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Fri Oct 5, 2012, 09:11 PM

 

Did people get as piss drunk as they do on Mad Men back IN the 60s?

I know punishments were more lax - but were people seriously drinking by 10am?

FYI RE: Mad Men....

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Reply Did people get as piss drunk as they do on Mad Men back IN the 60s? (Original post)
Taverner Oct 2012 OP
MiddleFingerMom Oct 2012 #1
Taverner Oct 2012 #2
MiddleFingerMom Oct 2012 #4
Lydia Leftcoast Oct 2012 #20
Graybeard Oct 2012 #3
MiddleFingerMom Oct 2012 #5
tjwmason Oct 2012 #6
Taverner Oct 2012 #14
tjwmason Oct 2012 #23
TeamPooka Oct 2012 #7
kentauros Oct 2012 #8
Kablooie Oct 2012 #9
Patiod Oct 2012 #15
HipChick Oct 2012 #10
sarge43 Oct 2012 #11
MiddleFingerMom Oct 2012 #16
Major Nikon Oct 2012 #12
HopeHoops Oct 2012 #13
Moondog Oct 2012 #17
TrogL Oct 2012 #18
NV Whino Oct 2012 #19
Lydia Leftcoast Oct 2012 #21
HeiressofBickworth Oct 2012 #22
Mopar151 Oct 2012 #24

Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 09:29 PM

1. Not by 10 AM, but two-martini expense account lunches were so common as to be...

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... an accurate stereotype.
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And "Cocktail Hour" was sacramental. My BIL was president of a fairly well-known ad agency
in Manhattan (among their clients was Clairol -- spokesperson Cybill Shepherd, a real asshole --
and The Beef Council -- spokespeople Ms Shepherd and James Garner -- one of the most truly
"still-of-the-people regular guys ever"... he preferred playing poker with the stage crew to
hanging with the director or ad execs).
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He and I and my sister and their two kids were driving together from Connecticut to Michigan
for a family issue. JUST after we entered Michigan, he started yelling incoherently and, when
we finally calmed him down ( ), he informed us that we were missing cocktail hour!!!
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We stopped at the nearest liquor store and bought a TON of bottled/canned cocktails and my
sister took over as designated driver while he and I plowed through those drinks.
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By the time we got to my parents, we had to lean against each other to make it into the house.
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That was in the early 80's.
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In the early-to-late-70's, even the Army allowed most personnel a 2-drink limit at lunchtime.
I don't know if or when that changed... but I assume it did.
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Response to MiddleFingerMom (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 09:32 PM

2. Considering you can't really smoke in the military anymore...

 

You can - but it's like smoking crack in terms of perception

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Response to Taverner (Reply #2)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 09:50 PM

4. I was in from '72-'78, and the Army had a HUGE... ENORMOUS drug & alcohol problem.

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As medics, we saw it frontline. The Army's official estimate of how many of the troops in
Germany were using NEEDLES was 7%... and you KNOW that their OFFICIAL estimate
was low for reasons of PR.
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Alcohol... much, much worse.
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We worked closely with the rehab office on post and FURIOUS would be a good word to
use to describe their attitude towards Army alcohol policies. Cigarettes and alcohol were
subsidized HEAVILY. I think a carton of cigarettes in the States cost about $8 at the
time, in Germany (for soldiers) a carton cost $1.60. Jim Beam was probably about $12
or so for a half-gallon -- in Germany, about $4.50.
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Everybody worked the black market a little bit. We could take a couple half-gallons of
liquor and a grocery bag full of cigarettes and eat and drink like KINGS... ALL weekend!!!
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Up until about 1972, C-ration boxes included the little airline 4-cigarette mini-packs, so
those who didn't prepare for an extended time in the field didn't go through withdrawal.
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They were STILL showing up until about 1976... when the expiration dates of the rations
caught up with us.
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You could only buy 5 cartons a month on your ration card, but there were 4-or-5 locations
on post that sold cigarettes by the pack and you could sign for 2 packs-a-day (only at
one location a day, but in practice... you could make the rounds).
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And it was fun to see how many packs people like Mickey Mouse and Richard M Nixon
had signed for that day.
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I probably smoked 2 packs-a-day, but was in exceptional shape and could keep up with
the fittest of the scouts that I usually covered in the field.
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Response to MiddleFingerMom (Reply #4)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 01:06 AM

20. My great-uncle was an army chaplain and served with combat troops in

the South Pacific and New Guinea during World War II and also in Korea.

