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View Full Version : Bars, Seattle, men and how one would drown one's sorrows with alcohol



afarnam
01-27-2014, 01:42 AM
Okay, here's one for the men primarily, although I suppose women can comment.

I have never liked bars even as a teenager. I'm a woman and I don't have much experience with drowning one's sorrows in alcohol. Now, I have a male character (age about 29), who I need to get into trouble with some rough characters in a Seattle bar.

It starts because he finds out that his girlfriend was murdered in a particularly nasty way and his brother saw it and failed to stop it. He isn't exactly the type to go to a bar but he fights with his brother and drives off in a haze, doesn't know the neighborhood in Seattle and so he stops and gets out and starts walking, more or less to just try to think and figure out how to get revenge. But he eventually stumbles into a grimy, hipster Mexican bar called the Cha Cha Lounge. Is this all making sense?

Now, I need him to get fairly drunk. What do you think one would drink in such a bar to drown one's sorrows. A review of the bar mentions vodka. He wouldn't probably be buying real fancy drinks. He's mostly really upset. Any comments on the experience of drowning one's sorrows in alcohol? How fast does one get drunk?

I need him to be awake enough to eventually stumble into a taxi and give an address, but that could be a couple of hours later.

williemeikle
01-27-2014, 01:50 AM
Okay, here's one for the men primarily, although I suppose women can comment.

I have never liked bars even as a teenager. I'm a woman and I don't have much experience with drowning one's sorrows in alcohol. Now, I have a male character (age about 29), who I need to get into trouble with some rough characters in a Seattle bar.

It starts because he finds out that his girlfriend was murdered in a particularly nasty way and his brother saw it and failed to stop it. He isn't exactly the type to go to a bar but he fights with his brother and drives off in a haze, doesn't know the neighborhood in Seattle and so he stops and gets out and starts walking, more or less to just try to think and figure out how to get revenge. But he eventually stumbles into a grimy, hipster Mexican bar called the Cha Cha Lounge. Is this all making sense?

Now, I need him to get fairly drunk. What do you think one would drink in such a bar to drown one's sorrows. A review of the bar mentions vodka. He wouldn't probably be buying real fancy drinks. He's mostly really upset. Any comments on the experience of drowning one's sorrows in alcohol? How fast does one get drunk?

I need him to be awake enough to eventually stumble into a taxi and give an address, but that could be a couple of hours later.

There's a lot of variables to consider. Is he a drinker or is this a one off? What will he have eaten, if anything? And what's his constitution?

I've had occasion to drown my sorrows. Got through most of a bottle of Scotch in an evening and was still, unfortunately, sober as my brain refused to shut off.

Other times a couple of quick doubles will get the room spinning.

clenick
01-27-2014, 02:19 AM
It would depend on his weight, his experience with drinking alcohol, and what he's eaten that day. I would think a guy looking to get drunk would drink shots of whiskey with beer in between. Probably three to four drinks in an hour would get him (legally) drunk. Add on another couple of hours of three to four drinks, and he'd be sloshed.

afarnam
01-27-2014, 02:43 AM
He's about medium height, in very good physical shape, hasn't eaten much. He's not generally a drinker, a beer or two at times but not much more than that. This is definitely a one off. I've got the feeling that he tells the bar keeper to give him whatever they drink around there. The bar keeper sees that he's pretty tense, so he gives him something hard and after a couple of those, he feels a bit more numb, so he keeps doing it because that's a relief to be a bit numb. Is that realistic?

ShaunHorton
01-27-2014, 03:12 AM
Well, the bartender should be taken into account too. If he's any kind of tender worth his pay, he's going to take people's obvious mental state into account when he serves them, as well if your MC has anyone with him. If a guy comes in visibly upset and starts hammering back shots, most bartenders wouldn't continuing serving him for a few hours. Not without insisting on him ordering a meal or something.

Mariana
01-27-2014, 03:39 AM
He's about medium height, in very good physical shape, hasn't eaten much. He's not generally a drinker, a beer or two at times but not much more than that. This is definitely a one off. I've got the feeling that he tells the bar keeper to give him whatever they drink around there. The bar keeper sees that he's pretty tense, so he gives him something hard and after a couple of those, he feels a bit more numb, so he keeps doing it because that's a relief to be a bit numb. Is that realistic?

