So last week I stumbled into the U of L Playhouse to catch a production of “The Vagina Monologues.” As I watched the cast pontificate on everything their vajayjays might say, I felt a slight pain in the upper-right quadrant of my abdominal cavity. My liver was jealous. It wanted its turn at the mic; it wanted to share experiences. It’s lived a hard life, so I’ve done the only thing that’s true and just: I dedicate this column to it.
Here, exclusively, I present “The Liver Monologues.”
Liver. Say it. Liver! Liver. Liver. It sounds so scientific. So sterile. Like liver disease. The liver is the largest internal organ and gland in the human body (not considering the skin). In adults, it’s about the size of a football — which may be the reason drinking beer goes so well with watching the sport. One of its main jobs — its purpose in life, if you will — is detoxification. In fact, the liver is so vital, you won’t live more than 24 hours without it. Much like the vagina, it has more than 500 functions.
I’ve never seen my liver — can’t really bend over and take a mirror to it — but I know it’s there, lapping up my weekend binge drinking like Laverne and Shirley on an assembly line in Milwaukee. It cleans, corrects, breaks down and polishes. When I chug, it churns. When someone suggests shots, it stretches for a workout. It’s fit, likes working out. It’s probably the fittest organ in my body — the only one that gets routine exercise.
The liver is the coffee filter of human anatomy.
If Your Liver Could Dress, What Would It Wear?
If my liver could dress, it would wear a wife-beater (OK, fine: A-shirt). Its muscles would gleam in the sunlight — think Mr. Clean with a little Jolly Green Giant mixed in. And it’d nicely fill out a pair of jeans. My liver has balls of steel. When it’s not working (typically Sunday-Thursday … OK, Sunday-Wednesday … fine, Sunday-Monday), it’s coming up with ways to detox my next drink before I even swallow. Anticipation, dear reader, is the soul of wit.
My liver trains for the Olympics, which are held a few times a year. Because of this, I’ve won many medals. Derby Eve: Gold. St. Patrick’s Day: Gold. Gettin’ Drunky in Kentucky Pub Crawl: Silver. Bourbon sweet teas at NV Tavern: Bronze.
If It Could Talk, What Would It Say?
My liver has no use for words. It merely nods, squints, grunts and moans. And every sound and expression is different. American swill elicits a squeak, Guinness a guttural groan. A BBC Bourbon Barrel Stout leads to momentary shortness of breath. Jagermeister makes it oooohhh, ooohhhh, ooohhh and mmmm!
My Angry Liver
My liver was mad in college. Like Luke Skywalker learning to use the Force, it was eager yet immature, generally unaware of the powers it possessed. Zima and cheap vodka were its Yoda, and Yoda sensed great fear in the liver, but through enough trial and error (read: toga parties, keg stands and hairy buffalos), my liver outwitted, outplayed and outlasted. It looks back fondly on those days and musters a smile — a smile as wide as the Grand Canyon.
The Little Hoochi Snorcher That Could
My liver is a flower. My liver, my liver, me. My liver is both the doorbell and the house. Be the liver. Livers unite!
What does my liver remind me of? An angry monkey that may attack my friends. Or perhaps the innocence of a fresh English garden.
What does it smell like? The syrupy streets of New Orleans during Mardi Gras. The infield on Derby at dusk.
The Bartenders Who Loved to Make Livers Happy
Personal trainers (aka bartenders) come and go, but it’s rare to find one you can call a friend of your liver. As they say in the Girl Scouts, “Make new friends but keep the old, some are silver and others are gold.” And I say, “Make friends with the bartender I am told, some will pour you Patron silver, while others will pour you gold.”
Check out my liver’s daily reasons to drink at barbelle.leoweekly.com