HALLANDALE, FL–Randy Streeter, a 32-year-old sales associate at Guitar Center, has a different anecdote for every brand of alcohol.
"Oh, man, Malibu. That takes me back," said Streeter, browsing the shelves of a liquor store while picking up a bottle of wine for a dinner party. "At Mardi Gras one year, me and my buddy Mo got totally smashed on that stuff at Pat O'Brien's. I woke up on the floor of the hotel room the next day with a fucking 'No Parking' sign on my chest. I must've ripped it down when I was drunk, but, I swear, I had zero recollection of doing it. And Mo had this girl's number written all over his arm, like, 100 times. Stay away from that stuff, man."
Streeter, who said his "hardcore drinking days are mostly behind [him]," remains a fount of wisdom on the inebriating powers, relative merits, and after-effects of such brands as Jameson's Irish whiskey, J&B scotch, and Jose Cuervo Gold tequila.
"Drinking tequila is like playing with fire: It warms you up nice, but if you're not careful, you get burned," Streeter said. "One night back in college, this guy Andy Nardo got so polluted on tequila shots that he thought he was Mr. Fantastic. He kept going on about how he could stretch his arms out like rubber. We had to pile on him to stop him from knocking shit down. Nardo was so sick the next day, he thought he was gonna die. Leave the Cuervo alone if you know what's good for you."
Continuing to browse the liquor store's shelves, Streeter noticed a bottle of Jägermeister, which inevitably reminded him of another tale.
"Oh, man, Jäger," said Streeter, shaking his head. "Graduation week at the University of South Florida is the beer blast of all time, and the guys and I were mixing Jägermeister with vodka for the crazy, mellow drunk it gives you. They say there's opium in it–or there used to be, at least–and deer's blood. But whatever's in it, for some reason, made me act like a lion tamer. All night, I'd walk up to girls with a chair and, like, do this circus act. Of course, I don't remember any of it. I had to be told about it later while nursing the king hell hangover of all time at the graduation ceremony. Just say no to that shit, my friend."
Not all of Streeter's stories function as cautionary tales. Noticing a bottle of Bombay Sapphire behind the store counter, he recalled a wonderful, long-ago experience with the premium gin.
"Back in '91, I was working at this True Value over in Hialeah. On my very last day there, just before quitting time, the guys surprised me with this really expensive bottle of Bombay Sapphire," Streeter said. "We all went in the back of the store and finished off the whole thing. Man, it was like drinking diamonds. We nearly kicked this one guy's ass for trying to mix it with orange juice. It was too good for that. I'd almost say I liked it better than the Oban scotch my girlfriend gave me for my 21st birthday, but I don't know. Bombay is a breed apart, that's for sure."
Streeter went on to note that Bombay Sapphire and other "top-shelf stuff" would never cause a hangover unless the drinker were abusing it.
"Hangovers, now, that's a whole other topic," Streeter said. "There's a bunch of stuff you shouldn't do, like mix booze and beer. Then there are all the different cures, like spicy Mexican food and stuff. Actually, that reminds me of the time my buddy and I accidentally discovered the magic cold-calzone-and-Dr. Pepper cure after spending all night drinking at this topless bar down in Cabo. Oh, man, that's a great story."