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  #1  
Old 04-14-2009, 03:02 PM
astro astro is online now
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Why do people claim certain alcoholic drinks will make you more "crazy" than others?

Alcohol is alcohol so far as I can see. Why do people often claim specific drinks like Jagermeister, Tequila or Wild Turkey will "fuck you up" or make you more "nuts" than a bunch of gin and tonics or daiquiris yielding the same amount of alcohol? Why do certain drinks have a reputation for facilitating or encouraging erratic, out of control behavior?

Last edited by astro; 04-14-2009 at 03:03 PM..
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  #2  
Old 04-14-2009, 03:08 PM
Cat Fight Cat Fight is offline
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I have no idea whether there is any scientific evidence for any of these claims (and I suppose it's doubtful, if they are broken down by your body the same way), but they make sense if only because people are often in certain company and environments while drinking certain liquors, in my experience.

e.g. wine is often had with food, potentially lessening its effects, Jagermeister and tequila are often done at bars in shot form (and shots are often done when people already have a few drinks in them), rum is often mixed with other alcohols in sickly sweet drinks, possibly encouraging upset stomach... I'm sure there are others.

Last edited by Cat Fight; 04-14-2009 at 03:08 PM..
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:09 PM
Enderw24 Enderw24 is offline
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Two reasons

1) The alcoholic content (120 proof versus 80 proof versus 3.2%) is different meaning the same volumes of alcohol produce wildly different alcoholic levels

2) A fruity drink can contain the exact same amount of alcohol as a shot of vodka, but because you can't taste the liquor, you don't register that it's alcoholic. So you drink more or at a faster rate. You body, however, isn't fooled by that masking and when it hits, it hits you harder and more unexpectedly.
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:11 PM
shiftless shiftless is offline
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Tequila made me drive my car into a bridge abutment at 50 miles per hour. It is that tasty.

I would guess that most of the people that talk about getting "fucked up" are too young to have a whole lot of experience so whatever is easily drinkable, in quantity, will have that rep. Drinks like Zombies and Long Island Iced teas have lots of alcohol but are still very drinkable. Straight scotch, not so much, you probably want to sip that. Anything that is done in the form of shots - it will fuck you up, man.
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:20 PM
lieu lieu is offline
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Originally Posted by shiftless View Post
It is that tasty.
Holy crap but that made me laugh. Yeah, craziest shit I've ever done was after tequila shots. Go to jail crazy. The reasons above by Cat and Ender strike me as pretty plausible.
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:55 PM
LVBoPeep LVBoPeep is offline
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I don't have any scientific evidence, but my ex was an alchoholic who usually drank beer or rum but I could always tell when it was tequila instead. His personality changed and he did really weird shit (like woke up in the middle of the night and pissed in the corner of our bedroom because he thought he made it to the bathroom).
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:57 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is offline
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Relevant SD column
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Old 04-14-2009, 04:26 PM
mauxlicious mauxlicious is offline
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Speaking as a long time heavy drinker (read as no longer practising alcoholic), although the alcohol content may be the same, different types of alcohol affected me differently. A beer buzz was different than a wine or whiskey buzz. My drink of choice was beer. At my peak I could easily drink 12-18 pilsner type beers in a sitting and be no worse for the wear. If I were to drink the equivalent in Jameson, I was a bumbling idiot. Perhaps my body was used to metabolizing the beer but not quite as efficient with the whiskey.

I also agree with the context theory from upthread. Your emotional state plays a big role in how alcohol affects you. The same amount of alcohol can yield different results in different contexts. For me when I was drinking beer if I started in on the shots, I was doing it specifically to lose inhibitions more quickly. I expected to be more "fucked up" and was. A large part of this may be psychological, but could be measured empirically by "field sobriety" tests.

As I used to say, "One more, then we all go!"
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Old 04-14-2009, 04:33 PM
slime slime is offline
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Having been a bartender and a lover of alcohol there are a few things that will make a difference. As stated before the proof of an alchol will make a big difference. The other being carbonation.The more carbonated the drink the quicker the body will absorb the alcohol. Thus champagne will get you f*d up the quickest versus sipping on a glass of wine even though the proof may be the same.
As for the differences between different types of alcohol, e.g. whiskey and tequila
thats harder to say. I can tell you this while I am generally a fun drunk if I go on a gin jag watch out. While I will not go looking for a fight I will not walk away from one either. This only happens after a few too many glasses of Queen Victoria's milk and not any other type of liquid intoxicant.
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Old 04-14-2009, 07:35 PM
SeaDragonTattoo SeaDragonTattoo is offline
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I have to say I really believe different alcohols have made me act differently, this is over about 20 years of casually drinking with friends at bars or parties.

