As we enter the last third of summer, it seems as if everyone is in a mad scramble to enjoy the last bits of good sun, imbibe cold beer, and empty the vast larders of their local supermarket. Social events pepper the long summer months and one often panics trying to attend them all. I will impart one rule unto the reader that will ensure that one’s thirst remains quenched and one’s conversations interesting.
Never bring too little.
It is not meant to sound like a divine injunction; however, it would perhaps be more widely embraced if it had the tone of divine warrant. One ought never to arrive at a feast or gathering with inadequate quantities of drink, preferably of the alcoholic kind. This becomes substantially more important during family engagements or where the guest list includes undesirable company.
The rewards of abundance are manyfold. Firstly, a parched interlocutor makes for a challenging conversation. A dry mouth and gullet are a recipe for frequent throat-clearings that often interrupt the flow of a conversation. Staggering quantities of drink ensure that the windpipes are lubricated and viable for (hopefully) nourishing dialogue. Which brings us to the second reward, that of interesting conversations. As the inhibitions are lowered (in the vernacular: as less fucks are given), the philosophical and intellectual (sometimes the pseudo-intellectual) in one emerges. Staunch opinions become more overt and raunchier jokes are told. As a result we often learn more about the interlocutor than would otherwise be possible. Rapturous laughter and a great deal of mirth is often derived from speakers for whom one too many drinks are never enough.
Another reward: bringing excess drink ensures that one will never have to go on the dreaded “beer run”, which permits the merriment and frivolities to continue uninterrupted. Lastly, abundance compensates for the more penurious individuals.
No sin is more egregious than that of the empty-handed guest.