That’s according to a new survey published in the March issue of Men’s Health, which named Riverside the fourth Drunkest City in America. Data was based on death rates from liver disease, alcohol-related car crashes, binge drinking and DUI arrests. But it just as easily could have been based on beer guts, bar fights, drunk dialing and regrettable hookups.
The three cities topping Riverside for nation’s drunkest: Billings, MT, (Third place), Reno, NV, (Second place) and in first place, drum roll please or at least a keg stand, Fresno!
Ah, Fresno, or as I like to call it “the Riverside of the North.” It truly should be our sister city, London to our Perris, er, Paris, because we have so much in common with Fresno. We’re hot. Our houses are dirt-cheap. And we’re both glad that, hey, at least we’re not Fontana.
I’m kidding, Fontana, c’mon! Put your sleeveless Def Leppard shirt back on and have another Coors Light!
But fourth Drunkest City is still quite an accomplishment for Riverside and it’s a deserving ranking. Need proof? (Because I know how much you drinkers like anything with proof in it.) Just last week Riverside’s Police Chief Russ Leach resigned under suspicious circumstances after he crashed his city-issued Chrysler 300 into a hydrant, then a street light, at 3 a.m. after Super Bowl Sunday. Leach then continued to drive for roughly three miles despite a hanging fender and sparking rims before he was pulled over — then not given a Breathalyzer test. Leach claims he had a reaction to prescription medicine and I know I have the same kind of allergy whenever I drink a Big Gulp of bourbon.
Who knows where Leach was headed with two blown tires at 3 a.m. but there are 20 BevMo! stores within a 50-mile radius of downtown Riverside. That means wherever you are in the Inland Empire, you’re driving distance away from dunking your head inside a birdbath-sized barrel of Jägermeister.
BevMo! is like a Costco for alcoholics, with fewer 30-packs of tube socks and more gin. You know you’ve truly acquired a drinking problem when the liquor bottle you’re putting in your BevMo! shopping cart has a handle usually designed for toolboxes and comes attached to a bonus travel-sized version of the same bottle (for busy drunks on the go). The super-sized vats of tequila and vodka sold at BevMo! look like something the New Orleans Saints should dump over their coach after winning the Super Bowl.
If BevMo! truly wanted to cater to its alcoholic clientele, it would branch out and start selling other things that alcoholics need but can never seem to find during their big nights out because, you know, they’re too drunk and all: condoms, a left shoe, a Carl’s Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger, not to mention an apology card for those times when “I’m sorry” just doesn’t seem to make up for misplacing your house keys and—while improvising, as all drunks do because it seems like a brilliant idea at the time—falling asleep inside your neighbor’s daughters’ tree house. Nude. With a “friend.”
Even BevMo!’s name sounds like something unintelligible a drunk would eventually start shouting at a bartender: “BevMo! BevMo! Hey yer kinda cute . . . BoobsMo!”
Now some critics may not consider being crowned fourth Drunkest City in America something to be proud of, and to those party poopers I say, “Loosen up! Have a beer!”
This is hardly scientific research we’re dealing with. Of course I don’t condone drinking and driving, or, in most cases, drinking and flirting, or even drinking and talking.
But it’s just another stupid survey from Men’s Health and the same issue also contains an article titled “7 Ways to Save the Planet With Your Biceps,” which is 7 things I won’t be doing unless all of them are “Punch Men’s Health writer in the face for making me feel bad about not going to the gym which apparently is melting the polar ice caps.”
And even if we can’t save the giant pandas with dumbbell curls, at least Riverside will always have fourth place. And, more importantly, it’s not Fontana. Hey Fontana? Fontana! Has anyone seen Fontana?! Somebody check the neighbor’s tree house!
Contact Jeff Girod at email@example.com.