There’s a Devil at Parties, and that Devil’s Called Alcohol

Dan recounts the time he was super pissed about not being able to drink.


Like anybody with an iPhone and a lack of assertiveness, when I need to make a decision, I head over to Google to find advice. Before AA, the World Wide Web, or the internet as it’s become incorrectly known, was my sole source of information for sobriety and alcoholism. That, and podcasts.

One common piece of advice for sobriety the internet provides in regard to alcoholism is to avoid seeing, hearing about, or being exposed to alcohol at all costs. Stay away from the bars you patronized, avoid friends who are heavy drinkers, switch to an alcohol-free mouthwash, and if you get a cut on your big toe, acquire a gangrene infection before you put any rubbing alcohol on it. It’s better to stay sober and lose your big toe, than tempt the devil.

Don’t take another step. I’m an alcoholic.

This advice is often punctuated by this cliché, which I’ve seen touted on sobriety forums: If you keep hanging around in barber shops, it’s only a matter of time before you end up getting a haircut.

I’ve heeded this advice as gospel; on the surface, it makes sense. But I read something in the Big Book this week that contradicted this advice. I don’t want to locate the passage, so I can quote it verbatim, but it goes something like this: “If you have to avoid the deadbeats you hung around with because they drink too much, or it crosses your mind that swallowing Listerine while rinsing after brushing sounds like a good idea, then you aren’t sober. Not properly. And in the case of the latter, you’re probably an idiot.” (Okay, so I made up that last sentence.)

This shit was music to my ears.

I’ll still buy the brand of alcohol-free mouthwash I’ve gotten used to, but it’s refreshing to know that I shouldn’t avoid situations where people are consuming alcohol. Next week’s my birthday. I’ll be celebrating surviving thirty-three years after the umbilical cord was cut, and I think it’s just great that I can now encourage, no, demand, that the people with whom I celebrate do what they do best: drink until they think everything they say is funny and or clever.

Here’s a little story. Around eight years ago, I went to a daytime party to celebrate the marriage of Prince William to his lady friend. I was a heavy drinker at the time, and was known as such, and one of the guests who invited me forbade me from drinking alcohol, as there was a dude there who was an alcoholic.

We did it, honey. Half my shit’s now yours.

They wanted to keep the crazy drunk away from the guy who had a problem with raiding grandpa’s medicine cabinet when he should’ve just been pissing. I resented that guy the whole party, but I never let my feelings known.

I didn’t care about the wedding, or the royals, and I definitely didn’t care about what dress the bride was wearing, but I was super pissed about not being able to celebrate those things I didn’t care about in the way I knew best.

Let me celebrate, as this shit’s meaningless to me.

This story isn’t about me. I was behaving and thinking the way any active alcoholic would. The story’s about the dry alcoholic, and about that as alcoholics, we shouldn’t be trying to change the world around us, but trying to change ourselves.

It’s only this way we can stay sober. Alcohol is ingrained into the fabric of our culture. It’s the cart-wheeling clown at the circus, the wart on the end of a witch’s nose.

The giraffe’s long neck.

That party shouldn’t have accommodated him, and definitely not because this idiot wanted to get shitfaced to make watching a marriage ceremony entertaining. It’s for the other people. The regular drinkers, who’s afternoon would’ve been so enriched by a few glasses of wine. It’s also for his benefit, as sitting there white-knuckling isn’t the best way to be a guest at someone’s party. What’s the point of being sober, if that is what’s now ruining the relationships you have with people?

I agree with the Big Book. If the only way you can stay sober is to design life to fit your mold, then that’s a really shitty way of staying sober, and a miserable way to live your life.

Sure, you can lock yourself up in your apartment and watch movies with your wife, who’s graciously started this journey of sobriety with you, and it’ll work. And in the case of the story told in this blog post, you can be that douchebag who’s ruining everyone’s fun because you ruined drinking for yourself. But that’s not the type of sober alcoholic I want to be.

This doesn’t mean I’ll be hanging out at bars all Friday night, because it doesn’t hold the same appeal without a drink in my hand. But when someone’s birthday comes up, or my work buddies are meeting up after work on a Friday to toast the end of the week, whereas before I’d heed the advice that I should stay away, I’ll now take those opportunities to socialize.