It sounds realistic to me. A good friend of mine had a heartbreak after the end of his relationship and he were getting drunk almost every night and I used to go out with him to be sure that all that it would end safe. I think that almost everyone who wants to get drunk in order to forget drinks whiskey (adding ice or not). For someone who is not used to alcohol I think 4 of 5 drinks are enough to make his thoughts start fading. From that time he will be able to keep drinking, talk or do things (even drive) but the next day he will not be able to remember even a single thing. I remember this friend of mine talking and doing a lot of things tripping or telling nonsense and the other day that I was telling him what he did or what he said he couldn't remember.

So, about your story I think that your character will be able to take a taxi but I really don't think that he will be able to remember his own address. In such cases usually the bartender search the wallet of the drunk guy and through his ID finds his address and calls a taxi.

P.D. Choose whiskey, no vodka. Vodka usually is chosen by alcoholics when they want to drown their sorrows because they are kind of "used" to other drinks :)

King Neptune
01-27-2014, 03:39 AM
"Drowning one's sorrows" can't be done, but doesn't stop many people from trying. The other posters have made good suggestions. He probably will get enough before the bartender shuts him off, so that he won't be able to drive well. If you want him to pass out drunk, then say that he did after two hours of shots and beers.

Karen Junker
01-27-2014, 03:46 AM
If it's a Mexican bar, they'll serve tequila shots. There's a great bar, not a dump, in North Seattle that serves a full bar and also serves great tacos and other snacky foods, like quesadillas. Even with food, if you had a few tequila shots, you'd get wasted enough to not want to drive. I live in the Seattle area and may be able to help you with faking a location for a bar -- what neighborhood in Seattle were you going for?

afarnam
01-27-2014, 10:08 AM
It may be the bar you're talking about. Sounds like it. It's called the Cha Cha Lounge. I've never actually been there but there are plenty of photos and descriptions online.

Okay, one problem still. He's not going to have the address on him. What is I say he got drunk enough to not remember much but not unconscious drunk, fell asleep in a booth and bar tender kinda boots him out into a taxi a few hours later. Might he not be able to remember an address then? That is probably my biggest problem now.

Thanks all.

kuwisdelu
01-27-2014, 10:44 AM
Okay, one problem still. He's not going to have the address on him. What is I say he got drunk enough to not remember much but not unconscious drunk, fell asleep in a booth and bar tender kinda boots him out into a taxi a few hours later. Might he not be able to remember an address then? That is probably my biggest problem now.

It's perfectly possible to get black-out drunk and still be functional enough to do things like tell a taxi driver your address.

But if he's already at the point of passing out, the bartender ain't gonna wait another few hours to get rid of him, and would almost certainly have stopped serving him well before his getting to that point.

afarnam
01-27-2014, 03:33 PM
Thanks. That's a good point, kuwisdelu. The other factor that I haven't mentioned is that when he's about half drunk, he hooks up with some other characters, who continue to give him drinks for their own nefarious reasons of which he is unaware. They then leave him in a booth at the bar. The bartender wouldn't probably intervene if the guy appeared to have "friends", would he? (There also being various levels of responsible behavior among bartenders, I'm assuming?)

I'm also not saying is entirely comatose. The guy hadn't slept more than snatches in a week. The "friends" get him drunk enough to get something from him and then they leave him and he pretty much falls asleep at a booth is what I'm thinking. The bartender later sees him still there, wakes him up and calls a taxi. How's that work?

buirechain
01-27-2014, 06:25 PM
How wedded are you to that bar.

I've either been in it or somewhere close and similar (though not at night and only once), but I don't get the sense it's actually grimy. Really the idea of a bar that is grimy and hipster is a little off. The grime would be there for show for a more upscale young clientele--insert your own hipster stereotypes. But most likely there aren't going to be many rough characters lying around. Their website has a menu a drink menu and it looks like they have quite the selection of tequila, probably for anyone who has a strong affection for the good stuff. http://www.chachalounge.com/seattle/menu-seattle.php

It's in Capitol hill, just ten blocks from Pike Place market, and an area that many people are likely to know. For reference, I lived in the north end of Seattle until recently, and there were many neighborhoods I visited never or only once, Capitol Hill was in the top two that I visited more frequently, even though I neither worked nor had friends living nearby. That particular bar is on Pike street which means if you're paying attention to the street signs, you'd have a good idea where you are--hard to get lost.

I'm wondering if you aren't looking for more a dive bar, though if your character doesn't care about surroundings he could get drunk anywhere, but I think he'd stand out trying to get drunk there, other patrons would notice him, and the bartender would probably be more uptight about getting him too drunk since he wouldn't fit it. And, as I said, if the rough characters are people who just happen to be in the bar, I doubt Cha Cha lounge is young place.

