One day, when I was perched on a green padded stool at my favorite watering hole, a fella climbed onto the stool next to me. He sighed heavily and said:
“My wife has threatened to leave me because of my nasty habits!”
His eyes were gazing upwards, like the answer to his problem was on the ceiling.
“What nasty habits do you have?”
He started drumming his fingers on the bar.
“I come in here after work everyday and have a few drinks, even on weekends. My wife says I have a drinking problem.”
“Why do you drink so much?”
“It relaxes me after work, so I can face the problems my “old lady” will tell me about when I get home. I don’t know what the answer is to my drinking addiction.”
“Well, alcohol is not the answer, it just makes you forget the question!”
He ordered a stein of beer. The barkeep brought his beer and he just stared at it.
“What’s the matter?”
“Well, my heart says yes, my brain says no, and I haven’t heard from my liver in a long, long time.”
He started laughing so hard he almost fell off the stool!
“It wasn’t that funny,” I said.
He turned to me and raised one eyebrow and gave me a glassy stare.
“That’s what my wife says, it’s number four on my nasty habit list. I laugh at my own jokes and they’re not funny to other people.”
He gulped down his beer and ordered another.
“I love these green padded stools, don’t you?”
“Yes, they are nice and comfortable,” I humored him.
I was wondering what kind of crackpot was sitting next to me.
The crackpot continued:
“Okay, number one, I have a drinking problem. Number two, I burp a lot. Number three, I pass gas constantly. Number four, I told you already. One leads to the other, but the others stem from my drinking, according to my wife.”
He drained his stein and ordered another beer. This guy wanted to get looped fast.
“How can I break the drinking habit and by doing that get rid of the other three?”
I thought to myself, I might as well try to help this guy.
“Bartender, bring my friend another beer.”
“Thank you very much,” said my crackpot friend.
He proceeded to take large gulps of beer.
“You see, you should have refused that drink.”
He shook his head in frustration.
“You have to learn to pace yourself. Drink slower and take small sips. That way you will also taste your drink better.”
“But I’m a fast drinker.”
The crackpot then burped and passed gas at the same time! He did have very nasty habits!
“You could try going “cold turkey”, complete abstinence.”
“I couldn’t do that, my brain wouldn’t recover from the shock!”
“How about replacing the habit with something else, like drinking fruity drinks instead of alcohol?”
“Oh God, I don’t know if I could face my wife cold sober! On second thought maybe my liver would start talking to me again.”
This guy was starting to scare me!
“Well, my final piece of advice is to wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it hard when you feel the urge to do any of your four nasty habits. Pain will turn your attention away from your bad habits. But be sure to reward yourself when you stay on track.”
“That suggestion sounds alright. Bartender give me a rubber band.”
The barkeep supplied the crackpot with a thick rubber band. He put it around his wrist and gave it a good snap.
“Ouch, that smarts.”
He got off his stool and headed for the door, all the while snapping the band. His wrist is going to be raw after all his snapping, I thought.
As he walked out the door, he shouted:
“Mr. Liver, where ever you are, will you talk to me now?”
My novel “Web of Guilt” is out on Amazon Kindle.