Alcohol: It should be everywhere. And in the Western world, it usually is. But the convenience, selection and price of alcohol in public settings often leave much to be desired. This may explain why Drake got caught mixing his own drink courtside at a Raptors game the other night.
The meme that resulted from this awkward, amusing footage — probably the billionth that Drake has given us in his glorious career — doesn’t actually hinge on Drizzy sneaking his own booze into the Air Canada Centre. After all, we can’t say for sure that’s what happened. (Maybe he was just drinking a brand of sparkling water that competes with some of his own beverage business partners!) But, on balance, yeah: I’d like to think he was enjoying some mini-bottles of premium liquor with his grapefruit Perrier. Should Drake have to get up in the middle of the game to buy himself a weak, expensive cocktail or wait for a guy to come by hawking beer? He should not. Though you are not as wonderful or as famous as Drake, you should not have to, either.
The fact is, apart from a few talented bartenders who work in, ahem, bars, you can’t trust anyone but yourself with the art of intoxication. You know what you like, what your tolerance is, and where to get the best deal on a plastic handle of shitty vodka. Maybe that’s why security at sporting events seems to look the other way when fans show up strapped with a secret supply. The last time I went to a Mets game, I showed up with a flask tucked into my underwear. Seeing that the people ahead of me in line were getting pat-downs at the stadium entrance, I panicked and chugged the whole thing, reasoning that there was no rule against carrying around an empty flask. But when a guard audibly knocked his hand against the hard metal in my pants where a dick should have been, he just moved me along. I was fully sloshed by the second inning, so not a worst-case scenario — still, I should have trusted the system to help me out.
Meanwhile, those demented enough to attend college football games this winter have pretty much no alternative to smuggled hooch. Barely any school stadium offers a legal route for the would-be wasted, and the ones that do only sell beer. Yeah, you know what’s great when I’m freezing my ass off watching dudes fight for the pigskin in 10-degree weather? A FROSTY TALLBOY OF BUD LIGHT. Frankly, it’s insane to expect anyone to turn up for anything on a Saturday in January without a pint of rye whiskey on them. Shit’s better than a seasonal depression lamp.
Before I moved to Los Angeles, though, my favorite place to bring outside booze — apart from New Jersey Transit, where it’s basically mandatory — was the movies. It’s no secret that New Yorkers are living in a cinematic stone age: long lines, no reserved seats, collapsing theaters suitable only for bedbug infestations, and worst of all, only soda and water on tap. Yet having the bar at ArcLight isn’t as awesome as I thought: It’s usually slammed, and once the feature starts rolling, you’re more or less limited to a choice between two different warm, mid-tier beers served in small plastic cups. Besides, by the time I get served and return to my seat for hour three of Blade Runner 2049, I’ve missed like eight key plot points. Once again, I’d be better off with a backpack full of Four Loko, easily doubling my buzz by dint of sheer sleazy secrecy.
Oh, fine, call me an addict with no sense of propriety. I doubt you’ll be saying the same when we’re sitting together at some super-boring conference panel and you want a nip of the Schnapps in my back pocket. Then we’ll be bound together in the society of borderless drinkers, taking our pleasure wherever and whenever we want. One of the greatest lies in this world is a sign that says “No Alcohol Beyond This Point” — we’ve always found our way around it.