It was recently suggested that I might want to cut down on my alcohol intake, which is untrue. I do not want to do that.

I’ve dabbled in sobriety before, but it doesn’t speak to me in quite the same way a glass of really good beer does. A glass of really good beer solves everything on a cellular level. I can feel it seeping into my most attentive tissues and recalibrating them in an important and fundamental way. It’s good medicine. For instance, it completely cures sobriety.

I mean, yes. I did drink to excess for a period of time in my life but it was only about twenty years, all told, and I barely remember it. So.

Currently I drink two really good beers a night. Every so often, a third. My doctor would like me to cut that down to one beer a night, max. The thing about that is the second beer sort of tar-babies onto the first one so really it’s just one beer, but it doesn’t all fit in one glass. I explained that to the doctor but she got all science-y on me.

Anyway, I always assume a doctor is going to tell me to cut down or eliminate my alcohol intake. That’s what they do. My own life plan was to continue at my current pace until my liver enzyme stats started squeaking and then quit. I’m willing to be just a little bit yellow.

Turns out that wasn’t even what my doctor had in mind. She is a word-to-the-wise sort of person, so she didn’t hammer at me—she just presented the information that the amount of alcohol I’m consuming is strongly correlated with cancer. And heart disease. It’s like she doesn’t even care about my liver, which has been heroic all along.

Whuh? Cancer? Heart disease? I am not interested in either of those things. My mother died of breast cancer when she was younger than I am now. I was rather hoping I’d die old, of something like forgetting to breathe or having an Acme safe fall on me.

Well, anyway, that made an impression on me, and so I have embarked on a project of seriously contemplating cutting down at some yet-to-be-determined point. It’s not fair though. The medical lights recommend no more than one drink a day for women and two for men, and I am certain men’s appetite for alcohol is not automatically twice mine. But apparently women have a greater percentage of fat than men do, even the real pudgy ones, and fat absorbs more alcohol than water, which is one of the things men are full of. This means the alcohol shoots straight through your average man, but pulls up a chair and sits a spell in a woman; and also women have less of the enzyme that busts up alcohol. This is even true if the woman is huge and muscular and the man is little and doughy. Not that it matters; I also am little and doughy.

I was making great strides in my thinking-about-it campaign and then I read a New York Times article about the very same points my doctor brought up. The cancer thing was no joke. They had a lot of statistics. They had a lot of scientific explanation. I had a single beer that night. I’ve had a single beer every night since. It’s been a couple weeks. It hasn’t been that bad. I imagine I’ll have more than one sometimes, like if we have company, but I think I can keep this up. I want to outlive my mom by more than one year.

Although she never had a drink in her life.