Saturday, June 09, 2012

The greatest drinking game ever invented -- or 'life', as I call it

The Overthinging Person's Drinking Game was a post by a friend on Facebook, that wonderful outlet that provides a window into so much that is culturally important, especially if we are talking about my incessant posting of Tom Waits clips.

Finally, a drinking game based on deep-seated angst, alienation and uncertainty. Or, as I like to call it, "life". Now I know what you are thinking: surely I drink purely for the endless joy heavy drinking brings to my life! What the fuck does *Carlo Sands* have to be uncertain about, what personal angst could possibly haunt the life of a man with such truly wondrous cheekbones, as shown in the profile pic thing on this very blog?

I know, I know. My cheekbones are truly amazing. But even the combination of my cheekbones and extensive collection of Tom Waits' albums, I too -- yes even Carlo Sands -- stare in panic into the empty pit of horror that is life in late monopoly capitalism sliding ceaselessly towards a eco-holocaust, wracked by war and Nickelback.

To prove my point, I provide a short list of just some of the terrors haunting me right now:

Facebook: It is fucking up. My account has been a nightmare for the past week or so, with comments not appearing or disappearing or being unable to access things and shit repeating and JESUS FUCK I have built my entire existence around that fucking thing. It is extremely disturbing -- like having things in your daily life just fucking disappear, like your bed at 3am, or a train that just never ... ah... actually, maybe the bastards who run CityRail have bought a controlling interest in Facebook's public float. That could explain it.

My latest Carlo's Corner YouTube rant: Like seriously, just not enough of you bastards have watched it. What, 178 views? For an angry rant about the Queen's Diamond Jubilee? Who the fuck knew there wasn't mass market for that? Watch it, you useless pricks. Then go and give me a jubilee, it is long overdue.

Trying to do stand-up comedy: What kind of mentally deranged idiot would decide to try and do stand-up comedy, and embark on a series of open-mic gigs in Sydney's suburban pubs? Severely mentally deranged idiots who probably also have drinking problems that unhinge them further.

Based on my experience on Wednesday, here is a pretty accurate guide to how such a thing is likely to go: Call time will be 7.30pm, and when you show up, defying extreme weather warnings and pouring rain and cold, it will just be a group of comics sitting around a table "workshopping" jokes among themselves until well past the start time until someone finally makes the effort to cajole enough of the pub regulars to make the thing worthwhile and then the MC won't even bother telling you when, in the line up, you will be called to the stage to perform in front of 10 or so comics who have mostly seen your shit and the handful of pub regulars dragged in in a desperate bid to give the evening some kind of point as you stand in front of a microphone on a concrete floor in the semi-exposed coldest part of the fucking suburban pub and look out, blinding by two HUGE FUCKING SPOTLIGHTS they have set up just two metres in front of the mic stand that achieves nothing except to disorientate you and stop you from having any clue as to how your rant is being received beyond the few laughs you can hear come up every now and then, but not from the only audience member you can actually see... a bloke sitting right to the side so that he is out of the glare and he just spends the entire time looking up at you blankly, never once even smiling, or even frowning in disapproval just looking at you with a studied boredom AND NOT EVEN YOUR JOKE ABOUT HOW THE QUEEN'S JUBILEE OBVIOUSLY IS GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY BECAUSE ECONOMICS 101 STATES CLEARLY THAT WHEN IN A SEVERE ECONOMIC CRISIS THE FIRST THING TO DO IS BUILD A GIANT STAGE AND PUT ROBBIE FUCKING WILLIAMS ON IT WILL CAUSE HIS REACTION TO SHIFT EVEN ONE MILIMETRE!

Fucking madness. I am doing it again next Wednesday at the Laugh Garage.

Essendon Football Club and the "Curse of June": It is June, time for the Mighty Bombers to start losing in the Australian Football League. Their season structure has been quite well-developed over the past three or four seasons: runaway success in the early stages, stunning fans and observers alike with an exciting brand of footie that helps the Bombers win games against teams much more fancied and generate excitement that maybe, just maybe, the Bombers are back! Then the calendar ticks over to June and Essendon, with the same sense of dramatic panache with which they raced up the ladder, start to lose to teams no one should ever lose to. Like Melbourne. Which is exactly what happened last Saturday night.

Seriously, I think Essendon's forwards had some sort of sponsorship deal whereby they get a dollar every time I scream: "FOR FUCK'S SAKE KICK STRAIGHT YOU USELESS BASTARDS!" If they did, they'd at least have secured financial security in retirement out of that game alone.

And while we are on the topic, let me add the near impossibility of actually watching an AFL game in fucking Sydney. True, the Melbourne game was on digital TV, an advance over ever single other Essendon game this year bar the one against Richmond (which, it not yet being June, Essendon duly won), but I don't have a fucking set top box coz that shit costs money, I have none and what little have goes on my booze bill.

