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First off, a properly executed intervention places you at a huge disadvantage. You are caught off guard, heavily outnumbered and most likely badly hungover. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t escape with your dignity and desire to drink intact. As a matter of fact, with proper preparation and foresight, you can not only duck the bullets, but turn back the attack and send the opposition running for cover. Here’s what to expect and, more importantly, how to win.
Not such an easy thing to do. An intervention is a sneak attack, a very personal Pearl Harbor. You think your life is careening happily along like a brilliantly out-of-control speed boat and suddenly Japanese zeros (piloted by your friends, no less) are shrieking out of the sky to drop thousand-pound guilt bombs on your happy little ship.
If they are following the standard intervention template, right off the bat they will insist you admit you are an alcoholic. This is not the time to get defensive and start telling fancy lies. Once you start denying what you and they both know to be true, you’ve already lost the moral high ground. They are laying siege to the fortress that is your lifestyle and lies make for lousy sandbags.
Most anti-alcohol organizations still define alcoholism as having two drinks a day which, ironically, is the minimum number even the FDA confesses will cut your risk of heart disease by 30% and extend your life by 3 to 10 years. After you mention these facts, say this: “Truly, what is your interest in sending me to an early grave?
If they try swinging the Bible onto their side, remind them that Jesus turned water into wine, not the other way around. The Bible attests that Noah himself liked to get hammered, and where would we all be if that good drunk captain didn’t gather the beasts and float the big boat? And be sure to memorize this biblical zinger: “Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more (Proverbs 31:06-07).
At some point they are likely to roll out a verbal highlight reel of some of your, shall we say, less than gentlemanly antics while under the influence. Whatever you do, resist the urge to insist: “You can’t blame me for that! I was blacked out at the time!” Instead, mold the hideous clay of your bad behavior into cute little bunny rabbits
“Frank, I watched you drink a whole bottle of cheap vodka!”
“It was all I could afford. Surely you don’t want me blowing my paycheck on some imported brand.”
“You started a fight with the bouncer when he tried to throw you out!”
“He was insulting your manhood. You might not think your manhood is worth defending, but I do.”
Now that you’ve blunted their savage assault, it’s high time to launch your own vengeful attack. The only people bold enough to conduct an intervention are those who consider themselves very close to you, so you most likely will know more than a little about their habits. And everyone, even Mother Theresa, has bad habits. Attack these flaws with a strident, yet deeply concerned tone.
On the defensive now, they will mostly likely lamely mutter that the intervention was about helping you, not them, at which point you should turn the screw one last time with: “Why chew on the tail when we can eat the whole hog! Why can’t we all improve ourselves? Let’s fix all our problems right now! We can do it!?
And that will be the end of it. The last thing this type of person wants to do is look into the unforgiving mirror of their own shortcomings. The intervention will deflate into a dejected co-support group. At which point you should invite them all out for drinks.