Six Things I Learned This Week: The Booze History Edition (9/9/11)

I’m just going to delve into this thing.  We know each other wayyyy too well for small talk.  Let’s bust some nonsensical, nonverbal communication instead.  Before you start reading, take a pause, look over at your closest coworker, make eye contact and raise your eyebrows knowingly… smile evilly, and immediately look back at your computer.  Laugh manically if you must.   Hey, if you work this right, he/she won’t bother you for the entire afternoon…

1.)  I am so over rain at the moment. For one full week, DC has not seen the sun. Thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Lee sticking around, it has been raining… er, pouring here endlessly.  The times that I have been forced to leave my house, it has not been pretty.  I have tired of walking around town with half wet trousers and socks… (My umbrella can only do so much…)  Flooding has become quite widespread now.  I wish I can take this precip and mail it with love to my parents in Texas, who will actually appreciate the wetness. I know… I should be careful what I wish for.

A commuter lot about 25 mins away (Picture taken Yesterday)

Well, if I did still partake, I must say that it’s prime drinking weather.  So let’s give you all what you came here for… order UP!

2.) Alcohol has always been around.

Downeth the ol' hatch

Many archaeologists believe that wines made from grapes have existed for more than 10,000 years and that drinks such as mead and beer have existed for even longer.   In fact, during the Middle Ages many monasteries made beer to nourish their monks and to sell to the people.  Beer was always drunk; the consumption of liquids was allowed during fasting periods.  As a result, beer swigging in the monasteries reached ridiculous levels:  historians report that each monk was allowed to imbibe 5 liters (1.32 gallons) of beer per day.  Yee Haw!

3.)  George Washington liked his booze.

Alcohol played a major role in colonial life.  It was consumed medically and socially, and used as a trading commodity.  Our first president liked it so much that he started his own whiskey distillery… the  largest one of its time.  You can apparently buy the actual whiskey based on his original recipe.

He also understood the power of alcohol on the masses; in the first possible case of voter fraud in our country, he won a race for the Virginia House of Burgesses after buying gallons of liquor for voters.  James Madison, having a stick up his *ahem* refused… and lost his election.

If you’re interested, here’s a recipe for Martha Washington’s rum punch.

4.)   During the 19th Century, America had developed an *ahem…* “healthy drinking tradition.”

Suddenly, American history starts making a lot of sense...

Because corn was so plentiful on the plains, whiskey/moonshine was relatively cheap to make.  By the 1820s, Americans were drinking seven gallons per person annually.  (This figure included the nondrinkers…)  As a result, we became idiots.  Communal “binges” became popular.  After important milestones (elections, holidays, festivities, etc.), people would gather publicly in squares and parks… and drink til they got wasted.

Because of our great-great grandfathers’ wanton attitudes towards drunkenness, the Temperance Movement grew and led to…

5.) Prohibition.

As you know, it was a horrible, horrible failure.   Not only did people drink even more during this era, the government could not tax it, losing a large stream of revenue.  As a result, in addition to moonshine,  the illegal alcohol smuggle scheme began.  Boats and trucks full of booze started being imported from… Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America.  Interestingly, alcohol was available to those who received official medical permission to imbibe.

Same story. Different drug, Eh?

6.)  Most DUI arrests today take place on July 4… our nation’s birthday.  Appropriate, isn’t it?

Happy Birthday... hic!

It’s got to be said.  If you do partake in the good stuff this weekend, due to weather or hey, no reason at all(!), please drink responsibly.  I like you guys way too much.


About No Disrespect

A little schmuck in a big world
This entry was posted in Edumacation, Holy Cow, Naughty!, Oh The Humanity!, Political Shizz, Safety First!, Six Things I Learned This Week and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Six Things I Learned This Week: The Booze History Edition (9/9/11)

  1. Pingback: Post #100(!) and one big royal f-… errr… Thank You! |

What do ya have to say, suckas?!?!???

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s