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Confession of a Teetotaler

by Maurice Bernier 4 years ago in alcohol

The Reasons Why I Don't Drink Alcohol

Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash

I am a weirdo!!!

I just realized that wasn't a great way to open up because my friends already know that I am a weirdo. This is nothing new to them. What I meant to say is that I have a strange habit...Oops! They know that, too. Let me just come out and say it: I am a confirmed teetotaler.

What is a teetotaler? Well, according to, "(noun) 1.a person who abstains totally from intoxicating drink." That is an explanation that is as clear as day. I do not imbibe (drink) alcohol in any form. I do not even eat rum cake anymore since I found out that it used real rum. You are probably asking why. Then again, you are probably NOT asking why. Well, good news! I'm gonna tell you anyway.


Let's start with the obvious. Some folks will say things like "How do you know you don't like something if you haven't tried it?" To be honest, that can only be applied in some cases. Not everything has to be "tried" in order to conclude that it is something that won't be liked. I don't have to attempt to kiss a King Cobra on the head in order to tell that I wouldn't like it. I don't have to jump out of a plane at 30,000 feet in the air, hoping that my parachute will function while I am speeding through the atmosphere at a velocity of 200 miles per hour all while urinating in my lucky trousers in order to tell that I wouldn't like it. Alcohol in small samples can be tried.

When I was much younger, I used to watch the Dean Martin Show. He was a singer and a close friend of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr, Joey Bishop, and a few other guys. They were a part of Hollywood's Rat Pack. Part of their act involved alcohol. They joked about it like it was common water. Yes, I laughed because it was a comedy. It seemed funny at the time.

On another TV occasion, there was a comic named Foster Brooks. I honestly forget whose show he would appear on, but his routine was to be the perennial drunk. He did the fully inebriated routine. Again, it was a comedy and I laughed. What did I know?

One day when I was about nine, I sneaked a small amount (teaspoon) of beer while my parents weren't looking at me. I quickly rushed the spoon to my mouth and allowed the substance to enter my mouth to sit there. YUCK!!! That was one of the worst tastes I ever tried. I don't even remember the brand. Maybe it was sour. Nope. Dad drank it and he did not seem unhappy with it. So, on another occasion, I did the same with a sample of whiskey. I spat it out like I was chewing caterpillar urine. That was absolutely (not the vodka) the very last time I tried alcohol.

As a Catholic, there were a few times I had the wine used at Mass. It contained only 5% of alcohol. At first, it seemed fine, but after a while, I felt that I did not miss it. So, I never had it again.

One of the first things you learn in understanding English comprehension lessons is cause and effect. If you see an auto smashed up at a street corner, that was the effect or result of an accident. What caused the accident? Sometimes, however, that effect can be the cause of something else. So, you can have a cause which can lead to an effect. Now the effect can be a cause that leads to another effect and so on.

In my lifetime experiences, I have actually seen people fall flat on their faces after a few drinks. I saw another pass out. Still, I've seen others fall down flights of stairs. One time, I saw someone near and dear to me actually vomit right in front of me. Trust me. That is not a pretty sight. I would not wish all of this upon anyone.

In some of those cases, some of those incidents do not cause other things to happen unless the person falling down the stairs is about to crash into you while you are trying to ascend the same staircase. But there is a case where the next level of an effect can be deadly dangerous and that is when said drunk gets behind the wheel of a car.

It was Thanksgiving weekend in 1974. It was my first college-time Thanksgiving. I found out from my Dad that my childhood friend and up-the-block neighbor, Dougie, had died in an auto accident. From the details I pieced together, he and a friend of his went to a party in Brooklyn. Obviously, there were drugs and alcohol at the party, so the alcohol alone wasn't the only culprit. In trying to get home, the driver, with Dougie in the passenger seat of the red 1968 Dodge Charger, attempted a very tricky section of a service road at a speed close to 80 miles an hour. They never stood a chance. They lost control, hit a wall, overturned, and burst into flames. They were able to identify the driver because it was his car. My friend Dougie was burned beyond recognition at first but identified much later. What made his death even sadder is that he was only 20 years old, just two years older than I was at the time.

Another reason why I avoid alcohol? Think about cirrhosis of the liver, the poisoning and the destruction of a vital organ of the human body. You only get one liver. Once it is destroyed for good, it is gone.

Social Activity

Even though many of my friends drink, there are times when we get together and socialize. Obviously, they will indulge in their favorite alcoholic beverage while I will stick to root beer, iced tea, Mountain Dew or whatever alcohol-less beverage I prefer at that moment. Others tend to feel insulted when I don't have an alcoholic beverage with them. Well, that's just too bad. I will not partake in alcohol. Once, someone tried to sneak something into my soda when I wasn't paying attention to my drink. Fortunately, I had a very sensitive nose and noticed that my Pepsi wasn't quite smelling right. I reached across the bar and tossed my drink into the sink drain behind the bar. NO MEANS NO!!!

I guess that it must be a great honor somewhere to be completely inebriated in social settings. I am certainly not impressed at all.


No matter what section you look at in my discourse, I do not accept alcohol in my life. I am just fine without it, but drinking 93 octane gas or its equivalent is not my idea of fun. The only alcohol that has filled my life is rubbing alcohol because it has to be applied topically, It gives me no thrill but, if you want or need it, enjoy. Just be very careful.

Now, if you don't mind, it is time for me to have my taste of a 2018 choice beverage called Arizona Iced Tea. Yummy!!!

Photo by Eaters Collective on Unsplash


Maurice Bernier

I am a diehard New Yorker! I was born in, raised in and love my NYC. My blood bleeds orange & blue for my New York Mets. I hope that you like my work. I am cranking them out as fast as I can. Please enjoy & share with your friends.

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