Anyone have a beverage I can enjoy?
It’s Day 32 without alcohol, and I’m doing perfectly fine. My mental state is calm, peaceful and — I TOLD YOU NOT TO BOTHER DADDY WHEN HE’S ON THE COMPUTER!
Sorry about that. These kids, ha ha! Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, giving up alcohol for Lent, which is the pre-Easter religious season when Catholics like me and other Christians attempt to please God by engaging in positive acts outside their norm. We’re talking about things such as giving up bad habits, or avoiding sweets, or performing charitable deeds so generous it could cause a member of the Atheists and Freethinkers group to have a heart attack, assuming they have a heart.
So I gave up booze for 45 days. Normal people don’t consider this a huge sacrifice, whereas my alcoholic friends call it Herculean. Then again, to them, sobriety means you only drink beer.
Gone is the daily post-drink ritual, where I’d come home from work and drink two beers, or a whiskey and Coke, or if the cabinet lay bare, a hand sanitizer and tonic. (Garnish with a lime).
In my defense, I have a stressful life. Jesus may have been tormented in the desert by the devil, but that’s nothing. I have a 2-year-old boy.
My wife, of course, didn’t think I needed two beers a night, but that’s the pot calling the Ketel One vodka black.
She has her nightly glass of wine, which she uses to help deal with having to take care of a temperamental, whiny little boy. I’m talking about me, of course.
Alcohol is the cause of countless social ills, such as domestic violence, but it also can reduce stress levels, act as a mood enhancer and, in my case, keep my wife from hitting me over the head with a saucepan. We may be the only household where excessive alcohol consumption PREVENTS domestic violence.
That’s why I respect Mormons, who are able to deal with a home full of screaming kids without the aid of mood-altering chemicals. Their faith forbids drinking alcohol, as opposed to my religion, which requires it.
I came across an article by Patrick McGovern, an archaeochemist, who has researched alcohol’s origins. He says the earliest evidence of alcohol dates back more than 9,000 years to Jiahu, China, where some early wine containers were found. A few feet away, archeologists also found what is thought to be the earliest known fake ID.
Chemical analysis of pottery fragments found shows these early drunks concocted a primitive wine made out of the Hawthorn fruit. This is estimated to have taken place around 7000 B.C., which is a good coincidence considering how wine connoisseurs are always going on about how 7000 B.C. was a great year for Hawthorn.
As far as beer, McGovern thinks the world’s first brewery was likely in Egypt. Evidence shows that workers who built the ancient pyramids were paid partially in beer. This helps explain why the structures turned out to be pyramids when the architectural plans actually called for them to be square.
Some of the earliest evidence of alcohol in the Western Hemisphere comes from pre-Columbian tribes in Brazil, who drank a corn-based beverage called Cauim. According to the Wikipedia page for Cauim:
“The beverage’s starting material is cooked, chewed, and fermented, so that enzymes present in human saliva break down the starch into fermentable sugars.”
And you thought Bud Light tasted bad.
Some people in search of a buzz will even drink something that a Brazilian man chewed and spit out. That’s how bad they want their alcohol.
But not me. I’m sort of getting used to having a zero blood-alcohol content. In fact, I have to admit, being alcohol-free has given me a certain level of serenity and peace and — YOU KIDS STOP FIGHTING RIGHT NOW!