So, I trudged into some fucking dive of a place in Redfern with a TAB on the ground floor and a restaurant and bar upstairs and, after much cajoling, managed to convince them to turn one of the dozen or so TV screens all showing the fucking rugby league onto the Essendon game -- the smallest screen out the back in the semi-exposed cold bit (which seems to be where I spend *all* my evenings these days) with the sound down so the people playing pool could hear the rugby league.

And then, having been earnestly watching and drinking beer, just before three quarter time, with Essendon still just in front but Melbourne coming back and the tension level building to near breaking point, a Melbourne player takes a mark about 40 metres out and walks in to a bid to kick the most important goal in the game so far and I am on the edge of my seat willing with every inch for him to miss and just as he goes to kick the ball the GODDAMN RUGBY LEAGUE FINISHES SO EVERY SINGLE SCREEN IN THE ENTIRE PUB SWITCHES TO MUSIC CLIPS AND BEGINS PLAYING "THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMMM".

It took me about 15 minutes of desperate, panicked pleading and looking like I was about to cry to convince the manager to change the thing centrally so all the screens changed from clips of shit music from 1991 that no one was watching to the Bombers-Demons game. So that I could, nearly having multiple heart attacks, watch Essendon lose by a goal. To Melbourne, a club in free fall who had not looked close to winning a single game all season up until that point.

So, as you can see. I have problems. I need to drink. Clearly. So, be as cool as Carlo Sands and try out the drinking game below that someone else has written but which I have copied and pasted to my own blog. No need to thank me, just buy me a beer. I am serious. GET ME A FUCKING BEER!

* * *

The Overthinking Person's Drinking Game by Leigh Alexander

When you experience a vague sense of inequity or deprivation but don’t have a template for whether your expectations are fair, drink.

When you aren’t sure whether the lingering sensation that you aren’t liked enough is a rational response to unfair circumstances or is in fact symptomatic of your tendency to blame your environment for your own failure to self-actualize, drink.

Drink if you experience a sudden flood of shame at the realization that you haven’t done much to deserve really any of the things to which you aspire.

If you suddenly realize you actually felt militantly entitled to something while sabotaging yourself, drink twice.

If you spend a long time mulling the nature of ‘deserving’ and what it actually means, and if you can’t really resolve the question of whether anyone specifically ‘deserves’ anything and come to an impasse about chaos and the innate unfairness of life, drink.

When a person or situation isn’t what you thought it was going to be, and you can’t figure out whether this is your fault for projecting unfounded qualities onto the person or someone else’s fault for actually misleading you, mistreating you or letting you down, drink.

Drink when ambivalence haunts you.

If you notice that you unconsciously but consistently put yourself into situations that deprive you of your resources and move you further away from your goals, drink.

If you cannot work out whether your present situation, challenge, relationship et al is yet another state of unconscious self-sabotage despite the fact you feel deprived, drink.

If you can’t tell whether you’re actually in a negative situation or just an ungrateful person who blames everyone else for your problems, drink.

Drink if you aren’t sure whether you are assuming too much responsibility for your own current unhappiness or not enough.

If you find that after long hours of contemplative malaise you suddenly feel as if nothing in particular is actually wrong and you feel the desire to relax or celebrate, drink.

If you suddenly find yourself highly focused on gratitude and create for yourself a long list of all the things that you are doing successfully or correctly or that you are fortunate to have and want to feel unburdened or euphoric, drink.

If you can’t decide whether you are actually ‘celebrating’ or simply engaging in artificial gestures of relief, take two drinks.

If you can’t tell whether you are an overly-strict person with inappropriate guilt about normal human self-moderation behavior or an avoidant adult child making excuses for your poor coping, drink.

If you feel persistently like you are failing to grow up, drink.

If you can’t tell whether a certain youthfulness in others represents an admirable refusal to adhere to repressive social norms or an actual inability to deal with difficult adult challenges, drink.

If you aren’t sure what it is right to expect of yourself, drink.

If you aren’t sure whether you are repeatedly failing to reach a personal set of behavioral goals or simply consistently feeling inadequate no matter how hard you work, drink.

If you aren’t sure whether you need to ‘lighten up’ or employ more self-discipline, drink.

If you aren’t sure whether you do or don’t want to talk to your friends about it because you aren’t sure whether you are a reasonable person experiencing occasional insecurity or a neurotic person who cannot be soothed, drink.

If you suspect you might not even have much reason to be unhappy and in fact just overthink everything and lack a stable internal compass, drink.

If you think you might just feel lost because you drink too often, but then you think too much when you aren’t drinking, cry.

If you’d rather not think about this kind of thing right now or maybe ever, take two drinks.

'I don't have a drinking problem, 'cept when I can't get a drink.' There you go, an *alternative* version of a Tom Waits classic. Seriously, get me a fucking beer right now! Use The Paypal function in the right column if you have to. I am fucking thirsty.