Vodka, beer or wine are fine. I stay happy all night and am a fun drunk.

Whisky, I've had it as my main drinking alcohol for the evening only twice and blacked out both times. I've been told for many years after what I did those nights, I don't remember any of it. I won't touch the stuff. Never had that experience with any other kind of alcohol.

Tequila, also only had it as my main drinking alcohol for the evening a few times. Ended up a crying mess by the end of the night each time. A couple shots during the evening while I'm mostly drinking beer or vodka, no problem.

So, just from my own experiences, I've got definite opinions on different alcohols doing different things to me. Don't get me wrong - ALL alcohol will "fuck you up" if you drink enough of it. I've been plenty messed up from vodka, beer and wine; but I remember everything that happened and don't go on a crying jag with those. Done plenty of stupid stuff, though!
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Old 04-14-2009, 07:59 PM
ToeJam ToeJam is offline
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Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
My reaction at reading the end of that article....

Nope... still can't get that image out of my head..
Alcohol enemas? Good LORD that's a bad bad bad idea.....
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  #12  
Old 04-14-2009, 08:04 PM
even sven even sven is offline
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Alcohol has a long history and until recent must have seemed quite mystical. So of course a lot of lore has built up around it.
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  #13  
Old 04-14-2009, 08:50 PM
bobot bobot is offline
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I'm sure from a chemistry perspective alcohol is alcohol, but I no longer drink whiskey due to the fact that it affected my mood like no other booze.
I can't explain how, but whiskey affects me this way, and vodka does not.
And for what it's worth, my heritage is Irish, not Russian.
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  #14  
Old 04-14-2009, 08:57 PM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
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Originally Posted by shiftless View Post
Tequila made me drive my car into a bridge abutment at 50 miles per hour. It is that tasty.

Was the fat chick ejected from the vehicle or was she wearing a seat belt ?
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  #15  
Old 04-14-2009, 09:10 PM
salinqmind salinqmind is offline
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Different kinds of booze most definitely affect me differently. Tequila makes me so violently ill I'm not sure about it...beer sort of energizes me, I like to have a couple in the hot summer...Southern Comfort? I drank a quantity of this for a while and the result was blackouts and threats to have the police come and take me away...Wine makes me groggy immediately, but I have it with meals that put me in a stupor anyway. I avoid most hard liquor, so can't say much about the different kinds. My favorite alcohol is a nice glass of sherry. It doesn't take a lot to give me a nice, warm, quiet, relaxed buzz, and even if I drink more than I should, I don't seem to feel bad the next day, and it seems to wear off fairly quickly. (My drinking days seem to be over and I haven't had a hangover in years and years, can't imagine how I managed to do anything when I did drink to excess.)
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  #16  
Old 04-14-2009, 11:36 PM
Kobal2 Kobal2 is online now
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Relevant skit : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfDLDB4g0F4
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  #17  
Old 04-15-2009, 05:17 AM
Toxylon Toxylon is offline
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As a heavy drinker in my youth, I can attest to the differences between drinks. Nothing gets a buzz going on faster than champagne. I could drink the same amount of hard liquor, or four times the alcohol, and not get light-headed as fast. Never drank champagne at once more than maybe three glasses, though.

Whiskey and vodka have a delayed effect. You down the drinks and it'll take a good while for anything to register. Drinking beer, which is almost water in comparison, is about as fast, even though there's no way to ingest an equal amount of alcohol as fast in beer as in hard liquor ( a whole bottle of beer equals one gulp of liquor).

I used to drink 12-15 beers to get a good party buzz going on. Drinking a bottle of whisky or vodka (equal alc.) never worked for a party buzz. The drunkenness was heavier, calmer, more reflective.

Even the "level" of hangover is attributed by experts almost solely to the amount of alcohol ingested. But I never had a hangover from drinking beer, even when I drank it enough to pass out, while drinking just a few shots of vodka would give me a headache and a wine binge would produce a hellacious morning after. The amount of alcohol to get me wasted was pretty constant but the results surely varied.
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  #18  
Old 04-15-2009, 06:01 AM
minlokwat minlokwat is offline
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Originally Posted by shiftless View Post
Tequila made me drive my car into a bridge abutment at 50 miles per hour. It is that tasty.
You think that's bad? I got so messed up on tequila one time, I went home and blew Chunks.







