Last Call! An Anthology of Drinking Quotes

* “Beer is not a good cocktail-party drink, especially in a home where you don’t know where the bathroom is.” — Billy Carter

* “Something has been said for sobriety but very little.” — John Berryman

* “Man, being reasonable, must get drunk; The best of life is but intoxication: . . . ” — Lord Byron

* “Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?” — William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

* “One can drink too much, but one never drinks enough.” — Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

* “Frankly, I was horrified by life, at what a man had to do simply in order to eat, sleep, and keep himself clothed. So I stayed in bed and drank. When you drank the world was still out there, but for the moment it didn’t have you by the throat.” — Charles Bukowski

* “Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough.” — Mark Twain

* “Those that merely talk and never think,
That live in the wild anarchy of drink.”
— Ben Jonson

* “An alcoholic is someone you don’t like who drinks as much as you do.” — Dylan Thomas

* “The first drink with water, the second without water, the third like water.” — Spanish maxim

* “We, the undersigned, recognizing the evils of drunkenness and resolved to check its alarming increase, with consequent poverty, misery and crime among our people, hereby solemnly pledge ourselves that we will not get drunk more than four times a year, viz., Fourth of July, Muster Day, Christmas Day, and Sheep-Sheering.” – Massachusetts temperance societies, 1820, quoted in The Great Quotations, George Seldes, 1983

* ” . . . drunks like to talk. We talked. We drank. We drank again.” — Blaise Cendrars, on meeting Ernest Hemingway

* “You’re not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.” — Dean Martin

* “For art to exist, for any sort of aesthetic activity or perception to exist, a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication.” _ Friedrich Nietzsche

* “The worse thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober.” — William Butler Yeats

* “Good God, if our civilization were to sober up for a couple of days it’d die of remorse on the third . . . ” — Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano

* “First there was a young guy sitting in front of television in a T-shirt drinking beer with his mother, then there was an older fatter person sitting in front of television in a T-shirt drinking beer with his mother.” — William S. Burroughs on Jack Kerouac

* “What I’m trying to say is, I’m not a drinker – I’m a drunk.” — The Lost Weekend

* “My uncle was the town drunk—and we lived in Chicago.” — George Gobel

* “All failures—neurotics, psychotics, criminals, drunkards, problem children, suicides, perverts, and prostitutes—are failures because they are lacking in social interest.” — Alfred Adler, What Life Should Mean to You, 1931

* “Drink, and be mad, then; ’tis your country bids!
Gloriously drunk, obey th’ important call!” — William Cowper, The Task

* “Beware of the man who does not drink.” — Proverb

* “After a month’s sobriety my faculties became unbearably acute and I found myself unhealthily clairvoyant, having insights into places I’d as soon not journey to. Unlike some men, I had never drunk for boldness or charm or wit; I had used alcohol for precisely what it was, a depressant to check the mental exhilaration produced by extended sobriety.” — Frederick Exley, A Fan’s Notes

* “24 hours a day, 24 beers in a case . . . coincidence, I think not.” — Chubba

* “She left and I got drunk for three days and three nights. When I sobered up I knew my job was gone.” — Bukowski, Factotum

* “Drunkenness is the ruin of reason. It is premature old age. It is temporary death.” — St. Basil

* “They talk of my drinking but never my thirst.” — Scottish proverb

* “I believe, if we take habitual drunkards as a class, their heads and their hearts will bear an advantageous comparison with those of any other class. There seems ever to have been a proneness in the brilliant and warm-blooded to fall into this vice.” — Abraham Lincoln, 1842

* “It provokes the desire but it take away the performance.” — Shakespeare, Macbeth

* “If [alcohol] sloweth age, it strengtheneth youth, it helpeth digestion, it abandoneth melancholie, it relisheth the heart, it lighteneth the mind, it quickeneth the spirits, it keepeth and preserveth the head from whirling, the eyes from dazzling, the tongue from lisping, the mouth from snaffling, the teeth from chattering, and the throat from rattling; it keepeth the stomach from wambling, the heart from swelling, the hands from shivering, the sinews from shrinking, the veins from crumbling, the bones from aching, and the marrow from soaking.” — Anonymous, 13th century, quoted in The Great Quotations, George Seldes, 1983

* “Now is the time for drinking, now the time
to beat the earth with unfettered foot.”
— Horace

* “There is nothing for a case of nerves like a case of beer.” — Joan Goldstein

* “My grandmother is over eighty and still doesn’t need glasses. Drinks right out of the bottle.” — Henny Youngman

