My husband has one of his best friend's staying with us (see The Sins of the Fathers).
Last time BF#2 stayed with us, he was drunk most of the time. He started with beer mid- morning, and by mid- afternoon, he had abandoned all pretense of doing any work on the boat ( my husband and BF#2 have a fish boat. B.O.A.T - Bring On Another Thousand - you can tell how I feel about this little project).
I noticed as the evening went on, that BF#2 seemed to be getting disproportionately hammered compared to the liquid he was imbibing. (And this was extremely observant of me, as I was at that time, working on my own buzz).
This state of affairs continued for much of his visit. The boat looked (and worked) exactly the way it had before the visit, many beer cans were mixed in with wine bottles.......and.....and......there were lots of small plastic vodka bottles.......ahhhh......mystery solved.
In this red-neck of the woods, it's not uncommon to find men in plaid jackets beavering (beavering? Get it? Canada?...never mind) away at their moonshine 'still.
If the word "moonshine" conjures up images of grubby old men with one tooth and scraggy beards - well, you'd be correct. Moonshine itself is as close as you can get to alcohol in it's most pure form. And it can literally kill you.
As a gift (!!), someone gave us a jar of cherries marinated in moonshine.
The jar sat on a dusty shelf on our back deck.
BF#2 was puttering around on the back deck during his last visit. I didn't take any notice until later that evening when it became apparent that he couldn't speak or stand.
At first I thought he was having a stroke..........
After deciphering very slurred words and erratic gestures, I went out to the back porch and found that half a jar of moonshine cherries, plus the juice had been consumed.
Once we had diagnosed BF#2, we got him into bed with a gallon of water beside him - an epic hangover in his immediate future.
I went outside to the back deck and looked at the half consumed jar.
Two thoughts went through my mind.....
" Thank God I'm not that bad...." followed by....."I wonder what it tastes like......." and then I had a small sip.......
Common sense prevailed. I threw away the jar.
Next morning, BF#2 was suitably sheepish, and horribly sick.
The whole episode bothered me. A lot.
Instead of being shocked or horrified about BF#2 being so in need of alcohol that he would brush off a cobwebbed old jar of moonshine cherries and consume it........on some level I understood perfectly.
We were in the same club.
There are no "categories" of drinkers. Moonshine, fine wine......whether we swill $100 wine and comment on the "legs", or squint at the fumes coming off a mason jar of moonshine.....whether we are wearing a tuxedo or a plaid jacket.....we are all in the same club.
Some of us just pay much higher membership fees.