Never trust a man who doesn’t drink

94 Comments 14 September 2011

Son, never trust a man who doesn’t drink because he’s probably a self-righteous sort, a man who thinks he knows right from wrong all the time. Some of them are good men, but in the name of goodness, they cause most of the suffering in the world. They’re the judges, the meddlers. And, son, never trust a man who drinks but refuses to get drunk. They’re usually afraid of something deep down inside, either that they’re a coward or a fool or mean and violent. You can’t trust a man who’s afraid of himself. But sometimes, son, you can trust a man who occasionally kneels before a toilet. The chances are that he is learning something about humility and his natural human foolishness, about how to survive himself. It’s damned hard for a man to take himself too seriously when he’s heaving his guts into a dirty toilet bowl.
~James Arthur Crumley (October 12, 1939 – September 17, 2008)
The Wrong Case (1975)

Your Comments

94 Comments so far

  1. Genesis says:

    I’ll have a few good, dark beers, but I won’t get drunk. I feel like people forget how awful for your body alcohol is. It’s not a virtue to drink, it makes you less able. What a messed up society where people who don’t drink are seen as whacky.

  2. eic says:

    I have drank and done drugs smoked cigarettes all these things almost all my life. I am 31 now and I stopped smoking drinking for 2yrs now, and stopped drugs when I was around 24yrs old. From liquor to dark beers light beers to chain smoking to getting high in which I couldn’t move (marijuana) all in the past. Now to find ones true self when wasted well that’s a complete self experience in its own, and his meaning is just not accurate. I mean some become addicted, some become a happy drunk, some violent, some kill people, some become wife beaters, some make complete fools of them selfs, some die of alchol poisioning, some say stuff that’s hurtful mean harsh cold. Well moving on, one does not know there true self until drunk, this is a self opinion so there is really not one correct answer to this statment or quote. Why? Well when I drank became a happy drunk. I am a goofy happy person in life minus alchol, so when I drank I just became a lil more happier and goofy. So, to find ones true self is like I said an individual thing, its his own opinion, I know my trueself and even when sober I know my trueself, when drunk I know my trueself, yes I done goofy things that I would of been shy of doing when sober, but key word shy, now a days I can do all the goofy things I did drunk off my ass, as I could do sober, its called having fun regardless, I don’t need alchol to let lose, you just gotta find people who respect your decision not to drink, and who pratically don’t care if you drink or don’t drink, I don’t care myself if you drink or don’t, because I don’t judge. It was my own decision to stop drinking. One last thing, if anyone replys with, well I am sure you miss a social drink with someone or having a night out with buddies getting drunk or mildy drunk, list can go on. Yes I miss the aspect of having a social drink, but because society has put this idea in our heads for long long long time, brainwashed in a sense. Do we need alchol to be social nope, some people do or think they do, its all a mental thing in the end. Nowadays I realize I don’t myself need alchol to have fun. I can have as much fun as I did when I drank minus the hangover, vomiting, taking home a random wildabeast, being hungover till 10p.m, joints hurting, dehydration, severe headache, blackouts, driving drunk, getting in fights, public intoxication, eating stuff that would put your ass hole one fire or cause severe diahrrea the next day, well I think you get my idea. Well in the end, his meaning is self opinionated, its all an individual thing, a mental thing as well, and even a family upbringing thing as well, culture society you know all those nick nacks, and for those interested in why I stopped drinking, again I’m 31 now I have been drinking since I was 15. Its now time to start open a new chapter called health, have a family, wake up feeling good rested, but most importantly live a longer healthy life, and let’s see really quick, have better sex when sober, not make fool of self when talking to women when drunk, wake up naked in bath tub, vomit over friends new couch, pass out in front lawn, pass out in bar parking lot, I think y’all get my drift. Well don’t mind the grammar sorry, just making a quick passage. Well cheers my friends, don’t mind me I just have a lime and club soda, or cranberry juice, or a mineral water, as some of my friends would sat (wtf) but ehhh your having fun right yes I am, but I won’t wake up with a hangover ahahahaha. Cheers!!

  3. Damn straight.

    Wiki tells me that James Arthur Crumley was “a patron saint of the post-Vietnam private eye novel,” a cross between Raymond Chandler and Hunter S. Thompson. What’s not to love? Moreover, his book The Last Good Kiss has been described as “the most influential crime novel of the last 50 years.”

    Now that’s a man after my own heart. Which I have, on rare occasion, heaved into a dirty toilet. In the most ladylike way, of course. ^_~

  4. nate says:

    eric, i think you’re missing the point. this quote isn’t so much about drinking or drugs, it is about a man’s true character beneath their control and inhibitions. one often finds that the true nature of a man is revealed in moments when their inhibitions are released. times of great stress and trial would be equally as telling. you’re focusing on the wrong thing. in fact, you inadvertently make his point. you have things in you that are released when you let down your guard that frighten you. you lack an understanding, a deep awareness, and a peace within yourself if in a moment freed of your inhibitions you take up with wildabeasts, and become violent, bemoan the consequences of your overindulgence and even seek blame on society. you are more comfortable believing in your fragile, tenuous facade of control over your primal self, instead of being comfortable with what lies beneath. i would sooner trust a man who has confronted his demons and subdued them, than one who has faced them, fled and never returned.

