Martinis and Moon Landings

Updated with monkey goodness below

I am acquainted with the bottle.

I’ll let the shock you’re feeling subside before I move on. Better now? Good.

I am familiar with just about every kind of drinking. In my sixteen or so years of spending time with the drinking lot, I’ve drank to get drunk, drank to feel better, drank to have fun, drank to keep myself from having fun, drank to celebrate, drank to mourn, and drank to just drink.

Since I left the service industry lo so many years ago, I’ve never had a job that required much in the way of dexterity or operating anything that could be described as heavy machinery. I once worked at a Tex-Mex joint called “El Chico” where the waiters would drink, come in hungover, pop a couple of uppers, get too speedy, smoke a bowl they kept hidden in the drop ceiling tiles in the bathroom, then pop a couple more pills to keep them up for the day, then start drinking beer from coffee cups during the end of the dinner rush. Then they’d go out and get drunk. Me? I stayed sober during my shifts. I was clumsy enough as it was and tended to spill multiple drinks on the same people during the same sitting.

Once I got into TV, I never drank on the job. I never knew when I’d be required to be on TV and acting like I knew what I was talking about. I can only think of one time in my entire career when I even had half a buzz while on TV. I’d been at a friend’s house playing guitar and drinking a few beers. Somebody decided to burn down a church around the same time. I only had three beers in me at the time. Still, it was the most I’d ever had in my system while on TV (and, to be frank, I turned a helluva story that night).

Now, I work in an industry where drinking on the job is a little more commonplace. Still, I don’t do it that much. Sure, at the end of a long day when there is only and hour or two left before quitting time, I might sneak off for a quick end-of-day cocktail. I also might have a beer at dinner. Still, there haven’t been that many times I could’ve been cited with WUI (Writing Under the Influence).

So, it comes as a bit of a shock to me today that NASA is going to hold a news conference tomorrow to discuss, among other things, that it allowed astronauts to fly after flight surgeons discovered they were “so intoxicated that they posed a flight-safety risk.”

Reading a bit further down, I discovered there is a very conservative 12-hour “bottle to throttle” rule employed by NASA. I don’t use Internetty acronyms too often, but WTF?

If you had asked me this morning how I believed NASA handled astronaut training, I would’ve said that every astronaut had to be clean and sober from the time they were picked for a mission up until that mission’s completion. I would never have guessed that they could be in the middle of a bender at T-minus 24 hours.

And to think, these guys wanted to be my latex salesmen.

Update: But wait! Within minutes of the revelation that Dudley Moore’s Arthur and Mayberry’s Otis are piloting the centerpiece of American’s space program, NASA has decided to shock the world by revealing someone has tried to sabotage equipment bound for the international space station! Say it ain’t so!

Hell, that was a well-timed announcement. Surprised nobody bombed a Sudnese aspirin factory around dinner time. Might have been a little less obvious.

Hey there goes Elvis! Yo, King!

Update #2

There is nothing I don’t like about this.

Not only is funny on its own, it also uses a picture of Whiplash, the dog-riding monkey. I first saw Whiplash at the 2004 Las Vegas Rodeo championships. Every few hours while I played poker, highlights of Whiplash would show up on the big screen in the back of the room and my brother screamed, “Monkey!” The entire room would respond, “Monkey!” It was in the Top Ten most fun nights of my life (featured in Bordering on the Adriatic).

Thanks Hurty Elbow

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Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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7 Responses

  1. Well, that’s why Sam Shepard and Levon Helm didn’t get picked for the Mercury program like Ed “Goodie Two Shoes” Harris did. Those motherfuckers knew how to tie one on.

    Still baffling, though, how Dennis Quaid got to go up in space AND up Martin Short’s ass in the span of ten years, then marry Rachel Griffiths and coach high school baseball while never losing velocity on his fastball. That’s really quite a life, if you think about it.

  2. Anonymous Anonymous says:

    I never buy more than 1/2 gallon of whiskey per week, and never ever drink on the job unless the homeowner says it’s ok. never ever.
    -ub

  3. I’m not much of a drinker, but if strapping yourself to the top of not one but three rockets just to make your commute to work isn’t a cause for the sauce, I’m not sure what is.

  4. Anonymous Uncle Ted says:

    C’mon, this isn’t news. Everyone knows that powdered Tang(tm) is really coke. Or crushed adderal.

  5. The bottle to throttle rule goes back about 65 years to the early Air Force days. That is the standard rule for AF and commercial pilots. I agree with you that the 12 hour rule is not long enough. I spent 20 yrs in the AF and I saw many hung over fighter pilot’s climb into their F-4, or F-16, and barely make it. Some didn’t come back in one piece.

  6. Good to see now that the WSOP craziness is over yer slowin down and taking stock of things.

    And becoming appropriately indignant. Looking forward to seeing what the next month or so brings.

  7. You’re welcome Otis.

    Thanks for pointing out the little outlaw’s name. I was actually looking to use a unicorn, and stumbled upon the hilarity of the one you call Whiplash. Does he/she use a little cap gun as well?

    Thanks for the link. Hope to see you as a subscriber. Although it’s not really possible for me to tell anyway.

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