Burning Up at My Bachelor Party

08/27/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Advil or TheraFlu? Or should I pack both?

It wasn't long ago that I stopped getting hungover and started getting the flu.

I can't remember the first time it happened after a night of drinking, but it was probably sometime after my 30th birthday, right around the same time that I realized rec league softball was becoming increasingly hazardous to my health, though admittedly not as perilous as a bachelor party.

Mine begins Thursday.

My brother, who is my best man, organized it with the help of my friends.

Fingers crossed that the guest list doesn't include The Hangover's Mike Tyson, or the Quaalude-popping, cocaine-snorting donkey from Bachelor Party.

Who knew a 1984 Tom Hanks comedy could be so edgy? And is it possible that we've underrated the entire decade?

Sure, the '80s were cheesy, but they were cheesy in a rugged Jane Fonda kinda way. Her "feel the burn" and "no pain, no gain" fitness videos were a huge hit that decade and influenced a generation of gym teachers.

Just think. The Romans were building aqueducts in the fourth century BC, yet somehow it was a sign of weakness in the Reagan years to want a water break during dodgeball.

Older and wiser now, I will be pursuing a more conservative "drink a beer, drink a water" pace when my bachelor party begins at Fenway Park.

And yes, I'm aware that hydrating isn't the manliest of strategies.

My 94-year-old grandfather, a retired colonel in the Marine Corps, doesn't drink at meals. Anything. Not water, juice, beer, wine, or Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper. Nothing. He just eats.

During the Battle of Midway, he lived in an 8x15 foot flea-infested bunker carved out of sand, which doubled as his cockroach-filled command post for nearly 18 months. I wonder if he ever got thirsty, but it's hard to imagine him complaining. It's not his style.

My other grandfather, a two-star general in the Marines, passed away ten years ago.

If he were alive today, I'm not sure what would confuse him more: my Operation Hydration, or the fact that he could follow my bachelor party progress on Twitter. Interestingly, although he wasn't much for chit-chat, the 140-character limit might have strangely appealed to him.

At Tarawa, in one of the bloodiest battles in American history, he personally led an attack on the heavily defended central sector of the island. Forty eight hours later, he finally found a quiet moment on the beach and reached for his canteen. It was full.

His courageous leadership at Tarawa earned him his second Silver Star, not to mention a much deserved water break.

For goodness sakes, if my grandfathers could survive World War II, surely I can survive my bachelor party.


I'll find out Thursday.

My friends and I kick off the festivities at noon on Yawkey Way in Boston. I can feel the burn already, and I wouldn't have it any other way. No pain, as the saying goes, no gain.