It bothered him that sometimes the troops didn't get real meals or mail for weeks at a time but somehow there were always plenty of cigarettes and beer.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 09:40 PM

3. Most offices had a liquor cabinet.

Or at least a bottle in the desk drawer. This was a carry-over from the 1930's and was not as prevalent in the 60s but it was accepted.

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Response to Graybeard (Reply #3)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 09:55 PM

5. These were common... both in the office and at home.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 04:58 AM

6. There are still pockets of lunch-time drinking in the U.K.

In my last job ever few weeks I'd go out for lunch with my boss and a couple of other colleagues, we'd have a pint or two or some wine with it.

Also, the famous raucousness of Prime Minister's Questions was in part due to the fact that it used to take place directly after lunch - this in building filled with bars selling subsidised alcohol.

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Response to tjwmason (Reply #6)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 02:33 PM

14. Yeah but doesn't the UK have "lunch beer" - that is 2% beer?

 

I think they call it a bitter...

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Response to Taverner (Reply #14)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 07:02 AM

23. I tended to drink Peroni which is a pretty 'normal' abv

Bitters come in various strengths, I can't remember ever seeing a specific lunch beer marketed because of lower alcohol content.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 05:17 AM

7. Booze was ubiquitous back then 50's to the early 80's. MADD changed everything....

for the better.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving drove awareness of the issue into the culture and killed off that kind of thing.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 05:27 AM

8. A big part of Bachelor Pad life was the drinking.

Here's a good site on that subject: Java's Bachelor Pad

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 06:04 AM

9. Where I worked I heard 3 martini lunches were standard in the 60's.

Everyone would come back to work and sleep in the afternoon.

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #9)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 02:39 PM

15. My dad told stories about that

He used to tell a story about taking a client out for lunch, dropping them off at their offices, and feeling the need to sit down on the lawn outside the client's office building. He said he woke up some time later, realizing that everyone in the office and everyone driving by could see him. His only consolation was that the people he had taken out for lunch were the decision makers, and they drank more than he did at lunch and were probably sound asleep.

He just died at 88, and said that the buyers he sold to, who were constantly being wined-and-dined, lived to see retirement, and few of his fellow hard-drinking salesmen colleagues did either.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 07:15 AM

10. My ex boss was a functional drunk..


Very smart guy, but always close to some liquor...he'd hold his staff meetings at a bar or pub.. I miss that guy...

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 07:53 AM

11. Yup.

Back then, if you didn't drink and smoke, there was something wrong with you. The social pressure to join in was fierce.

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Response to sarge43 (Reply #11)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 06:31 PM

16. Back then, if you didn't drink, businesspeople assumed it was because you were an alcoholic...

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... who was "lacking in overall self-control" and thus not to be trusted fully with important matters.
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Those who didn't drink for whatever reason learned to VERY discreetly order martinis consisting of
nothing but water with an olive in it.
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Smoking not so much... there was no actual stigma whether you smoked or not.
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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 07:59 AM

12. Hell, I still do

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #12)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 10:52 AM

13. Beer on Cheerios. Yum.

 

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 06:48 PM

17. From what I saw

Yes.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 10:50 PM

18. Yes. Standard operating procedure

My family was the exception and I ended up the alcoholic

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 01:01 AM

19. Yes.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 01:08 AM

21. Even before the 1960s---

Have you ever noticed how much characters in some of the 1930s movies, like The Thin Man, drink?

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 01:11 AM

22. My impression

was formed by what I saw in my parents' household. They always had liquor on hand -- various types and brands. They offered drinks to any of their friends who came over. It seemed to me that it was some kind of status thing: if you had a large variety of liquor to offer, it somehow gave the impression that you were rich enough to buy large amounts of the stuff just to have on hand in case of visitors. The conflict in our home was that my father was an alcoholic, my parents weren't rich, so when my father drank up the booze on hand, my mother got pissed off at him because she would have to spend money to refill the stash so she could go on impressing her friends.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 08:25 AM

24. My Dad worked in the "Precision Valley"

And the machine tool companies OWNED THE BAR/B&B (The Hartness House) where they'd pickle customers 'n such to order. It has a beautiful little bar (the "Telescope Tavern") with a cosy fireplace - perfect for signing million-dollar contracts with customer reps who were no longer sure what planet they were on.

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