Drinking and Drugs

How to Binge Drink

If you're new to this, you're going to want to start with something basic: Pabst Blue Ribbon, vodka and cranberry juice, or some sort of hard lemonade are all good beginner drinks. You'll drink 10 of them before you realize it, and there's really no shame in drinking candy-flavored crap until you've got this drinking thing down.

On that note, there are several fundamental rules to follow any time you consume a liver- and inhibition-obliterating amount of alcohol: Do it with people you trust—there's nothing worse than blacking out and waking up in some stranger's backyard covered in vomit because your friends wouldn't help you stagger home. Drink lots of water or Gatorade before you pass out (you will kick yourself later if you don't). Avoid Southern Comfort. And finally, do not binge drink before 3:00 p.m. Otherwise, you'll be hungover by dinnertime and want to kill yourself.

How to Drink Like an Adult

Do not order a rum-and-anything. Do not order a Diet-and-anything. Do not drink anything that is pink or anything that is blended. Do not drink malt liquor or schnapps of any variety. Do not drink anything containing flecks of gold or taurine. Do not order any drink that has more than three components; two components are preferable. Do not partake in any drinking that involves dropping one beverage into another, nor in any drinking that involves a funnel. Do not do shots. While drinking games may have their pleasures, rest assured you are venturing out of the realm of adult like drinking if dice, cards, coins, word cues, elaborate hand gestures, or rules of any kind are involved. Do not gulp. Drinking is the accompaniment to another activity, such as conversation or eating; drinking is not an activity unto itself. Do not say or do things that are dramatically different from the things you would say or do while not drinking. Do not cause difficulty for others due to your drinking, and do not let your drinking cause difficulties for you. All of these fall into two basic rules which also apply to life as a whole: Don't get too complicated about it and don't be an asshole.

How to Smoke Pot

Despite what TV, your parents, and your high-school guidance counselor might have told you, pot will not kill you or make you permanently stupid. If anything, it makes sex and food a million times better, and makes logic and philosophy classes tolerable. If you've never smoked pot before, find someone who isn't a douchebag to get high with. If a white dude with dreads and Rastafarian Obama T-shirt offers to smoke you out, decline immediately. Find someone smart; it makes all the difference. Hang out somewhere comfortable and private. You don't need to freak out about getting busted—unless you're smoking in your dorm room or right in front of a cop. Settle in, watch a movie, and enjoy yourself. Or, right after smoking, go for a walk through a park—you won't believe how fun it is (so long as you don't run into anyone you know and have to pretend you're not stoned, which is stressful). Absolutely do not ever smoke weed out of an empty Coke can. It tastes like shit and will almost definitely give you a brain tumor.

How to Do Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens—primarily LSD and "magic mushrooms"—can be an integral part of the college experience, but the use of such perception-revolutionizing drugs should not be undertaken lightly. Some people think popping a tab of acid or chomping a cruddy cluster of 'shrooms is not so different than, say, downing a half-dozen shots of tequila. These people are stupid. A good hallucinogenic trip can blast open your brain and soul and cram 14 years of psychotherapy into one jaw-dropping six-hour stretch—is this the kind of thing you want to experience at a kegger? Plan carefully, set aside a day in nature, don't do anything more strenuous than sitting, and you'll learn things you might never have learned otherwise. (Among the classic hallucinogenic epiphanies: Everything that's ever been and ever will be is intricately interconnected, noses are funny, I was wrong about being able to fly and now I'm dead.)

As for salvia, the smokeable, legal-for-the-time-being hallucinogen available for purchase in head shops: Don't let its accessibility fool you. This shit can pack the aforementioned 14 years of psychotherapy into one hardcore, five-minute blast. Use with caution and in the presence of a nonusing chaperone.

How to Do Harder Drugs

Cocaine is not as much fun as it thinks it is, and snorting anything is gross, so if you're looking for a giddy night of love and warm fuzzies, you're better off with a hit of ecstasy. (Fair warning: The day after ecstasy can S-U-C-K—think horrible hangover plus suicidal ideation—so plan for that, eat as many nutrient-rich foods the day after as possible, and don't do it more than twice a year.) Neither heroin nor crystal meth should be done by anyone, ever; the fun can't compete with what it does to your life. As for illicitly obtained prescription painkillers, they're God's greatest gift to the world since Jesus, but don't overdo it. Painkillers are constipators. Remember this phrase: When you cannot poo, no more for you.

