It’s a sad fact of life that if you don’t drink much you end up as the designated driver for those who do. On the plus side, as the cartoon elucidates with the traditional logic puzzle, taking care of the inebriated presents some interesting intellectual challenges.
I worked all through college and on weekends during my sophomore year. I had to get up at 6:00 AM to go to work bussing tables at a restaurant. This meant I didn’t party on weekends. This also meant that only the Mormon guy, the Southern Baptist residential assistant and myself were sober at 2:00 AM on a Saturday, so we got stuck hauling the drunks in off the lawn and tucking them into bed in such a way as they wouldn’t aspirate their own vomit. (This was in addition to the joys of being awakened by a never ending series of boisterous but still ambulatory revelers.)
I can’t help but feel that the teetotalers’ taking care of the drunks extends to most areas of life.
The responsible and the self-denying always seem to have to sacrifice for the good of the irresponsible and self-indulgent. Whether we talk about work, mortgages, credit cards, parenthood, recreational drugs, automotive insurance, immigration, etc., the central political dynamic seems to boil down to the responsible bailing out the irresponsible. Politicians cast the irresponsible as hapless victims of fate and the responsible as selfish individuals who don’t want to help out their fellow human beings.
The political problem with the systematically irresponsible is that each one of them has the same vote as a responsible person. Irresponsible people don’t suddenly turn responsible when they enter the voting booth. If they make others clean up their messes in their personal life, they will vote to force others to clean up their messes in the political sphere as well. The irresponsible can offload the consequences of their dysfunctional behaviors onto the responsible with a pull of a ballot lever.
I think the only way to escape this dynamic is to severe the ability of the irresponsible to parasitize the responsible through state coercion. If people have to pay for the consequences of their own actions most will act more responsibly.
I’m not holding my breath for such a solution because implementing it requires that the irresponsible use their votes to cut the responsible loose. The irresponsible are unlikely to do so because, well, they’re irresponsible.
*Sigh* We just have to hope we don’t get stuck with the designated driver’s version of Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem.