The AA Debacle

Email this to a friend

Nice Move


There comes a time when every man must set his days of hedonism behind him and focus on the future. That’s what the judge said before banging his dumb little hammer and sending me on my way. I’ll still stand by the defense that, since there was no visible signage, drinking at AAU basketball games isn’t technically illegal. Your boy was just trying to pick up some single moms. Between paying a ludicrous fine of $250 or attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, hanging out with a bunch of fellow good-timers seemed like the right move.

Unfortunately, it soon became apparent that these other drinkers were a bunch of schmucks. All they talked about was how drinking tore apart their families and how hard it was to put down the bottle. Real downer stuff for a weekday. Their “12 Steps” sounded pretty nuts as well, but they had to be done. Like Granddad Karlson always said, “Don’t ever half-ass anything kid, and for Christ’s sake stop farting in the truck.” It was time to go to work.

Step 1: Admit Life Is Unmanageable

Easy. Life had been pretty hectic since my first senior year, so “unmanageable” was a familiar term. Unlike the jabronis at my meetings, I’d already taken care of admitting hopelessness. It’s why I drink.

Step 2: Embrace a Higher Power

Luckily, the basketball incident had occurred around Christmas. Something about the holidays gets one to wondering about their true meaning. As I wandered downtown, searching for some kind of sign amid the commercial excess surrounding me, I saw light. Outside a church, with his arms spread, and a look in his eyes that was equal parts loving and forgiving, was my savior. I rushed over to beg for penance, but all I got in return was “Ho ho ho! How about a quarter for hungry children.” Step 2 was complete.

Step 3: Turn Your Life Over to That Higher Power

Salvation Army Santa didn’t seem too keen at first on the idea of some stranger following him around, but he changed his tune after hearing my story. Unfortunately, that’s where the line was drawn. I was informed that he was unwilling to let me crash at his place. With a little haggling, however, he agreed to give me his home number. It was close enough, so Step 3 was in the bag.

Step 4: Make a Moral Inventory

According to the dictionary, morals are things some people find to be internally right. With hooch no longer in the equation, it was time to really reflect on who I was as a person. That person apparently consisted of fast food, crushing puss, and Game of Thrones. This was easier than Step 1.

Step 5: Admit Your Wrongs

I tried calling my mother, but she blocked my number a few weeks ago after a drunken debate over whether Chevy is funnier than Bill Murray. She really needs to lay off the sauce. I decided to hit up my boy Tom, who you may remember from the article where I peed in my own car. I explained to him that hitting on basketball moms was apparently a bad thing to do. He chided me for not closing like a man. Classic Tom.

Step 6: Release Your Defects of Character

Since that all-encompassing moral inventory hadn’t contained any actual flaws, this was irrelevant. Nice try, AA. I’m fucking awesome.

Step 7: Remove Any Shortcomings

My doctor had previously told me that the technology for an actual enlargement was still fairly dangerous and expensive. A transplant was also out of the question. I decided to use Step 7 as my Bingo “Free Space”.

Step 8: Make a List of People You’ve Harmed

Poring over the composites took roughly an hour and a half, but all the pledges who had been drunkenly demanded to wall sit were accounted for. Mom, the drunk, still refused to answer her phone and the basketball mom had given me a phone number with only nine digits. Women, am I right?

Step 9: Make Amends

The pledge classes were easy. All it took was a little finagling with some folks at the campus TV station and some humility to broadcast a Slick Willy-esque apology for their now impressive quads. Also, since he’s too busy to answer 4 a.m. e-mails, this is as good a place as any to apologize to Jared. Sorry everyone in Wisconsin is hefty and smells like old cheese curds. Friends?

Step 10: Continue to Take Inventory and Admit Wrong

Redundant. Next!

Step 11: Meditate As a Means of Improving Spiritual Focus

Since meditating is for Californians, I decided to seek enlightenment Kenny Powers style. For all you kids out there, just know that hitting a lake on a jet ski in late December is a terrible idea, and that wet suits are your friend. My shortcoming quickly became my incoming.

Step 12: Pass the Message On To Others

Having achieved more in a day and a half than the rest of my class had in weeks, it was pretty clear that AA came more naturally to some than others. It was only right to share the secret of freedom from alcohol’s chains with folks, so I happily gave them the contact information for my spiritual idol. This caused more confusion than results however, and the ensuing tantrums they threw reeked of butt hurt. I guess trying to show others a new way of thinking will get a guy crucified these days.

Still, despite my rousing success at the whole sobriety thing, it seemed something was missing. What’s the point of doing a good job without a little reward after all? That’s why, being a modern man, I decided to tweak the list ever so slightly.

Step 13: Party

Here’s to two days sober. Wait… shit.

Image via Shutterstock

Karl Karlson is TFM's self-proclaimed cartoon expert and your best buddy. He resides in the mountains of NC where he wrestles black bears and attempts to grow a beard. Karl gave up liquor following an unfortunate incident involving tequila and a vacuum cleaner, but he isn't above a nice stout on the porch.

More From Karl Karlson »


You must be logged in to comment. Log in or create an account.

Click to Read Comments (14)