He didn't seem to mind.
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  #19  
Old 04-15-2009, 07:18 AM
JFLuvly JFLuvly is offline
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Smokinjbc
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I don't have any scientific evidence, but my ex was an alchoholic who usually drank beer or rum but I could always tell when it was tequila instead. His personality changed and he did really weird shit (like woke up in the middle of the night and pissed in the corner of our bedroom because he thought he made it to the bathroom).
I did this also, ever since I have referred to tequila as a drug not an alcohol.
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  #20  
Old 04-15-2009, 07:28 AM
Wallenstein Wallenstein is offline
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There's also a psychosomatic effect.

Drinks are "branded" as mean, soft, quick-to-get-you-drunk etc as described upthread.

If you drink champagne in the knowledge the bubbles will get you drunk quicker, then sure enough that's what'll happen.

As soon as someone says "whoa, you're on gin tonight... mean drunk ahead!!", you'll start acting that part.

Also if someone is already disposed to meanness is it not more likely they'll drink a "mean persons" drink? How many bikers drink rose wine when they're out?

It might be "mean drinkers like certain drinks", rather than "certain drinks make drinkers mean"?
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  #21  
Old 04-15-2009, 07:49 AM
calm kiwi calm kiwi is offline
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A gin and tonic is very refreshing on a summer's eve...several gins turn you into a weepy mess.

Many vodkas make merry.

I don't know about the science but vodka and gin are both strong clear fluids but for me vodka defintely means fun and gin means sad.
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  #22  
Old 04-15-2009, 07:54 AM
Helen's Eidolon Helen's Eidolon is offline
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For me, the main difference is the next morning (after I drink a lot, that is - if I have just one or two, it doesn't matter.)

Tequila is the worst hangover possible. Wine and most mixed drinks aren't terrible. Beer will give me something of a hangover, but not too bad. Gin and tonic is practically no hangover at all.
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  #23  
Old 04-15-2009, 08:41 AM
DianaG DianaG is offline
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I know that different drinks affect me differently. Beer (in any quantity) makes me sick. Wine is a sleepy, mellow buzz, which is why it's mostly an at-home drink. Tequila is fun, until it's too much tequila, and then it's sick and sad. Whiskey makes me maudlin. Vodka is happiness.

I know "alcohol is alcohol", but it's not like alcohol is the only ingredient in these drinks. I don't find it terribly difficult to believe that the alcohol might have slightly different effects in combination with other ingredients.
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  #24  
Old 04-15-2009, 12:12 PM
sherrylynn sherrylynn is offline
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Jose Cuervo is not a friend of mine -
But nothing beats a nice red wine buzz!!
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  #25  
Old 04-15-2009, 12:40 PM
MeanOldLady MeanOldLady is offline
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Why do people claim certain alcoholic drinks will make you more "crazy" than others?

Because people don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s mainly a behavioral thing. Certain drinks, like Tequila for instance, are associated with doing shots, unseemly nights in Mexico, losing your pants, etc, and so people act like damn fools when they drink them. They either drank too fast, or have determined beforehand that they're going to get fall-down drunk, and as a result, did. Most of your drunken behavior is determined by what you believe your behavior will be, and the rest of it is actual alcohol consumption. Jaeger bombs will do you in fairly quickly due to absurd frat-boy nature in which they are consumed. Long Islands (read: Date Rape Drink), which people tend not to slam, will land you in the bag fairly soon if you don’t realize how much liquor is actually in them. A lot of people don’t.

I get as drunk from any 80 proof spirit as I do the next, primarily because I drink them all the same: from a tumbler, and on a hot day, with ice.

That said, when I was MeanYoungLady, I would fairly regularly consume Wild Turkey and Bacon for breakfast, which was an excellent way to start the day. These days, a greyhound does me better on Sunday mornings.

Last edited by MeanOldLady; 04-15-2009 at 12:41 PM..
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  #26  
Old 04-15-2009, 01:19 PM
Fuzzy Dunlop Fuzzy Dunlop is offline
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Originally Posted by astro View Post
Alcohol is alcohol so far as I can see. Why do people often claim specific drinks like Jagermeister, Tequila or Wild Turkey will "fuck you up" or make you more "nuts" than a bunch of gin and tonics or daiquiris yielding the same amount of alcohol? Why do certain drinks have a reputation for facilitating or encouraging erratic, out of control behavior?
When I was a naive middle schooler, we were taught in health class that a bottle of beer, glass of wine, and shot of liquor had the same amount of alcohol in them. This annoyed my budding scientific mind to no end because if you don't hold volume constant OF COURSE the alcohol between drinks can be made equal.

