The Ramblings of a Palcoholic

By Jodi Sh. Doff 04/28/14

Recent news on Palcohol—booze in a powdered form—gets those alcoholic wheels turning, no matter how long you've been sober.


In case there were any doubts in my mind as to whether or not, after almost 24 years away from the booze cruise that was my life, I’m still really an alcoholic—well the advent and near legal actuality of Palchol is my defining moment. Everyone says it’s a stupid idea and everyone is probably correct, but stupid ideas were my calling card for 20 years before I got sober, and more years than I’d like to remember after. And this is a stupid idea I cannot stop thinking about.  

It’s a headline making miracle of the highest sort. Jesus turned water into wine? Not such a big a deal anymore. Mark Phillips, the genius behind Palcohol, has gone one better, and figured out how to turn water into vodka. And rum. He’s one-upped Jesus with a powdered and portable Mojito. And that’s saying something.

Despite the fact that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has—for the moment at least—revoked the label license, Palcohol is out there and everyone has an opinion. Doctors. Educators. I’m sure booze manufacturers from Smirnoff to Schlitz have opinions as well. I’m sure the airlines and concert venues are already trying to figure out how to handle this stuff once the paperwork finally goes through. And idiots of every order have commented on articles of every standpoint. It’s good. It’s bad. It’s fun. But has anyone asked a real alcoholic? Has anyone taken the pulse of the You-wouldn’t believe-the-things-I’ve-done-to-get-stoned-community of addicts?

Well, here I am, to fill in those gaps.

Finding new ways to get various kinds of mood-altering substances and liquids into your body is nothing new. A Texas man died after ingesting 1.5 liters of sherry in what frat boys call butt chugging, and the rest of the world knows affectionately as an enema. I’d have been surprised when I read that if I hadn’t remembered being advised in the 80s by a lawyer to shove Tuinals up my ass for the quickest result because the blood vessels are so close to the surface the drugs get into your system lickety-split, no pesky waiting for digestion and metabolizing. He also pointed out that I was wasting my cocaine by snorting it, that the smart money would bend over and let someone blow it up my butt with a straw. I should mention he was a disbarred lawyer, although not for anything having to do with drugs, just the mob. So nothing directly related to drugs. Oh, nevermind. Amazing, considering how little I remember of the 80s at all, that this stuck in my head. This is what is known as an “alcoholic obsession of the mind.”

Real 100% dyed in the wool, down to your bones alcoholics do not waste time screwing around with baby drinks. Or alcoholic vapor.

Someone thought of using a nebulizer to “smoke” booze. Vaporized alcohol was now more than just the bad booze breath of the bum sleeping next to you on the E  train, it was moving on up. The upside was you could consume all you wanted and there were no calories. No worries of that horrible alcoholic bloat and belly. Bypassing the liver and going straight to the bloodstream through the lungs, you didn’t have to worry about hangovers. Which also meant there was no way to monitor how much you were actually consuming, so no one could point a finger and say, “I think you’ve had enough young lady,” but there was also nothing to vomit up when you’d gone passed enough and entered into the realm of too much. So what if you’ve increased your chance of alcohol poisoning—did you not hear me when I said 'no calories'? Fancy pants people bought Vaportinis and kids used bicycle pumps and like any good drunk eventually will, vaporized booze fell flat on its face. It was a novelty for people who simply couldn’t live up to their alcoholic potential and drink straight from the bottle.

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Jodi Sh. Doff is a self-described scribbler, shutterbug, and succulent cactus. She writes about booze, sex, crime, and righteous feminist indignation. She is also an editor, script doctor and a ghostwriter for non-native english speakers. You can find Jodi on Linkedin or follow her on Twitter.