You know the drill here. You’re at a bar boozing it up with your buddies, and who shows up? A couple of good looking young women carrying a tray of shots filled with some liquor/beer/fru-fru bullshit you’ve either never had or never considered. I normally hate being bothered by strangers in, well, anywhere, but in the case of these ladies, I’ll make an exception.

For the sake of context, let’s compare your normal interaction where someone you don’t know interrupts your standard modus operandi and asks you to do something against the cute chick in a skimpy outfit slinging booze.

In the normal context, you’re probably walking along the 16th Street Mall (or whatever the main downtown drag in your city is) minding your own business. A kid in his 20s wearing an ugly blue t-shirt or some hideous windbreaker makes eye contact with you approximately 30 feet away. You panic. You wonder if you should frantically check your phone for a wayward text message or dig in your pocket for something that isn’t there. Neither works. As you get closer to your idealistic menace, you know you’ll be forced to either make awkward small talk with them or be outright rude to them because you know you don’t want to support whatever irritating cause they’re supporting. Either way, you’re not happy. It doesn’t matter how it turns out. You never leave feeling good about yourself, the poor sap’s job, or the world in general. In a street accost, no one exits the confrontation happy.

Now then, you’re at a bar. You’re a couple drinks deep. You’re open to suggestion. A young lady in skimpy attire approaches. She has a tray of drinks. The tray contains drinks you likely haven’t heard of because the beverage industry launches new drinks with the same frequency as you brush your teeth. She offers you a free shot. This shot would likely cost you at least $4 at the bar. You drink it. She smiles at you. You probably get a free keychain, t-shirt, or otherwise fun little tchotchke you’ll randomly break out at parties henceforth. Everyone wins.

At a local bar this weekend with Lady E, CassieB, and Mr. CassieB, we were first approached by chicks in Daisy Dukes and tied off flannel shirts. We’ve already won. They dropped Wild Turkey Honey Liqueur in front of us to which Lady E instinctively gagged. Whiskey is easily her Alcohol Kryptonite and considering Wild Turkey tastes approximately like death to someone that hates whiskey, the odds of this having a positive impact were about the same as Buttfore learning to drive a stick shift. Yet, even she couldn’t resist the social pressure to placate these poor college girls and gave it a shot. Lo and behold, the honey taste supersedes its whiskeyness, and she came out clean on the other side. Double bonus! Free liquor and now I might not have to talk away from Lady E when I’ve indulged a vat of Crown Royal like I’m trying to fake out enemy spies due to its pungent smell on my breath.

On this same outing we sampled some new Absolut Berri Acai vodka mixed with, I don’t know, Sprite. Deliciously juvenile, fruity, and citrusy as you might imagine. That’s two free drinks we’d never otherwise have, and Lady E even went so far as to buy that new Absolut flavor the next day. What’s not to love about this process?

One thing: Too much drunkenness. Really this is a double penalty considering you’re no longer in college and are still actively binge drinking, and then you pour some free mysterious booze on top of it, but let’s put aside the value judgment of inappropriate binge drinking for now. A couple of years ago Hart and I found ourselves celebrating something (perhaps just that it was Friday) at Govnr’s Park, a bar whose spelling has to come out of someone shitfaced filling out an official form.

 The good-looking girl with the tray came by and without really thinking, we both took one. Unfortunately this was some sort of devil whiskey that smelled like gasoline and burned like Drano. As our eyes both teared up, we stood there trying not to yak on the leather couch in front of us. We’d both magically skipped across the line into bad drunk, and the poor girl serving the shots stood there and endured a truly offensive string of profanity. No one won in this round of free liquor, and I still curse whatever brown witches’ brew poisoned my gullet that night.

But the danger of free liquor is only as great as your propensity to get inappropriately loaded. Otherwise, a diversion into the world of new and exciting (or sometimes familiar and fun, as I did with the Smithwick’s girls one night) makes an otherwise blasé night good, and a good night great.

Here’s to you, alcohol promo girls. We can’t wait to see you again!