December 18, 2007

Just a Sip: The Irish Pub Theory on Steroid Use

Back in the period of time known as the 1990’s, a then 17-year-old OCC went on a school-sponsored trip to Ireland. During said trip, for reasons unbeknownst to anyone, all of the students were given permission one evening to go to a pub.

The only condition of our visiting this establishment was that under no circumstances would we partake in the act of drinking alcohol.

It probably goes without saying that this particular decree held up for all of about five minutes. Next thing you knew, virtually every kid on the trip was holding a pint of Guiness or Harp, and the more ambitious among us was sipping from a glass of Bushmill’s on the rocks.

It also probably goes without saying that later that evening, after we had all returned to the homes of our various host families, one of the students in the group (not yours truly) was spotted by the confused young son of his host family drunkenly urinating on the TV set.

After this unfortunate micturation, the rest of us were suddenly under alcohol-related scrutiny, and a full-scale investigation began.

In the tense day or two that followed, a handful of us decided that our gooses were essentially cooked, and fear of being found guilty (and possibly suspended from school) if we didn’t cooperate made us think it would be wise to fess up.

But when the first one of us returned from his confession, he informed us that he had put a subtle twist on the confession process. Instead of admitting the full quantity of his consumption (a pint, or two pints, or six glasses of Bushmill’s), he had said that yes he tried alcohol at the pub, but had only had one sip.

This confession style quickly grew in popularity. It seemed perfectly logical. This way, we’d have partially admitted our guilt but wouldn't have it on our record that we were completely reckless, drunken fools.

Of course, what we didn’t realize at the moment was that it must have been horribly blatant how much we were all lying. In our desperation to clear our names as best we could, we had all made ourselves look like mildly pathetic – people who knew we had done something wrong but didn’t have the stones to fully admit it.

This story comes to mind from the annals of the past in the wake of all the new allegations that have surfaced due to the publication of George Mitchell's findings, and Brian Roberts’ corresponding claim that he used steroids, but only did so once.

Is this the same Brian Roberts who suddenly went from 4 to 18 homers between 2004 and 2005?

Because I’m one of the guys who broke the drinking rules on the school trip back in 1995 and then copped the “just a sip” excuse, a smaller scale but nearly identical principle to the soon-to-be-rampant “I only tried steroids once” line.

And as someone who understands the mentality, I’m not believing a word of it. Liquor gets you drunk, steroids make you big, and lying about all of it is much, much easier than telling the truth.


Anonymous Jesse said...

Solid post, I didn't really know where you were going with it until you tied it all together at the end. Kind of like you used to tie together sick and weakened caribou, and then beat them senseless on our school trip to Nepal. Ah, the good old days.

3:30 PM, December 21, 2007  
Anonymous Aimee Berg said...

One time, I played "just the tip" with a girl, and the consequences were quite amazing. Little did I know that she was undergoing fertility treatments, so now we're the parents of octuplets, and I couldn't be more proud.

Oh, wait. You're talking about "just a sip." Nevermind.

12:14 PM, December 22, 2007  

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