Maybe You Should Have a Drink

This little-known fact will change your creative process forever. We took a look at the data, and a big university agrees; people will believe whatever you tell them.

Maybe You Should Have a Drink

Every time I sit down to write the next article for The Lorem Ipsum I have a big juicy burger, prepared All-The-Way, add grilled jalapeños, lettuce wrapped, and three fingers of whiskey (poured separately into a glass). You'll find me typing away with one hand while my greasy burger sits in the other hand, dripping grease onto the keyboard. Intermittently I take breaks to sip my bourbon, which keeps me in the zone, even if burger wrangling threatens to take me out of it.

Okay fine, none of that is true except for the whiskey part, and I definitely take my Five Guys burgers that way, and also I type all of these articles with one hand. I have to, in order to slow things down. I've been known to be an overachiever.

Thanks to generous readers like you, writing this newsletter certainly supports my Five Guys habit, but it hasn't quite overtaken my bourbon habit just yet (upgrade here and get a free tasting if you are ever in Indianapolis!) – it would take several of my first jobs put together to support the excess of that habit, so as to keep my barrel aged shelves stocked, I have to rely on my primary living: the advertising business.

Being an Ad Man is harder than it looks. Especially when you've been drinking all day. And when you haven't had a drop, it's even harder. I've always said, "this business would be great if it weren't for the clients." But we all know, without the clients, we'd just be like Congresspeople – those who somehow got their jobs by a stroke of luck, only to focus on lining their own pockets, without accountability.

Honestly, I value every client I work with, usually more than they do, and I take the work I do for them very seriously. That's why I adhere to the golden rule, cherishing it as gospel at every moment of the day.

Although it feels like a golden rule, I'm not referring to the little-known tagline I came up with on a nighttime suburban driveway consumption experience where I uttered the timely phrase "When it's Gold it's Cold". This refers to Miller Lite's missing branding element, seeing as light beers are using the elements of their can to indicate its temperature, just in case you can't tell that a beer is cold simply by feeling it.

For the record, I developed the line without getting paid a single dime for it, thus the copyright disclosure on the footer of my blog (Hey Miller, call me!).

A Footnote: I think the Miller Lite was provided at no charge by my neighbor so we can call that a win, technically.

As far as golden rules go, I'm also not referring to the slightly more popular "Do unto others..." golden rule because I don't want anyone to do unto me, to begin with. Not because I'm not a hugger. I am if you are. I'm just trying to avoid the #metoo list.

The rule I'm talking about is THE most golden of golden rules. To me, anyway. It was bestowed on me by a client many years ago right before I made this commercial, but right after he and I trekked through the snow in an urban setting (on a whim) looking for the secret catacombs of Indianapolis, and stumbling into a group of urbanites building an igloo while sharing their Grand Marnier with us out of a flask. These were pre-covid days, so get grossed out that we also shook hands without squirming.

We never found the catacombs and I've been low-key on a quest since then. When we were out on our journey through snowed-in neighborhoods and random alleys on foot, we talked about life, family, and our drinking strategies. It was an important conversation at the time, and after we left the city and my client and friend returned me to my car, he stopped me, looked me in the eye, and said this:

Don't drink too much. But drink enough.  

That's why, in July of 2016, I wrote this post, and sent it out to my email list. A list that looks much like this one, although many of you were not here yet (thank you to those who still are). This week, I reached down deep into the archives, plucked a cluster of them out, divide them asunder, and pulled up this gem. It spoke to me, yea even as it did the day I wrote it. So I asked Grammarly for her approval and then plopped the results right here to share with you today.

Enjoy it nearly in its original form, and I'll be back for some follow-up comments after that.