I’ll be the sober ninja standing among the group, totally cool with everyone getting shitfaced. In some ways, they won’t even remember my being there. And that’s a great thing.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober for more insightful posts and witch metaphors. And if this post made you laugh out loud three times, don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share this post with your friends on social media.

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That Amazing Time You Got Shitfaced and Went Swimming in a Lake

This week, Dan tells you your summers are probably way shittier than you remember. And that it’s a good thing.

Last summer was probably the best summer I’ll ever have. But they all feel that way, when you look back.

The day I finished at work before four summery weeks off, I was almost a month sober. The first evening of the summer was traditionally a shit storm of Belgian beers, summer-themed movies like Dazed and Confused, and, weather permitting, drunken conversations on the balcony about what we were going to do that summer.

I’d probably smoke, too, during those conversations, even though I’d gotten the memo that smoking causes cancer a shitload of times.

I also looked badass.

None of that happened the first evening last summer. I sat and watched Jaws with a couple energy drinks, ate way too much pizza, and slunk off to bed as sober as the moment I woke up that morning.

I’d like to write that I was content being sober that summer, and that I did all the fun shit I planned to do—and that I didn’t experience one hangover and I took regular rides on a unicorn to a land where blowjobs are handed out like popcorn at a movie theater.

But I fell off the wagon. I wanted to experience being shitfaced one summer’s day for the last time. Or whatever excuse.

During the summer, these prepubescent girls have a penchant for taking LSD.

I don’t have time to write about the whole summer. Even if I did, I can’t remember it, which is kinda the point. But I’ll write about one day.

We got shitfaced as we watched a couple movies, and then rode out to a lake and went swimming to the sound of Lynyrd Skynyrd. When we were freezing our asses off, we sat by the lake and smoked a couple cigarettes. It was probably a little overcast, but let’s imagine there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

It was the type of evening you hope the end of your life will be like, not the shit show in some hospitable bed it’s likely to be.

Quick, put on ‘Tuesday’s Gone’.

I’m reminding myself of this evening for a couple reasons: 1) Winter started in November and shows now sigh of letting up, and 2) every time I look at Facebook I want to blow my brains out with a shotgun.

You probably have the same experience I do. You scroll through the Facebook posts on your timeline, or feed, or whatever the fuck it’s called, and realize something: Everyone you grew up with is having a way better time than you are.

Their lives appear to be fulfilled to point of bursting. If you’re to be believe your Facebook feed, everyone else’s lives are a constant stream of good times with family and friends.

Their lives are filled with the perfect summer’s day I shittily described above.

Look at us. Look at how great our lives are.

What they don’t tell you, because people rarely do on Facebook, is all the boring, monotonous shit that’s in between those occasions they’ve documented.

The point I’m trying to make, and I do have one, is that it’s easy to look back on your time drinking as being this constant stream of good times. Of weddings that are a blast, of summer’s evenings where you don’t think for a even second the guitar solo to ‘Free Bird’ is way too long, because you’re young and the sun is shining and it doesn’t matter if you eventually get lung cancer from the cigarette from you’re smoking.

You didn’t take a photo of when you were hungover, riddled with anxiety, and you didn’t take a mental picture of it, either. Your memory from when you were shitfaced is just like your Facebook feed. It’s a lie, of sorts.

The good times remembered, documented. The bad times forgotten.

Last summer was the best summer I’ll probably ever have. But when you look back, they all are.

Thanks for reading! I know what you’re thinking: I was a real ray of sunshine this week. For more feelgood posts, don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober. And if this post made you laugh out loud at least three times, don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share this post on social media.

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Alcoholic Anomalous

Dan of today goes back in time to tell Dan of circa two years ago he told him so.

After a fairly disastrous 2017 in terms of drinking, I’ve taken the giant leap of deciding I probably need AA. I’ve been once before. It wasn’t an unpleasant experience, but I found it had the opposite effect of the one I’d desired: instead of dissuading me from drinking, it made me want to run to the nearest bar, put my head under the first beer tap to which I came, even if it were domestic, and drown my experience away to some darkly lit region of my consciousness.

My problem with AA was this: under the spell of some mass delusion, the members there were attributing their lengthy sobriety to the existence of a fictional character named God. Like that dude, every Friday night, had turned their cocktail into a mug of coffee just before it touched their lips.

Jesus, that shirt’s way too big for that baby.