It was only when I got older that I realized it was a relevant comparison because those are the volumes people in reality drink. As I got even more experienced, I realized it was pretty much hooey. If I make a martini at home or at a party I'm using about 7 oz of liquor. I would normally drink that at least as fast as a glass of wine. If I'm drinking gin, you can be sure my BAC is going to be higher than if I were drinking wine or beer that night.

So, I think the reputation is based on the actual way in which people tend to consume those alcohols, but not anything remotely metabolic or chemical.
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  #27  
Old 04-15-2009, 01:28 PM
handsomeharry handsomeharry is offline
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I can't believe that there isn't a difference, regardless of alcohol content. When I was in party mode, I would only drink 80-100 proof, depending on how much cash I had on hand for party purposes. I rarely changed my context, and the company was generally always the same, the only measurable difference was the drink. I don't recall if I had ever heard that two different drinks would affect you differently. But, when I drank bourbon, I got happy or kicked back. When I drank vodka, I got mean (unfortunately, not tough) and the ol' hormones went a bit whacky.
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  #28  
Old 04-15-2009, 02:22 PM
astorian astorian is offline
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I don't drink. At all. Never have. So, I can't offer any answers based on personal experience.

But it strikes me that the only way to be SURE would be a highly controlled experiment, one that gave comparable people different drinks that ultimately had the same total alcohol content.

I'm dubious as to whether one drink will make you "crazier" than another. But I'm quite prepared to believe that some drinks are easier/more pleasant to drink, and that people may start downing them one after another, and end up consuming a LOT more alcohol than they realized.

If a guy who normally has two beers a night suddenly starts tossing back margaritas like there's no tomorrow, he may well get "crazy." He's also likely to underestimate just how mnay margaritas he had. In the morning, he may then blame the tequila, rather than the sheer QUANTITY of alcohol he consumed.
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  #29  
Old 04-15-2009, 02:56 PM
aaslatten aaslatten is offline
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Originally Posted by Wallenstein View Post
There's also a psychosomatic effect.

Drinks are "branded" as mean, soft, quick-to-get-you-drunk etc as described upthread.

If you drink champagne in the knowledge the bubbles will get you drunk quicker, then sure enough that's what'll happen.

As soon as someone says "whoa, you're on gin tonight... mean drunk ahead!!", you'll start acting that part.

Also if someone is already disposed to meanness is it not more likely they'll drink a "mean persons" drink? How many bikers drink rose wine when they're out?

It might be "mean drinkers like certain drinks", rather than "certain drinks make drinkers mean"?

I was also wondering if this kind of "self-selection" could play a role. I've always thought of bourbon as making people mean, but now that I think of it, some of those mean people had some serious personality issues and looked to bourbon as a quick fix. People who drink liquor are often (not always) looking to get drunk, whether it's the margarita people looking to form a conga line or the bourbon guys trying to drown their sorrows so they can lash out at others.
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  #30  
Old 04-15-2009, 03:46 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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I subscribe to the psychosomatic theory.

People who want permission to act a certain way will drink a beverage that is associated with the way they want to act. And magically, the tequila turns them mean, the champagne makes them dance on the table, the jaegermeister makes them take off their pants, and the gin leaves them weeping in the corner.

There are some variables. Beer and wine contain a lot of water which will minimize the dehydration component of hangovers, compared to spirits. Plus they have vitamins and minerals and so on--health food, really. Other factors include quaffability. Does the drink lend itself to sipping or gulping? And then the social aspect...if you go out with your buddy who always gets in fights when he's drunk, and your buddy's favorite drink is bourbon then you associate bourbon with fighting. If your buddy's favorite drink was the Cosmopolitan, you'd associate them with fighting instead.
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  #31  
Old 04-15-2009, 04:31 PM
Jackknifed Juggernaut Jackknifed Juggernaut is offline
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Originally Posted by Smokinjbc View Post
I don't have any scientific evidence, but my ex was an alchoholic who usually drank beer or rum but I could always tell when it was tequila instead. His personality changed and he did really weird shit (like woke up in the middle of the night and pissed in the corner of our bedroom because he thought he made it to the bathroom).
I saw this thread and came in to mention that 3 supersized long-island iced teas caused me to do the exact same thing about 10 years ago. The only difference is that I actually pissed in the bathroom, but somehow decided that the empty space next to the toilet was more appropriate than the toilet itself. I swore off LIIT's at that point.