You should have a drink

How do you get work done?
Personally, I have a couple of different methods that help me be more effective, but my favorite is to grab a drink.
That’s right. I like to pour an adult beverage. When I write, especially long-form writing, I like to have a glass of red wine. Why? Because I am convinced it enhances focus, creativity, and problem-solving. I’ve tested this idea several times. In fact, according to one study from one credible source, I’m right.
The explanation—albeit a contested one—is that having a little bit to drink slows you down. As a result, you are numb to distractions and your mind is less likely to wander. This means that you’re more able to focus on your project at hand.
The side of me that likes to imbibe believes this report wholeheartedly. The various dissenters are not convincing to me because I’ve tried it myself, and my results agree.
I mean, the balanced thinker in me wants to point out that while one drink may lead to enhanced focus, the second drink seems to have the opposite effect.
Either way, I think it’s clear that if you really want to get something done, you should probably pour yourself a drink. A big university said it worked. And casual drinkers and brand managers alike agree, if you publish something people like to hear, they’re most likely going to go with it.


Since I originally penned this note, I've switched from red wine to bourbon. It's not because red wine is not one of the healthier things you can drink (because it is), it's simply because I don't have to get up quite as often for refills. And besides, we all know tastes change as you discover new things. Discovering rare and premium whiskeys was a game changer for me.

The focus of my comments were primarily on marketing. Coors Light says on the can “When the mountain turns blue, it's as cold as the Rockies.”. Miller Lite says "When it's gold it's cold", or at least they will as soon as they pay me for the line. The message doesn't need to be true, you simply need to want it to be true, and that is enough to believe it. In all my years, I've never googled the temperature of the Rockies. I've just trusted the process. Because after all, it helps me keep the world that I like best intact.

As I read this old snippet just a week ago (A week and two hours ago by the time you read this), I realized that there was a very important lesson embedded in this brief email. I thought so when I wrote it too, which is why I sent it, but I chose not to make it explicit (I think I was always a "hide the medicine" kinda guy). While pulling this out of the archives, I was reminded of our friendly neighborhood Feds who pried confidential files out of the archives of Trump's closet, and/or Milania's underwear drawer. The National Archives and Federal agents retrieved some 300 documents from Trump's possession, many of them classified.

Although according to Trump, he can declassify White House documents just by thinking about it, his thought didn't manage to get to the log books of the National Archives. If he would have changed ownership of the documents just by thinking about it, he might have avoided the mess he finds himself in today (a mess I'm convinced he enjoys being in for the publicity), but alas, Trump is in the crosshairs of an investigation by the Justice Department for mishandling the recovered files.

Trump's scrutiny is far and wide. He's also being investigated by Federal prosecutors for the January 6th riots, by the D.C. attorney general over financial fraud, by the Fulton County Georgia, district attorney over election interference, by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and by the Congressional House Select Committee of January 6th.

Plus he has been banned by Twitter.

These are all separate legal issues. All, of course, wiped out by Trump in his mind, and if that wasn't enough, him calling it a witch hunt should suffice. Yet, despite his legal complications in a simulated election, the polls put Trump not a scrode hair away from winning the presidency one more time.

The Trump Lie

We're talking about the man who drained the swamp by putting his own children and business partners in high-security positions as white house aids and pardoned people that aided him in his personal pursuits including his election fraud claims. This is also, the guy who has converted lying from a politician's table stakes to an entire social media platform (ironically named Truth), which he owns and controls entirely. Yet it's a more trustworthy source than a platform not owned by the politicians posting on it?

People will believe whatever you publish, which we see across the whole United States as leading election deniers take their message on tour, and Trump himself continues to foster the claim that he is the rightful President, two years after losing by a long shot. The Trump Lie is easy to debunk but a big University and Trump supporters agree, that people will believe whatever you tell them if it props up their worldview.

Observing Trump's supporters, especially on January 6, I can hardly believe my eyes, but it's clear they are yielding trust to their stomachs. They believe the Trump Lie, because they want to believe it. Not checking their sources, because it keeps the world they like best intact.

A close look at the data tells me their eyes are bigger than their stomachs. My personal experience validates my view, but as much as I want to believe what I think is true, I've ended this article drunk.