The Steve Martin faux noir comedy “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid” was on one of the cable channels recently. This isn’t a question about the movie itself, but about one of the lines in it. Late in the movie there is a scene where Charles Laughton comes into a bar and orders himself a drink. “Nothing alcoholic. Oh, a beer maybe. Liquor goes to my feet.” What the heck does that mean?
It’s a play on "“champagne goes straight to my head” - and perhaps that’s all it is, just a silly twist on a cliche that was common in movies
It’s a joke. Jokes are funny.
He can’t walk straight (or stand) when he’s drunk.
“Alcohol’s bad for my legs.”
“No, they spread.”
It means he’s an alcoholic. Beer’s not really alcoholic. And he can handle his alcohol anyway – it doesn’t go to his head. Sure, he falls over, but that’s not because he’s drunk. People not recognising how stupid they are is a staple of humour.
Just for completeness, that clip comes from The Bribe (1949) starring Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, Charles Laughton. Also Vincent Price.
Not having heard the line before, this was my interpretation just reading the OP.
I’m sure the play on “goes to your head” is also true, but this also makes sense. When he drinks liquor, he start losing his balance fairly quickly. Beer, being less alcoholic, doesn’t affect him as quickly.
And clips with Vincent Price from that movie also appear in “DMDWP”.
OK yeah, I had heard of stuff going to someone’s head, but never their feet. And it makes sense in the context of alcohol (stumbling drunk), I just wasn’t connecting the dots. Thanks all!
Kind of like, “Tequila makes my clothes come off.”
But in reality, it IS going to his head – the alcohol is killing off brain cells related to balance & coordination, which is causing his drunken stumbling.
This. I’m not familiar with it as a general expression, but that’s exactly what that line conveys to me.
Don’t quote me:
As alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream, it is absorbed into the fluid in your inner ear, changing the specific density of that fluid. When you get a high enough alcohol concentration, the hair fibres in the fluid start to float, and the world spins.
(This is outside my area of knowledge.)
Steve Martin also popularized the idea of Happy Feet. And liquor would make most people’s feet very happy.
“I’m allergic to tequila, it makes me break out in handcuffs.”