For those of you out there in blogosphere who aren’t familiar with the up-and-coming trend of “pregaming,” it is a term that refers to the act of consuming alcohol before any event; it could be a football game, a musical, or even a 250-student lecture. Unfortunately, this trend of pregaming has only become a common cultural activity in recent years. We must wonder: How would history have been changed if previous generations were clinical alcoholics like ours is? Here are the top ten historical events that would have been infinitely better had all parties involved drained several shots of Jose Cuervo beforehand.
10. Brooks-Sumner Affair
Senate floor debates just aren’t as great as they used to be. Sure, cable news might be a bit more interesting if procedural rules required a Senator to take a body shot off of Harry Reid every five minutes in order to hold the floor, but even a drunken debate on campaign finance reform couldn’t hope to touch the glory days of the antebellum era. Those were the good old days when a politician like Rep. Preston Brooks (D, SC) could beat Sen. Charles Sumner (R, MA) of unconscious on the Senate floor (while Brooks’ bro Rep. Keitt covered him with a pistol), all for having the audacity to criticize one of the most heinous and hypocritical institutions in history. Now just imagine that the rest of Congress had just returned from a heated North versus South flip cup game to see the Brooks beating the living shit out of Sumner with his cane. Intoxicated Speaker of the House Nathaniel Banks (R, MA) would undoubtedly have taken off his shirt before body-slamming Senate President pro tempore Jesse Bright (D, IN) to the ground, the Republican caucus would have engaged in fisticuffs with the Democrat Representatives from Texas, Alabama, and Tennessee, while Sen. William Sebastian (D, AK) and Sen. William Seward (R, NY) dueled with switchblades, making Bleeding Kansas look as peaceful as a Scandinavian village in comparison to the Capitol.
9. The Yalta Conference
I can just picture it now. Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill all meet to discuss the war, but decide to stop by the tavern first. The result would not have been as productive in a political sense, but damn would it have been a hot mess. It would start out with some tipsy attempts at discussing politics: Stalin would complain about his army suffering more casualties than those of his allies, and Roosevelt and Churchill would make a serious effort to listen patiently. But the ale would eventually get the best of the latter two, and they would break out into laughter. Stalin would laugh along with them, continuing to throwback shots of vodka like only a Russian could. The behavior of the tanked triumvirate would deteriorate rapidly, ultimately resulting in Stalin and Churchill engaging in a wheelbarrow race against FDR and his trusty wheelchair. The next day would be riddled with unprecedented levels of despair and ruefulness, especially for Churchill, who would find – to his great chagrin – that Stalin had taken a hefty dump in his top hat.
8. The Gilded Age
The Gilded Age was such a flaming pile of shit in American history, it’s a wonder that so many Americans were able to survive it without resorting to the bottle. Even a 30-year bender would be preferable to living through this period of economic transformation and expansion that serves little purpose in America other than testifying to the opulence of industrial robber barons, screw well-intentioned high school students over in the AP US history classes, and supplying some of the most offputting vintage porn known to man. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union’s leader Frances Willard might have seemed a lot more attractive
6 15 shots in, and one would almost have to be in an altered mental state in order to think that so much damn facial hair was a good idea.
7. Trail of Tears
We all hate walking. But it seems that whilst intoxicated, walking isn’t much of a hassle. If I was a real Cherokee (apparently 1/64 isn’t enough to get me a scholarship), I would surely regret my ancestors’ collective choice to walk the Trail of Tears and not the Trail of Beers. Granted, skeptics might express their uncertainties about this notion, suggesting that the combination of walking hundreds of miles, drinking alcohol, and being dehydrated would result in a drastically lower survival rate. Yes, it’s a valid point, but then again: NEVER BACK DOWN. Would our tribal
victims allies really have anything to lose at that point? God forbid they don’t survive the journey to Oklahoma! And if the natives are severely sloshed on their compulsory pilgrimage, the American soldiers mercilessly ravaging escorting them might as well get hammered too. Who knows? It could have even resulted in the formation of a lasting partnership between the two cultures.
6. 2000 Florida Election Recount
The possibility of having to suffer through four years of a George Bush presidency was bad enough to justify downing a fifth of whiskey at 10 am on Election Day, but only a thorough pregaming could have prepared America for the month-long emotional roller coaster that awaited the nation. Americans needed a steady inflow of booze to deal with the trauma of the election, and maybe a couple of double shots would have made Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris a bit more likely to favor democracy over bitter tight-ass partisanship. Even the Supreme Court seemed poised to embrace the necessity of pregaming their decision, notifying everybody else that they did not expect to be tethered by precedent to the poor decisions they were about to make.
