In a new MSN story, “What His Drink of Choice Says About Him,” writer Julie Fishman and a couple of allegedly knowledgeable sources go down a list of popular cocktails and describe the type of guy who drinks them. Now, I’m no sociologist, but I am a stinking drunk, and I’ve been around enough dudes in drinking situations to develop some of my own hypotheses in relation to alcohol and testosterone, most of which conflict with MSN’s, and not only because of the website’s ridiculous East Coast bias.
Jack and Coke, according to some random Manhattan bartender, is “a weeknight drink for men who wear suits,” and Fishman claims, “A whiskey-and-soda guy often appears as if he could drink for eight hours straight –– even while making business deals –– without slurring a word.” First of all, we have a name in Texas for drinking for eight hours straight: happy hour. Secondly, the only person I’ve ever known who actually drank Jack and Coke (not even Jack and Diet) is Fort Worth/Houston singer-songwriter, dear friend, and teetotaler John Price, who’s worn a suit probably only once in his life (for holy communion) and to whom “business deals” back in the day involved dehydrated plantlife in little plastic baggies. Strike 1, MSN.
Wine, Fishman goes on, is “for a guy who … has an interest in art, culture, and travel.” Oh, really? As the Weekly’s art critic, I’ve come across my fair share of unemployable people –– um, I mean “artists” –– and the only time they drink wine is when they’re out of beer, Jager, and cologne. Strike 2.
Easily Fishman’s most outrageous, egregious, preposterous take is on the light-beer drinker. (Read: It hits a little too close to home.) That same random Manhattan bartender dismisses light-beer drinkers as either “partiers after quantity, not quality” or self-obsessed health nuts. “The quantity guy may seem affable and fun-loving,” Fishman writes, “but his heavy drinking could be a sign of trouble.” Oh, yeah?! Well. Your mother could be a sign of trouble.
Moving on. The article, perhaps not surprisingly for such an anti-hip publication, is incredibly out of date. One of the drinks from which an extrapolation is extracted is Red Bull and vodka –– the last time I actually saw a guy drinking a Red Bull and vodka was at The Torch. The original Torch. Not the one next door to the cleaners. (Moment of silence, please.) And the White Russian is described by Fishman as the “hipster drink of the moment.” “Of the moment”?! Ms. Fishman, unless you wrote your story in the year 1998, when The Big Lebowski and its White Russian-slamming title character first came out, you really need to get out more. Hipsters, everyone knows, drink whatever’s cheapest (PBR, Lone Star, Schlitz), to, y’know, really stick it to The Man. Because that’s what hipsters do. Stick things to stuff. Not be cheap as hell to save money for CDs, effects pedals, and smokes. No, no, no.
And as for the Tom Collins drinker, he “has a passion for details and would love planning fantastic date nights for the two of you,” though Fishman forgets to add, “… at the convalescent home.”
Overall, though, any relatively normal, not-perpetually-blotto person can easily forgive Fishman and her sources their wild generalizations. Maybe all craft-beer drinkers are indeed awesome, savoring every ounce of life: The guys I know who blanch at any other kind of beer (including my father-in-law, two brothers-in-law, and Rahr employees/supporters) happen to be pretty cool. And maybe the martini man “likely has money and wants you to recognize it,” according to that random Manhattan bartender –– now, I’ve never met a guy who drank martinis exclusively, though I’ve known a lot of guys to have one or two ’tinis among other thirst-quenching beverages throughout the course of an evening, including me, and I’m about as far from loaded as possible.
Financially speaking, of course.