3 years later, I drank 3 more. I ended up showering with my clothes on and going straight to bed. I woke up in bed soaking wet and a ruined mattress. I have not drank an LIIT since.

There were no other chemicals involved in either of these examples.
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  #32  
Old 04-15-2009, 04:47 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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I've never really noticed a difference. I feel drunker if I drink more, but I don't really find any differences between gin and vodka. The couple times I drank Scotch I got pretty tanked, but that's because I have to be pretty drunk already to even go near a Scotch.
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  #33  
Old 04-16-2009, 11:14 PM
Noel Prosequi Noel Prosequi is offline
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Interesting cultural differences. It seems to be accepted in this thread that gin is associated with weepiness. But talking to women of an older generation, it was once "well-understood" that gin was a leg-opener. Which is not really consistent with weepiness in most cases.

All of which makes me think the self-fulfilling prophecy theory outlined above has legs here.
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  #34  
Old 04-17-2009, 09:23 AM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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Mixers probably help as well....Jack and Coke is going to have caffeine in it. Something with cream or ice cream is going to fill your tummy - which is relaxing. Mixers often have sucrose or fructose - and sugar effects mood.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:50 AM
Jackknifed Juggernaut Jackknifed Juggernaut is offline
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Mixers probably help as well....Jack and Coke is going to have caffeine in it. Something with cream or ice cream is going to fill your tummy - which is relaxing. Mixers often have sucrose or fructose - and sugar effects mood.
Good points. I was once told by someone that you get a higher effect from mixing in diet versions of sodas. For example, drinking a rum and diet cola will affect you significantly more than rum and regular cola. Other people have confirmed this based on their experiences, although I have no idea if its been proven.

Last edited by Jackknifed Juggernaut; 04-17-2009 at 09:51 AM..
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  #36  
Old 04-17-2009, 10:48 AM
Small Clanger Small Clanger is online now
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Originally Posted by Dangerosa
Mixers probably help as well....Jack and Coke is going to have caffeine in it
This is a bit tangential, but I wonder if this is a contribution to the (supposedly) increasingly bad "binge" drinking culture here in the UK? A popular combo seems to be Red Bull and vodka. Red Bull is quite potent stuff and I recon it would keep someone on their feet (more or less) when they ought to be passed out, or at least helplessly pissed (in the British sense). Rather than still being able to throw a punch.
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:59 PM
Stillsmiling Stillsmiling is offline
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Originally Posted by Jackknifed Juggernaut View Post
I saw this thread and came in to mention that 3 supersized long-island iced teas caused me to do the exact same thing about 10 years ago. The only difference is that I actually pissed in the bathroom, but somehow decided that the empty space next to the toilet was more appropriate than the toilet itself. I swore off LIIT's at that point.

3 years later, I drank 3 more. I ended up showering with my clothes on and going straight to bed. I woke up in bed soaking wet and a ruined mattress. I have not drank an LIIT since.

There were no other chemicals involved in either of these examples.
LIITs don't taste very strong, but each contains 5 jiggers of alcohol. You drank the equivalent of 15 shots in the amount of time it took you to consume those 3 LIITs.
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  #38  
Old 04-17-2009, 01:11 PM
Hypno-Toad Hypno-Toad is offline
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This site gives anecdotal support to the sugary booze = active drunk theory. It's also a funny site overall.
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  #39  
Old 04-17-2009, 01:11 PM
Jettboy Jettboy is offline
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When I was a wild young pup, I once drank a bottle of absinthe (at the time imported/smuggled from Portugal) with a group of three other folks. I don't know if it was the herbs, the wormwood or the ridiculously high alcohol content, but I woke up naked in a public park about 60 feet away from my motorcycle, which was on it's side in the mud. There was a path of discarded clothing leading from the bike to the concrete picnic table where I was passed out. Did I mention it was in January?
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  #40  
Old 04-17-2009, 04:17 PM
Jackknifed Juggernaut Jackknifed Juggernaut is offline
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Originally Posted by Stillsmiling View Post
LIITs don't taste very strong, but each contains 5 jiggers of alcohol. You drank the equivalent of 15 shots in the amount of time it took you to consume those 3 LIITs.
I would say that I've consumed far more alcohol in shorter periods than what was in those LIIT's. For example: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=506398

I've always been in complete control of myself, except for the 2 LIIT experiences.
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