Four words - a million possibilities

  • Published
  • By Anonymous
  • 4th Fighter Wing
This may be the most unconventional advice column you've ever read. If you've ever been carried home from a bar by your friends, read on. If you've ever greeted the suggestion to "open a tab" as an all you can drink challenge, read on. If you've ever been the center of attention, because you passed out in the center of the dance floor, definitely read on.

Some lessons are best learned though tough and memorable consequences - those we experience or witness. When it comes to the downside of excessive drinking, that's definitely the case. Now, any man or woman in military service has undoubtedly endured countless lectures, speeches and warnings about binge drinking, drunk driving and other alcohol-induced bad behavior. However, no education I've ever experienced drives the point home like four simple words - "Don't Be That Guy."

Those, my friends, are words to live by. We've all been out on the town and seen That Guy making a fool of himself (or herself, because girls can definitely be That Guy too). Sometimes we laugh at him, but it ceases to be funny when That Guy wrecks your evening by acting like a meathead, or getting you kicked out of the bar, or starting a fight you have to finish, or ruining your hook-up, or getting arrested, or bleeding in your car, or smashing your TV, or puking on your shoes or ... well, you get the point.

The beauty of "Don't Be That Guy" is that it's open-ended advice - it covers a million possibilities. It's also not judgmental. It isn't saying don't drink, or don't have a few beers with your buddies or don't go out and let loose a little. It simply means don't overdo it, don't lose control, don't be an idiot.

I've seen some That Guy behavior in the military. But, I've also seen it from frat boys, businessmen, the girl next door and even my relatives (anyone else have a cousin who barfed in the shrimp bowl at a family wedding?). Poor judgment knows no bounds. The trick is to avoid it, and learning from others' mistakes can really help.

What are some reasons not to be That Guy? Here are a few to consider:
-- Because teeth look better in your mouth
-- Because puking through your nose hurts
-- Because STD does not stand for "So Totally Drunk"
-- Because insurance doesn't cover stupidity
-- Because "I don't remember" is not an excuse that holds up in court

Another BIG reason not to be That Guy is because he is often considered "fair game" for ridicule or drunk-shaming. Having a girl throw a beer in your face is a bummer, but in the world of That Guy, you may be getting off easy - especially if you pick the wrong place to pass out. Have you ever seen a dude with one eyebrow shaved off, or duct-taped to a flagpole or show up to work in the morning with a big [censored by editor] drawn on his face with permanent marker? Try explaining those naked pictures of you on the Internet to your girlfriend, or worse, your mom.

So, if you want to keep your friends, your reputation, your money, your teeth, your dignity and other stuff you value, do yourself a favor and just Don't Be That Guy. Words to live by, for sure.

--Editor's note: This commentary was found on The author of this commentary wishes to remain anonymous but would like to encourage anyone who thinks they might be "That Guy/Gal" to seek help with a Chaplain (722-0315), their PCM (722-1802), the ADAPT Clinic (722-1883) or the Mental Health Clinic (722-1883).