You are on page 1of 4

(originally posted on www.chrisbattaglia.


Ever since man began pouring alcoholic beverages down his throat, his body has been
pushing them right back up. It’s a fact of life. When cave drawings of the first kegger are
discovered, I guarantee that at least one of the stick figures is hunched over a stick toilet,
with sticks of vomit flying out of his stick mouth. If someone tells you they don’t puke,
then they haven’t drank enough yet. Everybody has a limit, and only the cowards haven’t
tested theirs.

However, one aspect of drunken puking that is often overlooked is its diversity. There are
different kinds of puking that arise from different circumstances. Drinking rookies and
non-drinkers (a.k.a. eunuchs) are misled by the media, who only focus on one reason for
drunken puking: too much alcohol. While this is the most common cause of ejecting your
stomach lining, it is by no means the only one. As many drinking veterans will attest to,
there are quite a few factors involved in any drinking scenario that determine whether or
not puking will occur, and what type of puking is most likely to occur. For your
convenience, I have taken the time to assemble a guide to some of the more common
types of drunken puking.

Threshold Puking – This is by far the most common form. Quite simply, threshold
puking occurs when you drink beyond your limit. Too much alcohol is in your system at
one time, so your body responds by taking the easy way out and throwing it all back out
the way it came in. When someone is threshold puking, it usually means their night is
done, if not very close to being done. It means your body is folding its hand, closing up
shop for the evening, and there’s really nothing you can do to change its mind.

In most cases, the duration of a threshold puking session is much longer than one heave.
The theory here is that once your body discovers it can eject some of the alcohol this way,
which is much easier than sending it down to the liver for processing, it begins to try and
rid itself of everything it doesn’t want through your mouth. The resulting chain reaction
of gags and dry heaves is quite unpleasant, and without friends to help you, you’ll
probably end up passing out with your head resting on the side of the toilet bowl (or thorn
bush, depending on where the threshold puking occurs), but hey, now you know your
limit. Consider it a learning experience. Unfortunately, you won’t remember it, and you
are doomed to repeat this scenario many times in your drinking career.

Volume Puking – Like threshold puking, volume puking has to do with limits, but that’s
where the similarities end. As opposed to reaching your alcohol content limit, volume
puking occurs when your stomach reaches its storage limit. Yes, volume puking can occur
under circumstances that do not involve alcohol in any way, but it is a common enough
occurrence with alcohol to list here. In terms of alcoholic beverages, ones that are
carbonated and/or nutrient-rich (such as beer) lend themselves best to volume puking.
The carbon dioxide bubbles and fermented wheat products fill your stomach much
quicker than Smirnoff ice, Bacardi silver, or other pre-mixed coolers. Unfortunately,
those drinks cause your testicles to vanish, whereas beer makes them hairy, so the choice
is a no-brainer.
Chugging contests and funneling vastly increase the chances of someone volume puking.
Sometimes, due to illness or stress, your esophagus contracts more than usual, hindering
your ability to burp up the excess gas, and causing an unnecessary build-up in the prime
real-estate of your stomach. There are also those situations where you’re left with over
half a pint at the end of a pre-drink or when everyone wants to leave the bar you’re at to
go somewhere else. If you’re a red-blooded man, you’re not about to let one drop of that
sweet nectar go to waste, but if you’re not feeling up to the chug, this could be a recipe
for temporary discomfort. For some reason that baffles the experts to this day, it’s always
that last little chug that puts your stomach over its capacity and causes you to perform an
emergency clearance.

The up-side to all this is that a volume puking session is by no means the end of your
night. These sessions are miniscule, involving only one usually-small up-chuck, like the
burping equivalent of a nasty wet fart, and after that, you’re only a breath mint and a piss
away from more socializing and alcohol. The danger of volume puking is that it is hard to
predict. You feel really bloated, and you want to burp, yet when you try to, the pressure in
the stomach causes more than just gas to be pushed up, along with expelling any liquid
that may be waiting in your esophagus. By the time you know it’s coming, it may be
difficult to maneuver very much. In cases of volume puking, make sure the path from
your mouth is clear of any possible obstructions, including your hands, as natural as the
instinct may be to cover your mouth. That only complicates matters. Trust me.

“Bad Clams” Puking – Watch what you eat before you assault your liver. This is a major
rule of drinking that is often ignored, but it will come back and bite you in the ass if you
don’t respect it. Sometimes the consequences of combining a full stomach from an all-
you-can-eat Indian buffet with a 12-pack go beyond mere puking, and nobody wants that.

