It’s summertime, which means that everyone is spending all the time with the sunshine, warm breezes and the general good mood with other people at parties and fun shindigs. Yes, I’m aware using the word “shindig” makes me sound like I’m in a Joss Whedon TV show or in the early Sixties.
The point is that when the weather’s nice and the music’s playing and the booze is flowing, it’s pretty darn easy to get drunk very quickly. It’s also much easier to find yourself rubbing shoulders with some people whose character is a bit crappy when they’re partaking in alcohol.
I’ve rounded up a list of seven of the worst types of offenders and how to either deal with being caught in close proximity with one of them, or what you should do if your friend becomes one of them over the course of the party. After all, we all have to look out for each other, right?
1. Happy Drunk
The “best” kind of drunk is the Happy Drunk: they’re happy, they’re joyous, they’re the life of the party. The only reason to hate getting stuck with them and to avoid these drunks like the plague is if you’re sober, or at least not as inebriated as them, they will come across as annoying as hell. Oh, you think life is so fantastic and dancing to the Black Eyed Peas is awesome? Well that song ended an hour ago and since then you’ve been grinding against a doorframe with a look of bliss that became frightening about ten minutes in.
Tip for dealing with them? Pretend to be as happy as them and then go make your own party by getting away and finding your friends.
2. Sad Drunk
Alcohol can do funny things to people and one of the most common is to make them sad—bringing about Type 2, the Sad Drunk—which is never fun for either the inebriated or those around them. We’ve all seen someone like that at a party: maybe they’ve just been dumped, maybe they’ve had a crappy day at work. Who knows, but add all this to alcohol and the chances are that you’ll be confronted with a crying, sobbing, sullen drunk person whose life is a nadir of joy and happiness at the moment in time and who are kind of a bummer to be around at a party.
Tip for dealing with them? Largely, I’d say be nice to them. Keep them positive and find them some people to hang out with if they’re on their own and then move on. Keep an eye on them if you can.
3. Reckless Drunk
Oh God, the Reckless Drunk. The guy who has a few tequila shots and decides he’s Superman, Criss Angel and Tony Hawk all in one. Chances are he’ll be sliding down the bannisters, doing ridiculously stupid amounts of booze in the kitchen, or deciding to something so dumb that it makes your heart drop into your stomach at the very thought of it.
Tip for dealing with them? Take his toys away. If he’s planning to skate his way down the stairs, hide the skateboard for a few hours with the help of a couple of friends. It might cut into your evening a bit, but let’s face it—it’s nothing compared to having the party interrupted by a visit to the ER. The reckless drunk will sulk, but get over it super-quickly. No harm, no foul, and all that.
4. Philosophical Drunk
You know this kind of drunk: three hours into the party, while most people are trying successfully or unsuccessfully to attract someone of their preferred gender, the Philosophical Drunk will be found discussing the big topics. Life, death, their favourite meal at the Olive Garden. Turns out that when they get a little bit of liquor in their system, they become Jean-Paul Sartre with a beanie hat.
Tip for dealing with them? There are two options to go with: A) act stupid or drunk in their vicinity (it’ll make them dismiss you as a potential debating partner), or B) if you’re cornered by the Philosophical Drunk, throw him or her for a loop with a back-up question that’ll give them enough pause for thought to make your escape and leave them still contemplating.
5. DJ Drunk
There’s not enough money in the world to make any of us dance to a song we truly hate, but give us a heavy dose of alcohol and a lowering of personal taste and social inhibition and you’ll have a bunch of people leering and doing “Sexy and I Know It”. The person in charge for inducing these wannabe dancing heroes is The DJ Drunk. The kind who commandeers the Spotify playlist all evening and lines up every kind of disparate genre. There’s nothing wrong with getting your groove onto some alt-indie tunes or some big and bold pop, but it’s so jarring when they switch from one to the other and sometimes don’t even finish playing the song. A DJ Drunk who is possessive of the music can ruin an evening.
Tip for dealing with them? If you want to regain control of the music, encourage the DJ Drunk to dance. After all, they’ve picked the music, they’re most likely to actually like the music that’s being played. Get them on the dancefloor, let them shake their groove thing, and get someone else to take control of the music.
6. Sleazy Drunk
Say hello to the Sleazy Drunk. Otherwise known as the kind of guy or girl who becomes very sleazy and inappropriate when they’re drunk, with lascivious comments and half-attempted gropes; the creepy, horrible side to those people who normally wouldn’t dare consider grinding up against a complete stranger no matter how inappropriate or unwanted their attentions are. The Sleazy Drunk can sometimes be an exaggeration of the generally kind of sleazy person you might run into—the only difference being that now they can blame alcohol for their attempts and indiscretions. Nice.
Tip for dealing with them? If you’re stuck being chatted up by the Sleazy Drunk, the old “my friend is calling me” line is a great trick to get out of Dodge. Other ways to get out include asking them if they want a drink and going to the kitchen, or just busting out a big fat lie if you’ve never met this guy and probably will never do so again. I personally go with the “I’m dating someone” line, but use your discretion as to what lie you choose to use.
7. Sober Drunk
Last but most certainly not least is the Sober Drunk. While the Sober Drunk might seem to be a bit of a contradiction in words, they’re certainly their own special kind of drunk; the kind that comes from hours of drinking and inebriation when they gain moments of clarity and insight. Why is this such a bad thing? In theory it’s not, but let’s face the facts that sometimes it’s the unwanted or unspoken truths that come tumbling out when we lose our mouth-to-brain filter. The Sober Drunk will realise that they don’t actually like any of their friends and will tell them so to devastating effect or reveal that their dalliance with a mysterious someone is actually a significant other of someone at the party and within earshot. Oops.
Tip for dealing with them? Get them the hell out of the party and run damage control. The minute someone starts talking about so-and-so’s boyfriend, move them away from the main body of the party to somewhere quiet. It doesn’t matter if it’s the garden, the bathroom or an unoccupied bedroom, the last thing you need is the Sober Drunk blabbing in front of someone they’ll regret. If you can’t get them out in time, lie your ass off and leave the party with them. That’s what good friends do.
Which type of drunk do you run into most? Any type of drunk you hate or love most? Let’s hope not to meet any of the most awful type drunk people any more! (Though it could actually be quite funny!)