Mike Brown: Rob Packer

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Rob Packer wins first place in Mike Brown's heart when it comes to local drunks. Illustration: Sean Hennefer

For this year’s beer issue, I wanted to do brief interviews with some of my favorite local drunks. It sounded easy in my head, but coordinating such interviews proved to be a daunting task, like herding feral cats. Aside from most megawastoids not being the most calendar-friendly people, I had a couple of other prerequisites for the mini-interviews.

I needed super-drunks, not just bar flies—men or women with a liver built to last and haul ass like a freight train. I didn’t want to deal with any self-loathing bullshit, either. I needed real pros at swilling. People who make drinking what it should be: fun. I know a lot of “poor me” pity-party alcoholics who replace their once robust self-esteem with a handle of Popov. Why would I want to write something depressing?

That narrowed my search tremendously. I thought about calling my old-time friend, Sweet Pete, who lives in Sioux Falls, S.D. I stayed at his house once while on tour. He’s amazing: a trust-funded meth-head alcoholic. If only we could all be so lucky. Sweet Pete looks like Uncle Fester and has the noticeable meth twitch, which he makes no attempts to hide.

Sweet Pete lived in Salt Lake for two weeks. He came out here to snowboard, but went to a bar, which I shall not name, and was drinking liquor at such a rapid rate the bartender was prompted to cut Sweet Pete off due to stupid state regulations. The bartender explained to him why he was cut off. Sweet Pete tried to explain that he was from South Dakota and that’s not how they did things there. Sweet Pete got in his car and drove back to Sioux Falls that night, knowing he could never live in a state that would put restraints on his thirst. Ironically, the amount of his dad’s money that Sweet Pete spends in bars really could fix the local economic crisis by itself, but we all know how stupid this state is when it comes to drinking anything. I fucking hate our Legislature, but that’s another article.

When I stayed with Sweet Pete, he took us to all the best strip clubs Sioux Falls had to offer, told us he’d buy all of our drinks (but only if they were liquor) and paid for all of our lap dances. He knew every stripper’s real name and even tipped all the bouncers. Class act all the way, I tell ya—my kind of drunk.

The only local drunk I got around to interviewing for this article that I could put on the same level of sloshy bliss as Sweet Pete is my man Rob Packer. The only time Packer has even come close to making me mad was when he tried to put his dick in my pocket a couple months ago, and even that was pretty funny.

Packer probably came out of his mom’s vagina holding a Pabst. Seeing Packer without a Pabst in his hand is like seeing a unicorn or Bigfoot. Packer has put more Pabst through his liver than all the hipsters at Twilite Lounge combined. I refuse to drink PBR these days. No offense to Rob Packer, but to me, that beer reeks of skanks and American Apparel apathy.

Packer is also a vegan. I asked him what he had been longer, drunk or vegan. I was surprised that the answer was vegan. It seems to me that vegans sometimes don’t eat as much, and the less you eat, the faster you get drunk. When I pointed this out to Packer, he cheerfully admitted that the concept of beer as food was a great one.

Then, Packer asked me how many times I had ever seen him eat. I thought about it, and, you know what? I have never seen Packer eat, and he’s a fucking chef for a living. Then Packer asked me how many times I’d seen him drink. I pointed out that I’d never not seen Packer drink. To which he simply replied, “Case closed!”

When I asked Packer how old he was when he had his first beer, he got a puzzled look on his face and said he didn’t know. Then mumbled about a time he remembered when he was 13 and found a bottle of champagne. The more I think about it now, though, asking Packer when he drank his first beer is like asking a normal person if they can remember the first time they tied their shoes.

Another neat-o fact about Packer is that he has never been to an AA meeting, but he has been invited. I’d imagine if he ever went, all  ofthe alcoholics in the room would be severely jealous over how drunk Packer is and how happy he is. To me, that’s the difference between an alcoholic and a drunk: Alcoholics know they have a problem—drunks just ignore it.

I asked Packer if he has any drunks he looks up to. He said, “The mirror.” Case closed.

Rob Packer wins first place in Mike Brown's heart when it comes to local drunks. Illustration: Sean Hennefer