Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Drinking Heavily On Someone Else's Tab Is A Drinking Problem

Dear Tazi:

I am part of a summer golfing foursome that will be starting to golf again soon. I enjoy golfing with my partners, and find the sport to be good exercise (we walk the course and carry our own clubs for our health, not because we are too cheap to rent a cart or hire a caddy).

After 18 holes in the AM, it is usually lunchtime so the four of us will go to the clubhouse to order lunch and discuss our game. We always split the tab evenly between us, with the exception of the bar tab; our rule is "high score buys". This practice adds to the camaraderie of the game and keeps us on top of our game, since nobody wants to come in last.

Our system generally works very well - all of our lunch orders are generally around the same amount, give or take a few dollars, so nobody feels taken advantage of...except when it comes to the bar tab. "Ralph", a member of our foursome, tends to come in last more often than anybody else. It is not so often that the bar tab is onerous, but generally Ralph will end up paying 3 out of 10 times, while the rest of us generally pay 2 or 3 times out of 10.

We have all noticed that when it is Ralph's turn to pay the bar tab, he only orders one beer - a domestic draft - but when someone else is paying he orders several expensive mixed drinks. The other members of my party would like to say something to Ralph about his drinking habits, but I think that Ralph thinks he is simply evening out the bill since he does end up paying it more often than not. My golf partners have suggested that we simply pay our own tabs from now on, but it was a halfhearted suggestion; we really enjoy the spirit of competition, which brings us back to saying something to Ralph.

I personally do not think it is very manly to quibble over a $50 bar tab (which is usually what Ralph's Martinis come to at the end of lunch), but I have agreed to go along with the rest of the group so long as I do not have to be the one to say anything. The rest of the group thinks I should be the one to say something, since I was the original organizer of the foursome. Your thoughts, gentleman cat?

The Duffer

Dear The Duffer:

What could possibly be manly about letting Ralph take advantage of you? By ignoring his very blatant behavior of ordering expensive drinks on someone else's dime you are letting him do exactly that. For whatever reasons you have no problem with this, and that is fine if you are fine with it. (Perhaps you feel badly that Ralph comes in last more frequently than the others?). However, the rest of your group does have a problem with it, and if the problem is not corrected it could lead to a split in this foursome.

While you may have been the one who originally organized the foursome, I am certain that all members of the group now consider themselves friends; their wishy-washiness about approaching Ralph is what I consider to be unmanly.  I think that you should all approach Ralph together, and not only about the cost of his portion of the bar tab. At an average of $8 - $10 per drink, a $50 bar tab is a minimum of five Martinis over lunch - and that is an excessive amount of alcohol to be consuming.

I believe that you should approach the situation as you would a personal intervention. Express your concern to Ralph that his drinking appears to be out of control on weeks he is celebrating a good golf game. Do not make the issue about the bar tab, but rather about Ralph's health and personal safety; he should not be allowed behind the wheel of a car after drinking so much, either!

Most likely, Ralph will respond indignantly and complain that he is, as your friends suggest, simply "evening out the bill". If this is the case, you may have to start paying your own way for a while, until Ralph realizes just how serious his drinking problem is, and finding a different form of reward to inspire a better golf game. Sometimes, tough love is the only kind of support we can offer a friend.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Other teams available; click on ad for ordering information!

No comments:

Post a Comment