Stuffed uncomfortably into the seat next to him is a six foot tall, golden eagle. Upon its head sits a crown, which manages to stay in place even as the bird's massive head spins with lightening speed from left to right as it examines the room. It does not appear to know where it is or why it's there, nor does it seem to care.
Before we get going why don't the two of you introduce yourselves and tell me a little about why you chose to sign up for my class. Who wants to go first? How about you, with all the arms.
VISHNU: Hello Mr. Alastair Franco, I am the formless metaphysical concept known as Vishnu. I am the preserver and guardian of men, and when necessary, I appear on earth to fight demons and fierce creatures which helps maintain cosmic harmony. I also like ping-pong and watching videos of attractive females shooting guns.
ALASTAIR: Oh, how wonderful. And what brings you to my class?
VISHNU: Although I am the God of the world, it brings me great displeasure, and much embarrassment, to admit that I have never partaken in the act of alcohol consumption. I have watched the people of earth enjoy the intoxicating pleasure of fermented fruits for many millennium now, yet I myself have never experienced this pleasure. It simply will not do, for a being of my stature to be ignorant in any area, especially one that involves little umbrellas and bendy straws.
ALASTAIR: That sounds just wonderful. Thank you for sharing, and welcome to the class Mr. Vacuum.
VISHNU: No, no, no, It is Vishnu, not vacuum.
ALASTAIR: Oh, I beg your pardon, Vishnu. That's an interesting name, is it Portuguese?
ALASTER: Hindu? Are you sure? Because that sounds a lot like Portuguese to me.
VISHNU: Of course I'm sure.
ALASTAIR: Really? Well, you should look into that because it sounds Portuguese.
VISHNU: I will not.
ALASTAIR: Okay, lets move on then. How about your feathered friend? Why don't you tell me a little about yourself, Mr. Eagle.
GARUDA: Kikikiki-ki-ki-kuk...kuk...kuk...kuh ...
ALASTAIR: I'm sorry, you must be speaking too quickly. I didn't understand a word of that.
VISHNU: His name is Garuda. He is the bringer of heavenly nectar, the sworn enemy of the serpent, and how I get around when I run out of bus tickets.
ALASTAIR: Well, isn't that wonderful. You mean you actually ride him?
VISHNU: It wreaks havoc on my hair, but yes, yes I do.
ALASTAIR: Amazing, simply amazing. So now that we know each other a little, why don't we get started. I'd like to begin with a short introduction to this class before moving on to the actual lesson itself.
So, this course was designed as a place for people to come and learn about how to drink liquor. Drinking may seem like an intuitive process on its surface, but when it come to alcohol there are a great many tricks and tips that can be utilized to help prevent common drinking blunders, such as hangovers, vomiting, bar fights, sleeping with your cousin, and all the other negatives that frequently occur.
I have found that most young people who begin to drink do so without the basic knowledge of how to avoid the common pitfalls. They see Mom and Dad in the backyard with friends, having a few beers or consuming shots of whisky out of each others bellybuttons, and think to themselves, "Hell, I can do that," without realizing how many years of practice it took their parents to get to that point. They then go out and drink a full bottle of vermouth with a chocolate milk chaser, and spend the rest of the night vomiting into grandmas favorite umbrella stand.
This is where I come in. I am here to teach first time drinkers what their Mom and Dad were too drunk to. I will show you how to moderate your consumption, which brands are good and which to avoid, and many other important aspects of drinking. So what do you think? Should we get started?
VISHNU: Oh, yes please. This is all so exciting.
ALASTAIR: Okay, great. So first off I'm going to pour each of you a glass of scotch and I'd like you to breath in the fumes to get a sense of what the taste will be like. Don't drink it yet, just concentrate on the smell.
(Vishnu takes the glass passed to him with one of his many hands and begins to inhale its aroma. Before Alastair can finish pouring Garuda's drink, the great bird snatches the bottle from his hands with its beak, and turns it upside down over its throat, drinking all of the contents in one massive gulp. The bird then flings the empty bottle across the room where it shatters against the wall.)