I'd be more apart to pick something either towards the north end of town, or towards the south, though there are a few dive bars scattered in between. Seattle is a very spread out city though, so there are lots of places for a character to get lost, depending on where they live.

afarnam
01-28-2014, 02:43 AM
Buirechain, thanks. That sounds like good info. I picked this bar because it was described as "cliquish" and in a busy area. I'm hoping there might be some real traffic there at rush hour? Possible, at least on streets nearby?

It is fine that it is not a dive bar. This guy goes out driving originally at rush hour and is so upset that he can't handle being on the road with too many cars. He parks, probably illegally, but has no coat and it is February. At first he doesn't care that it's cold but then he starts getting really cold as it gets later, so he sees the place and goes in. He notices that he most definitely sticks out. He's not a local, not even American. He could easily be lost on Pike Street. Also, I said "rough" characters only as short-hand. They are not your typical rough characters. They could easily be wealthy hipsters. He's kind of notorious among a certain association in the US and these guys realize they have by chance run into him and have the advantage of him at the bar because he's at least mildly drunk and still upset enough to not be paying good attention. They want something specific from him and they get it. The bartender would probably assume they are his friends after they show up as he doesn't know or care who they are and just keeps drinking when they offer him drinks. Does that sound more realistic given the location?

Oh, by the way, any idea if hipsters use the term "dude" or have an equivalent form of address?

buirechain
01-28-2014, 05:29 PM
That makes more sense now that I know more about your characters. Just make sure you know what 'really cold' means for Seattle at whatever time of year this is set. I wouldn't say it ever gets really cold; in the winter the temperature doesn't change much over night and it tends to stay above freezing. During the summer the temperature tends to drop a lot more quickly even if it doesn't get cold, per se. That would work better; a lot of people are surprised by how quickly it can go from t-shirt weather to weather where you need a sweat shirt or at least long sleeves to be comfortable outside.

I'm sure there would be traffic around rush hour. It would probably be hard to find a parking space in the area, though if your MC is just looking for the first available spot, and doesn't care that he's blocking a driveway, you could find something. Especially since you says he's going to walk awhile before heading into the bar.

I don't know enough about Hipster slang to answer your last question. I'm sure there are plenty of places to look online, but I don't know how up to date any of it is. There might also be local trends when it comes to Hipster slang.

afarnam
01-28-2014, 08:05 PM
Thanks.

As for weather, I googled it and I know Portland quite well. Freezing rain is possible in February and I'm not trying to give my character hypothermia. I'm just trying to get him to go into a bar. :)

Velma deSelby Bowen
01-31-2014, 03:44 AM
If it's a Mexican bar, tequila shots and lager to follow might be the way to go. If you really want to mess him up, have the hipsters feed him either vodka-and-Red-Bull/energy-drink shots, or jagerbombs (Jagermeister and Red Bull shots). (He will wake up the next day feeling as if someone has been running a cheesegrater over his nervous system.)

RevanWright
02-05-2014, 05:22 AM
Tequila will be the go-to drink in a Mexican bar. Whiskey is the classic drown-sorrows-and-forget-broken-heartendess drink.
Either could work.
-practical experience

afarnam
02-06-2014, 10:02 PM
I'm assuming Tequila but I currently have the scene written so that the 1st person POV character is so upset he doesn't care what he's drinking and doesn't name it.

WriteMinded
02-07-2014, 08:27 PM
Whiskey. Doesn't sound like your guy cares if it's a Mexican bar or an Irish pub. It's easy to get drunk when getting drunk is what you want to do. It's easy to get drunk even when it isn't what you want to do. Guzzle three shots, fall off your stool, fool.

Trouble with drowning your sorrows is that the next morning your sorrows have returned, plus there's a sledge-hammer pounding the back of your eyeballs and the toilet seat is your only friend.

Snowstorm
02-07-2014, 08:38 PM
You got some great thoughts up-thread, but I had a thought about that you "need him to be awake enough to eventually stumble into a taxi and give an address". Perhaps as he's trying to get drunk to be rid of his sorrows, the bartender sees he's getting too lit and cuts him off. Since with his emotions, he might not be able to control his intake, but him getting cut off will ensure he's aware enough to leave and get a taxi.

afarnam
02-08-2014, 01:46 AM
I actually sort of fixed that part because part of what the people he meets there want out of him is his address. They get it and then when they go to leave, leaving him passed out, the bar tender stops them and demands that they deal with their "new friend" who the continued to give drinks to after the bar tender would have cut him off. So, they give the bar tender the address and he gives it to the taxi driver.