When you order a whiskey-soda or a gin and tonic at your favorite watering hole, you're probably well-aware that what you're paying isn't what it costs to pour a shot and a half of booze over some ice and top if off with carbonated water. The markup is huge.
Which is why we all love drink specials. Getting drunk at a bar is expensive, and if you can shave down your horrifying Friday night bar tab by going for 2-for-1s, why wouldn't you? (Aside from the hangover of drinking bottom-shelf liquor all night, anyway.) Often, you end up getting more than you bargained for by hitting $3 Margarita Night at happy hour.
Or, in the case of one particular bar's promotion in Fargo, North Dakota, you can come on down and try your best shot at dying of alcohol poisoning.
Controversy recently erupted surrounding the campaign for Fargo bar The Bomb Shelter's "College Night," which features a very economical deal wherein patrons get all-you-can-drink well drinks and draft beers for a mere $7 by showing their college ID. (The deal is offered on Tuesdays, which surely does no favors to the professors of said students on Wednesday mornings.)
The tagline for the weekly event? "Graduate with a 4.0 Blood Alcohol Content."
The only problem with that goal is this: you'd be dead.
Maybe it's just very shoddy math on behalf of the bar's marketing professional, but you'd die way before you reached 4.0 percent. Consider that in the eyes of the law, you're considered drunk if you're driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent. Now multiply that by 50.
In fact, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, death is a possibility at any BAC higher than 0.31 percent, at which point you would face "loss of consciousness, danger of life-threatening alcohol poisoning, [and] significant risk of death in most drinkers due to suppression of vital life functions."
The Bomb Shelter's College Night ad was recently sponsored on Facebook in the Fargo area, but users overlooked the rather incredible monetary savings and commented calling the promotion "fucked up," and arguing that the tagline "promotes drinking to death."
Could this have been a case of cluelessness? A fancy cocktail bar The Bomb Shelter is certainly not. "Spin the Battle Wheel for your chance to win Prizes!," its website commands, mentioning some sort of game or scenario called "Nip Slap Flip Flap VS My Boobs Slapping On My Ribs." (Your guess is as good as ours.)
Perhaps the ad would have been taken more lightly if binge-drinking didn't still contribute to roughly 600,000 injuries, 97,000 rapes, 690,000 assaults, and 1,825 deaths among college-age Americans every year, according to the National Institutes of Health. An additional 150,000 college students develop health problems related to heavy drinking.
The Bomb Shelter told news station WDAY6 that the ads were a joke and have been removed. And surely they were, though they didn't consider the ugly reality of losing consciousness and choking to death on your own vomit. A member of the bar's staff said that he was not interested in providing comment to MUNCHIES regarding the controversy.
In all fairness, though, that is a hell of a deal. Just don't try to "graduate" with a degree from the Bomb Shelter's poorly thought out drinking program. We've heard death sucks.