Tuesday, October 2, 2007 at 8:53am by The Free Geek
Alcoholism is no laughing matter, but neither is being broke on Friday night with nary a beer left in the fridge. If you have ever searched your couch cushions for happy hour money or contemplated swigging that last drop of Nyquil in the medicine cabinet (shame on you!), then this simple guide will soon become your manifesto. Calm those shaking hands of yours and take our advice: with the following 10 tips, you can drink on very little money.
- Find a Frat Party — Notice that we didn’t suggest any kind of party, but a frat party. Frat parties are not only easy to find (just peruse your local college’s Greek Row), they always have copious amounts of alcohol at the festivities, including the beloved beer keg and the occasional Jell-O shot. Assuming you are under 30, you can probably blend in, particularly if everyone else has already started drinking. If you are over 30, then just pretend you are a hip liberal arts professor that wants to mingle with the students.
- Crash a Wedding Reception — A quick glance through your local newspaper will alert you to many weddings in the area. The most common places for receptions are often banquet halls and hotel ballrooms. Assuming the celebration is crowded and you are dressed appropriately, you shouldn’t have any trouble adapting to the crowd. If anyone asks who you are, remember that they are just being polite and not suspicious. A simple “friend of the groom” or “second cousin” should curb their questions soon enough. The best part about crashing a wedding is that you will score free food in addition to the alcohol.
- Attend a Wake — This is a morbid occasion to enjoy yourself, but there are always a lot of drinks being mixed at a wake. You don’t necessarily have to crash a wake like the wedding or frat party listed above, but you should take advantage of any funerals you are invited to. Hey, it isn’t glamorous, but you wouldn’t be reading this list if you weren’t desperate, would you?
- Flirt — If you are a woman and have all your limbs intact, then it shouldn’t be too hard to flirt your way into a free drink. While this practice may not do much for your reputation and can get a bit hairy at times (always have a friend with you to bail you out of trouble), flirting is a sure thing for drinking while you are broke. However, for men, this practice is a bit trickier. Yes, women have been known to buy men drinks (appeal to their feminist side), but it isn’t nearly as common as the opposite scenario. Then again, men can always flirt with other men for drinks, provided the venue calls for such a pairing.
- Become a Bartender — No job is better suited for an alcoholic than that of a bartender. If you weren’t addicted to the sauce before this career move, you soon will be. The hours are great for a drunk who has to sleep off most of the daylight, plus you get to mingle with other drunks, which is good for your self esteem. However, you do need to stay somewhat sober while you are on the job. Don’t worry, as you can hop on the other side of the bar when your shift is over and spend all that tip money on booze.
- Date a Bartender — Bartenders give free drinks to two kinds of people: other bartenders and loved ones. Sure, you could just make a bartender acquaintance and hope he/she hooks you up when you visit their establishment, but why not date a bartender? If you are an alcoholic, this would be the perfect opportunity to combine all the things you care about in life. Also, you can serve as their guinea pig when they are learning to mix new drinks. An alcoholic dating a bartender is like an obese person dating a chef. It just makes sense.
- Look at Open Houses — In newer subdivisions, real estate agents will often host open houses, whereby anyone can drop by an empty home and take a tour. In more upscale neighborhoods, visitors are treated with snacks and champagne or wine. Often, this is during the late morning/early afternoon, which is great for the ambitious alcoholic who wants to get a jump on the day’s drinking. Think of this as a free pub crawl.
- Mooch Off Your Buddies — Assuming they haven’t already wised up to your antics, you should try mooching off your friends for a few rounds, particularly the ones who brought their credit cards along for the party. However, keep in mind that making this a common occurrence means you won’t have friends accompanying you to the bar for very long. In addition to that, mooching off your friends for alcohol on a regular basis could land you in an alcohol intervention. You don’t want that, as it could take hours. Hours that you could be spending at the bar.
- Tell ‘Em It’s Your Birthday — This is a classic way to score a free drink and/or dessert. Mention it is your birthday in a sly way at a restaurant or bar and see if they offer you something for free. If you are good looking, this trick is even more successful. For some reason, a birthday really excites people in the service industry. Perhaps it helps to break the monotony in their otherwise mundane routine. However, a very jaded server may ask for an ID to confirm it is really your birthday, in which case you need to laugh it off or make your exit if you are really embarrassed.
- Go Slumming — It would be easy to just suggest that you hit the drink specials during happy hour, but even that can be expensive at high end bars. Remember, you don’t want $6 martinis, you want $2 well shots. You can’t beat the specials at your friendly neighborhood dive. The ambiance may be a bit different from what you are used to, but a hole in the wall is still a fine place to hang out with your friends. Are all bars created equal? Not exactly, but you should still find a dartboard wherever you go.
Assuming your liver is willing to go along with your schemes, the above tips should work for you, just as they have for countless other lushes. Keep in mind that we only shared legal remedies for your alcohol shortage, as we want you to have some modicum of dignity when you pick yourself off the floor tomorrow. Also, remember to use a designated driver on your quest for free libations, as we would like to safely leave the house tonight, as well.