Citizen Wausau

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We Can Learn Much From Drunk Dials

by on October 31st, 2007

I have this disease late at night sometimes, involving alcohol and the telephone. I get drunk, and I drive my wife away with breath like mustard gas and roses. And then, speaking gravely and elegantly into the telephone, I ask the telephone operators to connect me with this friend or that one, from whom I have not heard in years.

Kurt Vonnegut

I start this post with the underlying idea that everyone knows what a drunk dial is. While I know there are some of you out there who are going to poo poo this idea from the beginning, claiming me irresponsible, or that in your day you did not do such things, or kids these days are just out of control with their iPods and Xbox 360’s…but to you I say phhhttt. Drunk dialing has been a part of our culture as long as dialing. It is referanced in popular culture, and in high art…I think Renoir did a water color called, “Drunk man calling his lost lover, in blue”…though it might have been Mark Rothko. With art, one can never really know.

Regardless, this past week I had the distinct joy of some late night drunk dial action from a good friend, and a civic leader. It was awesome. The conversation made little sense, but clearly this friend had things that needed to be said, and the only way to say them to me…and what sounded like anyone within earshot…was with a drunk dial. Honestly, I have no idea what was said, but it seemed important, and I had little to do at that hour so I listened.

I have also been one to drunk dial friends. As a non drinker, the time I spend with alcohol is sometimes the stuff of legend, so a drunk dial to Wisconsin’s greatest band, SUNSPOT, seems totally in line. My drunk dials though have been recorded, and passed around and as a result we have achieved a sort of drunk dial infamy. I find myself totally engrossing drunk, and my words of profound importance. When listened to later, we find that Dino is in fact a moron, and a moron with dramatic pauses and a penchant for the McFishwich sandwich and Billy Zane (Don’t ask, I won’t send you the mp3, though I bet Sunspot would if you bought their record).

Regardless, I think drunk dialing might be able to save our city. Maybe even American culture as a whole, and stop the war on terror, and cure cancer, and end drug addiction, and of course bring Joe Torre back to the Yankees where he belongs. I believe that drunk dialing might be a curative art, and form of therapy heretofore (dude, I just used a big word) untouched by academics.

I think that we live in a city that is sort of bound up, tied up, lashed down, held together. I was in the wings of the Aretha Franklin show looking out at the crowd, and seeing those faces just sit there for her was almost too much to bear. It was clearly shake what you brought music, and those ladies who got up and danced got eyes a-rolling. Those eyes a-rolling, I often think that those eyes a-rolling are exactly the personality of Wausau. A city of judgemental fuddy duddies rolling their eyes at people dancing at the theatre.

I think that drunk dialing is when we are the most free, the most verbal, and the most likely to let it all hang out. I think we need to embrace that. I mean we are in Wisconsin, so chances are we all like to take a few belts or have a few brews. I think we need to pick up the phone in those times, and call our friends, or civic leaders, or that girl we cheated on in the tenth grade (it was one time, and I am sorry). I think our civic leaders, who have had a few belts as we all know…need to call the newspapers and talk to reporters with a noseful of blackberry brandy while sitting in their ice fishing shack.

We need to embrace this part of us, the drunk, and the drunk dial. I am not encouraging you to drink, or drive, or drink and drive, or drink if underage, or drink if too old…but come on now…this is Wisconsin. This is WAUSAU. We drink here. We have had drunk driving police officers, drunk driving mayors, heck Wisconsin even had a drunk driving Attorney General. So we drink.

I propose we call more people when drunk, and let them know. I think that we could eliminate this sort of unsaid hostility that is growing in places like the City Council, or other places. You can’t hate on someone who calls you at 11 pm, and says, “I love you man, you may not know it but we’re just the same…I know you’re hurting, and I am too, my (insert parent of choice) never loved me, and yours never loved you. Let’s put it all behind us. We should totally move in together, I have a George Foreman grill. It would be a total party place. It would rule. I love you man. See you at the Mint tomorrow.”

You cannot be mad at that guy. You just gotta hug that guy, and get a cool bachelor pad with a mini bar, and an old school Sega Genesis.

So maybe drunk dialing is not the way, but hugging and laughing together, and at one another is. No one is really trying to harm anyone else, its all just an overly sober posture. Just love that guy up, give him a big hug, lift him off the ground and tell a joke. It’s all gravy baby!

So program your speed dials to your friends, and enemies. Get a cab. Raise a glass, and lets let it rip. Hold the world in your arms man, its the only one we have.

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