“Man with Self-Proclaimed Drinking Record Shares at his Second AA Meeting”

My name is Joe and what else am I supposed to say? I drink too much. Actually, the problem is I drink too fast, if you want to get technical. I'm supposed to say when I snooked my last one, the one I put on YouTube three days before the beer run when I guess I hit Joe Randolph's mailbox and the bastard called the cops. My nattering wife wouldn't pay bail so I'm fresh out of the county hoosegow and ready to hear about what this power greater than myself is, and why you people can't have real milk with coffee instead of this shitty powdered creamer.

As far as that video of me chugging beer goes, I am the fastest at chugging one full liter. The secret is you can't think about your gullet, like swallowing a pill—or cum, according to my wife. My mother, who was herself a pill, had an issue with her gullet. If she ate too fast, she couldn't swallow and then she'd panic and throw up a mess of bile, but Dad could chug two pints of whiskey, though whiskey's not carbonated, so big fucking deal.

Thing is, it takes five twelve-ounce beers to loosen my gullet enough to drink a liter in 3.9 seconds, which as far as I can tell is the world record. I checked with those fuckers at Guinness, as in Guinness fucking beer—as in the ones who started the book, but they said they don't publish drinking records anymore, that and stuff like fattening up your cat leads to irresponsible behavior.

My buzz-kill of a wife used that phrase when she wouldn't pay my bail this time. But didn't she think I was fine when I showed her how to relax her throat the afternoon we met at Hodges Happy Hour? That's where I first touched her, on her throat, to show her the muscles to relax.

Now she cries when she sees me load the freezer with mugs—that's another thing, it's got to be cold, numbs the throat, takes some of the fizz out. And the shittier the better, but I won't do it with light beer, that's cheating. Anyway, the first step, right? Admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable. I like that—powerless over alcohol—it's exactly how you have to think about the muscles in your throat when you lift the glass to pour it down.

Frank Giampietro

About Frank Giampietro

Frank Giampietro is an American poet and the author of the collection Begin Anywhere, for which he received a Florida Book Award. He holds an MA from Washington College, an MFA from Vermont College, and a PhD in English from Florida State University. Giampietro lives in Farmington, Maine, with his wife and two children and works as the managing editor of Alice James Books.