The Cause and the Solution
It has been said that both the cause and the solution to every problem is alcohol. I’m too drunk now to seriously consider the implications of this paradox. Pour us both another and hear me out.
It has also been said that civilization began when hunter gatherers settled down to agriculture. Seems like a lot of work to me. Why bother when you can travel around the countryside with your clan, seeing the world, enjoying life, unburdened by lots of heavy possessions, eating what’s available whenever it’s in season? Be here now.
Is there more security in a settled agrarian culture? Maybe, but there are plenty of stories about crop failures throughout history. Again, why bother? You invest all that time and effort planting, tilling, fertilizing, irrigating, just to have flood, drought, pestilence, or marauding neighbors ruin all your lofty plans of a food surplus. Pretty risky and stupid if you ask me.
Yo, fill me up. Put it on my tab.
Lots of studies by professors a lot less drunk than me profess (That’s what professors do: profess) that agriculture was the beginning of modernity. Language, metallurgy, specialized trades all began when people began to plant seeds in the ground and stick around to see what happens. But where’s the incentive? No one back then, way in the beginning, had that kind of foresight or long-term planning capabilities. Again, why bother? Especially when there’s plenty of varmints to hunt and lots of ripe fruit for the picking right over there?
I’ll tell you why. You know what happens to fruit when there’s so much on the vine you just can’t eat it all? It gets overripe. That’s right. It may not be as tasty or juicy as last month but, for some weird reason, I feel really good after eating it. I mean REALLY good. It makes me want to sing and dance and carouse. Nothing is better for an insufferable flea-bitten harsh barefoot life than having a good old drunken time with your clansmates that none of you will ever remember. And if anyone does remember, it’s good for endless laughs.
Biting into these luscious, fermented treasures takes you to a new frontier, free of pain and aggravation, where you can forget everything, even your very self, and laugh yourself silly with your smelly caveman buddies AND enemies and fall asleep on rocks that thanks to the magic fruit feel like soft pillows. And the usual predators — bears, wolves, hyenas, lions, whatever — won’t eat you because you stink! Because you’re stinking drunk!
AAAaaaaaarrrrrp! One more, barkeep. Please.
So if you haven’t figured it out yet, my point is this: nobody would ever plant shit and wait around and hope it comes up edible unless there is a really good buzz reward at the end of all that hard labor.
There’s really nothing else to say. Alcohol spelled the beginning of civilization, long before anyone could spell.
Also, you’re a writer, right? Well, all the greatest writers were drunks.
Call me a cab, will ya?