133. "Brigham, you really ought to think about stopping drinking," Lionel said. "People are talking." He brought up the subject as they were walking to lunch. Brigham always had a couple of beers for lunch, with a couple of bean burritos.

"Who cares?" Brigham asked. "It doesn't interfere with my work. I've never killed anyone while driving. In fact, I haven't even gotten a ticket for drunk driving. Not only that, but I'm a better driver with a buzz than most people are when they're sober. Why should I quit? I enjoy my beer; it makes me feel good. It takes the edge off a tough day. I don't do crazy things, and I don't get mean and angry after I have a few. Most of the time, I drink at home, alone, watching TV. I'm not bothering or hurting anyone. What harm is there in that?"

"What harm? You told me that you stood up to get another beer last week and you crashed into your front door so hard that you got a lump on your forehead. I can still see the bruise. You were trying to walk into your kitchen, but instead you staggered into your front door! Your door is 15 feet away from the refrigerator."

"I just stood up too fast. It wasn't the beer. It's called low blood pressure. And next time, I'll just keep my mouth shut about what happens in my home."

"Do you remember William Holden, the guy in the movie 'Network'? He was on top of the world, but he died alone and drunk in his hotel room after he cracked his skull on the corner of a coffee table."

"Yes, but I'm not William Holden, and my coffee table doesn't have any corners—it's oval."

3.5, 87.8, 3%, 10.1, 295
Vocabulary: alcoholic bean bruise burritos buzz crack crash crazy edge forehead interfere lump mean oval skull sober stagger tough PLUS alone anyone away beer better care coffee couple drunk fast feel harm Holden kill low lunch Network ought people pressure quit remember refrigerator see should stand shut ticket time top were why world

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