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Is the cure to male loneliness buying them a beer?
This is Issue #14 of Bad Advice! If you still don’t know what Bad Advice is or why it’s here, head to issue #1 where we explain it for the first and last time.
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I’m a 20 something living in Worcester and having a blast. There is a bunch to do, a bunch of different food to eat and all kinds of different people from different backgrounds to meet. I live in a classic Worcester three-decker on the top floor. My downstairs neighbors have recently immigrated from Afghanistan and it has been such a pleasure to get to know them. They are a very sweet couple with two adult sons. They help run their relative’s auto shop. They are Muslim and strict to most tenets of Islam, including not drinking. They are not judgmental of me and my partner’s lifestyle, they just do not partake. They do always invite us to prayer, and I find that very comforting. Recently one the adult sons asked me to buy him beer and then if we could keep it at our house and he could come drink it when his parents go to sleep. I do not know what to do.
- Good Neighbor?
Dear Good Neighbor?
I am not an ethicist. Some would argue that I am an anti-ethicist. I tend to give a pretty nihilist answer to these conundrums.
Typically, I have found buying alcohol for others that aren’t allowed to have it real murky waters. When I was younger did I buy some under-aged friends of mine booze from time to time. Sure. I was never the guy who said yes to the desperate teen outside the 7-11. I was never the 30 year-old getting a 6 pack for 20 year old cousin. I did once buy booze for a friend that was turning 20. She didn’t know what she wanted and gave me carte blanche. Bad idea. I came back with 99 Bananas. She was not happy.
One time, my cousin was looking for a job in the summer while he was in college. My aunt hired him to drive our younger cousin who was 17 at the time to all of his practices and games for the various sports he was playing. One time after a practice, the younger cousin asked the older cousin if they could make a quick stop to pick something up at the store. My older cousin obliged. They stopped at a parking lot of CVS and had him pull around to the back. The younger cousin then got out and started loading the back of his own mother’s SUV (that my older cousin was driving) with cases and cases of beer for a party they were allegedly having later that weekend.
My older cousin of course can remember doing something similar when he was our younger cousin’s age, however he was never this brazen about it. He shut it down and made him take the booze out of the car. He didn’t tattle on him, but he did tell him he was nuts for trying that. The younger cousin was less apologetic and more shocked that he wasn’t allowed to do it. There is no moral to the story, other than the younger cousin is a huge hit at weddings, including most recently getting up onstage with the wedding band and killing it on tambourine.
This obviously is different. This man is old enough to buy beer himself. I suggest instead of buying beer and storing his stash in your fridge, you invite him out to a bar. Go to Ralph’s and crush some Genesee. Go to The Pint and show him shuffleboard. Head over to Meraki and get a desert cocktail. Take him to the Marine Corps League for karaoke. Go out and get to know each other. Maybe you’ll hit it off more than just the pleasant hellos in your hallway. Maybe you both have a new friend. AND you both won’t have any evidence laying around for this parents to find. Go be barflies, be free.
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I’m also going to go see Broken Social Scene on Thursday and Militarie Gun (which might be one of my favorite records this year) on Sunday. If you’re going come say hi!