This post was originally published on August 1, 2014.
Twenty years from now, the bleary-eyed med school students of today will be publishing studies revealing that writing for Vice dramatically lowers one’s life expectancy. From isolation tanks to homemade powdered alcohol, if something sounds both dangerous and unpleasant, some Vice contributor has probably tried it. But nothing beats this guy, who went for five days consuming nothing but alcoholic beverages. You know, for science. And by science we mean journalism.
Previously, Jules Suzdaltsev (let’s just refer to him by his first name, okay?) has chronicled his bad experiences smoking coffee and eating gourmet dog food. He has also written a lot about San Francisco, where he apparently lives despite his conviction that it’s “the worst place ever.” Will somebody tell this guy there’s no Nobel Prize for Suffering?
Jules confessed that he hadn’t been living the healthiest lifestyle to begin with—his pot use was more regular than this meals. Determined not to actually starve himself, he aimed for 1,500-2,000 calories per day in his Ultimate Juice Fast. Day one went swimmingly, perhaps even disappointingly, as Jules reported feeling virtually nothing. So he busted out the tequila on Day 2, along with a full bottle of champagne. That did the trick.
It was a noble effort to stay technically alive while downing no more actual nutrients than could be acquired at cocktail bar. Jules was creative and resourceful: Bloody Marys (veggies!), screwdrivers (fruits!), eggnog (protein!) and lots and lots of beer (grains!). Despite consuming more or less enough calories to sustain lying around his apartment, he was constantly hungry, angry and most of all drunk.
Sacrificing for Science and Mouse Clicks
Miraculously, he never threw up, largely thanks to well-timed naps and the water he would down between shots. Though his urine looked surprisingly normal and he didn’t black out, he did suffer an ocular migraine on the last day. And there were other bodily functions that rebelled against his self-torture. The realm of the scatological is one of my least favorite realms to explore, so I’ll let you use your imaginations when Jules says, “I don’t know how much blood this is or how much Bloody Mary this is.” Yikes.
Compared with being high all day, Jules found non-stop drunkenness to be agonizingly dull. The one bright spot in his miserable experiment was leaving the house to track down a cop with a breathalizer (just because) and to mingle with other drunk folks. As everyone knows, sharing a drink called loneliness is better than drinking alone.
Salad: An Unlikely Choice for Cheat Day
Just to drive home the perversity of this endeavor, the last line of Day 5 reads, “Dinner (Failure): One Caesar Salad with Romaine.” Shame on you, Jules—you just had to have that salad, didn’t you? Goddammit, can’t you finish anything you start?
Even though he ultimately caved to the temptation of crispy greens, Jules survived his trial by firewater and has presumably returned to his regular pattern of gorging on munchies after getting stoned. He only seems mildly concerned about any health effects he might have incurred. “My lower back has been hurting for a while,” he adds, almost as an afterthought. “I thought that was probably because I’d been sleeping weird, but I realized that’s where my kidneys are. I hope that goes away. It’s probably fine.”
Needless to say, we don’t need to worry about Jules becoming an alcoholic sensu stricto. As for his daily weed smoking? Eh, you know. It’s probably fine.
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