ALASTAIR: Oh my word, no! That is exactly what we want to avoid when drinking for the first time. You just consumed a full liter of very strong alcohol without even taking a breath.
VISHNU: Bad Garuda! You listen to the instructors directions, or I will send you to live in one of Mike Tyson's pigeon coops. Do you understand?
VISHNU: Good. Please continue sir.
ALASTAIR: Um, I'm actually a little worried here. That was a great deal of booze to ingest so quickly, especially for a beginner. He may need this.
(Alastair walks toward Garuda with an empty trash can and places it on the floor near the birds talons. From the corner of his eye he spots Vishnu holding a full bottle of whisky in one of his many hands. While Alastair watches, Vishnu effortlessly pours the contents down his throat with the same quickness and disregard for safety as Garuda.)
ALASTER: Wait! Stop! What are you doing?
VISHNU: I am Vishnu, creator of worlds, master of all, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let a bird out drink me.
ALASTAIR: Um...okay....um, I'm not sure what that means, but...um, drinking that much is very dangerous. People die from over consuming alcohol every day. You need to be careful about how much you drink, especially when it comes to hard liquor.
VISHNU: And you need to be carful I don't kick your scrawny ass across the room. (Vishnu seems stunned by the words that just left his mouth) Oh, my god! I don't know why I just said that. It was very inappropriate, but it was almost as if I could not help myself. I am very sorry for my rudeness.
ALASTAIR: Okay, okay, no, no, this is good, its a teachable moment, no need to be sorry. There are some people who, after consuming too much alcohol, become belligerent and even aggressive. It is very common and one of the main reasons understanding the effects of alcohol is so important. You just drank a great deal of liquor in an incredibly short period of time and your system is trying to deal with it. In the future you should only consume much smaller portions, maybe one or two ounces at a time.
VISHNU: Do these negative effects also apply to birds?
ALASTAIR: Um, I guess they would. Why?
VISHNU: Because Garuda is finishing another bottle.
(Alastair turns his head in time to see Garuda drop two empty bottles of rum from his giant beak. The bird squawks loudly then hops up on the table and starts kicking over bottles. It moves too close to the edge and slips off, landing on its back. There is another squawk, this time with much less enthusiasm. Garuda lays motionless, whistling Lynyrd Skynyrd's Free Bird, quietly to himself.)
ALASTAIR: Oh, my god! Are you okay? (the bird ignores this question.)
VISHNU: Not to worry, Garuda is a powerful force that can not be bested by a mere liquid. You should try and relax. Lets have a drink.
(with that, Vishnu gulps back a full bottle of bourbon, then chases it down with a bottle of rye, while Alastair stares in disbelief.)
ALASTAIR: What are you doing? I just explained how dangerous that is.
VISHNU: And I just explained how I would not be out done by a foul fowl. Now, fuck off. Sorry.
ALSATAIR: This class is not going the way I anticipated.
VISHNU: Who said that?
ALASTAIR: What do you mean? I did.
VISHNU: Oh no, I can't see you. I think I've gone blind. Somebody call 911.
ALASTAIR: Your not blind, your eyes are closed.
VISHNU: No. God no, I'm blind! Why did I spend all that money on a tattoo I'll never see? Oh, the humanity, why, why, why?
ALASTAIR: Just open your eyes.
VISHNU: Okay, I'll try....oh, wow, I guess you were right. I see you. Boy you're ugly.
ALASTAIR: Alright, that's it, this class is over.
VISHNU: I would very much like to punch you in the teeth right now, but my arms don't seem to be following instructions. Would you mind punching yourself in the face for me?
ALASTAIR: You need to just get on your bird and go home so you can sleep this off. Maybe we can try again next week.
VISHNU: He says he thinks your ugly too.
ALASTAIR: Christ, I need a drink.