Have a Drink On Me

I bought my underage brother a bottle of booze the other day. Southern Comfort, actually.

It was his 18th birthday. By man law, and I’m unsure of which one specifically, I am required to welcome my brother into the world of adults with a nice hangover, some Texas Hold’em scratch tickets, and a “manly” pack of Swisher Sweets.

Swisher freakin’ Sweets – ah, to be 18 again.

It is my civic duty, as a brother and a dude, to supply my younger sibling with the tools necessary to truly enjoy his passage into adulthood. To deny him such tools, or rights for that matter, not only makes me a lousy brother, but it makes me a contemptible, self-righteous, dingus.

Or for lack of a better word – a prick.

Who am I to say he can’t have a little shot or smoke on his 18th birthday?

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the entire smoking thing. The smell of a freshly-lit cigarette isn’t what kills me – it’s that stale and stagnant stench that clings to clothes like Robert Downey Jr. clings to methadone clinics.

I’d spend an eternity waist-deep in an ocean of rotting pig entrails before I’d spend ten minutes in a car with someone who reeks like an ashtray.

But hey, if my brother wants to smoke on his 18th birthday, than who am I to say he can’t? He is officially a legal adult, after all.

But what about booze? Yes, I am of age. And yes, I purchased a bottle of fine southern bourbon for my “underage” brother. I am guilty of a crime. I’ll admit it. I mean why not? Find me one person of authority who wouldn’t have done the same thing in my situation.

I’m sure you’ve already heard the numerous pro-drinking arguments: “I can go to war but I can’t have a beer,” or “teenagers only abuse it because they can’t have it,” or my personal favorite, “everyone else on the planet can drink at 18, but I can’t.”

Then again, I can see the other side of the spectrum, too. There are a LOT of people who aren’t ready to handle alcohol at all. You know the type – the “I need a thirty-rack of rancid Icehouse just to get my buzz going” types. These idiots ruined drinking for everyone. Not because they can drink more than anyone else, but because THEY CAN’T HANDLE THEIR BOOZE.

Yeah, I said it.

All you types who sit back and brag about how many times you’ve been arrested, or how many porches you’ve pissed on while hammered, are just covering up for the fact that you can’t hold your liquor. Stop kidding yourselves, and stop making every other young adult look like some sort of drunken, poo-flinging, neanderthal.

You’re part of the reason we all have to wait until 21 to drink – thanks a bunch.

That being said, there are still plenty of those “of-age” folks who abuse the booze just as much as any college kid, so age and stupidity can’t be exclusively joined at the hip, I suppose. It’s a hard line to walk, as there’s no real right or wrong cure-all answer for this debate.

As for me and my brother, well, I don’t feel what I did was a crime. I supplied him with the booze rather than some random “hook-up guy” who would have charged him twice what it was worth. I’m also sure my brother isn’t going to mix the sauce with his breakfast Cheerios and drive to school, either.

He can handle it. He’s 18 – he’s an adult. It’s time to treat him like an adult. And to be an adult means to accept responsibility for your own self and actions- no matter how dense and dumb-minded they might be.

I bought my underage brother a bottle of booze – I’ll probably do it again. Is that really such a horrible crime? If it is, well. . .

I’ll take a cell next to Manson, if you don’t mind.

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