The American Youth find the age 21 significant. It signifies a time of responsibility, maturity and the ability to get completely and utterly poop faced, legally. Doors open wide to incoming newbies who take it upon themselves to order the cheapest drinks with the most alcohol: AMFs, Long Islands and shots shots shots. In our small community of Isla Vista, downtown Santa Barbara becomes an escape from the oh-so-common cheap vodka handle pulls, tightly packed ocean view patios and the dreaded words, “who do you know here?” Of course the inevitable realization dawns upon you after logging onto your banking app to discover drinking is expensive. This is where the sport of “pregaming” becomes an absolute necessity in order to have fun and maintain a good diet of ramen noodles. The question is, what is the best way to get to a drunken level that is still tolerable and manageable but will, especially, save you some money? The answer I have found is the incredible tiny, portable and compact but strong as hell BuzzBallz. What is a Buzzball you might ask? Well, a Buzzball is 20 percent alcohol stuffed into 200 ml. Math majors can figure that out, and for all the rest, let’s just say this stuff is the BOMB. These magical creations can be found in our local liquor stores SOS, Six Pack and the legendary Keg and Bottle. K&B has the best deal and all selections of flavors. Price-wise, Buzzballz go for $2.99 and come in nine different flavors. Portability is, in my opinion, of extreme importance when it comes to the art of pregaming, especially when my drink is to be taken on a bus flying down a highway at about 70 mph carrying around 50 stupidly drunk idiots. I can easily stuff one in my pocket, blouse or pants and quickly drink one on notorious Bill’s Bus. This past Thursday I decided to monitor how much money these babies can save me.
I walked into the stunningly beautiful K&B and headed straight to the back for my pregame choice. All flavors were there, but I decided to go with my favorite, Strawberry Rum Job, mostly because I love its title and a Watermelon Smash. Altogether, my expense was $6.89 — much better than buying a full handle or fifth that has to be shared between the group, along with all of that saliva. My two girlfriends and I trampled onto Bill’s Bus on the corner of Embarcadero Del Mar and Trigo at 9:15 p.m. I bust my first ball at 9:20 p.m., hoping for a quick buzz to start the night. A cautionary tale to those who drink these for the first time: although it is best to shake this ball, a large spew does seep out, so hold it away from the face or anything you wish to be protected. I opened my Watermelon Smash. This was my first time trying this flavor. I recommend the Cran Blast for those who prefer a common Cosmo or simply cranberry juice and vodka. Mine was a mixture of vodka and watermelon-flavored rum. The taste is comparable to a watermelon blow pop dipped repeatedly or soaked for 10 years in vodka. Buzzballz may seem like quick shots but do not be deceived, take it slowly. I finished mine by 9:37 p.m. Already, I could feel a warmer face and larger smile. The balls were doing their job, and I was liking it very much. We still had not left, but I wanted to wait a while before opening my second one. My speech had not yet started to slur, however, I could feel my eyes drooping. Since I was pacing myself, I didn’t open my rum job until 9:45 p.m. At 10:00 p.m., our magic carpet finally descended, and we were lit. Well, I was at least. Everything seemed fine, but then our bus came to a stop on the middle of the road. Our Bill’s Bus had broken down. Complete anarchy erupted. Shouts of “We want a refund!” flooded the bus. A sea of people flew towards the door for a restroom break out in the open field. My buzz was still on, so I was able to keep calm. Another bus came to our rescue and we were at the door of Sharkey’s by 11 p.m. The balls were still good but I wanted a deeper buzz. I ordered a Corona, $6.75. Had it not been for the Buzzballz I would have been in the whole already $26.00.
The point of pregaming is to catch a buzz before heading out to those expensive-ass bars. It does not mean get completely hammered and not even make it into the bars before 11 p.m. The best treats, I can say, are the balls. They save you money and get you pretty lit as well. I know we all love to pregame, but think twice next time and just try one out.pregame art