Today, the test for:
ARE YOU AN ALCOHOLIC?
The chapter begins with my assertion that the standard test for alcoholism, which is written by AA, has waaay too low a threshhold. Asking AA whether you are an alcoholic, I said, is like asking your kid if you need a puppy.
Example: A typical question from the AA quiz is, "Do you ever drink alone?" Another: "Have you ever felt guilty after drinking too much?" According to AA, answering "yes" to both those questions means you are probably an alcoholic.
So here was my Replacement Test, with a scoring guide at the end:
1. Have you ever felt guilty about your drinking? Did another drink help?
2. Do you ever drink alone? Are you drinking alone right now? Directly from the bottle? Standing naked in the shower in case you vomit?
3. Do people sometimes criticize you for your drinking? When you attempt to punch them in the face, do you fall down?
4. When you drive drunk, are you generally sober enough to keep one eye closed, so your vision is not double? Good for you!
5. Have you ever "eaten the worm," only to discover that it was not, in fact, the worm, but something else wormlike that happened to be in the vicinity of the bottle, such as an egg sac from a cockroach?
6. Have you ever wakened in an intensive care unit, with uniformed police officers all around you, arguing with doctors who were saying you could not be questioned until you were "out of the woods."?
7. Are you ever slightly embarrassed to discover you have one alcoholic beverage in your hand, one on the table, and a third in a hypodermic syringe you are about to inject straight into your stomach for a better "rush"?
8. Do you sometimes find that you have been made the butt of a sucker bet among your friends, such as whether you will actually drink from the toilet with a flavor straw, for a quarter?
9. At times when no alcohol was available, have you ever consumed other substances because you thought they might contain alcohol, such as naphtha or Massengill Sta-Fresh douche?
10. Have you ever urinated into an empty beer can to avoid having to negotiate your way to the bathroom, and then forgotten you had done this and ... you know? Has this ever happened more than once in the same night? Do you think it might have ever happened and you did not notice?
Scoring: You are not an alcoholic.
But if your breathalyzer test registers 18 times the limit, you might want to reconsider.
Update: From Modern Drunkard magazine, courtesy of today's Weingarten online chat, I give you (1) bar sign language; (2) the 86 rules of boozing; and (3) drinking as solutions to all of life's problems.