Ernesto is busy soaking the entire New York area, so it's indoor activities for me today. Gonna hit the mall and breathe in some yummy nutritious mall air. Maybe pick up some cheap booze from Sam's Club (the bulk equivalent of Wal-Mart) where some kinds are even cheaper than in Nassau. I mistakenly spread the word amongst my circle of friends that I have access to cheap booze, so on every trip I seem to get a shopping list of stuff to pick up for my pals. "I'd like 5 bottles of $5 vodka and maybe one bottle of expensive vodka so when it gets empty I can pour the cheap stuff in the expensive bottle", says my rooommate, a Dash-8 f/o for Jazz.
What is it about pilots and drinking anyway? In my experience, the average pilot is a social drinker at the very least, and I'd bet that the alcoholism rate for pilots is higher than in the general population, though I can't find any data on Google. I assume the rate has lowered over time, but it's still high, and the rate in the olden days was pretty atrocious: In the 1960s, more than 30 percent of pilots who were killed in plane crashes had elevated Blood Alcohol Contents. (see HERE)
Here's my theory: I have no special love for booze, but I do enjoy the occasional cocktail. If I'm bored, I look for a way to pass the time; for me it's not booze, but for lots of people it is. Getting drunk passes time, it's relatively cheap, and you can do it from the comfort of your own hotel room. I know lots of pilots who fly to amazing places and spend the entire time in a hotel room rather than going exploring; maybe they figure that getting pissed in the hotel bar counts as exploring the city. Maybe because spending time in a strange city by oneself can be really lonely and booze helps to dull the pain, or maybe it's nothing to do with any of that. You tell me...
What do you think? While you are pondering that, watch Bob Hoover in this amazing video. Watch to the end of the clip to see how it applies to this particular post - it's somewhat relevant ;)