In a dark jazz club in Belltown, a drunken Oscars is going down. Our hosts are giving out awards among friends and fellow drunks in categories such as "Nicest Drunk," "Best Drunken Quote," and, of course, "Drunk of the Year." Organizers have named a lifetime achievement award for a friend who passed away. It's a surprisingly organized event, with a printed program, two acts and an intermission, sponsors, and prizes. Nominees' pictures are projected on a screen onstage, and when the winner is announced, the crowd always goes wild. A clown is hosting the ceremony.

After intermission, a band plays screaming noise. The guy yelling into the mic is reading his lyrics off of crumpled-up paper and has a tape recorder duct-taped to his torso. Someone in the audience opens up a briefcase full of "drugs" and throws them onto the stage—pills (Benadryl?), white powder from a saltshaker, a rubber glove. The lifetime achievement award winner is introduced: "If he hasn't bought you a shot this week, then you ain't shit in Belltown." The ceremony careens toward a finale. The organizer ends it with an impressive impromptu rap.

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Outside on the sidewalk, it's all cigarettes and stumbling. The award-winning drunkenness has begun. The King of Belltown whips out his balls to rub them on the Drunk of the Year. He thinks she stole his rightful title. He gets distracted when someone else offers his balls for the King's autograph. New rule of thumb: When the balls come out, it's time to go home. So we do. recommended

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