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Gingersnap
08-20-2010, 10:39 PM
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It may have already happened to you.

A friend or family member invites you over for a drink and suddenly you find yourself surrounded by the uptightest of your loved ones, trapped in an emotional ambush, pinned down with accusations that you, yes you, dear drunkard, are a monstrously diseased person. A person with a problem so horrifically out of control they are forced, yes forced, to confront you and make you change.

Now, there are those who secretly welcome interventions, either out of a selfish craving for attention or a repressed desire to stop drinking. If you are reading this magazine, however, you are most likely neither, and this article is for you.

First off, a properly executed intervention places you at a huge disadvantage. You are caught off guard, heavily outnumbered and most likely badly hungover. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t escape with your dignity and desire to drink intact. As a matter of fact, with proper preparation and foresight, you can not only duck the bullets, but turn back the attack and send the opposition running for cover. Here’s what to expect and, more importantly, how to win.

Remain Calm
Not such an easy thing to do. An intervention is a sneak attack, a very personal Pearl Harbor. You think your life is careening happily along like a brilliantly out-of-control speed boat and suddenly Japanese zeros (piloted by your friends, no less) are shrieking out of the sky to drop thousand-pound guilt bombs on your happy little ship.

Surprised people tend to react emotionally and attacked people tend to react defensively, and you must fight down both urges. You will lose a shouting match because there are more of them and they’ve already worked out their attack. Muster all your inner strength and screw an indulgent and reasonable smile onto your face. Let them get emotional. When you respond to their outrageous demands, speak in the quiet and sonorous voice of reason. Adopt the attitude of a tolerant child psychologist dealing with irrational and angry children, imitate the calm unemotional timbre of the semi-infallible HAL 9000 computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Try to end all your sentences with your opponent’s first names. Answer questions with questions. Make them explain their motivations. For example:

“Frank, why do you drink so much?”
“Do you really think I drink too much, Sam?
“Hell yes, I do! Hell yes!”
“Why do you think that, Sam?
“Because you drink more than everyone else!”
“Jackie Gleason told more jokes than most people. I don’t think that makes him a bad person. Do you think he was a bad person, Sam?”
“We’re not talking about jokes. Were talking about drinking.”
“I don’t know if you know this, Sam, but Gleason also drank way more than most people. Did you know that, Sam?”
“Yes, and that makes him a very sad person.”
“He was a very happy person, Sam. I think most people would love to live his life. He lived to be 72. Did you know that, Sam?”
“We’re not talking about Jackie Gleason! We’re talking about you!”
“Are you saying I don’t deserve to be as happy as Jackie Gleason? Why do you feel that way, Sam? Perhaps we should get to the bottom of those feelings before we go any further. Sam.”

It will drive them crazy.


Revel in the Truth
If they are following the standard intervention template, right off the bat they will insist you admit you are an alcoholic. This is not the time to get defensive and start telling fancy lies. Once you start denying what you and they both know to be true, you’ve already lost the moral high ground. They are laying siege to the fortress that is your lifestyle and lies make for lousy sandbags.

Admit that you are, in fact, an alcoholic. Wholeheartedly. Embrace the title and steal its power. Admit to it in the same matter-of-fact, yet modest tone you would confess to being the undisputed world pickle-eating champion. No big deal, it’s just something you’re rather good at. Do not present yourself as a craven and shameful victim, instead stand tall as a reasonably proud and entirely self-aware recreational drinker. This tactic will most likely throw them off and may even enrage them. They will have expected you to duck this punch and instead you let the blow bounce of your granite chin like an errant moth.

Get God and Science On Your Side
Next they are likely to say: “Don’t you realize the harm the booze is doing to you?” This ploy was quite effective when everyone thought alcohol was an evil, unhealthy thing, but has lost a great deal of its power in the face of the tidal wave of medical reports attesting to how alcohol is actually very good for you. Most anti-alcohol organizations still define alcoholism as having two drinks a day which, ironically, is the minimum number even the FDA confesses will cut your risk of heart disease by 30% and extend your life by 3 to 10 years. After you mention these facts, say this: “Truly, what is your interest in sending me to an early grave? You’re not in my will, if that’s what you’re thinking. I will, however, regularly bring flowers to your graves. I may even have a little nip out of my medicinal flask, in your memory, and think: ‘Why oh why wasn’t I strong enough to convince them to save their own lives?’”

If they try swinging the Bible onto their side, remind them that Jesus turned water into wine, not the other way around. The Bible attests that Noah himself liked to get hammered, and where would we all be if that good drunk captain didn’t gather the beasts and float the big boat? And be sure to memorize this biblical zinger: “Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more (Proverbs 31:06-07).

After letting that one fly, you may ask your hosts if there is any wine to be had.

Crush the Quisling
At least one member of the group won’t want to be there. He’ll be the one lurking in the background, refusing to make eye contact. He may be a drinker himself. Probably not the same quality of drinker you are, but a fellow imbiber nevertheless. This traitor is very vulnerable to the Fruitarian Gambit. Developed as a forward defense against aggressive vegetarians, it goes like this: When a vegetarian starts ranting about how meat is murder, identify yourself as a Fruitarian (super-vegans who only eat what a plant gives up willingly, such as an apple falling off a tree) and shrill, “Do you know the anguish of the wheat stalk at harvest time? Did you know they can sense when their brethren are being slaughtered around them? Is that a polyblend shirt, cotton killer?

As always, laugh out loud funny from our friends at Modern Drunkard.

Many more tips at the link. :D
Modern Drunkard (http://www.drunkard.com/issues/03_03/03-03_intervention.htm)