But that’s a worst case scenario. Most “Bad Clams” puking arises from much more
innocent looking ingredients. For example: you’re on your way to your friend’s place
when you realize you skipped dinner, and you’re not too keen on drinking on an empty
stomach. Unfortunately, the only fast-food joint nearby is one of those KFC/Taco Bell
combo places. So you force down some popcorn chicken and fries supreme because
you’re cheap, head to your friends’, and begin drinking heavily, hoping that you can fool
your stomach into thinking the processed crap you just shoved in there is actual food. For
a while, this plan works, but eventually your stomach catches on, and we all know what
happens next.

The severity of a “Bad Clams” session varies widely, and depends on many different
factors. It can be as small as one heave just to give the stomach less to deal with for the
time being. If that’s the case, order some pizza and wings and take a break while you wait
for it. You’ll be good as new once you get some grease and honey garlic in you. On the
other hand, if the food you ate was actually bad in some way, the booze acts as a
multiplier, so for the next little while, the toilet is your friend.
Avoid shellfish and questionable meats before drinking, and be sure that any unusual or
exotic foods you eat are from a trustworthy source (know your curry dealer). You should
be able to avoid any serious “Bad-Clams” puking if you’re careful enough.

(I dare you to try that Indian buffet and 12-pack thing I mentioned.)

Mixture Puking – Ever tried mixing alcohol with another mind-altering substance? If
you couldn’t handle it, this is likely what you experienced. The ability to mix varies
widely from person to person. Some people are able to fill themselves with a hippie
pharmacy and a few brews as a chaser without trouble, while others can’t stomach the
combination of alcohol and weed even on their best nights. It all depends on whether the
drugs and booze contrast or clash in your system. For example, the chronic buzz from
smoking a joint runs contrary to the relaxing affects of alcohol, but this can lead more
than one way: the two sensations could work together – your consciousness approaches
the random stoned thought trail with the swagger of an overconfident drunkard, or not –
your alcohol-riddled system isn’t interested in dealing with the nauseating swirl of THC
coursing through your head. There are other factors that come into play in mixing
scenarios, such as the type(s) of alcoholic beverage(s) being consumed along with the
drug(s), but the main factor is the person doing the mixing.

Beyond trial and error, there isn’t any way to tell whether you can mix, and what you can
mix with what. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. For one, it’s valuable personal
experience, and while you may fry a few brain cells in the process, the ones left will be
all the wiser. It also separates the adventurous from the sewing circle. I’m not saying you
have to do drugs to be cool, I’m just saying that if the only thing holding you back is the
fear of a little puke, you shouldn’t be allowed to vote or drive.

Mixture puking is a lot like threshold puking, because your body is saying the same thing
in both cases: I don’t want to deal with this shit right now. Thus, mixture puking sessions
share many characteristics with threshold sessions. They are usually night-enders,
consisting of many gags and heaves, and followed by exhaustion. Hopefully you will
have less to bring up while mixture puking, because it was the combination, not the large
amount, of intoxicants that caused the emergency stomach evacuation, but that isn’t
always the case. There’s also the issue of any munchies you may have consumed
complicating matters. All in all, if you can’t handle mixing, you’re in for a pretty shitty
puking session, but at least you’ll know that mixing’s not really your thing. It probably
won’t stop you from trying it again, but then you won’t have anyone to blame but
yourself. Dumbass.

Refresher Puking – Also known as Alcoholic Bulimia, this is the most shameful of the
drunken puking types. Simply put, refresher puking is inducing vomit so you can drink
more without sacrificing more of your sobriety. It is a disgraceful practice usually
undertaken by kids only drinking to be cool, and therefore must be mocked mercilessly.
Someone who refresher pukes is a poseur who has no appreciation for alcohol or the
reasons for drinking it. Alcoholic beverages should only be consumed for two reasons:
they taste good and they get you drunk. By intentionally hurling to sober up and drink
more, both of those traits are being flagrantly ignored. Refresher puking is like slapping
all of the legendary brew masters and distillers of history in their faces while defecating
on their graves. Despicable.

There are more types of drunken puking that haven’t been explored here, and there are
also cases of combinations, like “Bad Clams” and mixing, or volume before threshold,
but the above should work as a decent primer for those not quite familiar with this often
overlooked and oversimplified aspect of drinking. Remember what you have read here,
and the next time one of your friends hurls, you’ll know the right reason to bust his balls
about it. Cheers.