Many of you may already know this, but Pickle Fest was last weekend. If you’re underage or a responsible adult, Pickle Fest is a marathon of binge drinking, with the doors to Eau Claire’s favorite bar opening at 9 a.m.
I got there at 1 p.m., which is the worst time to be sober during Fest, but the best time to people watch. Water Street looked like an audition for the role of ‘zombie’ on “The Walking Dead.”
One realization I came to during my adventure is that none of you know how to day drink, so I’m here to provide you with all the tips and tricks necessary to avoid the drunk tank, the hospital and vomiting
Like any marathon, Pickle Fest requires preparation.
Start with lots of water, beginning the day before. If you’re going to be an idiot and start drinking immediately after waking up, you’re definitely going to forget to drink water, so preparing in advance will help you.
Dress responsibly. I know what Cardi B said about getting cold, but she was lying. A crop top or T-shirt is not an adequate way to dress in February. Put on a coat, wear pants — with zipper pockets if possible — and comfortable shoes.
The next step is food. Your brain may be telling you that you’ll be fine, but your brain is wrong. Eat something with a lot of protein and carbs. Pizza, a burrito or a sandwich are your best bets.
Caffeine is a good idea as well. If you’re going to drink, dance and yell for the next 20 hours, you’re going to need a boost. An energy drink is fine, coffee is better, but whatever you do, don’t mix it with booze.
The first half
Now, you’re ready to start drinking.
You might be thinking of mimosas. Don’t do it, it’s a trap. I know they’re a morning drink, but they’re also the fastest way to an upset stomach.
If you want orange juice, drink a screwdriver or tequila sunrise. Bubbles are your enemy today.
Pace yourself. Drink water. Don’t do too many shots. This all sounds obvious, but based on the mess I saw last weekend, most of you aren’t aware of the basic principles of day drinking.
For novice day-drinkers, intermission is a four-hour-long nap. For the veterans, it’s a light lunch at Dooley’s or El Patio then back to the bars.
Whatever you do, taking a break is a good idea. It gives your body a chance to come back to normal and you’ll sober up just enough to stay standing for the rest of the day.
While you’re on your break, charge your phone, consider making better choices and get back out there.
The second half
Once you feel rejuvenated — or semi-functioning at least — it’s time for the home stretch.
Keep pacing yourself, bar close is still a ways away. If you like beer, seltzer or anything with lower alcohol content, now would be a good time to switch to it.
Water is more important than ever before. Order water with every other drink, minimum. Your body will thank you later.
Don’t skip dinner. I know that Dooley’s wrap or Kwik Trip sandwich from five hours ago seemed filling, but you need more.
You did it, an entire day of drinking. Now you get to celebrate with an entire day of misery.
Drink water and possibly Gatorade or Pedialyte, take ibuprofen and go to sleep. When you wake up, read my article on hangovers.
Johnson can be reached at [email protected]