How very proud the citizens of Anchorage must be. Our city was announced in the latest issue of Men's Health magazine as ranking second in their America's Drunkest Cities poll.
The magazine based its findings upon the number of binge drinkers per day in a particular city, the number of alcohol-related liver disease deaths, number of DUI arrests and accidents, and finally, any positive influence the MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) chapter either has or doesn't have in the city. Anchorage lost out to Denver, Colorado, by the way.
I am frankly a bit surprised Anchorage did not rank first. Not a day goes by we do not witness an alcohol-related incident on a street corner of the city. Alcoholism is rampant in Alaska, especially in the Bush areas, where domestic violence, drug offenses, and SNUI (Sno-Go Under the Influence) issues plague State Troopers and Community Service Officers (CSO's). It is sickening. It is a shame. It is also common.
With the end of the holiday season, the four or five months until Break- Up (when the snow finally melts) seem endless. Freezing cold temperatures that prevent much outdoor activity keep folks inside and tempers rise much faster than the thermometer. People drink to make the long winter bearable, or so they think.
Yukon and I went to a popular Anchorage eatery last weekend on a rare date night. The Glacier Brewhouse is wildly full on any weekend night, particularly in the summertime, when tourists swarm in for a dose of Alaskan charm. In the winter, the bar and restaurant are full of local folks who just need to get out for a while and see other people. Yukon and I try to go there, and to its companion restaurant, Orso, once a month or so. Orso was packed to the beer taps this time, so over to the Brewhouse we went.
So that readers can get a taste of wintertime bar conversation in Anchorage, Alaska, I have written the actual conversation spoken by the dolts sitting next to us at the bar.
Dolt #1: "Oh dude, I'm so glad to be here. I'm just getting over the dry heaves from last night!"
Dolt #2: "Yeah, I'm not even sure where we went, but I think we had fun!"
Friend (sitting nearby): "So how much did you have?"
Dolt #1: "Shit, I don't know! All I know is that I drank my dinner!"
Dolt #2: "It's a good thing your wife doesn't know about that!"
Friend: "Where is your wife?"
Dolt #1: "She's in Las Vegas playing hockey, but that's okay, she's probably doing the same
Keep in mind that these two were 20-somethings, employed, although for how long is anybody's guess, as #1 worked in the famous Anchorage hotel that has provided me with rotten service every time I go there. Needless to say, we left soon after and went to Kinley's for the remainder of our delightful evening.
It was tough, however, to leave such fascinating exchanges.