Well, I don't have a whole lot of time to spend writing today's piece, and I almost considered not doing one at all...but since I'm near the end of A POP CULTURE ADDICT'S ADVENT CALENDAR, I figure I can't very well abandon it now.
So, this is Day #21's entry. And, I'm going to begin this article by telling you a personal story and linking it to the main subject of this piece.
Don't worry...the personal story is quite funny, and nobody got hurt. I may have been very embarrassed, but nobody got hurt.
Now, there are a couple of things that you need to know before I go ahead with this story.
First, the legal drinking age in Ontario, Canada (where I am from) is nineteen. It has been nineteen for as long as I can remember, anyway.
And second...I was a very naive, very STUPID ten-year-old who believed everything that anybody told me. I have since fine tuned my internal lie detector inside my brain, but I feel you all should be aware of this fact just so it makes sense.
So, this story takes place during Christmas 1991. I was ten, and my next oldest sibling was my then 19-year-old sister. I happened to come downstairs to the family living room where the Christmas tree and presents were located, and I noticed that she was drinking some sort of beverage inside of a small glass.
Being the curious sort that I was back at the age of ten, I asked her what she was drinking. And to be honest with you, I probably should have noticed the wheels turning inside of her head, and I should have been a lot smarter than I was back then, but little did I know at the time that she was planning a rather horrifying but clever trick on me.
She informed me that what she was drinking was chocolate milk from Germany. And right off the bat I should have been skeptical since no dairy product could survive a trip across the Atlantic Ocean without being properly refrigerated. But unfortunately, my love for chocolate milk trumped all, and I asked her if I could have some.
Oh, she smirked at me and did her best to keep from laughing as she served me a glass of "German Chocolate Milk", knowing that Mom and Dad were out Christmas shopping at the time and that was how she could get away with the prank she was going to play on me.
For what it was worth, the "chocolate milk" wasn't that bad tasting. It sure didn't taste like any chocolate milk that I ever had before, but it didn't make me throw up or anything. I quite liked it. In fact, I believe I asked for another glass of it, it tasted so good.
Well, it was at that moment that my sister had to confess her little trick before it had gotten out of hand.
You see, what I was drinking wasn't chocolate milk from Germany.
What I was drinking was a cocktail made from Kahlua...which happens to be a very alcoholic drink.
Yes, you read it here first. At the age of 10, my sister tried to get me plastered. Luckily her conscience kicked in before things went too far, but needless to say, I wasn't very impressed - even if it DID taste great.
Fortunately, we all laugh about it now. And, frankly, this was all done in the safety of our own home. Besides, it wasn't as though things went very far anyway.
So, how does this link to today's blog topic? Simple. The idea is to be responsible no matter what.
I mean, obviously, you shouldn't give cocktails to a ten year old unless it happens to be a Shirley Temple, or a fruit punch that hasn't been spiked.
In all seriousness though, there's a good possibility that many of you will be going out to Christmas and New Years Eve parties over the holidays, and chances are that you will be enjoying a couple of cold beers, a glass or two of egg nog, some champagne for a toast, or some really wacky alcoholic beverage that consists of creme de menthe, Dr. Pepper, and a candy cane for garnish that can only be served during the holidays.
(Hey, that last one could happen.)
It's okay to indulge a little bit during the holiday season. We all do it. What's NOT okay is to indulge and put other people's lives as risk. Drunk driving is still a factor in many fatal car accidents, and as far as I am concerned, there's no excuse why anyone should be behind the wheel while intoxicated. Zero tolerance.
So, what can you do to ensure that you still have a good time, and are alive to remember it?
Well, here's some tips.
1. Space out alcoholic beverages with water. It dilutes the alcohol and makes it slower for the alcohol to take effect.
2. Have taxi cab fare on hand for people who need it. Whether you call the good old cab company or Uber it, if you've had too much to drink, you'd better call a cab.
3. Take the bus. Some cities have bus service that run late - some as late as one o'clock in the morning. Definitely take advantage of it if you want.
4. Prepare guest rooms. This comes in handy if your guests live a considerable distance away. Better to have peace of mind knowing that they're sleeping in your home rather than having them die while on the way to theirs.
Let's all work together to make sure that all our holidays are safe and happy ones.