Getting Drunk Off a Humidifier Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be
Recently, I was watching a Simpsons marathon when I came across the season 22 episode “Homer the Father.” In the episode, Homer fills a humidifier with vodka and falls asleep in a cloud of alcoholic vapor, while Bart steals nuclear secrets for the Chinese. “Hey,” I said to myself, “That seems pretty nice. Could it actually work?” (The humidifier part, not the stealing nuclear weapons part.)
Last year, a couple of my friends at VICE tried to smoke alcohol, with funny, albeit overly complicated and unsatisfying results. My theory was that a humidifier would do all the necessary grunt work instead of making a couple of comedians with a bicycle pump soberly exhaust themselves. It wouldn’t be as funny, but I might be able to chillax and kick back, while bathed in soft, wet vodka fog. So I turned to the internet, a.k.a. the most comprehensive collection of quality drug advice. I found that I was certainly not the first to ask the question, “Can you get drunk by putting alcohol in a humidifier?” In fact, a decade ago, the first “alcohol vaporizing/nebulizing” machines were introduced into the United States by way of English inventor Dominic Simler and his Alcohol WithOut Liquid machine (AWOL). Ostensibly, it worked by running oxygen bubbles through alcohol to create an alcoholic mist to be imbibed, although one enraged YouTube user said he’d been scammed, claiming the device was just a repackaged nebulizer for pulmonary disease.
In a promotional video for the device found on the official AWOL website, one of the users/actors states: “In ten years’ time, I can see everybody doing this.” Unfortunately for Dominic and his alcho-vapor, the machine was banned in 17 states within two years, although imitation products still pop up occasionally. Today, the inventor works in “broking dax options,” whatever the fuck that is, and has been at it since 2007, so I assume that the whole “inhaling alcohol” venture didn’t pan out. Maybe because he was charging between $299 and $2,500 for the devices. I mean, look at how ridiculous that machine is. Until he turned it on, I honestly thought it was the boombox playing that weird early-2000s club-jamz soundtrack going on in the background.
In part one of Fresh Off the Boat - Moscow, Eddie takes his first shot of Russian vodka, chows down on some “communist dogs” with one of the few black Muscovites, and discusses the country’s diverse generation of millennials and their evolving ideologies.
Watch Fresh Off the Boat – Moscow, Part 1
In the next episode of Fresh Off the Boat, Eddie goes to Moscow and falls in love with Russian kabobs, learns the difference between American and Russian vodka, and explores the underlying racial tensions that modern Russian youth are fighting to overcome.
Part one will air Monday, November 25.
Watch the trailer
Is ‘Vodka Sam’ a Role Model for American Women?
On August 31st, during a University of Iowa–Northern Illinois football game, 22-year-old Samantha Goudie was arrested at Kinnick Stadium for public intox. At the police station, it was recorded that she blew a .341 BAC, a level so high that it’s the equivalent of being in a medically induced coma. Experts (and concerned citizens) concurred that she was lucky just to be alive. Elsewhere, inspired in part by Goudie’s hilarious livetweeting of her arrest, her behavior was all but celebrated—after all, here was a chick who out drank all the frat boys at the big game.
A confession: I attended a major football college, and Goudie’s “epic” party behavior isn’t all that surprising, even if her BAC is. Another confession: When Goudie’s story surfaced, I was sort of proud of her. I mean, certainly proud enough to comment on a friend’s post that she was “a role model for American women everywhere.” In hindsight, I may have been drunk when I wrote that (just kidding—I don’t drink anymore.)
The sad thing is, it’s kind of obvious, especially to those of us who have survived football school, that Goudie is basically a bourgeoning alcoholic. Sure, her tweets were nothing short of Apatow-movie glory—“Girl waiting for court with me goes ‘I wish I knew the girl who blew a .341’ I said hi” [sic]—but then her Vine clips surfaced on a college-party–themed website called Barstool U and they reveal a beautiful, elaborately eyelashed young woman pounding shots, hanging out on her futon alone with her dog and cradling a handle of Hawkeye vodka, and, in one clip, looking kind of frozen in terror. At least for me, all of my creepy, latent hero-worship for “Vodka Sam” was sucked out in an instant, eclipsed by the dense shadow that inevitably falls late at night over a day of drinking that began at 2:30 kickoff. I remember it all too well.
Fresh Off the Boat – Mongolia, Part 1
In this episode of Fresh Off the Boat, Eddie heads to Mongolia to take part in the Naadam festival, which celebrates the “three manly sports”—archery, horse racing, and Mongolian wrestling. Then he discusses the effects of Mongolia’s recent shift to democracy with some camel herders over a cup of home-brewed camel vodka.
Originally, Deer Tick’s John McCauley and I had planned for this interview to take place in the form of a drinking game, but after we shotgunned our first beers we both threw up.