WARNING: The following blog is yet another instalment in the continuing series entitled TTDMYITATA©. [Things That Don't Matter Yet I Talk About Them Anyway.]
I'm finding it difficult to believe that real people drink as much booze as the characters tend to do in the recent novels I've been reading.
Don't get me wrong, I ain't no teetotaller. I like a beer [or two] as much [or usually more] than the next guy! But the amount of straight-up hard liquor being consumed in my current and previous novels -- it's downright violating the limits of my belief-suspension. Characters are just drinking at all possible moments of the day and night. Do people really do this?
Admittedly, some do -- but here is what makes it sort of unreal for me:
When the motive given for such drinking is….. thirst.
I can't locate a precise example right now in my book, and I've returned the other one to the Library already, but like, so often a scenario is presented such as, "Hey Mac. You thirsty? Let's have a drink."
Now if the two guys crack open a Sprite or pour some lemonade or even a glass of water -- see, I would get that! But to sit down and have a scotch on the rocks? Or pound back several snifters of brandy, etc.? Slug back some Jack Daniels? How in the world would that ever quench someone's "thirst"? The equivalent, lung-wise, would be to light up a big fat Havana cheroot because you "need some fresh air"!
Can you imagine the struggle advertisers would have if they had to sell alcohol based on THIRST needs?
SCENE: Husband and wife literally baking to death on a beach. He turns to her, "Mmmmm, honey, I'm parched. Pass me another tumbler of straight tequila!"
Yep, this is how we all want to spend a sweltering July afternoon -- sitting in sunshine drinking moonshine!
My conclusion is this: In novels, whenever someone drinks straight liquor for "thirst" reasons we are in the presence of an author that is not only using a wrong word, but doing a disservice to verisimilitude.
But one more point that is very important --> None of what I've said above applies to beer. Let's face it, beer is like 90% water. Drink three or four in a row and you will immediately be releasing the proof of this. Beer is thirst-quenching, and it's also very healthy for you, especially in ridiculously large quantities.
Secondly, nice drinks that are mixed with stuff also count as being thirst-quenching. Things like pina coladas, daiquiris, mojitos, a Collins or a Singapore Sling etc.
But give me a break. Straight undiluted liquor?