Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Checking Out if I can Check In

Mills of the gods

I have been calling some rehabilitation centers around town, seeing if I can set up an open ended check in. I have noticed over the last few weeks that politicians and Hollywood types are able to defuse bad publicity, and hide themselves from the press, by immediatly checking into an alcohol rehabilitation facility the minute after they do something stupid. Now this sounds like a good idea, but it would not be so easy for you and me. In places in the real world, like Texas, there are pretty limited bed numbers at a rehabilitation facility, and you don't check into them like you would a Holilday Inn, in the middle of the night and without luggage. You have to have a Doctor check you in, which usually entails a lot of tests and prior treatment. So my plan is to go ahead and announce that I am an alcoholic now to take care of the preliminaries. That way when I e-mail a teenage boy with untoward suggestions, or make an anti-semetic remark to a cop, I too can get the executive check in.

Sometime in the 70s or 80s the term "alcoholic" with all its connotations of personal weakness (He's an alcoholic) turned into alcoholism. Alcoholism to many people now is tragic, in the nature of alzheimers (unless you kill a kid while driving). We cut lots of slack to over imbiders, it's a disease you know. It's in the genes, they can't help it. And for all I know, they can't.

But when I was growing up, it was different. An alcoholic (and this term was ascribed only to the worst of drunks) was more like a thief or a bum. In fact, he often was a thief or a bum. The heavy drinker of my childhood was Otis Campbell, the town drunk of Mayberry.But I don't think that the people of Mayberry thought that Otis was an alcoholic.Their objection to his drinking was more religious/social. Mayberry was located in a dry county and you had to go up the highway to a restaraunt to get a drink. I once saw Andy order a beer at the place. Being a dry county, Otis was supplied by the moonshiners who made up the bulk of serious crime in Mayberry.

At any rate, my plan is to show up at bars now , several times a week and drink a little and get very loud. This will cement my reputaion as I slide down hill and enable everyone to nod their head knowingly when news spreads that I have done something really stupid, and then quickly checked into rehab. This will not be as hard as you might think. I currently average about two drinks a week, but have found a study by a medical group that suggests up to four drinks a day for those 55 and older. Now I am not 55, but close enough. The idea is that since we now know that moderate alcohol is helpful in avoiding heart attacks, the older you get, the more you need for it to be helpful The problem with the study is it's sponsor. The Irish Medical Society. Four drinks a day by someone 55 years of age or older in Ireland would be cutting back on consumption quite a bit. The study might have figured that in and given the avearge Irish parient a little more lee way. But a study is a study. So if I start drinking four Jameson's a day in a downtown bar here in Austin, I'm pretty sure I can have an alcoholic reputation inside of a month. Then I report to my physician my sudden intake urges and get him worried, so that when I need to be admitted, he can grease the wheels and get me right in !

From that point on I'm bullet proof.


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