenge” in college, I know what I’m talking about.

My go to stand by is of course the six-pack of tall boys if you do find $5. It doesn’t really matter which one, since you will be drinking macro brews anyway and options are usually limited at your local convenience store. The trick usually is to go a pretty independent convenience store and not a 7-Eleven and that’s where the hunt for the evening’s libations usually begins. I say begins, because once you have a six-pack of tall boys in you, chances are that you are still thirsty and WILL do something stupid. Be warned. Don’t drive. Don’t sniff airplane glue either. And definitely don’t go looking for “those girls on Manheim Road.”

Remember, if she is too good looking to be a prostitute, she’s probably a cop. Also, as comedian Dave Attell says, “If it feels like more than two fingers, it’s probably a dick.”

A friend of mine, who used to be on his own but is married and has a kid now, once told me that “Those tall boys will save your life.” It was a drunken conversation to be sure, but his logic was sound. If you’re broke and have an affinity for the drink, those tall boys will save your life, figuratively speaking. It’s kind of ironic what drunks think is important in their lives. “Those tall boys will save your life.”  Yeah, you know what will save my life? A fucking doctor when I’m having a heart attack years later.

So I usually go with PBR if it is available. PBR to semi-poor people is a fucking God’s gift to the downtrodden. Not because it is what the fucking hipsters drink, but because you can usually get a sixer of those big boys for $5 a pop. You can get Miller High Life or Old Style, but in those cases you are going above the simple fin. And unless the guy at the register lets you slide with being short 60 cents, you’re stuck with PBR. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

And not like it’s a bad brew. It does what it is supposed to do and it supports union jobs. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, the next time some hipster starts waxing poetic about anti-establishment politely remind him that he is supporting American jobs and the current culture by drinking union made beer. And then order him a Zima.

So yeah, I have drank a small river of PBR in my day. But since this is supposed to provide some sort of review of the el cheapo-o drinks, here’s the low down.

Pabst Blue Ribbon. The six-pack of tall boys of PBR are to a poor college student what Mad Dog 20/20 wine is to a homeless guy. It’s the best of the worst shit that he can get. PBR’s have for some odd reason been spoiled by the likes of hipsters because they think it is cool to drink low priced beer. That is total horseshit. Whenever I feel bad about drinking PBR, I think of the late great Dennis Hopper in “Blue Velvet.”

“Heineken?!’ Fuck that shit. Pabst Blue Ribbon!” Then again, I’m not in college anymore.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Sm8JM-K1dc]

Miller High Life. Tall boys of High Life’s are pretty much on par with PBR’s. They might give you a milder drunk, which is strange because they are both at 5 percent ABV, but it just seems that way. Also, High Life might taste better but costs 50 cents more. “Come on, cough up a buck.”

High Life was cool when they just let the “Girl on the Moon” do the advertising. When they brought in that big black fat guy…well then shit got that much cooler, did it not? “You must be outta your mind.” Take the beer away.

That would be an awesome thing to do with people. You see someone drinking something outlandish and overpriced, commenting on the game without a clue in the world, and a van pulls up and two guys hog tie him in front of his date and carry him off. Union guys too. And leave the overpriced drink to someone who gives a fuck.

Old Style. I’m not a fan of Old Style even though I should be because I’m a Cubs fan. But just because they sell it at Wrigley doesn’t mean it’s a great beer. Again, a sixer of this shit might get you buzzed, but it’s the feeling of buying locally brewed beer that should be the selling point.

Sure some people love Old Style. It’s not my beer of choice, but some people swear by it. Which is fine. Old Style has the name Heileman’s on it, which also brews Special Export, which is dirt cheap. I believe that Old Style is brewed by PBR these days.

Speaking of Special Export. Just drink it cold and shut up. There’s a sail boat on the logo. Nothing great here. Just the cool sail boat. Nothing special. Nothing exported. Just a fucking sail boat. Don’t drink it when it’s warm. You will swear off beer for a week.

Sure, some people will drink anything if it’s cheap, but years on the circuit have taught me that if you can add an extra $1 or $2 to your el-cheapo brews, the better. Come on cough up a buck.

There are many nightmares stories people have of Busch nights, Icehouse, Milwaukee’s Best and other swill.

But the Natural Ice is the king of bad decisions.

Natural Ice. Oh God. This is for serious drunks without any futures. I’ve drank many of these too. You can tell, I’m sure. Always regretted it the next morning, but if you have $4 in your pocket and want to feel like you are driving an 18-wheeler in the middle of the night and forgot the cargo at the last rest stop, then this beer is for you.

Don’t do it unless you have to. They call it the Beast for a reason. At 5.9 or something alcohol, these are designed for getting drunk and getting drunk only. If you have to I mean. This category also includes 40 ounces of anything with an animal on it, or the best forty out there, the Olde English, if you can get your hands on it from some questionable establishment that sells it.

However, most serious drinkers who have gone way past doing themselves favors, end up spending that $5 or $10 on things that are far more potent. And like George Carlin once said, “I sense that some of you want hi-tech.”

There is nothing more liberating that getting drunk on cheap, cheap booze. This is when the really evil nightmares begin that I do not recommend. We’re talking all the good classics here, Dmitri Vodka, Skol, something simply labeled “Whiskey.” I’ve mentioned the “Bum Wine Challenge.”

You see in college, back before reason was something that was valued, I stumbled upon a Web site at bumwine.com.  It’s a site that celebrates the wonderful world of wines that homeless people tend to drink. There’s a bevy of examples on the site of wines that are popular with homeless folks and masochists.

The challenge was that you needed to actually try some of the wines that were featured on the site. These were awful wines. And of course I started with the classic. The MD 20/20. I found some dirty convenience store that actually carried the stuff and bought two bottles of some neon blue shit that would look fine if it was featured in the movie “The Fifth Element.”

I don’t remember much from that night, except that by the time I got to a pint of bottle two, I woke up the next morning, filled with guilt and self-loathing, and a vow to never take a bum wine challenge. These so called “wines” WILL turn you homeless and shivering at the side of the road. People told me that I looked like I’ve died last night. And in a way I did. What died was my curiosity for doing something as stupid as drinking bum wine.

But to the brave folks who do have $5 or $10 to spend, I say buy in bulk. Sobieski Vodka is $9.99. It is great vodka that can last. If you have $5, go with the PBR. Or the others in that price range. After all, you aren’t really drinking a six-pack. You’re technically drinking eight beers if you do the math. Count the ounces.

I’ll see you when the check clears and we start drinking the good stuff.

Wild Turkey 101 here we go.

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Comments
  1. k spexet says:

    Beer on a real bad bad budget — Wlagreens brand beer. Its really cheap and actually tastes good!

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