* “A productive drunk is the bane of moralists.” — Unknown

* “I was carrying a beautiful alcoholic conflagration around with me. The thing fed on its own heat and flamed the fiercer. There was no time, in all my waking time, that I didn’t want a drink. I began to anticipate the completion of my daily thousand words by taking a drink when only five hundred words were written. It was not long until I prefaced the beginning of the thousand words with a drink.” — Jack London

* “It’s better to have beer in hand than gas in tank.” — Anonymous

* “Drinking is a way of ending the day.” — Ernest Hemingway

* “When men drink, then they are rich and successful and win lawsuits and are happy and help their friends.
Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever.” — Aristophanes, Knights

* “Bourbon.” — Tallulah Bankhead’s last words

* “God looks after fools, drunkards and the United States.” — Anonymous

* “Con pan y vino se anda el camino.” [With bread and wine you can walk your road.] — Spanish proverb

* “Draft beer, not people!” — Sixties peace slogan

* “When I realized that what I had turned out to be was a lousy, two-bit pool hustler and drunk, I wasn’t depressed at all. I was glad to have a profession.” — Danny McGoorty

* “I drink to make other people interesting.” — George Jean Nathan

* “Drunkenness is temporary suicide; the happiness that it brings is merely negative, a momentary cessation of unhappiness.” — Lord Russell

* “Somebody left the cork out of my lunch.” — W.C. Fields

* “Why don’t we get drunk and screw?” — Jimmy Buffett

* “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink when they wake up in the morning. That’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.” — Frank Sinatra

* “Almost to a man these dead geniuses spoke of themselves as heavy drinkers, as did I. Masterful, self-controlled, heavy drinkers. Not drunks, my God, no. At worst, and to make one’s self-image truly and formally clear, the term might be ‘functional alcoholic.’ But even that terrible label has a soulful thrust to it, as if this drunk is completely in focus! If I can still think—just think—then I’m half-way sober and can catch those fleeting ingenuities that otherwise get by me . . . I too am an alcoholic and once sat with my number one, el supremo smile before my typewriter, toppling in place over my copy, a farsighted blur pasted to my eyeballs. I patiently uncurled the English tongue to make it speak plain but it kept tying itself into gorgeous knots I couldn’t make sense of. And if the knot had a hard glow, like sunlight on snow, then I didn’t care about sense. This light overrode sense, or the need for it. Light is all. This, I’d assure myself with a thankful glance toward heaven, this is the best prose I’ve ever written.” — Donald Newlove, Those Drinking Days: Myself and Other Writers

* “I’d rather have a free bottle in front of me than a prefrontal lobotomy.” — Tom Waits

* “I’m tired, I’ve been drinking since nine o’clock, my wife is vomiting, there’s been a lot of screaming going on around here!”
—Nick, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, 1966

* “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”
—Dean Wormer, Animal House, 1978

* “Beer’s like . . . fuckin’ great, ya know?”
—O.T., Spring Break, 1983

* “Didn’t you ever get really shitfaced and maybe make a complete fool of yourself and still have an excellent time?”
—Gib, The Sure Thing, 1985

# Raymond: “Do you want me to pour it, Frank?”
Frank: “No, I want you to fuck it. Shit, yes, pour the fuckin’ beer.”
—Blue Velvet, 1986

* “It takes a special talent to be a drunk. It takes endurance. Endurance is more important than truth.”
—Henry, Barfly, 1987

* “I come from six generations of seamen all with the same goal in life: catch fish, sell ‘em, get drunk and get laid.”
—Capt. Greybar, Cabin Boy, 1994

“We’re gonna spend half the night driving around the Hills looking for this party and then leaving cause it sucks, then we’re gonna look for this other party you heard about. But, Trent, all the parties and bars, they all suck. I spend half the night trying to talk to some girl whose eyes are darting around to see if there’s someone else she should be talking to . . . Half of them are nasty skanks who wouldn’t be shit if they weren’t surrounded by a bunch of drunken horny assholes. I’m not gonna be one of those assholes. It’s fucking depressing. Some skank who isn’t half the woman my girlfriend is is gonna front me? It makes me want to puke.” —Swingers, 1996

* “Here’s 50 bucks, take this in case I get drunk and call you a bitch later.”
—Ricky, Made, 2001

* “I’m going to go on an overnight drunk, and in 10 days I’m going to set out to find the shark that ate my friend and destroy it.”
—Steve Zissou, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, 2004


2 Responses to “Last Call! An Anthology of Drinking Quotes”

  1. Famous Inventors Says:

    Famous Inventors

    Famous Inventors

  2. D. Peace Says:

    Nice quotes. Especially the Tom Waits one.

    Here’s another:

    “Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends.”
    -Tom Waits

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