Oh, come on, guys. Did you actually think I was serious when I said all that stuff? God, that is so funny. I was totally kidding when I said I was an alcoholic. You didn't honestly believe all that stuff I said last night about "feeling like my life was whizzing out of control," did you? It was a joke. Haven't you ever heard of "humor" before?

Yes, I realize I said, "Please help me. I need help. Don't let me drink ever again." But you didn't actually fall for that, did you? I was drunk. I say all sorts of crazy things when I've had a few too many. Remember when I said, "Guys, we should drive up to my hometown and hang out sometime"? I didn't mean that, either. Or when I said, "We should all chip in and buy Dan a guitar for his birthday"? I sure didn't want to do that when I woke up this morning. And all that stuff about, "I need to enter some sort of program to get cleaned up"? Yeah, right.

I know, I know. You think it was a cry for help. I think I remember saying something about being at the end of my rope. I might've even said I have no one else to turn to—that you are my best friends and that I can't go to my family with something like this.

Okay, the truth is, I do need you guys... to party with me. Man, we were so hammered last night. God, that was fun. What time did we start? It was right after work, right? We went to McMurphy's Pub for a few and then to that Cuban restaurant and had that rum with dinner, and then a couple in the car on the way back to McMurphy's. What did I have, like, eight or nine drinks? More? Damn.

Then, as I recall, we were over at Don's place, and it was at Don's that I said, "I can't do this anymore, I just can't. I've got to stop, I'm ruining my life." And you guys actually took me seriously? Talk about gullible. The whole time, I was thinking, "Oooh, I'm getting these guys so good!"

You know what a prankster I can be. You know how I sometimes fall off my chair, just to be funny, as if I'm drunk enough to fall out of my chair. And, Matt, remember that time I hit on your wife at your wedding reception? I told her that any time she gets sick of being a married woman, she could come on over to my place for a little fun on the side and no one would have to know. I knew she'd go straight to you, furious. It was all a big joke for your benefit.

Are you still trying to talk to me about this? Can we please change the subject already? Huh? What's that? A piece of paper with my signature that says, "I will not drink for the next month"? Yeah, like I need a signed piece of paper to stop drinking. What I need is a signed piece of paper to stop joking around all the time.

I said I get the shakes if I don't have a drink in the morning? I really said that? And, let me guess, you fell for that one, too, hook, line, and sinker. Of course you did.

Hey, did I tell you I got a call from that AA person this morning? That was so hilarious last night, how we got on the phone and called the national hotline, and they gave us the name of someone from the local group, and we called him up at four in the morning. Man, I love phony phone calls.

True, I did cry. And, yes, I did go into the bathroom to talk to him, and I was in there for more than an hour, and I was sobbing. But I was crying because this guy was so unbelievably pitiful, falling for the old "I need help" routine.

What? I said I'd go to the AA meeting Tuesday? Yes, Sam, I probably did ask you to please drive me there out of fear that I wouldn't have the courage to go by myself. But what you obviously didn't see is that I was totally yanking your chain.

I don't get it. You're still not laughing. Dude, lighten up.

You know what? I think maybe I need to find some friends who understand my sense of humor. It's been great knowing you guys all these years, but I'm beginning to see that you're just a little too uptight for my taste.