Concealed Consumption

Illustration: Timm Paxton

I’ve always been an advocate of imbibing throughout the course of the day. However, due to legal limitations imposed by our fine government, I find it rather hard to do so without teetotaling eyes peering down on me. What most people don’t understand is that drinking in public can be a fun and rewarding habit. For one, the day is hard enough walking around with all these sober assholes lurking about, and alcohol has always helped me tolerate them. I get the feeling that many people think that alcoholics are not productive, but I’ll have you know that thanks to my concealed drinking abilities, I can now handle my daily work load and my heavy drinking. So with that, and SLUG’s willingness to allow me to write a yearly “Beer Issue” tutorial, here are some tips and tricks I’ve developed to keep myself within my functioning parameters of inebriation through the divine art of concealed consumption in public.

1. Choose Your Location
Being that we are in the city of salt, you can assume there are many judgmental eyes watching, ready to put an end to your fun. Try to find somewhere that suits you—a location where you feel comfortable. It’s always best to pick a location that provides a challenge, but still makes it manageable to get some heavy drinking done—otherwise, you are not having fun. Truthfully, I get my best work done at the zoo or the grocery store. Both are ideal locations because they provide an ample amount of distractions, and short of the little bastards running around, everyone minds their own business. The Smith’s Marketplace has recently served as a stepping-stone of education for me after I was involved in a minor altercation with a produce clerk who didn’t appreciate my Monday night drunken shopping spree. Due to my inability to maintain the standards of legal shopping cart driving limits, and my sheer lack of bottle concealment, I was forced to relinquish my bounty and exit his establishment. This should act as a firm reminder to all: Remember not to get too drunk, and always keep your bottle tucked.

2. Choose Your Container
Ditch the “beer belly” and “cellphone flask”­­—they are overpriced and make you look like a rookie. If you have the skill, stick with the traditional flask or the bottle itself. If need be, try some cocktail mixing inside a separately marked bottle. Tip: That clear Arrowhead water bottle with purple Jesus in it is not the best idea. However, a Grape Fanta bottle will get you bonus points for creativity.

3. The Sleight of Hand

When you do that “shifty eyes look around” with a quick jolt of the hand, it is way too obvious you are in the works of something crafty. That is also how pissy librarians can ruin your enjoyable Saturday afternoon activity of using their computers to download The Anarchist Cookbook. Keep things smooth and discrete, treat that produce aisle like your local watering hole and that desk clerk like your favorite bar maid. If you’re relaxed and throwing the flask to your mouth like you should be, then nobody is the wiser.

4. Dress Well

We all know the bums are scoring enough booze and crank for the both of us, so try your hardest not to look like the “inner us.” Instead, try to pick out clothing suitable for flask-tucking and bottle-covering. Think of it this way: If all these poorly dressed Mormons with concealed-carry permits can get away with stuffing Dirty Harry in their trousers, it could not possibly be that hard to hide a little hooch in your bloomers.

5. Choose Your Beverage

Finally, this would not be the beer issue if I did not heavily advise you to drink local and drink craft. Of course, this is SLUG, so I don’t need to advise you to drink responsibly. I’ll just say, pick some fine homegrown hooch and drink up. Cheers.

Illustration: Timm Paxton