The Door Guy is a veteran of countless clubs around town. People say they've seen it all, but he's seen more. Write to him for everything from live advice to life advice.
Dear Door Guy:
Okay, I have a problem. Well, it's not my problem, it's my buddy. Every time we go out, he gets really drunk. Like, really drunk. We're at the bar, having a good time, and I turn my head for a second, and he's totally wasted and ruining my fun. It's a complete pain in my ass.
I'm sick of it, because it gets in the way of my good time. I just want him to go away. When is it okay to ditch a drunk friend?
—Just Wants To Hang
What you describe is a tough spot, but you didn't go into a lot of detail. Drunk friends come in all shapes and sizes, it's not a one-size-fits-all sort of thing.
Over the years, I've seen (and known) many a bad drunk, and there's a plethora of categories that they fit in. I bet you a nice shot of booze that your friend fits into one or more of those categories. Here's a few of my all-time (not at all) favorites — read on and see if you recognize your friend:
The "Life of the Party" Drunk: Give this person three drinks, and they know exactly how to have a good time. He or she'll get up on a table. They'll approach random strangers and decide they're best friends. They'll yell "SHOTS!" at the top of their lungs like built-in SONAR (and who knows, maybe it's the only way they can navigate the room). They will happily remove articles of clothing. The rare LOTP is as charming as the booze makes him think he is, but 99 percent of them stick out like a sore thumb and make everyone around them uncomfortable. Why, you ask? Because whatever party world they're in, it's one of their own making, and usually has nothing to do with the actual fun times going on around them. For worker bees like myself, this person makes the job a lot like caring for a needy 5-year-old at a day care center. They demand lots of attention, frequent reminders to keep their pants on, and the occasional time-out.[page]
The "Surly Bastard" Drunk: This person is a seething ball of rage, and isn't afraid to let everyone know it. Being angry is their super-power, and booze is the rocket fuel. This character gets a fucked-up look in their eye at the slightest provocation and sees insults and affronts everywhere. What's worse, she or he's deeply irrational and will turn on a dime. They can be a loyal friend if they feel that someone messed with you, but the second you try to calm 'em down, they'll turn on you and slap you silly. The SB's a ticking time bomb and getting railroaded out the front door is inevitable. And yes, if you're a friend, I will come looking for you after.[page]
The "Woe Is Me" Drunk: A second cousin to the SB, the WIM gets a couple beers in and becomes the most sad, misunderstood fucker on the planet. They've got half a million problems, and when they're not staring into the bottom of his bottle, the search is on for someone to fix it. When other people can't, or don't care to, hear these problems and really feel what they're feeling, they get offended and either continue down the path of being the most morose person on the planet or passive-aggressively start shit with people, possibly hoping that someone will punch them and thus validate the negativity. The WIM is harder to spot than the others, but when I encounter him or her, it always ends up with me explaining how fixing their life is not part of my work responsibilities.[page]
The "Quick Change" Drunk: A former co-worker of mine calls this particular group "corner-turners," because they seem totally fine and rational after six beers and then two sips into #7 are stumbling, incoherent, and incapable of managing the smallest human functions. The QC is the stealth bomber of bad drunks, they come out of nowhere and unless I see them on a regular basis and know what to expect, it's inevitable that I'm going to be picking them up off the floor, covered in beer, after they fall off their bar stool.[page]
The "Chatty Cathy" Drunk: This person needs to have a (mostly one-sided) conversation with anyone and everyone, but has no filter and no understanding of the cues of discomfort his or her targets are transmitting. The CC has an innate instinct for trapping people in places where they cannot get away, like bathroom lines or outside smoking, and will spew endless amounts of pointless stories, facts, and opinions until everyone either walks away, or they say something so outrageously offensive that people start to yell at them.[page]
The "Creepy" Drunk: Creepy is pretty self explanatory, although he or she comes in many different shapes and sizes. Creepys are mostly, but not exclusively, a nuisance to patrons they find attractive. Some Creepys just stand too close to you. Some play grab-ass. Some make horrifying, car-wreck like statements about your physical appearance and then don't understand why you're mad and won't dance with them. Creepys end up getting slapped, calling someone a bitch, and then getting thrown out, not always in that order.[page]
The "Buddha of Complete Incoherence" Drunk: The Buddha is on a higher level than any of these other drunks. While the rest are tied to reality as we understand it by one thing or another, the Buddha drinks himself beyond the earthly plane. As the night goes on, the Buddha loses all the trappings of human toil, such as eye contact, the ability to pronounce words, and the social convention of using the bathroom to take a leak. Instead, head down, the Buddha grunts a string of sounds that seem to be a language of some sort, and inevitably pees himself. Oddly enough, the Buddha is the drunk most likely to claim that they are okay to drive at the end of the night.
Any of these sound familiar, JWTH? There's plenty more, but those are the tops. Did you notice the one thing they all have in common? All of them, when left alone, are going to have nights that end very, very badly. They might get thrown out. They might get in a fight. They might pass out in a booth, or on the floor, or leaning face-first against a wall. And in all cases, if I remember that they came with you, I'm going to find you and make them your responsibility. Because no matter how annoying they are, they're not my friend. They're not the bartender's friend. They're your friend.
So sorry to say, but it's never okay to ditch your drunk friend. Not to watch a show, or hit the dance floor, or get some phone numbers. If your friend is that big a problem, have a cab company on speed dial and an extra $20 in your pocket. Put him in the cab, stuff the money in the driver's hand, and get your friend on the road home. The next day, when he's sober, talk to him. If this is a constant issue, and it seems like it is, get him help if he needs it. But by no means is it acceptable to make him someone else's problem, and if you ditch him, he will become someone else's problem. And that will only end badly.GIMME NOISE'S GREATEST HITS
Danny Brown's Triple Rock show sparks unseemly oral sex controversy
Brother Ali: My fans are kicking the sh*t out of me over Trayvon Martin
Top 20 best Minnesota musicians: The complete list