Let’s back up a bit. I’m familiar with religion. I grew up a Catholic, of sorts, attending a Catholic school, where my uniform was a blazer, trousers, shirt, and tie that I wore tied in a fashion you wouldn’t use when attending a board meeting. We had an in-school church we attended every Monday morning, and religious education was an obligatory part of the curriculum.

I failed that exam, if you were wondering, which I attribute to sleeping through most of the classes—something my religious education teacher, a middle-aged Scottish man with a meticulously sculptured beard and breath like the aroma of richly roasted coffee beans harvested from the mountains of Nicaragua, was more than happy to let me do.

This is a bearded man. Neither he nor his beard is meticulously sculpted.

On the whole, I enjoyed school. We had a hell of a swimming pool, over the water of which I never witnessed anyone able to stroll, or even run like they’re life depended on it, and my peers were probably below average in their shittiness.

I was never experimented on by the school priest, but the whole experience left me less than convinced that the world was created in seven days, or that an unsalted rice wafer can become the flesh of a deity just because some guy with a short-straw work uniform said so.

This boy is religious, though in a much different way than I was.

Needless to say, though I feel like writing it just to reach my word count for the week, I didn’t continue my religious studies beyond school, and I’ve never pursued religion, or pretended to, beyond the ‘best days of my life.’

Which brings us to now. I’m sitting at my computer, on the day of what I think will be the first of many Saturdays I attend AA, and I’m preparing to, so to speak, swim in their pool and use their gym room again, even if it means worshipping a god in which I believe less than the existence of a nail fungus with extrasensory perception.

“So what’s changed?” you ask, as a prelude to the following paragraph. “How could a guy impervious to the temptation of receiving a hall pass to eternal happiness or endless virgins or some shit in return for lifetime membership have changed his mind?”

It isn’t desperation. I feel fairly confident I’m going to nail sobriety today, and tomorrow and, dare I say, ad infinitum. The answer is the fruit cakes who’d so put me off the first time.

Jack’s back, motherfuckers, and he’s got a new hat.

I need those guys. The only people I know who have a problem with booze are my girlfriend and the guy who lives on the fourth floor of my apartment building who comes up periodically to kick the door of the guy on my floor who incessantly DIYs. In the case of the latter, we’re not on speaking terms, so that leaves only one.

I’m willing to harbor skepticism I have for the existence of omniscient beings to just be around other sober people. And besides, I’ve written over thirty of these blog posts, and I’m running out of material, which is the shittiest reason to attend AA.

I’m doing it for the accountability. Without it, sobriety is destined to fail like an airship the balloon of which is misguidedly filled with a flammable gas. (I’m looking at you, Hindenburg, and your disaster.) Accountability is the glue that holds your shitty Ikea sobriety stool together, and you need a whole bunch of it if you’re not to fall on your ass.

I’m coming back to worship in your in-school church again, made-up guy, and swim in your pool. If you’ll have me.

Thanks for reading! My apologies to any religious people who stumbled upon this blog post. It wasn’t my intention to make you shit-angry. If you enjoyed it, don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober. And if it made you laugh out loud three times, don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share it with your friends on social media. Just be sure to put a warning first, something like, “Contains the term ‘nail fungus.’”

My works of fiction can be checked out here. They’re also humorous, but very much made up.

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Christmas Is a Time for Getting Shitfaced (and Celebrating Jesus and Frankincense)

Thinking of making plans this Christmas to pretend it’s fun?Think again.

I’m writing this blog post after surviving the Super Bowl of drinking dates on the Norwegian calendar sober: The office Christmas party. I’m also shit tired, which means this blog post, even by Hilariously Sober’s standards, will especially be an incoherent though humorous mess that ends abruptly and provides little to no useful information for sober alcoholics.

But I’m contractually obligated to implore you to carry on reading, as this thing might get good.

A photo of a dog contemplating.

Historically, my workplace Christmas party is the aperitif to the Belgian beer shit storm that’s actual Christmas: the period where a bunch of days have a bunch names, only some of which I understand the cultural or religious significance behind.

If the Christmas party is the jog to catch the train, Christmas Day and the blurry days surrounding it are the time I accidentally wandered into the international departures lounge, when I was to take a domestic flight, and had to run around the airport, double back to go through security again, to make it to where I should’ve stayed in the first damn place: the domestic departures lounge.


