One of the rules of thumb of my life has always been, if you are still getting plastered after college, you have a major problem. And, you’ll probably amount to nothing whatsoever in life. After all, most people’s ‘growth process’ typically involves bonging beers in college and spending the next day puking in bed. But if you're still doing it after college….loserville. Right?
Well, what do I know? There have been many people throughout history who managed to become very well known despite being complete drunkards. Some of them even managed to become highly successful despite their addiction. Below are some of the most well known booze hounds.
6.) Ulysses S. Grant – 18th President of the United States
Grant was one of the top Union generals during the Civil War, serving with great distinction at the Battles of Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga. Eventually he took command of the Army of the Potomac. He was renowned for his fierce and dogged fighting style. “I cannot spare this man,” Abraham Lincoln was reported to have said. “He fights!”
Fight he did. And when he wasn’t, he drank like the proverbial fish. Grant was reported to have consumed entire bottles of whisky in one evening when duty did not call. Of course, being in the middle of the frontier during the Civil War period meant there wasn’t a great deal to do during your downtime. Also, some think that many men during this period guzzled so much booze because they thought it was healthy and nutritious. Per capita consumption of liquor in 1830 was over six gallons per year.
That excuse might cut it for Grant, but it won’t do for some of the others on our list.
5.) Edgar Allan Poe
Poe drank so much that he could not get into the military after several tries. He was thrown out of West Point for missing drills and parades because he was too hung over. He lost girlfriends because he was a completely terrifying, raging drunk. He managed to write his many famous works, including The Fall of the House of Usher, The Raven, and Murders in the Rue Morgue, between his bouts of getting himself obliterated with whisky and cognac.
The writer was found delirious and drunk outside of a Baltimore tavern in 1849, and he died four days later. He was a mere 40 years old.
Poe’s love for cognac was so well known that, starting in 1949, an unknown visitor has been leaving a bottle cognac and three roses on the anniversary of his birthday at his grave in Baltimore.
4.) John Daly
Daly is most well known for his long drives off the tee, his rather chunky, rumpled non-golfy sort of appearance. He has been known to play rounds of golf with no shirt or shoes. And something else….now what was it? Oh yes! Stories like this: Daly Detained After Passing Out Drunk at Hooters. This story is rather typical of Daly, in that it includes the words “golfer,” ‘Hooters,” and “extremely intoxicated.”
But wait, there’s more! Oh yes, a lot more. Daly is on record as saying that he “would rather get drunk than play golf.” He also was once kicked out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational for missing his pro-am tee time that caused two other players to be eliminated from the tournament too. I suspect alcohol was a factor.
3.) Anna Nicole Smith
Oh, goodness. So much to choose from for the famous rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-deceased gold digger. May she rest in peace. Where to start? The drunken insanity at the 2004 American Music Awards? That was a good one. But I am a particular fan of the time she was sued because of her obscene behavior at a Live 8 charity event in 2005. Smith appeared to be “extremely intoxicated” and half naked. She also grabbed her crotch and puked at one point.
Her drunken escapades date back to at least 1989, when she was convicted of very drunk driving, with a blood alcohol level of .22.
Of course, we should have some sympathy for the dead Smith, who passed away from a drug overdose at the age of 39. The word is that her father raped her younger sister and that her stepfather beat and whipped her regularly. By the time she was 21, she was practically illiterate.
2.) Paula Abdul
Paula has had an interesting career – progressing from an LA Lakers cheerleader to an 80s pop icon, before becoming a judge on “American Idol” in the 2000s. Paula is a particularly interesting drunk, because she is reported to have claimed “she has never been drunk in her life.” Yes, that’s right. All of her very odd behavior on “American Idol”? Her claim? “I am just being goofy.” We don’t know about that, but she swears she has never been drunk.
1.) Lindsay Lohan
I mean, what is a best drunks list without the in-court-every-other-week LiLo? A summer 2011 episode at the Palihouse Hotel in Hollywood has her getting completely plastered, as well as going into full blown paranoia mode, screaming at her date, “Stop flirting with everyone!” Later, she cradled a bottle of Kettle 1 vodka, and murmured to it, “You’ll never leave me.” By 2 in the morning, she could no longer stand up, and had to prop herself up by leaning on chairs. She ended up hanging off the curtains to stay upright.
In August, she was observed at Kim Kardashian’s wedding getting completely ripped. She also said at the shin dig that she planned to blow off her required community service from her latest lock up so she could get drunk with Paris Hilton.
At this point, my major hope for LiLo is she does not kill herself, and eventually is able to land a TV show mom role in 10 years. She’ll probably need to do that to try to make up for all the millions she has thrown away the last five years.
But the way she is behaving, I expect a booze and drug overdose before she hits 30. Hope I’m wrong.
By Joseph Pickett