Sexual Relations

How to Get a Woman to Sleep with You
(If You Are a Man)

To sleep with a woman, you must do your best to be seen with other women. Your sister, your cousin, your mother—any woman who is not too old and too ugly will do. Just be seen hanging out with them. If you are seen hanging out with guys, you will end up with just that—guys. If you are seen hanging out by yourself, you will end up with just that—yourself. This is not about clothes or looks or money. It's about appearing to be desired by another woman. There is no other or faster way to work it. If you have to, beg your mom to go with you to a club—in the dark, she will look young and you, sir, will look desirable. This is the law of the love jungle.

How to Get a Man to Sleep with You
(If You Are a Woman)

First of all, how high are your standards? Do you exist? A lot of men will sleep with you based solely on that. Unfortunately, many of those men are hobos. If you're trying to bag some landed gentry (or at least a renter), here's what's up: Put on some makeup (not too much). Show some skin (not too much). Find someone who can consistently cut your hair in a flattering way. Before you go out, listen to the dirtiest rap music you can find. Leave the house. Smile a lot. Convince yourself that if you were a man, you would definitely want to have sex with you. Then project that confidence. Don't be annoying. Don't be desperate. Hang out in places where people are drunk. Have fun. Use a condom.

How to Get a Woman to Sleep with You
(If You Are a Woman)

Don't try too hard to prove that you're the kind of girl who sleeps with girls. The costume isn't necessary. Leave the rainbow-themed jewelry, the interlocking female-symbol tattoo, the Indigo Girls T-shirt, the boxers peeking out of your cargo shorts, and the ultrashort hairdo at home. (For those about to protest: There is a difference between being butch and being a clichéd pride-parade billboard.) Instead, use a little charm to let her know what you're thinking. Check her out—but don't leer—from across the room. Take a gamble on a charming introduction, and ease into flirty and smart conversation. Is she laughing and sticking around? You're almost there. Now is the time to get her a drink and sprinkle in a little casual physical contact, the kind that seems innocent, but lingers longer than a friend's touch would. She'll take the hint, and either find an excuse to ditch you and get back to her friends, or wait until the morning after to tell them how amazing you are.

How to Get a Man to Sleep with You
(If You Are a Man)

This is best accomplished through proper grooming, good manners, visible self-confidence (fake it if you have to), and a general lack of doucheyness (no lying, no drugging, no secret videotaping). Good-natured forthrightness will be appreciated by anyone worth getting involved with: "Hello. You are cute. Would you like to go to the movies?"

As for the sex—essentially, you have sex with a man the same way you have sex with a woman: consensually, passionately, and with a condom. As Stranger dean Dan Savage so succinctly put it, heteros need birth control, homos need death control—or at least, in this age of HIV drugs, control over a lifetime of costly, restrictive medications. If you're not comfortable discussing condom use with a prospective sex partner, he shouldn't be a prospective sex partner—stick to making out (fun!), mutual masturbation (funner!), and frottage (funnest!). Abiding by this rule will allow you to indulge in the plethora of sexual dalliances sure to be thrown your way as a hot young college thing, without giving you an expensive, eternal souvenir. If a prospective sex partner tries to talk you out of wearing a condom, wear two condoms—or, better yet, run as fast as possible in the opposite direction. If you're the type of man who has sex with men who frequent cruisey homo websites, include photos of your face or your wang, but never both. (It may seem ridiculous now, but someday you might be drafted into politics—look at Sarah Palin, who frottaged her way through six colleges.) Finally, don't have sex with meth-heads; it only encourages them.

What to Do if You Have Something Rashy and/or Pus Filled Down There

Don't panic. You are not the first person to find bugs on your balls, but ignoring them will not make them go away. You need to visit the STD clinic—right now. And don't have sex again until you do. The saints in scrubs will give you tough love and a little ointment. Here are three of several local resources:

Public Health STD Clinic: Located in the basement of Harborview Medical Center on First Hill, the STD Clinic provides walk-in testing and treatment. Arrive early in the day and bring a book in case there's a long wait. Hours: Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., except Tuesdays, when it opens at 9:30 a.m. Phone: 731-3590. Address: 325 Ninth Avenue. Cost: sliding scale.

