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America on the rocks

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By John Pawlak

Roll out the barrel! We’ll have a barrel of fun!
As a child, I remember watching my parents dance to the Beer Barrel Polka. Before I learned my multiplication table or could even spell the word “beer,” I knew the words to a fun-filled drinking song. Another favorite was the classic Latino flavored “Tequila” by The Champs. People could sip a nice cold mixed drink to the beat of Danny Flores’ raspy saxophone. And the lyrics were easy to remember, even if you were drunk. There were only three words — tequila, tequila, tequila.
 Yeah, drinking is great fun. It was a hoot watching Dudley Moore trip through the movies Arthur and 10. And how could you not fall in love with Peter O’Toole as he stumbled through My Favorite Year? Or Jimmy Stewart in Harvey?
 Lee Marvin even won an Academy Award for his woozy performance as Kid Shellen. It should have been Kid Shellacked.
 The film industry has always raised a glass to toast the entertainment value of alcohol. Come on, admit it! Even the most stolid among you would have enjoyed a good toga party at Animal House.
 In real life however, the humor can sometimes be a bit harder to grasp.


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