5 Writers I’d Like to Booze with

There´s No BusinessWednesday is chess night, which sounds very academic and intellectual unless you take into account that I usually get stomped like a NARC at a biker rally. Anyway, the conversation takes a few weird twists when you’re playing chess at a strip club at 2 a.m. on a Wednesday. Thus the birth of this list.

Let’s start with who didn’t make the list. Aldous Huxley was a last-minute cut. Huxley wrote Brave New World, was a visionary and responsible for the name of The Doors. Also, as he was dying he had his wife inject him with LSD as she read to him from the Tibetan Book of the Dead. This is all pretty bad ass. However, I cut him because he would surely say ‘dystopian’ too often and would probably bring the party down in general. Plus, doing LSD at my age probably wouldn’t be good for anyone in this city.

Neither Shakespeare nor Hemingway made it. They may seem like obvious additions to this list, but Hemingway would just want to fight me, and he would probably win. Being able to tap into Shakespeare’s writing mind would be amazing, however, he wears tights. I draw enough negative attention in this town to add a guy who wears tights into my life.

Here’s the list. I am interested in your opinions…sort of.

5. Henry Miller. If you have ever read Tropic of Cancer you know why Miller makes the list. Anybody who can set a story in a vagina for over 20 pages and keep it interesting has got to be bought a drink. Furthermore, he had affairs with playboy playmates, models, actresses and Anaïs Nin. Many of these affairs took place when he was over seventy years old. Every drinking crew needs a guy who can provide women and Miller is that man. The rest of the writers are pretty ugly.

Also, anyone who can sum up his feelings for women as a split between respecting them and seeing them as “fuck dolls on the verge of falling into my soulful pool of lust,” has got to have an interesting story or two to tell.

4. Kurt Vonnegut. This genius is responsible for such timeless creations as Ice-Nine, Billy Pilgrim and Harrison Bergeron. That is already enough to get him an invite to this party, even before considering that he’s a World War II veteran, one of the few people to survive the Dresden firebombing and sold Saabs. I’m sold. He’s in.

3. Charles Bukowski. The Buke is a shoo in. How can you not invite a carousing womanizer who spent the better part of his life writing while hammered on jug wine? Besides, we might want to go to the dog races after some drinks and Bukowski would be the man with the inside track. There is a chance of him starting a fist fight with one of the other guys or accosting the waitress, but that’s a risk we have to take.

2. Larry McMurtry. Five words – Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call. In interviews, McMurtry comes off as a bit of a nerd, and for good reason, McMurtry is a bit of a nerd. He makes an appearance in Tom Wolfe’s memoir The Electric Koolaid Acid Test, when the merry pranksters need a respite from taking acid and eluding green monkey men from the forest. McMurtry takes them in on his farm, feeds them, sobers them up and sends them on their way. He’s the responsible one in this drinking crew that will otherwise surely end up in jail, bleeding, or both. Also, if you’ve got to have a nerd at your party, at least have a nerd who wrote Lonesome Dove and created Buffalo Hump.

1. John Steinbeck. The man wrote Grapes of Wrath, Cannery Row and the sentence “Tell me about the rabbits.” His official emblem is a flying pig named Pigasus (a play on Pegasus) and, knowing he was about to die, drove around the U.S. in an RV with a French Poodle and a fully stocked bar. While visiting his son’s front-line unit in Vietnam, Steinbeck manned a machine gun so the men could get some sleep. I don’t need to tell anyone this, but Steinbeck rocks. He’s at the head of the table.

Who would you go for a drink with?



  1. #1 by HL on March 29, 2012 - 2:30 pm


  2. #2 by Andy on March 29, 2012 - 6:53 pm

    Good call on McMurtry. “It’s a fine world, though rich in hardships at times.”

    I read a book recently written by a D. Galeone. That guy would probably be an entertaining person to share a beer with as well.

  3. #3 by Chris on March 29, 2012 - 10:13 pm

    Great blog… I saw the name of the blog and tried to guess who would be on your list. I got Bukowski, McMurtry and Steinbeck… I also guessed Hemingway and took a stab at Bradbury… Thought you may want to change things up a bit.

  4. #4 by JC on March 30, 2012 - 2:29 am

    I would be afraid of Bukowski.
    5. Jack Kerouac
    4. Tom Wolfe
    3. G. Gordon Liddy
    2. James Michener
    1. Hunter S. Thompson

    • #5 by Damien Galeone on March 30, 2012 - 9:58 am

      JC, I thought about Thompson, but I figured him and Bukowski wouldn’t get along. You’re afraid of Buke, but you invited Liddy? Brave…

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