HIV/STD Hotline: 205-7873 or 800-678-1595, call Monday though Friday between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for clinic referrals, directions, and answers to your burning questions.

Gay City Health Project: Testing Tuesday thought Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. On Capitol Hill, 511 East Pike Street. Appointments recommended: 860-6969. Cost: free (donations are accepted).

Avoid trips to the clinic in the first place by having an upfront conversation about people's STD status before you sleep with them and sleeping with fewer people. And always use condoms.

A Few More Words About Life

How to Get Along with People Who Are Different from You

It's inevitable: At some point in college you're going to have to hang out with/work on a project with/live in a tiny dorm room with/fuck someone who you just can't relate to. At all. Maybe they're a Republican. Or from Germany or something. Maybe their custom license-plate holder says "I'D RATHER BE AT A JASON MRAZ CONCERT" (true story). What do you do? Well, once you get started, it's surprisingly easy to pretend to like people. Think of it as lying to someone's face disguised as a science experiment. In conversation, helpful phrases include "Ha ha! Cool!" and "Bummer, dude." Better yet, try to find some common ground, like old Professor O'Fauntleroy's crazy mustache or how much you both like Jurassic Park (because of the dinos!). The point is to get this person to think that you are awesome. It is way easier to like people who like you.

How to Avoid Horrible Debt

Don't get a credit card. It really is that simple. Taking on credit-card debt is the single dumbest decision you can make as a college student. Credit-card companies wouldn't exist without gullible college kids who think they're getting free money and end up tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Washington State's usury laws are almost nonexistent, meaning that if you miss even a single payment, you're looking at interest rates of around 30 percent. Even if you think you won't get sucked in, the odds are against you: Credit-card users in the U.S. owed $970 billion, or $3,180 per person. Don't be one of them. Get a checking account—or a prepaid card—instead.

How to Be a Lefty Without Being Annoying

Great, you're a lefty. You chose well. The far worse choice would have been opting conservative just to get noticed in Democrat-drenched Seattle (you'll never get laid that way). Still, it's important that you not walk around your college campus acting as if you've done something profound just by declaring your liberal allegiance. It's possible that saying you're a liberal will feel profound to you because you come from a small conservative town and your parents are Sarah and Todd Palin (right-wing religious-fundamentalist wackadoos). If that's your situation, you get exactly 10 minutes of moderately deserved recognition starting now. But, everyone else? Shut your self-congratulating mouths and stop strutting around as if the end of some great hero's journey occurred when you put that Obama button on your book bag. Politics is for citizens, you are a citizen, citizens of voting age have a duty to have informed political opinions, so if you have an informed political opinion and a party allegiance and you vote, well, all you've accomplished are the most basic tasks of citizenship. Don't expect a medal. If you do something more—work for a campaign, register other people to vote, push a policy issue, community organize (suck it, Sarah!)—then maybe, maybe, you can consider yourself special.

How to Criticize The Stranger at Parties

Who deserves your scorn more than The Stranger? Bunch of elitist fucks. But, when complaining about said fucks, don't waste your time on clichés like, "They're just smug, insular, self-flattering Cap Hill residents who ride fixed-gear bicycles in skinny jeans to the Cha Cha to drink gin and tonics and talk about the New Yorker." Too boring! Plus, it's not even accurate. If you ever met members of the Stranger staff, you'd know they're actually a flock of nerds in cargo shorts drinking carafes of iced tea at Cafe Presse. There's a difference. And "Cap Hill" is the densest neighborhood in the city. People live there. And the New Yorker is good. What are you guys talking about? Plus, there are plenty of legitimate complaints that you could, and should, level at The Stranger's pretentious kingdom. How about, "Too gay!" or "Um, there's only one person of color on your full-time editorial staff!" or that old chestnut, "U GUYZ R FAT." Ha ha. Got 'em. You got 'em good. Fatties.