Facebook events have been created, t-shirts have been printed, and livers have been prepped because, for whatever reason, someone from work, school, or group therapy thought, “Hey, I wonder what we’d all be like in public as a big, drunk crowd.”
Demonstrating your commitment to a lifelong relationship with alcohol, you promptly arrive for the crawl on time and with a hearty appetite for exploiting happy hour specials. It’s still early; the bar’s empty aside from a few peripheral acquaintances you kinda-sorta recognize. Nervous energy (1) and forced conversation emanate from the unfashionably early cluster. Everyone’s just too sober to interact. In retrospect waiting and downing a beer or two in shower or bus stop would have been the wise play, but instead you’re here and painfully trudging through pleasantries.
Galvanized to minimize the uneasiness, you start pounding drinks. Some try to converse—as the lone individual aggressively guzzling happy hour specials personifies a “cry for help” to some—but you wave them off. Soon enough alcohol’s been effectively reintroduced to your now-reliant system and you’re feeling socially lubricated. Now, with your anxiety drowned by whiskey, you have no problem spewing uninhibited optimism (2) to anyone and everyone about the boozing caravan you’ve all embarked on.
Everything’s suddenly perfect. Everyone’s sporting an affable buzz; it’s enough to feel uninhibited but not enough to abruptly turn excessively creepy, angry, or sad. Yet, without warning, the general drunken easygoingness is shattered by a mousy organizer demanding a group picture or to be repaid for t-shirts. Annoyance (3) festers. Nothing ruins a party faster than asking for money or corralling people into a photo. Sadly, nearly ever bar crawl has one of these bossy, overbearing types who simply can’t step aside, do the right thing, and keep the group’s focus on hard drinking and making questionable decisions.
Any lingering jitters are neutralized by the second of third bar as nothing fuses casual friendship quicker than alcohol. Unchecked enthusiasm (4) takes hold and money starts getting thrown around. Accountability and rationality have gone home for the night; now everyone’s just grinding, buying one another drinks, and groping hard.
No one is in charge at this point. Unchecked binging has your comrades splintering off, lured away by things like cheap liquor, easy handjibbers, and shiny objects. It’s still a little light outside and the bar crowd on the traditional schedule have only starting to file in. The crawl’s less-seasoned drinkers are fading fast. Talk about conceding defeat and heading to McDonald’s begins to circulate. Your fellow crawlers’ collective conscious realizes that there’s still an impending night of boozing directly ahead (5). You recognize the struggle; you’re pretty sure you’re on the cusp of passing out, or vomiting, or irrationally threatening someone with a bike chain.
Fortunately, you persist, remembering that stimulants designed for this exact situation are just a quick phone call away.