Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Proof is in the off-putting: The NYT's new booze blog

The Times calls it Proof, and it's their blog about drinking, or wanting to drink despite behind sober for months and years. It's an odd cocktail. Here's a sentiment, from David Kramer's "Buybacks": "One thing I miss about drinking is hanging out in bars. Mm, okay. Let's sample Jim Atkinson's "It’s the Holidays. How About Just One?": "I had my last drink nearly 16 years ago, so you’d think I would have assimilated pretty much every bit of unpleasantness associated with clean and sober life in a society that remains thoroughly sodden with alcohol. But I still can’t quite handle the holidays. It’s not that I’m driven to drink; just to a certain uncomfortable distraction that doesn’t leave until the holiday season thankfully does. And it’s not just that the holidays seem to have been invented for the express purpose of promoting—no, necessitating—irresponsible alcoholic consumption." Cheer-filled! How about David Kramer's "Self-Inflicted Prophecy "? "Years ago, I had had a run of terrible luck in my life. My career was going nowhere. I thought about going to see a shrink, but I was totally broke and I didn’t want to get myself involved in anything that was going to cost me lots of time and money. So I went to see a psychic. In my mind, it was just like seeing a shrink, only instead of wasting all that time mulling over my past, I could set some totally arbitrary goals and navigate my life through them, moving forward." Got anything stronger? How 'bout Susan Cheever's "Drunkenfreude"? "As dessert ended, the woman in the red dress got up and stumbled toward the bathroom. Her husband, whose head had been sinking toward the bûche de Noël, put a clumsily lecherous arm around the reluctant hostess. As coffee splashed into porcelain demitasse cups, the woman in the red dress returned, sank sloppily into her chair and reached for the Courvoisier. Someone gently moved the bottle away. “Are you shaying I’m drunk?” she demanded. Even in the candlelight I noticed that the lipstick she had reapplied was slightly to the left of her lips. Her husband, suddenly bellicose, sprang from his chair to defend his wife’s honor. But on the way across the room he slipped and went down like a tray of dishes. “Frank! Are you hurt?” she screamed. Somehow she had gotten hold of the brandy. “S’nothing,” he replied, “just lay down for a little nap. Can I bum a smoke?” Bartender! What he's having! And make it a double!

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