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1The Eye Opener
Rehumanize Yourself
Good morning! How’s your head? What’s that? You’d like it surgically removed and replaced with a beach ball?

No need to go to extremes, chum. You are only a couple Eye Openers away from feeling very nearly human again. Whether it’s a Bloody Mary, a Zombie, or that half-finished nightcap seething on the coffee table, the first will make quick work of that nasty hangover and the second serves as an excellent breakfast.

Or you may wake up feeling, well, okay. It happens, I’m sure. Still, a nice cocktail might be just the thing to put a happier face on the long horrific ordeal of workaday drudgery awaiting your prompt arrival.

2The Mid-Morning Nip
In Werewolf Country, Always Pack Silver Bullets
Your eyes fully opened, you plow into your morning labors. Oh, what fun. But alas, after about an hour that hangover starts clawing its way out of its shallow grave. Should have tamped the soil with a third Eye Opener, eh?

Luckily you keep a handful of airplane bottles at the bottom your lower right hand drawer (Don’t you? Shouldn’t you?). A shooter of vodka poured into a bottle of Snapple from the vending machine and the beast is back-peddling like a recently re-elected senator. One or two of these clandestine cocktails and you’ll find yourself in a rather social mood. Perhaps a quick chat with the boss about that richly-deserved pay hike would be in order. Go get him, Tiger!

3The Lunchtime Lubricant
A Salute From Atop the Hump
Whew! You made it. Lunch was made for the martini (you may opt for a healthful beer). The Three Martini Lunch is a grand American tradition and who are you to defy tradition? This happy trio of gin stems will surely make the rest of the workday seem an amusing jaunt.

4The Low-Tide Tipple
Succor for the Stranded
Or so you thought. I mean, honestly, is that fucking clock moving backwards? Two hours in and your fine lunchtime glow has receded, leaving you mired in the mid-afternoon muck of low tide. You are now faced with the cruelest hours of all, the Sahara Desert Death March between three o’clock and clocking out. I’ve found you can jazz up these dour hours by e-mailing insults and invitations to your drinking comrades. Organizing the after-work drinking session can be as difficult as any actual labor, so another vodka/vending machine combo is an appropriate reward for your hard work.

5The Happy Hour Hammer
Smash Those Chains

The first drink after work is a lovingly planted flag demarcating the line between labor and leisure. It could be a double bourbon to jolt you out of that harness, or a tall ice-cold cocktail to soothe your jangled nerves.

The second Happy Hour Hammer is a tool of vengeance. The Goliath that is your job bullied and belittled you all goddamn day, and now it’s payback time. David got it done all by himself and with a single stone, but let’s face it: the kid got lucky. Best to gang up on the big bastard. Lucky for you The Happy Hour Hammer travels in pairs, if not packs. They’re easy on the prole’s pocketbook and notorious rabble-rousers, encouraging you to speak all sorts of treason against the source of your paycheck. It’s insurrection in a glass.

When you’ve tired of kicking the giant’s corpse around, you will, once again, regain your status as a self-determinate human being, as opposed to just another insignificant cog in the big ugly machine.

6The Sundowner
Cocktail at the Crossroads
The sweet golden light of Happy Hour has faded, prices have fluttered back up to their lofty perches, and there you teeter, balancing this fateful drink in your hands. Apollo is creeping behind the skyline, it is that twilight period the French call entre chien et le loup (between dog and wolf.) Happy Hour is the end of the journey for the dogs; it is the bridge to new adventures for the wolves.

You are left with a singular question: is it time to shag it home like a good dog, or range into the night like a wild beast?

7The Gateway Chug
Passkey to the Night
You might be a lot of things, but you sure as hell ain’t no goddamn dog. The Gateway Chug affirms this, it is the drink that celebrates and solidifies the fact that you’ve decided to make a night of it. You’ve crossed the rummy Rubicon and there’s no going back, at least not until the bouncer says so.

8The Communal Cup
Good Times with the Tribe
This gregarious glass usually comes over the bar as a member of a large round. You feel a powerful bond with everyone around you, friends and strangers alike. You feel as if everyone in the joint is marching beneath a splendid banner toward some vague but magnificent goal. You just know you’re going to make it all the way, and you’re going to win when you get there. Win what? Who the hell knows? You’re just going to, that’s all.

Downing the Communal Cup is probably the closest you’ll ever get to feeling a genuine bond with that shockingly dysfunctional family known as humanity.

9The Surfboard of Euphoria
Top of the World, Ma!
Midway through this drink that certain feeling arrives. The raucously buzzing room closes in around you and you feel that incomparably perfect sense of euphoria. All is right with the world. You are at that ultimate peak, riding the wave, and you can see all the way to Paradise. If only you could stay right there. If only.

10The Velvet Hammer
Oblivion’s Gentle Shove
You’ve been lining them up, you’ve been knocking them down, and the light inside has grown so bright it’s beginning to blind you. You order this nice fat double (by now singles seem like a silly waste of time) and halfway through it you feel that soft thump to the side of your head. You fall in slow motion over the precipice into sweet madness and suddenly you’re slurring like a sailor, laughing like a lunatic and everything and every one seems perfectly hilarious.

11One for the Ditch
The Long Kiss Goodbye
Last call has been called, and it seems absolutely essential you have one more — one more time around the wildly spinning carousel, one more chance to snatch at that brass ring. It’s like pouring kerosine into Hell at this point, but so what? They love the stuff down there and—hey, leggo! Can’t a man finish his damn drink?

12The Night Cap
Saluting the Sandman
My God! Is that really the time? And what are these people doing in your living room, drinking your good liquor? You have to be at work in—fuck, you don’t even want to think about that.

This drink serves not only to tuck you into bed (if you make it to your bed), it is the last hurrah until your fates falls back into the hands of the Man. So pour it strong (you will anyway) and don’t worry about finishing it (you won’t).

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Frank Kelly Rich

Editor/Publisher of Modern Drunkard Magazine.