The other day I ran into some of VICE's editorial staff in a pub. I've always wanted to write for VICE, and I was very, very drunk, so I thought it would be a great idea to pitch some potential articles to them. Instead of listening to what I was saying, they commissioned me to write an article about having a drinking contest with my mom. Possibly just to fuck with me. But I went and did it anyway. It's what you're reading right now.
This is me and my mom now. I know you're thinking that outdrinking a middle-aged mother of two should be a cakewalk, but, a) I'm kind of a lightweight and, b) my mom is the star of such late-night alcoholic fairy tales as "that time mom got so hammered she called her old boss a cunt to her new boss, and then shouted the word "cunt' over and over again in an inglorious crescendo in a quiet Italian restaurant in Chelsea." (Which is something she denies all knowledge of to this day. This post will probably be the first my dad has heard of it. Sorry, mom.)
ROUND 1: POWER HOUR
The rules were basic: First one to puke, loses. We decided to start things off with that drinking game where you take a swig of beer every minute for an hour. It doesn’t sound like much, and we both went in quite cocksure, but something about the rhythm of it kind of fucks you up.
To be totally unbiased, I asked my girlfriend to provide an independent analysis of the situation so far:
"Rachel feels 'gassy.' Wants to switch to spirits. No signs of drunkenness. Joe claims to be 'a little tipsy.' Despite this, he’s sure that 'once we hit the spirits he’ll be home free.' Phrases like 'you’re going down, Collier' and 'them's fightin’ words' keep being thrown around."
ROUND 2: "NEVER HAVE I EVER"
This is that game where one person says they haven't done something, and if anyone else playing has done that thing, then they have to drink. It was my idea to spice things up, air my mother’s secrets to the world and generally rock the Oedipal boat as much as I could. I had, however, fatally underestimated her capacity to master the game and use it as a pretext to find out everything she possibly could about me while embarrassing me in front of the family (and you). At this point in the night, we all became uncharacteristically competitive. Here's a sample of what happened:
Mom: I never took cocaine.
Mom: [Gasp] I knew it.
Me: I never conceived a child in a Butlins.
Me: Eugh. I knew it—I never had sex on a beach?
Mom: [Drinks. Then tells a story about sleeping with my dad on the beach while the Jaws soundtrack played that I'm not going to reproduce here, because she's my mom, you fucking sicko.]
Independent progress check (this time provided by my brother's girlfriend):
"All inhibitions are destroyed. No subject matter is taboo. Rachel is slurring, speaking very loudly and laughing a lot. Joe is shouting a lot and keeps claiming not to be drunk in spite of the fact that he is unable to cleanly navigate himself through a doorway. Which is something sober people are generally quite good at."
ROUND 3: DOWNING SHOTS UNTIL SOMEONE PUKES
Having used up the only two drinking games I could think of, we decided to just start throwing back shots until someone vomited. At this point I was pretty sure I was gonna lose, but continued anyway out of stubborn pride. Some of the emerging secrets were disturbing my brother’s girlfriend, while my girlfriend was unsurprised by everything except my mother’s confession to have once "been a mistress." I decided I wanted to get some weed, but by the time it got to my house, I could barely walk. When I came in with it, my dad just said: "Give it to me and I’ll give it back to you in the morning." I decided that this was actually a good idea, and I’m glad I did, because maybe two shots later, this happened:
You wouldn't believe how smug the expression on my mom's face was when she was taking this photo.
It was pretty close to this face right here. A mix of "I told you so" and "Don’t fuck with the big dogs, little boy."
And that was pretty much that. I suffered an undignified defeat in a depraved and Freudian fight to the death and I ended up in bed with a bucket not long after that. My girlfriend and my mother stayed up a couple of hours longer drinking shots until she, too, ejected the contents of her stomach into a toilet. (Ha!)
The following day she claimed her hangover was my fault. I said it was hers for staying up longer than she strictly had to. The best irony of the situation is that, though I folded long before my mother, I had no hangover the following day. Like, I was actually up at 9bAM feeling fresh as a daisy. She was still in bed on the Sunday. LOL, old people!