I’ve attempted to stay sober the last four or five Christmases, and failed each time.

But this year’s going to be different. This year I’m going to be bored shitless, and I’m going to love it.

What am I going to do differently, you probably didn’t ask? Not a God damn thing.

Every element I typically endure to make it a mediocre Christmas will be present, minus the refrigerator that can’t accommodate food: the shitty sweaters, the even shittier movies, the music in genres and by artists I’d never entertain listening to at any other time of the year, and the mass consumption of autumnal-colored food that makes my colon feel like it’s being twisted into a balloon animal.

I’ll FaceTime relatives I don’t keep in toANuch with, and we’ll smile at each other like we’ll make a habit of it in the New Year.

I’ll rediscover that sledding’s way more fun than building a snowman, though it comes in at a distant second to throwing a snowball at some random kid right in the ear, and witnessing the look of distilled horror and bewilderment on his face.

“Well someone’s just made it onto the naughty list,” or some other hacky bullshit.

I’ve just figured out what this blog post is about, and it isn’t eggnog with the good bit taken out.

It’s about whether you should change the way you celebrate the holidays now that you’re sober.

I’ve blogged about filling up your time with fun shit to do to distract yourself, and why it’s essential. A bored mind is a mind that thinks about how much better your life would be with a bottle of ridiculous-strength craft ale standing in front of you on your coffee table.

But for Christmas, I’m recommending the opposite, even though it hasn’t yielded results yet.

And this is why: Sobriety should be a bitch some of the time.

Not all the time, as it’ll drive you crazy. Sure, go skydiving to stimulate you during your summer holiday, but don’t desecrate what Christmas is really about: pretending that Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is actually a good movie.

See Christmas as a challenge. It’s your soul-searching pilgrimage, though you’ll complete it with your ass firmly on the couch. I’ll be there with you, in spirit of Christmas past, pretending it’s funny when Maccaulay Culkin splashes aftershave on his face in Home Alone one and or two.

Also see it as your greatest challenge as a sober alcoholic. If you’re like me, and you probably are, those with whom you surround yourself see Christmas as a time when it’s  obligatory to open a can of beer before breakfast. The people are drunker, and the temptations and challengers greater, but so are the rewards.

Don’t waste this opportunity, which comes around but once a year, to step up to the plate and prove to yourself how cool you are with enjoying the monotony of life as a sober dude.


So don’t hide your head in the snow and book that one-return-ticket skiing trip to some resort in France you can’t pronounce the name of; don’t visit that gimmicky ice hotel in Finland or some shit. Man up, and watch Love Actually with a stupid grim on your face, and do it with your shitfaced loved ones.

You’ll make it, and you’ll have been just as bored as everyone else, and it’ll feel really good when you’ve made that long pilgrimage to New Year, doing so in your shitty sweater and grandpa slippers.

Christmas, oh how I fear you, you filthy animal.

Thanks for reading! I promised an abrupt ending, and by God I delivered. For more incoherent ramblings, don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober by filling out the email notifications form in the top-right corner of the webpage. And if you’re connected with sober buddies on social media, don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share this blog post with them. At this very moment, they could be sitting on their couch, their hand shaking as they hold a Blu-ray copy of Home Alone, thinking about a fire-warmed cabin in the alps. They desperately need your help.

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So This Is What You Look Like Before Noon?

Two months later Dan returns to the scene of the crime, his favorite bar in Oslo, and comes to the realization that one-year-olds shouldn’t eat burgers.

There’s no better place to convince yourself your drinking’s not a problem than at a bar. It turns out the opposite of that is also true.

My place, when I celebrated birthdays, couldn’t find a decent movie to download from a totally reputable website on a Saturday night, or wanted to find a place that serves alcohol on Sundays, was The Amundsen, downtown Oslo.

It was also the place I went to pretend I had friends, even if the drunken-idiot version of myself knew deep down the people with whom I tried to talk thought the shit I was choosing at random to say to them a chore to listen to.

“Did I ever tell you about the time I got guacamole on my chin at a dinner party and it was a really funny and interesting story?”

The last couple months, hopefully the first couple months at the start of the rest of my life of sobriety, I haven’t exactly been dying to go back there. I had a few bad experiences where drinking buddies ratted me out for being too wasted, and standing around pouring shit down my throat (now non-alcoholic shit) for the few hours it’d take to justify the metro travel time to get there, doesn’t seem as appealing as binge watching HBO TV series and drinking cola now that I’m sober.

