The price of oil and the price of gas – I don’t need to go into detail here. Oil has hit a new record high almost every day this week, and last time I filled up on regular unleaded it was $4 per gallon, and only expected to go up from there as we get into the summer driving seasons.
However, in my travels hither and thither over the past few days, I ended up at both the gas station and supermarket on one trip (see how fascinating I am?). In reviewing my receipts upon return, I stumbled upon a revelation that in the importance of human academia will fall somewhere between relativity and the advent of fire . Beer is now cheaper than gasoline (or, expressed mathematically, $ of beer < $ of gasoline)!
If you’re like me, (hopefully you aren’t), the first question that comes to mind is how can I make this information work for me, to better my lot in life? Well, the short answer is, you’re screwed. But, there are ways to make the best of the current cost of gas and the relative affordability of beer. One is to produce a vehicle that runs on fermented hops and barley however I digress, that is for another article. The second is how to drink without burning costly gasoline.
Sure you’ll be able to still make it out to the downtown scene or favorite hang out, but when it costs more than your first three drinks just to get there and back, then its tough to get out there as much as you would like. What will this mean for you? A new localization of activities seems to be the most immediate outcome.
There are a few alternatives, such as sitting there and drinking by yourself, in your boxers, with a milk crate over your head while screaming over and over AIN’T GOT NO PANCAKE MIX!!!! However, this can get boring over time. So, I’ll let you in on a little secret.
If you are like most people, then you have neighbors. And they are people too! They are likely sitting around as well, wondering what to do with their evening, drinking a beer and flipping channels. If you ripped the roof off every house in the neighborhood and took an aerial photo, it would certainly be a sad scene.
Now if you live next door to the crazy cat lady, she may not be the one you want to sit next to with a nice bottle of Chianti. However, somewhere within the several block radius that comprises the general neighborhood, there are other cool people out there that you don’t knowÂ Guaranteed. And keeping it local has many advantages, both social and economic.
Cheaper drinks Instead of paying $3 – $6 for a beer (or $12 – $18 for a martini, for anyone reading this in New York ), consider the cost of staying in. For less than $20, you can get a 30 pack of cheap stuff, more than a 12 pack of decent stuff, a good bottle of wine or a fifth of most liquors. Add in a few bucks for some snacks and you’ve got triple the drinks for half the price.
No last call For most people, Monday morning is the low point of their week. However, I am cut from a different cloth, albeit a stained and somewhat fringed one. The low point of my week is Saturday night when the lights flip on and the bartender yells last call!! Why? It is simple. I work damn hard all week, and live for the weekend. When those two words are yelled out, unless you had a crazy night and have already made arrangements for the remainder of the evening, it means you’re done and you’re going home and you just finished experiencing that which you worked so hard all week to enjoy. And although I will never experience child birth, I have to imagine this is psychologically similar to post-partum depression.
When partying at home, the beauty is there is no last call. As long as everyone is up and wants to keep partying, there is nothing stopping you from experiencing a true tequila sunrise.
No need to tip – Tips add up. And having myself worked in the service industry, I know that tips are appreciated and often are how a bartender or waiter will remember a customer in the future. And if you are like me, the drunker you get the more 20% turns into 40%. Numbers just seem to work so much different when you’re drunk. When you drink outside a bar, no need for tips.
You cant get kicked out If you are like me, hootin’, hollerin’, rowdiness, burning things, and slugging your friends just for the hell of it seem to come along with drinking. These activities are generally looked down upon by bar owners, bouncers, and meathead guys trying to look tough in front of their girlfriends. This is where much of the liquid friction tends to come into play.
When drinking on your own property, you mitigate this issue. Now you can still technically be kicked out of your own house, but this involves police measures and you typically have much more leeway between when a bouncer gets involved and when an officer of the law is involved. I suggest you utilize this gap in supervision to its full potential.
And the best benefit? No designated drivers required! That’s right. If you are at home, your neighbors walk on over and your friends that live further out don’t mind passing out in the guest room, on the pull out couch, or on the bathroom floor, no one has to drive home drunk, or worse, be a designated driver. Everyone can cut loose and without any supervision or watchful sober eye. It’s a thing of beauty.
Finally, we all get a good chance to know our neighbors. This is of more importance than anything. Instead of seeing a bunch of strangers that live 10 towns over or the regulars at the bar, you’re getting to know the people you see or may potentially see every day. And likely at least someone you’ll meet likes the same sports team, enjoys the same hobbies, or has lawn tools galore for the barrowing. With increased gas prices and no relief in sight, the reality is we are going to do a lot less doing places than before. Getting to know your neighbors is keyadvanced communications are always making the world smaller, but the inability to traverse the physical distance between two points is making it larger. You’ll be seeing a lot more of the locals, get to know them. Friends, coworkers and neighbors you are already familiar with, and their friends, coworkers and neighbors with whom you are not yet familiar. And by now and familiar I mean seeing them get shit faced. Because in the end, that’s who we really are. And if you are the one that puts this all together, you become the key cog, the chieftain of the local neighborhood clan. Its like a kick ass version of block-watch, just the opposite.
The ideas for parties are only bounded by your ability to think of them and get days off from work. Theme parties, BBQ’s, sporting events, etc are just a few ideas. While at your party, you can usually get away with a lot more you cant in most bars: beer pong, cards, drinking games, discus throwing, etc. Also, mix it up. If you can get to a nearby lake or beach, the park up the road, camping out here are many viable options other than the living room or back yard. Just be mindful of open container laws.
So hope this article has been informative, inspiring, and above all drink inducing. If anyone here is in my neighborhood, look me up. – Andrew