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Ask Al

Mr. Al Koholic is a licensed drunk, and has many years of alcohol counseling experience. Al has been serving the public for over 20 years and heís finally come to Utah. If you have any liquor -related questions or anything intoxicating on your mind, write to Al at Dear Abby has nothing on this guy.

Dear Al,
In my church, it is considered a sin to drink alcohol. I have never tried alcohol in fear of eternal damnation, but Iím very curious about the whole thing. What does it taste like, what does being drunk feel like, will I go to hell for drinking?
Please respond soon

Going to hell? You must be LIVING in hell. What the hell do those church people know about hell anyway except for the fact that most of them will get well acquainted with hell in their afterlife? In fact, the early Church declared alcohol as an inherently good gift of God to be used and enjoyed. Jesus himself drank and approved of its moderate consumption. So to hell with those church people, find yourself a cold one, bottoms up and enjoy. To answer your questions about taste and the drunken sensation, it tastes like shit but the sensation feels great. My suggestion is to take it slow, start with a wine cooler, which will break you into the taste with minimal drunken effect. Work gradually into the harder stuff, and remember, public intoxication can be dangerous for a rookie. In the meantime, eat, drink and be merry. And if you think a drink sends you to hell, then heaven is going to be a lonely place.

Dear Mr. Coholic,
My boyfriend has been sporting a pretty serious beer belly. He drinks like a fish and Iím concerned his beer intake has been packiní on the pounds. He refuses to drink light beer and Iím definitely not going to be able to get him to slow down. What should I do?
Married to the Blob

Dear Mrs. Blob,
The first thing you should do is get off his back. Your incessant nagging is only erupting his urge for the golden nectar. As for his waistline, beer doesnít give you a beer belly, the massive quantities of fatty food do. Beer does have some caloric value, but it has nothing to do with your chunky hubbyís gut. Beer has been getting a bad rap for decades because beer drinkers tend to be a tad heavy, but the way I see it is that beer doesnít make you fat, fat people just like to drink beer.

Dear Al,
Iíve been hearing a lot about BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) and how many drinks it takes to get drunk, and donít mix drinks, and blah blah blah. I decided nobody knows shit about any of this so I want to ask you with your infinite wisdom and because you are the only one I can trust with this issue.
You are the greatest
Devoted fan

Dear fan,
You were right to come to me, and thank you for your kind words. The general rule of thumb for drinking is: one drink equals a 12oz. beer (except in Utah where one drink equals about a 16oz. beer), a 4oz. glass of wine, or 1 oz. of 80 proof liquor. You may have heard of the ďbeer before liquor never sickerĒ saying, well this is just a myth. The amount of liquor in each of these is equal so therefore a drink is a drink. The reason people think beer before liquor is somehow worse than the latter is because most people donít start off the night pounding shots. They start with beer, get a little shine on and move to the slammers. If you were to start the night off with the shots you would feel the same effects as later in the night. A beer and a shot have the same alcohol content, but you donít drink beer like a shot, and if you did it would react the same. Another important thing to remember when drinking is the time between drinks is the most important factor in intoxication. Below is a rough chart of approximate blood alcohol percentage according to a personís weight and number of drinks heís had. As discussed before, there are many factors in a personís intoxication so this chart isnít entirely accurate, but should be used to maximize drinking enjoyment.