But last weekend I went for the first time without the intention of getting shitfaced.

I didn’t go there by design. I had decided to eat in town before I went to the movie theater, and had planned on going to McDonalds for the first time in around ten years. When we arrived at Ronald McDonald’s Type 2 Diabetes Shack, my girlfriend and I, you’d think they were giving away burgers for free by the length of the queue. Sure, I wanted to eat a McSausage or some shit ironically—to reminisce or feel silly or both—but I didn’t want to wait twenty minutes to get it.

“You see this place here? This is the place we don’t want to go.”

Plus, it wasn’t just my quantitative analysis of the queue that was the issue; when I glanced at it, I also did some of the qualitative variety, and came to this conclusion: The diners at that particular McDonald’s would make a solar-eclipse-looking venn diagram with the type of Snapchatting, OMG-saying douchebag that goes to a Miley Cyrus concert.

I’m lazy by nature, so I decided for the both of us that we should just go around the corner to The Amundsen. I suggested it nonchalantly, like it was no big deal. I told her that we could go in there, order non-alcoholic drinks, eat a classy burger, and make it out in the time it would take before we could even barely see the menu at McD’s, having to do so over six-feet-seven fifteen-year-olds.

To top the argument off, I shrugged, and shot her a look that said, What’s the worst than can occur? avoiding any Dr Pepper intellectual property theft.

Generic lemon and lime soda drink.

It’s worth noting at this point that The Amundsen isn’t the type of place that has a whole row of beer taps consisting of the same brand of domestic, but the type of watering hole that has a microbrewery housed in a glass-walled alcove for all to see. It’s the Mecca in Oslo for beer snobbery, the type of place that groups beers in refrigerators by style and sets the temperature accordingly.

I’ve gotten used to going to my local convenience store and avoiding looking at the selection of beer they have there, but going here and achieving that was like stepping up from boxing a beer-bellied slob at some local darts hall’s amateur boxing event to surviving the championship rounds with Mike Tyson… or some other ubiquitously feared boxer who’s relevant in 2017.

I couldn’t run past the beers, make it to the cheese refrigerator, and breathe a sigh of relief. Beers were everywhere. I felt like I was in Vietnam and had ignored LSD and dye-tie flares in favor of drill sergeants and five-o’clock starts. They were everywhere, and they were staring at me like I was the uniform who’d raped the wives and daughters of their bamboo-shack village. They wanted to fuck me up, in a bad way.

Vietnam is now a holiday destination, like Disneyworld, but without Floridian college students dressed in Goofy suits.

We survived the beer-selection firing squad, got our non-alcoholic beers, ordered a couple burgers that read great on the menu, was seated by a Swedish waiter making bank in Oslo before he would go back to Sweden to study, and tried to relax.

It was like the good old days. Like we’d earned it.

It was then that I knew that I’m an alcoholic.

The couple weeks before, I’d been questioning whether I have a lifelong problem with boozing. As the number of days you’ve been sober become weeks, and then months, it’s only natural. Hell, if I were a serial killer, and for two months I’d managed to not lure a naïve twenty-something to my LGV in the parking lot of some bar, abduct her, and keep her locked up in my dungeon before killing her and wearing her skin, I’d start to convince myself I wasn’t still a criminally insane lunatic with mommy issues.

But it wouldn’t make it so.

I might have refrained from killing someone for a relatively decent length of time, but by God I still bought lotion in bulk from Costco.

To cut a long story short, during the time I spent in that bar, I felt like a one-year-old who wasn’t allowed his bottle. I was whiny, on edge, and I was one customer talking too loudly away from knocking my burger off my highchair.

Relaxing at a bar is no longer a thing I can do. But that’s fine. I didn’t like the motherfuckers that went there anyway.

There’s no better place to convince yourself your drinking’s not a problem than surrounding yourself with alcoholics, and it turns out the opposite of that is also true.

Thanks for reading, but don’t stop here! I’ve got some shit to plug first.

Don’t forget to A) follow this blog by filling out the form in the top-right corner of the webpage, B) check out my works of fiction here, and C), if this post made you laugh out loud three times, don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share this blog post with your friends on social media.

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The Big Question

One windy night, someone, somewhere, will look you straight in the eye and ask you why you’re drinking a soda instead of a beer.

