With St. Patty’s Day fast approaching, it’s simply good policy to take one of those questionnaires that helps you determine whether or not you are, how can I put this delicately, a hopeless drunk. Or, if you prefer, lush, boozer, alchy, ginhound, wino, juicehead, swillpot, barfly, elbow bender, or stewbum.
I recently sat myself down, as I do every year, to answer an 18-question quiz published in an advice column titled, “Are You an Alcoholic?” According to the questionnaire, if you answered four or more of the questions with a yes, then you are, indeed, an abuser of the adult beverage. This is why I always scan to the end of the test first so I can make sure I don’t answer yes to more questions than I am allotted without failing the test.
Although most of the questions on the AYAA (Are You an Alcoholic?) inventory require a yes or no answer, there are some that beg a question in return. For instance, take question number one: “Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but only lasted a couple of days?” The only possible response to that is – In today’s political climate who in their right mind has the nerve stop drinking for a whole week? And, here’s a hint — if you never attempt to, you can continue to answer “no” to this question each and every year, which is a good thing. We’re looking for a lot of “no’s” on this test.
Another question that I think is unfair in the AYAA is question number 14: “Have you ever embarrassed yourself or someone else when drinking? How about this answer: I embarrass myself and others even when I’m not drinking.”
Question number 8 is somewhat of a trick question, too: Do you ever try to get extra drinks at a party because you did not get enough to drink? Obviously the person who wrote that has never been to an office Christmas party where the drinks are paid for by the boss. (And I tried to get some more rumaki, too, okay?)
But let’s get down to brass bar rails, here. Aren’t we being a little hard on the social drinker by asking questions like: Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink? (Heck no!) And: Do you spend money you don’t have on alcohol? (I spend money I don’t have on just about everything I buy.)
In an effort to help wassailers judge themselves more fairly, I have devised my own inventory of questions (MOIOQ for short) (do not try to pronounce that, especially if you’ve been drinking) which should reveal with a greater degree of accuracy whether it’s time you hopped onto the wagon and stayed there.
1) Have you ever fallen into the Christmas tree and knocked it over at a family gathering?
2) Have you ever drunk so much lime vodka on New Year’s Eve you didn’t become fully conscious until January 3rd?
3) Have you ever stripped naked in public on a dare?
4) Have you ever fallen backwards into a pile of laundry in the basement after drinking two glasses of champagne and started laughing so hard you couldn’t get up for at least ten minutes?
5) Do you sometimes pour just a touch more wine into your own glass than your spouse’s when he or she is not looking?
6) Have you ever had to ask directions out of the ladies room?
If you answered no to all of the above questions then you are either lying about question number 5, or you’re not married.
If you answered yes to any or all of the other questions, good news! You may not be an incurable beak dipper, but you should definitely familiarize yourself with the term “designated driver.”
As legendary imbiber Dean Martin so wisely put it when he once lifted his martini and slurred, “If you drink, don’t drive. Don’t even putt.”