If you were around in the 1980’s you probably watched at least of few episodes of “Cheers”. An enjoyable sitcom set in a neighborhood bar in Boston, MA. Among the regulars were 2 ‘bar hounds’; Norm Peterson and Cliff Clavin, played by George Wendt and John Ratzenberger respectively.
Norm was a quick quipping sot who always occupied the corner seat at the end of the bar, and always perched to his right was Clifford R. Clavin. Cliff was a middle-aged, know-it-all mail carrier who lived with his mother for most of the duration of the show. Cliff always had along-winded explanation for everything, including alcohol consumption.
The reason I tell you all this is because Cliff Clavin (and the brilliant writers of “Cheers”) are responsible for one of the all time greatest diatribes about alcohol I’ve ever heard.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you with The Buffalo Theory;
“A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. When the herd is hunted, the slow and weak at the back are killed first. The speed and health of the herd keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members.
In the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as its slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. Naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first.
In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That’s why you always feel smarter after a few beers.”
There is something in the twisted, yet simple logic of the Buffalo Theory which has always made me chuckle.
It also sparked in me a process similar to the Buffalo Theory. I’ve always looked at alcohol intake as akin to gardening; to keep a plant or tree healthy, you must regularly trim away the older, less healthy branches. By occasionally trimming the plant, you make sure that the new growth will get more essential nutrients, thus resulting in a fuller, more vibrant, healthy plant.
As I regularly tell my wife: “I’m not getting drunk, I’m pruning!”
Andy The Beerman