09/26/2013 10:21 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

A Stiff Drink May Get You Stiffed


A stiff is a corpse and as an adjective can also refer to an arthritic person, a bore, or someone who refuses to tip and whose increased rigidity may be a barometer of which way his or her life is going, though stiff can also refer to potency when employed to reference the male erection. Used in the intransitive as a passive verb, stiff can refer to someone who gets "stiffed" or taken advantage of and when you get stiff, you have one too many stiff or overly strong drinks. People who get stiff run a good chance getting stiffed and the fact that someone gets stiff in the first place and runs the chance of getting stiffed derives from rigidity which is also one of the synonyms of the adjective. A person who has too much to drink is someone who probably requires lubrication because of inhibitions which make him rigid; the self-same rigidity is at work even in his or her inebriated state since he or she are suffering from the same delusion which made him or her take to drink to begin with. Thus a stiff or drunk is often described as being tight. "Alcoholism is a disease of perception," is one of many things that's said about addictive drinking and the person who gets stiff and ends up being stiffed is someone who has still not changed his ways of thinking, despite his or her pipedreams. A stiff is thus someone whose rigidity has become eternal. It's not surprising that Bergson, in his Laughter-An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic, saw rigidity as one of the basic mechanisms of comedy particularly since most comedy is full of bores, drunks, uxorious men and corpses.

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}