• Bill Chastain

TOYS AND GAMES: “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” and Other Alcohol Tales

The “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” takes place in Jacksonville this weekend when Florida plays Georgia at the Gator Bowl (Note: I know the place is now called something else, but it’s still the Gator Bowl to me). Former Georgia cornerback Johnny Henderson’s quote about the yearly fiasco remains my favorite:

“The best memory I have about [the game] is coming out of the tunnel onto the field. You could actually smell bourbon in the air. It was incredible.”Martini_glass_icon.svg

Speaking of alcohol, Dad used to tell me about the father who knew his son was drinking too much. Hoping to curtail the problem, he drove his son past a bustling brewery during the graveyard shift.

Father: “So you see, Son, you can’t drink it all.”

Son: “Yeah, but I’ve got them working at night.”

Alcides Escobar of the Royals started the World Series with an inside-the-park home run on Matt Harvey’s first pitch Tuesday night. It was the first inside-the-park home run in the World Series since Mule Haas did it for the A’s against the Cubs in 1929. That resonated with me since I detailed that World Series in Hack’s 191. Based on the direction this blog has turned, here’s a story mined from my book about the hard-drinking Hack Wilson.

During Wilson’s first season with the Cubs in 1926, Joe McCarthy called his team together for a demonstration in an attempt to curb Wilson’s drinking. The Cubs manager proceeded to drop a worm into water and they observed the worm happily wiggling around. He then dropped the worm into a glass of whiskey and the worm died.

“What did you learn from that?” McCarthy said.


“I guess it means that if I keep on drinking liquor, I ain’t gonna have no worms,” Wilson replied.

The star outfielder wasn’t about to give up the bottle, but he did have his own code of ethics where his drinking was concerned. “I’ve never played a game drunk,” Wilson said. “Hungover, yes. But drunk, no.”

A friend of mine arrived home from a night of drinking. Stumbling through the front door he was met by his wife who unloaded.

“What’s the big idea coming home half drunk?” she said.

To which my friend replied: “I’m sorry honey. I ran out of money.”

Finally, a former boss of Patti’s had been well served and decided to make a run at his wife once he got home. So he grabbed a handful of Tylenol and woke her. After waking her he opened his hand. She saw the Tylenol in his palm and said, “I don’t have a headache.” Patti’s boss then replied, “Gotcha.”



©2020 by Bill Chastain. Photo credits: Jill Doty Photography