I was shit-tired, relaxing at a work get together, drinking a can of Red Bull, when a colleague noticed I was neither A) drinking booze, nor B) enjoying myself as much as everyone else.

I was having a good time. It was a Friday evening, at least, so I guess I was in good spirits. I was smiling, I think, or at least I was trying to, it’s just Friday evenings don’t have the same joviality and sense of release they offered when I got shitfaced. Come to think of it, he probably didn’t notice the latter at all. I was imagining things. It was the can of Red Bull that gave me away. Now that I think about it, if I’d had a can of beer in front of me, or if I’d been standing on a table, a half-drunk bottle of champagne in my hand, singing ‘Lady In Red,’ I may have been a little more conspicuous.

Groucho Marx glasses, with free lazy eye.

Whatever it was, the guy turned to me and asked me why I wasn’t drinking. It’s probably worth noting at this point that he did so in Norwegian, the language they funnily enough speak in Norway, my place of residence.

The reason I mention it isn’t to add color to this story, or to show off about my being bilingual, it’s because to answer that question from an alcoholic’s perspective is a little more problematic in Norwegian. In English, I’d say, “Because I don’t drink,” and the person who asked the question would be able to fill in the blanks. They’d either assume I was alcoholic or one of those people who no one can relate to at a party who “doesn’t like the taste of alcohol.”  But in Norwegian, you’d say the same sentence if you meant you didn’t drink at all or if you meant you weren’t drinking that evening. Or maybe my Norwegian just sucks, or my communication skills in general.

After I’d responded, probably getting the pronunciation all fucked-up, there was a moment’s silence, and then he asked, “Just tonight, or…?” It was one of those long ‘ors’, with the pause before it you could peel a banana in, the type that asks fifty questions all at once.

Let’s back up a bit. There’s a bit of exposition I left out. Part of my routine for staying sober is to listen to sobriety podcasts, to regularly reinforce and remind myself that drinking’s not for me. I suck balls at it. A drinking session for me starts with a beer in some bar in Oslo, and ends with me waking up in a boat off the coast of Poland, sleeping next to some fisherman’s dog. On one of these episodes of one of these podcasts, the host said nobody would notice when you’re not drinking at a party, or if they did, they wouldn’t care. And if the stars were aligned just right, or if it were a blue moon or some shit, and they did notice and happened to care, they definitely wouldn’t ask you about it.

But here I was, finding out that isn’t the case. At least where I live, on that certain evening, sitting next to that specific guy. Sure, the guy hadn’t asked me about it outright, but with that long-ass ‘or’ he may as well have asked me if I was prone to slapping my wife around when I got shitfaced on a Friday evening. At the least, it was one of the fifty questions he’d asked me.

A banana skin.

I just came out and said it: “I don’t drink alcohol.”

Turns out I was wrong about what I said about Norwegian and its grammar letting down the alcoholic in that situation. That’s what I should have said. I don’t drink alcohol. But to be fair to me, in that social setting, with everyone else drinking at the table, and the way I shifted in my seat before I said, “I don’t drink,” the words Red Bull may as well have been replaced with Degenerate’s Pick-Me-Up.

From a distance, “fish chips.”

Not that he’s to blame for this awkwardness. I’m the guy who ruined booze for myself. He didn’t force me at gunpoint to drink eight or nine or ten cans of beer every Saturday for as long I can remember. From his perspective, he’s just getting to know a colleague a little better, and the few beers he’d drunk had made him brave enough to do it. But from my perspective, with the fucked-up relationship with the shit he can put down just as easily as he can pick up, he may as well have been asking me what subgenre of porn I enjoy.

Tentatively, he asked something along the lines of, “Would it be intrusive to ask why?”

I thought a second, and then surprised myself by blurting out, “Yes,” before laughing to diffuse the awkwardness. Clearly, I’d handled this situation without embarrassing either one of us. I’d have one less person who’d bother to make small talk with me at the next work get together.

I’ve been thinking about this situation now and again the couple weeks since it happened, and how I can best handle it the next time I trade some shitty movie on a Friday evening for socializing with my work buddies. The coward’s way out would be to decant a can of non-alcoholic beer into a glass and hide the empty bottle under a shit-ton of toilet paper in the bathroom waste paper basket. But I didn’t manage to get sober by following the path of least resistance. I got sober precisely because I didn’t want to be a coward any longer.

