This week’s inductee into the “Overrated Hall of Fame” is … shots.
The level of excitement a person exhibits at the mention of bar shots is directly proportional to that person’s level of douchebaggery.
There are certain “Tool” litmus tests that have results with near 100 percent accuracy. If you are a devotee of American Idol and Dancing with the Stars, you’re a tool. If you have ever engaged in a serious argument about whether Paul or John was the cooler Beatle, you’re a tool. (And old. And stupid, because everyone knows Ringo was coolest Beatle.) And if you are over the age of 21 and the very mention of a shot is enough to send you into “Wooohooo, Fuckin’ A!” mode, you are a certified Sears Craftsman Lifetime Guaranteed tool. Hell, you’re the entire tool box. Shots suck.
First of all, they suck all the enjoyment out of drinking liquor. A person drinks liquor for a combination of reasons. Liquor tastes good if brilliantly mixed with other alcohols or mixers. It’s less filling. You aren’t left with that bloated feeling beer gives you, you’re not running to the bathroom every 40 minutes and you’re not belching like … well, like the classless moron you are. Just one good strong liquor drink can bring on that essential nightly buzz like a warm wave of solace and salve for your cold, empty soul. It takes about the fourth beer to even approach that same feeling, and if it does come, chances are you’ll be too busy pissing and running for another beer (and burping, you pig) to appreciate it.
Taking your liquor in shots ruins the whole liquor experience. Let’s say you’re a martini drinker (I salute you, my knowing brother). You can spend 60-90 minutes nursing two stiff martinis, and by the time you’ve sucked that last stinging sip from that beautiful inverted pyramid of a glass, all in the world is right again. Worries? Ain’t got none. Stress? Only if the vermouth is dangerously low. Anger? Hell, you’d give a Osama bin Laden a playful headlock noogie and send him on his way while you’re chewing that last gin-soaked olive.
If you take that same amount of liquor in four to six vodka shots, the entire drinking session is ruined. Your buzz doesn’t sidle up to begin that slow, hazy seduction of your entire physical and emotional being. It waits 20 minutes, then bitchslaps you upside the head and says, “Now you’re fucked.”
I really hate the people in bars who do the whole shot thing. Guys always treat it like it’s some sort of macho bonding moment, as if throwing back an ounce or two of Jack Daniels somehow makes their cocks bigger, their friendship tighter and their heterosexuality that much more pronounced. They pound the drink, then let loose some sort of death-rattle wheeze, then slam the glass on the bar – their love of Chevys, football and pussy validated. I love to watch this moment in a bar, because, the Big Shot Moment being over, they are now left with that awkward period of man to man eye contact. Then they do another shot just to prove they aren’t gay.
Of course, this whole shot ordeal can only come to pass after a spirited debate on just what kind of shots they are going to drink. It’s excruciating to witness. I’ve seen guys finish an entire beer during this selection process that involves more mind-bending deliberation than a Mideast peace summit. They speculating and ruminate and compare.
They scan the rails behind the bar, looking for the perfect drink that will make their three-second shot experience memorable and meaningful. Each person involved in this much anticipated shot experience will doubtless share a riveting tale of some previous shooter experience, boring this eavesdropping asshole to tears of blood as each raconteur relates the details of where this bar was, who was with him and just what concoction was crafted by the caring, creative bartender.
Sometimes the bartender joins in on this liquor selection game, offering suggestions or creating his very own, not-yet-trademarked-but-you-just-wait-it’s-going-to-be-in-bartender-books-someday shooter, the slow, purposeful creation of which is eyed by the drinkers with more intensity than a lion eyeing a gazelle before it becomes dinner.
And lord almighty, if the bartender drinks a shot with the brotherhood of booze bingers? Tears are barely held in check as they salute their newfound brother behind the bar. If it’s a woman bartender? Every shot drinker will at some time before the end of the night declare her “cool as shit” and will no doubt use her as the headliner in his next jerking off fantasy.
Chicks who drink shots aren’t quite as irritating, but that’s because when you see chicks slamming shooters, you know that the more they drink, the greater the possibility of them being down for anything that night. But still, I just hate the way certain chicks react to any suggestion of shots. They raise a hand and let loose with one of those “Wooooos!” that certain chicks love to yell. You know the type. (I hate them. That’s why I keep using the word “chicks.”) They scream it all night at concerts, any time a comedian mentions sex or whenever “Mony Mony” or “Old Time Rock ‘n Roll” is played.
All these shenanigans might be worth it if the resulting buzz was a good drunk. I’d drink six or eight shots at a bar if it numbed me or made me unrealistically happy for a few hours. But you go through all this game-playing just for the privilege of 20 minutes of violent vomiting followed by 10 hours of comatose sleep followed by 12 hours of full-body misery and unchecked nausea. That’s assuming you didn’t: wrap your car around a telephone pole on the way home; get your ass beat by the two guys you insulted because those shots made you think you were a bad muthafuckaaa; spend the night in jail trying to remember if the cop said “one-point-five” or “one-point-seven”; had every orifice of your body invaded by a cock attached to a man whose name or face you can’t remember. (This was meant for chicks, but I guess it could apply to guys, too.)
Shots are just stupid. They don’t make you more of a man, or make you closer to your buds, or make you more attractive to the MILF three seats down the bar, or funnier. They do make you louder, drunker and stupider. Worst of all, we professional drinkers have to endure your loud bullshit until you pass out, get thrown out or get arrested. But those welcome scenarios aren’t any consolation to the rest of us. Thanks to your childish, mindless, unoriginal fun-by-numbers drinking hijinks, our peaceful time at the bar is already shot.
Ned Bitters is, in fact, overrated. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.