Sanitation and the Seven Steps of Drunkenness

A few nights ago, I returned home after dark having spent an evening dining and gossiping with girlfriends. I pulled up to our house, parked my car and approached the door. As I turned the knob, I could smell a musty, yeasty odor and hear hip hop blaring from inside the house.

Do you have someone in your life – maybe a friend or family member – who follows a perpetual pattern as he or she is drinking? Like, you can tell how many beers deep they are just by the things they’re saying or doing? Or maybe you’re the one with telltale signs of drunkenness. When Bryan hits a certain point, he goes into Music Mode.

The Seven Steps of Drunkenness

Step 1: He’ll casually suggest we listen to music and he’ll pull up the music library from his past life as a DJ.

Step 2: He’ll play hip hop, which may be in the form of an existing playlist or an Action Jackson mixtape.

Step 3: He’ll begin to analyze the history of hip hop, from its early days to the present, lamenting over how today’s popular rappers have lost all legitimacy. Rap used to be about social issues and things that mattered. Typically, he’ll illustrate his points by playing a tune by a hip hop artist of yesteryear.

Step 4: Once he’s feeling really nostalgic, he’ll make a sharp turn to a hardcore music playlist, mentioning that it’s all he listened to in high school.

Step 5: After a few hardcore mp3s, he’ll transition to an all-CD set, flipping through the large CD case he hauled around in his car a decade ago.

Step 6: He’ll inevitably play an album recorded by one of his friends’ high school or college hardcore bands. (Or, professional hardcore bands, in the case of our pal, Jimmy Ryan.)

Step 7: He’ll lay down on the couch to soak in the music and memories, singing along and eventually falling asleep.

So anyway, as I got to the door, I could already tell that we were on Step 2, likely on our way to Step 3. Once inside, I also solved the mystery of the yeasty smell: Bryan and our friend Jimmy (not professional hardcore Jimmy, but equally as lovable) were brewing beer.

“Hey!” they cheered.

“Hey!” I said. “Brewing beer?”

“Yeah!” Bryan answered. “It’s going great!”

“Great!” I replied, walking toward my bathroom. “Well, I’m sleepy, so I’m going to get ready for bed.”

“Ok,” Bryan said. “By the way – I hope you don’t mind – we’re using your bathroom for some of the beer making process.”

I turned on the light in the bathroom to find the counter and bathtub full of beer making items. Tubes, buckets, a carboy, a bottle of some sort of sanitation fluid, a long thermometer. Rolling my eyes, I started to move some things out of my way.

“Wait!” cried Bryan behind me. “Don’t touch anything! Everything in here is being sanitized, and if you touch it, you’ll contaminate it.”

“Well, I mean, how am I supposed to wash my face and stuff?”

“Do you have to do it in here?”

“Umm, it’s my bathroom…”

“Well, fine, but just don’t touch anything. Everything is being sanitized and I don’t want you to contaminate anything.”


“Literally, the smallest splash of water will contaminate everything.”

“I understand.”

“Even if it’s just the smallest drop of water or soap, we’ll have to start over, because it will all be contaminated.”


“I just want you to know you have to be very careful, because this bucket is full of sanitation liquid, and the tools in it are being sanitized, and if you touch it -”

“FINE, I’ll go wash my face in your bathroom,” I said, grabbing my things in a huff and walking out.

Bryan followed me into his bathroom. “I’m sorry to make you upset, but I don’t think you understand how important it is that things stay sanitized.”

“I UNDERSTAND! I GET IT!” I snapped.

“Geez, sorry,” Bryan responded, backing away.

“Sorry,” I mumbled after him. I washed my face, changed into my pajamas and turned off the light. As I laid in bed, flipping through Instagram, I heard Bryan and Jimmy walk into my bathroom.

“Ok, so I think we just need to put this in here,” Bryan said.

“Which one? This?” Jimmy asked.

“Yep, put that there –”




“Oh shit. I dropped it into the beer.”

“Had it been sanitized yet?”

“No. Shit.”

“What do we do now?”

“Is it all contaminated?”



“Nahhh, just leave it. It’s probably not that big of a deal.”

“Yeah, a little dirt never hurt anyone.”

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