I’ve only been to AA once. I didn’t go back because I was a little creeped out by the religious aspect of it. Plus, the English-language session I attended was on the other side of town, and there are only so many Wednesday-evening bus rides through Oslo town center a man can endure before he blows his fucking brains out.
Some of the alcoholics there seemed to embrace the religious side of it, attributing their sobriety solely to God or Jesus—I’m a little hazy about which. Others downplayed it, talking about how, when they first attended, they felt the religious side of AA made it seem a little like a cult, only minus the psycho-sexually depraved leader and mass suicide. Upon hearing this, I nearly stood up from my chair and high-fived the guy, because, well, he’d hit the hotdog bread with the knackwurst. It did feel cultish.
Talk then moved on to how you can simply replace God or Jesus or whatever with any symbol or figure you can think of, as long as you fully commit to convincing yourself that your deity has the power to stop you drinking every day for the rest of your life.
All this, of course, was for the benefit of me, the new guy. Regular readers of the blog know where I stand on strategies to quit drinking: if it works, have at it. I don’t want new readers to think I’m anti-religion or anti-AA. I just think you should be prouder of yourself for not drinking than attributing your sobriety to God or Jesus. But if it’s working for you, then who the hell am I to tell you it’s wrong or to ridicule you.
I may go back to AA someday, partly so that I can acquire some English-speaking sober friends, who I’ll regret inviting over for dinner on a Saturday night every time I do. And when I go back, I’ll need my own deity, if only for pretence if/when I’m questioned about who or what it is.
So here they are: my candidates for all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful AA deities.
- The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
Why have one deity when you can have five? That’s allowed, right? I’ll go ahead and assume it is. If one of them has the phoned in sick as my AA deity, I can rely on one of the other four to tell me I’ll feel like shit in the morning if I give in and buy a selection from the range of Belgian beers I’m staring at. And say, for example, Black Ranger is out bowling for one of his buddies’ birthday parties, I’ll simply be able to rely on Pink Ranger to talk me out of getting shitfaced. They’re a no-brainer.
2. Barney the Dinosaur
I put in “the Dinosaur” just in case you thought I meant Barney from The Simpsons, who for obvious reasons wouldn’t make a great AA deity. The one I mean is the big, purple dinosaur from children’s television. I’m pretty sure he, or at least his script writers, don’t know what alcohol is, so I reckon if I’m to have someone fill my brain with happy thoughts, without flirting with the danger of talking about alcohol, it’s got to be this guy. And when I mentally phone him, the refrigerator chock-full of cheap lager having caught my eye at the store, we’ll be able to sing a song together —‘The Dino Dance 2’ or one of his other hits. Sure, his arm length means slapping some sense into me is pretty impractical, but that’s the only downside I can think of.
3. The Dude from The Big Lebowski
For those who are looking for a softer approach from their AA deity, look no further than The Dude. Sure, he may lack assertiveness, making talking you round from potentially falling off the wagon less than convincing at times, but on the flip side, his handling of you with kid gloves will never make you tell him to go fuck himself, potentially resulting in a relapse. The Dude is perfect for the humility-challenged recovering alcoholic.
4. Christopher Walken
For those needing a sterner deity, Christopher Walken’s your guy. And just imagine his sermons. They’d be kick-ass. Every time you’re thinking, Fuck it! I’ll totally be able to drink this bottle of whisky and get back on the wagon tomorrow, he’d deliver a perfect five-minute Tarantino-esque tail about why you shouldn’t drink, maybe involving a watch and a series of men’s anuses.
5. Adolf Hitler
Admittedly, this choice of deity may not go down as well as, say, Barney the Dinosaur or the Power Rangers, but he managed to convince a nation of Germans that he was not only fit for election, but the prime candidate. If he can do that, convincing you that getting shitfaced because your girlfriend blew the liquor store clerk isn’t a good idea should be a doddle.
Eddie Van Halen
The Flower Pot Men
The diver from the Pixabay photo in place of The Power Rangers
I’ll end the post on a serious note. AA isn’t for everyone, but for some people it’s a godsend. I saw that having only spent an hour there. So if you’re newly sober and are curious, don’t let the above ramblings convince you from going. My intention was only to have a little fun with an aspect of AA that I found a little silly.
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Days sober: 64
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