Today I’m going to tell you about something all Enthusiasts know about, have experienced, or are going to experience (for all you beginning your journey of enthusiasm).
It’s called The Nail.
Some of you might call it The Kicker, The Obliviator, The Long Kiss Goodnight or How I Met My Husband, but it’s the same thing the world ‘round: it’s the last drink that puts you over the edge. The one that makes you want to swear off drinking the next day, the one that makes you call and text everyone you know that you were with the night before asking:
It goes like this: all’s well, you’re out and about getting enthusiastic with enthusiasm. The drinks flow, the conversations are rolling. Typical effects of enthusiasm occur:
- I am a GREAT conversationalist!
- I am Hilarious! I should really think about going into stand-up.
- My God! I never knew I could sing this well!
- I am an AWESOME dancer! Yeah, I’m totally gonna talk to Rihanna ‘bout getting in her entourage …
“Less go get one more shot at the bar. No, ‘mfine, ‘swon more and then we out, promise.”
No matter what you end up ordering, the next drink you have is going to be The Nail.
The Nail. It comes in many forms:
- A freebie of Fernet from the bartender
- A shot of something you NEVER drink normally: “Gimme a shotta Aftershock, you got any a that? How ‘bout Goldschlager?”
- Something super strong and expensive to keep the bartender from cutting you off: “He’s ordering a double Johnnie Walker Blue, I’m not passing up the tip on that!”
Whatever your Nail was, one thing is certain: you are done.
The next thing you know, it’s tomorrow. Your “recently dialed” log on your cell looks like someone put the thing on random autodial. Hazily, the fragmented conversations come back to you:
“Dude, dude, dude … did I wake you up? What’s up, man? Haven’t talked to you in soo long, bro, What’s up, man? Is someone crying? You have a daughter? Wow, man …What’s up, man? Did I wake you up?” Click.
(Softly) “Heeeey you …what’s happening? I miss you. … I been thinking about us a lot recently, you know, the times we had … man, I should have never let you go. Are you at home?” Click.
“Um. Illinois. Shaumberg. Kendra Duck. D-U-C-K. Thank you.”
Girl from high school:
“Kendra? Kendra …’sat you? Oh man! Wow! It’s me, Jason! From East High School! What? Oh fuck, man I forgot it’s like two hours later where you are. …What?” Click.
“Hey! Don’ you hangup on me! What you wrote in my yearbook was a lie!! A LIE! Cocktease.”
“Yeah, I’m gonna need an extra large with pep, onion and mushroom … um, and 30 wings. And then, um, six wings.”
“Wait, what? Do you want 30 wings or six wings?”
“D’you sell beer?” Click.
“C’you … C’yoo … C’you … um … uh … find me with yer Jeepy S?” Click.
The pieces come back slowly, but they are horrifying as they reassemble into the Assout omelette that was your night last night. You hope against hope that you didn’t drext.
Did you drext?
Dude you met just pre-Nail.
I think you get it. So rather than try to wrap up with a witty dénouement, I shall leave you with this parting shot:
Whether it be the one that’s coming for you next, or the one you just survived and are living down right now, know this: The Nail is ours. A Nail will come out, but its hole remains … so let’s love The Nail and embrace The Nail. The stories, the shame, the laughter and the adventures at the edge of Oblivion. Painful as it might be, enthusiasts, The Nail is our way of showing that we’re only human, after all.
First nail photo courtesy of Clearly Ambiguous, flickr.
Quick update: This post was dedicated to Sean Chapman—the guy that introduced me to , and has served me many, many, many of The Nail. He’s a good friend, a great bartender and a kickass artist. Do yourself a favor and check out his work here.