The Bar Belle: On the wagon

I’m giving up the sauce. Really. I just can’t continue to wake with the heaviness of constant guilt for my actions the night before. I’ve drunk texted my last message (sorry, Mom!), trudged through my last hangover and rode on my last City Scoot.

Today I will go through all 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s not going to be easy, dear readers, so I’m making you come on my journey. The steps mention a “higher power” numerous times, so if it’s OK with you, I’m anointing Cher as my powerista. I, too, believe in life after love. But is there life after Bud Light Lime? We shall see …


1) We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable. I never was one to turn down a happy hour. Since a lot of bars have wireless Internet now, though, I was able to manage my life pretty well, thank you very much. For the sake of this task, however, sure. Whatever. Powerless. Next!


2) Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Umm, I guess this is where Cher comes in. If she can’t restore me to sanity, no one can! Get it, girl!


3) Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of Cher as we understood Her. I got you, babe. You got me?


4) Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Hmm, I could use a boost in self-confidence, which usually comes after my first drink. I like the feeling of owning the world, which comes shortly after drink 5. Am I doing this right?


5) Admitted to Cher, to ourselves and to other human beings the exact nature of our wrongs. File not found. OK, this is a hard one. Dear Cher, I’m wrong when I lift a glass of beer to my mouth and swallow. If I could turn back time, I wouldn’t have done that 23-second keg stand in college. But I did win that cool shot glass with a naked Mexican on it.


6) Were entirely ready to have Cher remove all these defects of character. Wipe it clean, babe!

7) Humbly asked Her to remove our shortcomings. Be careful, I do chafe.


8) Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. To everybody in my phone: Sorry for those vulgar, flirtatious and mostly mean voice messages and texts. I really didn’t mean for you to FB my V, get it right or get it tight. To that stranger in my bed: Thanks again. Call me! To my ankle: Sorry I keep falling off sidewalks. To my coworkers: Sorry I can’t form cognitive sentences ’til after lunch. To my parents: You can start reading my stuff again.


9) Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. I don’t get it. Can I phone a friend? I know, let’s have a “direct amend party” Thursday at the Back Door. I’ll leave my nunchuks at home.


10) Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. Remember in “Dirty Dancing” when the dad goes up to Patrick Swayze at the end and says, “When I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong”? I love that.


11) Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with Cher, as we understood Her, praying only for knowledge of Her will for us and the power to carry that out. Here’s what she said to me when I was sitting alone on a Saturday night: ’Cause I’m strong enough/To live without you/Strong enough and I quit crying/Long enough, now I’m strong enough/To know you gotta go …


12) Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. I will put myself into the position of a missionary (hee hee) to pontificate these steps to all gypsies, tramps, thieves and pub-crawlers.


Since I won’t be writing The Bar Belle in this space anymore, I’m going to take up a sex column — titled “Bar Nun.” Look for it next week. 


 *This story is part of LEO’s Fake Issue.