Staggering Through

Boozing it up. Eight tumblers filled with cocktails.

Actually, the worst thing about people being drunk is they don’t know that they’re drunk. Wait. Let me take that back. The worst thing about people being drunk is that they don’t want you to know that they’re drunk.

This is super not okay when they want to prove to you that they are okay to drive. Like those times when they insist that you give them back their keys. Ugh! Let’s just make a rule right now to keep those keys.

But I want to talk about when they’re not driving.

For some reason, drunk people don’t want you to know that they’re drunk. But, let’s face it, they are too drunk to effectively cover up that obvious fact. Yet, somehow, they think they are sneaky.

Drunks speak super slowly. Not because they don’t think you understand them. They just want to be clear and they know that they are not clear. The state of not speaking clearly is also called called slurring. Drunks somehow think that if they slur their words more deliberately, nobody will notice they’re buzzed. It doesn’t really work that way.

Another thing drunks do is try to walk straight. Emphasis on the try. You can watch them concentrate on catching themselves. They forcefully put one foot in front of the other. They might walk a little bit to the left and then the overcorrect and lurch right. Drunks hope that nobody sees their corrections. In fact, they believe that they are slick enough that you don’t see the sudden straightening that then veers off to parts not yet known. They think that their overcompensations are invisible. But, they are not.

The second worst thing that drunks do is act like buttheads. While this behavior is not as bad as driving like a butthead, it’s fairly close.

The feelings of drunks can be both raw and easily tweaked. A friend can go from reminiscing about a joyful event from their youth to careening, in an impossibly rapid pile of tears, about a lost dog, a lost bracelet, a lost love or–and this really hurts–a lost packet of ketchup. Really. Did one need to get bent about a condiment? Definitely the booze talking. Definitely a drag.

Then there is the angry drunk. This can be caused by specific types of booze–say gin or tequila.

The angry drunk can be self-righteous but is more often just plain mad. Mad can be about politics, a difference of opinion over the ending of a movie or about a slight. That slight might be of the imagination or of a single deed that gets distorted into a heretofore unbelievable size. Way bigger than it deserves. Sometimes, the appearance of anger and anger itself can be melodramatically increased via volume of the inebriated. That is, someone sounds more angry than they are, and then they become angry. Silly? Sure, but it happens.

There is no disputing the reaction of the liquored up. It is not wrong. It is not overblown. It is the truth. The truth of that extra glass of wine, mug of beer or shot of liquor. And that truth might be elusive to the drinker. We have to wait for a shot of rationality. At least until tomorrow when they might better be able to admit it.

Post #82

An "F" grade written in red pencil. Ugh! Scary!

There are two kinds of people. Those who get good grades and think grades are decent measures, and those who do not get good grades and think that grades are stupid.

Alright, maybe there’s more kinds of people, but I think that when we’re being judged, or graded, most people prefer to sit near the top end of the scale.

Think about grades. There’s USDA Prime beef. Given a choice, who would eat not-such-prime beef? Same with Grade AA eggs. When you get to C you’ve been through A’s and B’s. Cotton, another good that is graded. It’s judged on a scale from 1 (the most pima-est) to 7 which is inferior to Grade No. 6 cotton which is inferior to Grade No. 5 which is inferior to Grade No. 4, you get it. Also, after learning about cotton grades,  Grade No. 1 sounds as if it will be soft against your skin. Grade No. 7 sounds scratchy.

Greyhounds that are graded E are disqualified from racing–obviously a Grade A dog is a winner. Coins have grades, too. I think most people would prefer to be classified as “mint” condition rather than basal. The latter grade is given to lumps of metal that can be identified as having once been a coin. Booze is graded as well, call and top-shelf. Which do you think is the quality choice? The one you stretch to reach, Johnny Walker Blue. (Please note that JW nonsensically uses a color scheme to grade its whiskey. Grades are everywhere!)

When you grade your backyard prep to put in a new deck, it’s evened out. I don’t want to be “evened out.” Sounds a bit like what happened to Randle Patrick McMurphy near the end of Cuckoo’s Nest.

So, you can see why some people think good grades are better than not-so-good grades. It’s not too big a leap to see that some people might equate good grades with the quality of the grad-ee. And it’s easy to see that many people aren’t really happy about being graded at all, especially if a poor grade makes some people view them poorly.

That’s too bad. Grades as a tool to guide the evaluation of skills or knowledge are different than the grade of maple syrup. Maple syrup can’t improve itself into a better grade. It’s just stuck.

Evaluations can help identify where someone is on a road to mastery. Grades are a signal, albeit sometimes a clumsy one, to distinguish ability or grasp of a subject or competency. The grader has an obligation to explain the difference in the grades and, most importantly, what it will take to get from one grade to the next.

Grades are a shorthand. You know what you’re getting. And, in the case of assessing–or judging–a person’s attainment of a milestone or proficiency, it provides some type of measure against a standard of some type.

But nobody wants a big fat red F. Nobody.

Loyal Reader, I am sorry for this post. It’s definitely not my best, but I am nearly out of gas. I have a headache. So I’ll give myself, and dutifully accept, a low grade today.

Not every day is Grade A or even B. Not even for the Doc. Tomorrow is another day.