And even if that were an option morally and spiritually, non-alcoholic beer isn’t my bag. The baby needs his bottle on a Friday night, and his new bottle is laced with eye-bulging levels of caffeine.

I have to also consider that I don’t exactly want to advertise in a work setting that I’m shit at drinking moderately.

The best response I can come up with when someone asks me The Big Question is this: Smile, pause a couple seconds—the length of time it takes me to work out how to prepare a mango—and then say “or…” with a creepy look on my face.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow Hilariously Sober by filling out the form at the top-right corner of the webpage. And if this post made you laugh out loud at least three times, don’t forget to feel mildly obligated to share this post with your friends on social media.

My works of fiction can be checked out here.

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A Dangerous Way to Get Sober?

Swapping addictions is great and everything, but your ultimate goal should be to become content with addiction-free life. That and world peace.

Last time I got sober, I wrote a blog post about how I did it, analogizing the method to prepping for a nuclear-event-style doomsday disaster, riding out the worst of it in a bunker, and emerging from said bunker prepared to survive the nuclear fallout. It’s one of my favorite blog posts, and sometimes I go back and read it and pat myself on the back for having been so witty and pithy.

In a nutshell, I advocated hiding away in your home, cutting yourself off from your drinking buddies (represented in the post by scab-ridden radiation zombies), and emerging yourself in a load of in-home pastimes until you’re over the worst of the cravings. Only then can you safely tackle getting back to normal life… or what’s left of it.

A hungover Paris Hilton.

Getting sober this time has been a little different. Sure, I haven’t exactly been a socialite, but then again, when I got shitfaced all the time, I wasn’t either. Early-early sobriety this time has meant shifting my addiction from booze to something else: big-ass energy drinks, which I’d consumed last sobriety run, but to which I’ve exhibited religious-level dedication this time around, just like alcohol.

I’ve been so successful at this, that I have no idea why, when life got tough, I turned to paint-stripping-strength gin and tonics instead of chronic-jaw-pain-inducing levels of caffeine and something guarana. Whatever the hell that is.

Caffeine porn.

The buzz of alcohol, and why I enjoyed it so much, is a mere ghost of a memory, and when I have a shitty day at work or when someone gets the seat on the train I’d had my eye on for four or five stops, I don’t immediately think of how many beers I’ll drink that evening, but how far I can make my eyes bulge out of my head from getting high as a motherfucker on caffeine.

Clearly, this is only a temporary solution for my recovery from alcoholism, as my dentist will get shit-angry with me if she has to extract my sole wisdom tooth, and I hear sleep’s a good thing to experience. When I googled it, sleep had quite a few cheerleaders.

Running on fumes.

But so far? I can’t recommend this method of getting sober enough. I’m five weeks in and getting this far has never been easier. And, boy, have I gotten familiar with advanced-strategy Worms game play.

Before I started writing this post I thought of compiling a five-point list of my favorite oversized energy drinks, but decided against it, in part because I wouldn’t be able to make it humorous, and in part because I figured there probably aren’t that many other countries other than Norway that consume one of my favorites: Super Fart!

(In Norwegian, fart means speed. And super? Yeah… that means the same thing.)

The result is I’m sitting here, sipping on a can of Super Fart!, wondering what the hell I’m writing about, which is a typical symptom experienced while consuming the stuff. Let me just glance at the title again. Yep, I’m back on track.

This is a dangerous way to quit boozing. Sure, energy drinks are way less destructive to my life than booze ever was, but here at Hilariously Sober, we like to get serious and think about the long term. Honest. So what’s the next step in my sobriety?

Obviously, it has to be not living the life of a depressed, overweight fifteen-year-old whose only escape from his oppressive middle-class family is his Xbox 360 and attention-spam-shortening beverages. I have to move on from this, make another addiction switch to something even less harmful, eventually ending up addicted to something healthy, like exercise or helping old people across the road, or combining them into a crazy new fitness trend I could definitely make a viral video about.

But I’ll leave that for another blog post. This thing’s getting as long as I like them to be, and I have tickets to the cinema I don’t want to eat the price of.

Tune in next week for ‘Five Healthy Addictions to Swap with Boozing Your Tits Off’.

Until then, feel free to put your newfound addictions in the comments section.

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