The Vanguard’s guide to responsible drinking

Look kid, I am sick and tired of standing behind you at the bar. I know you’re young and you haven’t been at this long, but it’s embarrassing sharing booze space with you. If you can’t do this thing right, then go home.

Responsible drinking extends beyond designated drivers, buddy systems and safe sex. You’re in a social space and therefore responsible for what that entails, and frankly, son, you’re just not living up to your end of the agreement. Since that trust fund means you’ll probably never have to work the other side of the counter, and that Abercrombie outfit means you’ll probably never have a bartender shorty then I guess it’s up to me to give the long and short of how to successfully drink your way through Puddletown.

Let’s start with what you’re drinking. Portland is a beer town, period. And not just any beer town, but a PBR town. There may have more microbrews than there are Starbucks, but the kids love their piss-water. You can’t go wrong with Pabst. It gets you slurry, sends you to the bathroom every five minutes and is responsible for some of the most unpleasant hangovers imaginable. Try the Maker’s Mark and PBR boilermaker at Berbati’s. Bukowski would be proud.

Beer aside, Portland loves vodka. Vodka cran, vodka tonic, Bloody Marys, martinis, White Russians, screwdrivers; the possibilities are endless. Personally, I like it warm out of the bottle at sunset, but to each his own.

But vodka has dark side too. And I’m talking about Red Bull. What the hell is wrong with you people? If you’re going to get loopy on syrup, then do it right. Drink Robitussin. The vodka/Red Bull combo is like drinking a rocks glass of ‘N Sync. Yuck.

I suppose when it comes down to it, you can’t go wrong with liquor, as long as you keep it classy. Quit drinking like you’re on a cruise. Don’t order a zombie. Don’t order an AMF. Don’t order a purple fuzzy titty twister navel drop. And for Christ’s sake don’t order a nice glass of Scotch with Coke. Coke is soda pop, you know, for children. It has no place next to a Balvanie.

As well, unless you’re at a frat party (do we have those here?) steer clear of the Jaegermeister. That syrupy sludge is only good in two situations. Sledding and seducing teenagers. And I don’t want to see either of those things taking place in my bar.

I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but treat your bartender with a little respect. It kills me to see you front on our city’s most treasured citizens this way. These people are saints. They bring you booze, they laugh at your stupid jokes and they occasionally listen to you sniveling about your problems. Show them you love them.

Begin with tipping. Do it more. Regular, compassionate bar tipping should range anywhere from a dollar a drink to 20 percent of your whole bill. Never less. Ever. Sure, it might be more than you give a server, but servers don’t generally have to watch you stumble sideways and drool on yourself trying to woo some law clerk from Gresham named Tina. And if they do, then you should be tipping them more, too.

Wait your turn. If there’s a line snaking around the bar wait in it. Don’t cut ahead. Don’t yell out your order and don’t wave that wad of fives around like you’re P-Diddy. You look like an asshole, you stress out the bartender and you piss off those of us who are waiting patiently. Just because you’re toasty doesn’t mean you’re exempt from the rules of courtesy. What would your mother say?

Make things easy on your bartender. Order a Pabst or a PBR not a "peeber." Cut back on the adjectives. Just say vodka cran, or gin fizz, or lemon drop. Don’t order a lemon-infused vodka, sweetened and spun. That’s just stupid.

Know what you want. If you’re standing in line for five minutes, use that time to make up your mind. The bartender isn’t your shrink. They don’t know what you should drink. And they don’t care. It’s not their job to choose for you, so don’t ask them to.

Finally, quit asking out the bartenders. Just because they’re nice to you doesn’t mean they want to jump your bones. Pick up one of the other drunkards, but leave these poor people alone. It’s flattering, I’m sure, but unless you’re as good-looking as Bradley Carroll, you don’t stand a chance. And don’t be fooled; when drunk you are not nearly as charming as you think. I’ve been there, I know.

Seriously, how would you like it if every needy customer at your job were constantly trying to get in your shorts? Oh, wait. I forgot you have a trust fund. You don’t need a job. You’re rich. Say, how about you buy me a drink, sailor?

One last thing: Who keeps leaving their undergarments lying around the Holocene? That’s weird. And gross. If you’re wearing a bra when you enter the bar, sure as shit you should be wearing it when you leave.