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August 11, 2009

Tipsy Tuesdays: Breaking the seal

popping the cork, breaking the sealMy, my, I've certainly regretted breaking the seal too early. Take it away, Owl Meat:

Here at Tipsy Tuesdays, we strive to enlighten and elevate, so I bring you today's topic: Breaking the seal.

This is the idea that after you relieve yourself for the first time while drinking alcohol you have to do it frequently.

Bartender Kyle at Chiaparelli's reminded me of the concept, but I knew it to be intuitively true, as I have often strategically suppressed my micturition urges. This is no trivial matter for anyone doing a mental cost-benefit analysis at a ball game, concert, or other public event.
While sipping an avocatini I went all caveman and considered whether there was some evolutionary benefit to this behavior. If this is a real biological process, why would it be rewarded? ...

Imagine that you are out all day drinking water, eating berries, and tracking beasts with ribs big enough to tip over your foot-powered car. But what if the hunter becomes the hunted?

Sabertooth creatures stalk the tender meat of the puny cave-painting Neanderthals by scent. If you periodically stop to relieve yourself in the jungle, the cats could track you more easily. My theory is that prehistoric hunters were more likely to survive and pass on their genes if they didn't break the seal. Of course that could just be the 'tini talking.
There is some science to both support and refute the concept. It has to do with the rising level of alcohol in your blood stream.
Alcohol inhibits a hormone that helps your body retain water (Anti-diuretic Hormone or ADH). Urine output increases disproportionately to the volume of liquid when you consume alcohol, and your bladder fills more rapidly. So the higher your blood alcohol level, the faster you make urine. This explains why you wake up dehydrated after drinking all that delicious liquid at Brewer's Art the night before. It does not explain why you have a tattoo of Hello Kitty on your neck.
Unless Fred and Barney are drinking Rolling Rocks or Keystone Lights on their hunting trips, my theory holds no water. Nothing good ever comes of avocatinis. Still ... Mastodon McRibs? Ba da ba ba ba ... I'm lovin' it!
Now that I have uncorked the subject, I will leave it you to comment freely.

(Photo by Getty Images)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:33 AM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays


Another excellent piece of writng, OMG. But of course we have come to expect nothing less from you.

I'm especially impressed how you never once used the word "wee-wee". Bonus points there.

Thanks Yum. Yeah, it was a struggle to avoid the silly and the profane.

The explanation of "Having broke the seal" is really just an excuse to keep making trips to the bathroom to do other stuff without drawing too much suspicion.

The soup person poster "holds some water" if you know what I mean. At least its true in some of the bars I know of on Harford Road.

Anyway, I think "breaking the seal" is more likely for those that drink beer. Because there is much mor volume in a beer (12 oz or more) than lets say, a shot of bourbon.

Good post, Owl. We've often surmised on this very subject.

We even have a contest on whether one can keep from breaking the seal whilst drinking one shot of beer once a minute, every minute, for one hour.

Now, you think its easy: its just a 1-2 ounce shot of beer at a clip. But its once a minute, every minute, for one hour. It works out to be about five 12-ounce beers. I did it successfully once, but I did it right after eating and had not had a previous drink that day. I thought, heck, that was easy.

Then it came time to get up off the barstool. Man, was I loaded!

I have to say, I never even heard of this phenomenon before, so your exploration here is illuminating. Thanks for providing the link from Dining@Large, I wouldn't have stumbled on this site on my own.

Striking picture, btw.

Of course there is a way to beat the cost-benefit equation of breaking the seal: Depends.

Thanks Filbert, if that it your real name.

On the artwork, I took an ordinary photo of a champage bottle exploding and manipulated it with Picnik.Com. Picnik is a free site that is REALLY easy to use and has a lot of very sophisticated effects. It's also good for resizing, cropping, sharpening and has a one button autofix function that makes all the colors look better on some photos. Don't ask me what it does. For more tricky stuff I have to use Photoshop-type software.

Elizabeth Large pointed me to Picnik last year so that I could easily resize images to 500x500 or less to fit in some blogware limit.

If you are interested, I have posted the original photo and the manipulated one on my personal blog:

Thanks for the link to your blog, Owl Meat. That's an interesting assortment of stuff you have there. The cuban sandwich poem was fun, did you write that yourself?

Filbert is an old family name.

Yes, Filbert I wrote that. The week after the City Paper published it they stopped publishing poetry forever. LOL. I got paid $65 for it, which is a lot per word.


Uh-oh. It appears Sue Hopper is back from her summer vacation...

When I worked backstage for the opera and hung out with stagehands, we'd go out after to un-lax with a few beers after show-week rehearsals and shows. I was fine for maybe 3-4 beers, but once I "broke the seal," I visited the powder room every 15 minutes. This was fine until we closed the bar and held "parking lot parties." Ever see a toilet in a parking lot? I didn't think so.

Thanks for your post.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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