5. The Gold Rush
ROAD TRIP! Back before the days of interstate highways and rapidly moving automobiles, a road trip would have been conducive for more adventure, but also more anguish. How does one increase adventure while simultaneously decreasing anguish? Well, besides PCP, there’s no better way to do it than with some old-fashioned 19th century moonshine. It’s true that your youngest child may die of cholera while you’re attempting to urinate on a herd of buffalo, but there would be no repercussions, because west of the Mississippi, laws are upheld only by Clint Eastwood’s overwhelming masculinity. If you could manage to avoid being ruthlessly tomahawked by the natives during your escapades, you would be met with exciting opportunities upon your arrival. After all, nothing could be more enjoyable than stumbling through uncharted woods while attempting to prospect gold with a pistol and a spoon.
4. Burr-Hamilton Duel
If only Vice President Burr and Secretary of Treasury Hamilton had spent their time sipping on brewskis instead of wasting their time bickering over stupid issues like the future of their fledgling nation, Hamilton might have lived and somebody cooler, like Henry Clay, would have his face on the 20. But nay, instead of pregaming the local New York women’s hockey match and ending up at BK, the two ended up rummaging in their daddy’s gun closet and found two pistols to play with. If only the two had gotten so blotto that they couldn’t shoot straight and decided to skinny dip in the Potomac instead, tragedy would not have struck America on that fateful day.
3. The Scopes Trial
I love getting obliterated before a court hearing as much as the next guy, but this is beyond the normal judicial jungle-juicing. A landmark case that would set a precedent for the evolution debate for years to come, the Scopes Trial would have been an ideal event to pregame for a multitude of reasons. For starters, we must recognize that the defendant, John Scopes, was a biology teacher in Tennessee. I don’t know about you, but my high school biology experience was less than splendid. As a matter of fact, it was absolutely fucking heinous. On top of that, we’re talking about Tennessee – likely the only state that would arrest someone for teaching
the truth evolution. Suffice it to say that if I were to sit through an obscenely lengthy court trial to determine what someone can and can’t teach in a Tennessee high school, I would be so slammed that my behavior would leave the jury with no doubt that I descended from primates.
2. Watergate Scandal
I’ll admit, drunkenly stumbling into other people’s rooms and tampering with their things is one of my favorite activities. If only CREEP’s cronies were three sheets to the wind when they broke into DNC’s headquarters, the 70s might have been a totally different time. Perhaps, had Nixon’s thugs been breaking into the hotel been inebriated, they wouldn’t have done any more damage than peeing in the corners of the DNC’s room, scrawling “McGovern suxxx” on the walls, and stolen of the DNC’s condoms. But instead, the all-too-sober men ended up precipitating the decline of Nixon, along with America’s pride, and forcing Justice Department interns to pour over hours of White House tapes of Nixon loudly masturbating.
1. Every American Political Convention That Happened Between 1775 and 1787
Usually when friends get together and have a few drinks, the results are nothing more than shared laughter, a few forgotten moments, and maybe even an ill-fated hook-up. But laying the foundation for the creation of a fledgling nation? That’s fresh as shit. It would all begin at the First Continental Congress, where politicians from various colonies would convene to get slizzered and establish a new slanderous nickname for King George III (they would eventually settle upon Duke of Cunterbury). Patrick Henry’s passionate quote, “Give me Natty Light or give me death” would not only secure his spot as the Supreme Emperor of all Tools Past, Present, and Future, but would also encourage his fellow shitshow participants to kick the party up a few notches. Although they would still send King George the Olive Branch Petition, symbolizing peace and a last-ditch effort to avoid a budget-breaking war, there would inevitably be much controversy about whether or not to extend this gesture to the king; Thomas Jefferson, for example, would likely be fiercely opposed until given permission to heartily rub his balls on the olive branch before its submission.
In May 1775, just days after the beginning of the Revolutionary War, the crazy bastards would throw another kegger in Independence Hall, this time getting so bombed that they would nominate George Washington – some 43-year-old slave-owning doucheloaf with wooden teeth and a bizarre cherry tree fetish – to command the Continental Army. They would proceed to nominate John Hancock to be president of the congress, on the basis that “his name be of the finest character and innuendo.”
After being hung over for the entirety of the war (Washington would later refer to Valley Forge as a physical, spiritual, and gastro-intestinal nadir), the rowdy bunch would gather for their third rager, this time relocating to Annapolis. Regrettably, a small portion of the group would be unable to attend, as most of them would still be passed out from the Yorktown celebration party thrown by Alexander Hamilton, where they upended the Liberty Bell and filled it with Rum and Coke.
Finally, in 1787, the old gang would convene for the last time to relive their glory days and draft a new constitution, a good idea given that they were all black-out drunk when they wrote the Articles of Confederation in 1783. Miraculously enough, what would come of this Constitutional Convention would be a stable, legitimate constitution. This would be owed to revisions made the next morning, namely the excision of the 11th and 12th amendments, which legalized public nudity and public urination.