Alcohol, rightly, has a reputation for making people stupider, belligerent, impotent, etc. but while this is 100% true for the vast majority; there’s also the fact that occasionally drunk people achieve something incredible whilst out of their minds on drink. So today we bring you 10 mind-blowing things that drunk people have achieved whilst drunk as skunks (though we never met a skunk that was drunk – so that might be an unkind slur):
Won the Indianapolis 500
What’s the best way to win a race that no-one from your continent has ever won before? Well for Jules Goux, a Frenchman who entered the Indianapolis 500 back in 1913, the answer was simple. Get pie-eyed and do it in style. Jules, being French, didn’t settle for a few beers before getting behind the wheel but rather decided to down a bottle of champagne every time he stopped in the pits. He’s reputed to have drunk half-a-dozen bottles before crossing the finish line an incredible 13 minutes before any of his competitors.
Invented the World’s Best Known Soft Drink
John Pemberton was the king of getting smashed. He picked up a morphine habit following the US civil war and then decided to seek a cure; by getting addicted to cocaine and booze instead. What followed was French Wine Coca – a combination of kola nuts, cocaine and wine. Being a natural marketer – Pemberton went off to sell his new drink to the masses as a cure all. Sadly, the temperance movement arrived and he was forced to remove the booze from his drink. This wasn’t a bad thing, as it turns out, as the new drink Coca-Cola is rather well loved even today.
Started the War for American Independence
The Boston Tea Party of 1773 might never have taken place if hadn’t been for a little booze paving the way. The Sons of Liberty who famously threw the tea into the harbor had a meeting prior to the event to talk about the actions they would take. They also had a huge amount of very strong punch at the meeting, obviously, and when their tempers quickened with the alcohol – they marched on the harbor. It’s worth noting that not all of them were throwing tea; many of them were reported to be vomiting, thanks to their overindulgence, instead.
Prevented the Cold War from Becoming a War
It’s to a Russian hero we turn to find the man that stopped the Cold War from escalating into something worse by getting smashed out of his mind. Nikita Khrushchev prevented war in Yugoslavia by flying to meet General Tito and then got so drunk that he started hugging and kissing everyone present. Apparently Tito was impressed enough to draw up a peace treaty and thus war was prevented.
Flown the Space Shuttle
While your average pilot isn’t allowed near the demon drink before getting into the cockpit; the same isn’t true of the space shuttle. That’s right when you invest billions of dollars, in today’s terms, into the world’s most expensive vehicle of all time – the right thing to do is to let your pilot get sloshed before jumping behind the controls. Oh and that didn’t just happen once, it happened twice. It also nearly happened a third time but the mission that our drunken pilot was due to undertake was cancelled before it got off the ground.
Written One of the Best Selling Albums of All Time
You may, or may not, remember the awesome album “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” from 1968. It was the creation of Iron Butterfly one of rock music’s earliest progenitors. The album was insanely popular thanks to the title track which was a 17 minute epic of psychedelic wonders. It was also written by Doug Ingle, the band’s lead singer, when he was drunk out of his mind after consuming 4 liters of wine. “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” is in fact, “In the Garden of Eden”, sung by a drunk man.
Created One of the Best Known Series of Books Ever
Actually we may be overstating the case a little. Douglas Adams, of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame, was once a hitchhiker himself. When he found himself in Innsbruck in Austria he decided to go out and drink a little. Then he drank a lot more. He staggered away from the pub and into a field where he passed out holding his hitchhiker’s guide to Europe. When he awoke under the stars – he decided it was time someone wrote such a book for the entirety of the galaxy.
Conquered a Nation
Ottoman Sultan Selim II, was an unusual chap. He was known to his people as “The Drunkard”. It was also official practice to keep him as drunk as humanly possible all day long, every day. When you were in charge of an empire – people tend to do what you tell them to – so Selim was paralytic when he invaded and conquered Cyprus. Better still, there’s a theory which says he invaded Cyprus only because he liked the wine from that country so much that he couldn’t live without it. A masterful drunk indeed.
Win the American Civil War
President Abraham Lincoln paid tribute to Ulysses S Grant by noting that he was a better field commander drunk than he was sober. It’s said that Grant’s acknowledgement of his own inveterate alcoholism enabled him to bring a certain “don’t care at all” attitude to fighting battles. Thus he was prepared to take risks and drive home advantages where sober men might have hesitated and thus the Civil War was won by a drunken man.
Developed an Airline
Rolling King the owner of a what was a fairly small commuter airline based in San Antonio had been spending some time with his bank manager trying to persuade him of the power of a commuter flight service that moved between Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. It wasn’t until they had a drunken meeting where they sketched the service on a cocktail napkin that the idea was approved and Southwest Airlines was born.