It hit me harder than the violently bright sunrise waking me up as I was sprawled out on top of my roof: I’ve hit rock bottom. Waking up every day with a hangover has taken such a toll on my wallet that not even Borski is within reach of my meager college income. At this point, I’ve been forced to embrace the very essence of every drunk to ever pass out in a children’s park and dive deep into the sickly-sweet world of bum wines.
If you have yet to acquire a love for the burn of proper bum swills, I suggest broadening your palate with MD 20/20 bottled by Mogen David Wineries. More affectionately known as “Mad Dog” for the rabid dog-like craze that defines the drunk, this gentlemanly swill created by John A. Dimitri will turn even the most reserved of consumers into wild-eyed lunatics. With a taste like a melted Slurpee, they are smooth enough that my roommates and I caught over 30 Dogs in two weeks. I’ve found the sweet nature of the wine is perfect for making blended drinks like a Dogarita – 1 Kiwi Lime Mad Dog, 1 small flask of cheapest vodka available and ice for desired consistency. Or you can try my personal breed of choice, the Brass Dog – 1 Orange Jubilee Mad Dog, 1 tall can Old English, ice. It looks like raw sewage but tastes like self-confidence. The Dog comes in at a barking 13 percent alcohol, but at $2.99 for 700 mL, it only scores a 3.04 on the Bum Math Scale – alcohol percentage times volume divided by price. Despite its poor performance on the BMS, Mad Dogs are a great way to pop your bum wine cherry.
For more experienced enthusiasts, the Dog can sometimes seem, well, a bit neutered. To anyone ready to say, “Fuck it, let’s haul ass to Blackout City” – all aboard the Night Train. Night Train Express is a true bum wine, scoring a massive 3.75 on the BMS thanks to its ruinous 17.5 percent alcohol content. Unlike the crazed drunk of Mad Dog, jumping on the Night Train causes your entire life to derail. Drinkers are known to have an intense increase in bum-like tendencies, such as suddenly switching into dirty clothes and eating trash and babbling incoherently, followed by a blackout harder and blacker than a wino’s liver. The first time I rode the rails I felt an uncontrollable urge to put on a stolen sweatshirt and drink in a bush in my front yard. The next time found me waking up on a slanted rooftop with no recollection of any of the previous night’s activities, although I did have a severe hankerin’ for some more Train rides. I must warn you: The Night Train isn’t Amtrak. These rails aren’t for the inexperienced. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was uncovered that this blend of chemicals and gutter runoff was really just part of a conspiracy to subdue the homeless. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart.
If you’re like me and think a quality red wine like Night Train should be reserved for a relaxing night spent with a beautiful woman in front of a roaring fire in a mountaintop cabin, shout Night Train’s party animal brother Thunderbird a holla. A white wine that is actually a blinged-out gold, the Thunderbird will throw you on its back and send you soaring on a blissfully smashed ride through the heavens. The only thing comparable to the beauty of the T-bird drunk is dropping acid while flying in a hot air balloon through an aurora… but even that’s pushing it. Currently, only the Six-Pak Shop carries this sickly yellow gem, but I assure you Thunderbird is more than worth the extra few stumbles past Keg N Bottle.
Without a doubt, bumming it for a night is a badass way of getting shithoused on the cheap, and it sure hurts a lot less to drink than the cheaper moonshine alternative. Hell, Mad Dog even comes in enough colors to match your shirt to for extra style points with the babes at parties. Too bad said babes aren’t turned on by the homeless.