  5. Ellison Hunt says:

    I love drinking and I have done it all from one drink to throwing up all over the place….

    But I drink because I like it and mostly I am happy and talk and act like a 3 year old.

    So here’s to Maker’s Mark and Wild Turkey and George Dickel and all the rest.

  6. Abbey says:

    but you shouldn’t trust one that drinks in excess either

  7. Matt says:

    That seems applicable… in 1975.

  8. Neil Swann says:

    I don’t drink, but because I hate hangovers. I stopped drinking when they started to last two days! When the pain outlasts the pleasure, time to stop.

  9. Jason says:

    Genesis, you’re really taking the poetry out of what he’s saying and inevitably missing the point. James A. Crumley’s not saying that we should fill ourselves with alcohol; too much of anything is bad for a person. He’s saying that a person that cannot trust himself enough to let go and reveal his true colors, should not be trusted by you.

  10. Rahul K says:

    One thing I have come to realize that there cant be a hard and fast rule for anything.

    I don’t drink because I never felt like, I never needed to…..I don’t think it could be a parameter of my trustworthiness or for that matter lack of it.

    Also whatever the quote is it doesn’t mean you can trust any person who drinks.

    The logic here I think it wants to put is that the person who drinks are bit clearer in heart since they are allowing their inner to get out of their, whereas the person who don’t drink has a very unexplored and sort of mystic inner since they don’t allow to come out control…..though I have my doubts on it.

    I believe how a person’s inner is can not be judged by his/her drinking/smoking/doping habits.

  11. ed says:

    This is total bullish*t. Trustworthiness has nothing to do with whether one drinks, or does not drink. It sounds like wisdom in a quote or on the internet, but only a fool would follow it in real life.

  12. Mike Moone says:

    Everybody else just takes themselves too seriously.
    Son, unless you’ve been strung out on smack for 10 days at a time, you haven’t really learned anything in life.

  13. Happy says:

    Mike Moone: Exactly.

    People can say that insanity about anything. Son, never trust a man who refuses to steal because if he won’t help himself, he won’t help you either. Son never trust a man, who hasn’t killed a few people because if he can’t tell who beings here and who doesn’t he is a man without wisdom. Ridiculous.

  14. Reginald says:

    guess you are definitely right………..”never drink” men tend to wreck havoc indirectly on planet earth

  15. Geoffrey says:

    I don’t drink frequently because I’m epileptic and can’t mix alcohol with my medication. Sure I have a drink every once in a while, but I’ll never be drunk again. Feel free to follow me around get wire-taps on my phone.

  16. Socialmedic says:

    As regards drinking, we live in a society where you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. It is best not to go out in public where you can be judged either way and only drink in private with the most trusted of acquaintances, if with anyone at all. People are constantly looking for ways to put other people down and the easiest and lamest way they do it is by picking on other people’s drinking habits and turning them into socially useful and profitable slander. These snipers are everywhere. If you don’t drink you are the anti-alcohol Nazi and if you do you are accused of looking for habit sponsorship. Frankly I enjoy sitting back having wine with my dinner and I am not sitting there with a measuring cup to ensure I only take in four ounces. Sitting back are the key words here and I am not going to give any alcohol sniper the privilege of aggravating my relaxed company.

  17. George says:

    Most of the comments here prove that non-drinkers are self-righteous.

  18. 2tor says:

    Actually it’s the insecurity of the drinkers you should be careful of. Because the nondrinkers don’t really give a fck what you do, as long as it”s someone elses life you damage.

  19. Erin says:

    Why are all you non drinkers even on this booze website?

  20. Mike says:

    Are 95% of you complete morons? He is simply saying that anyone who is not comfortable enough to be their truest, deepest self in front of anyone is untrustworthy. He chooses alcohol as the medium because it happens to have that effect on people. I think this board also proved non-drinkers may be be too self-righteous and defensive. Then again, with a name like Genesis, you have to see that coming.

  21. Anand says:

    Ok…. That hit close… And stumble brought me here.

    But to say I don’t drink because I am hiding something BAD is not fair and by getting drunk I will reveal my true nature. seriously??

  22. Carr says:

    This pissing match has been going for well over a year. That has to be some kind of a record.

  23. Phil says:

    Well alcoholism is a disease, so I would say don’t trust people who never got the cancer, they are full of crap and think they are invincible.

    And don’t trust a man who never got the flu, because he’s probably a robot, and robots cannot be trust, neither as non-drunker.

  24. Chris says:

    I really despise self-righteous bastards! Whether a lifelong T-totaler, an ex-drunk on the wagon or a bible-slapping church-goer (I DID NOT say Christian, because a church-goer IS NOT necessarily the same thing)they only spread hate and dissension.

  25. Thatmanstu says:

    It isn’t a quote and should not be taken as one..It is just dialogue from a novel that James Arthur Crumley wrote. Not a philosophical expression,just fiction.

  26. LionKing says:

    Dear Sir,

    I somewhat disagree on your comment, not sure about other culture but in India many Hindu culture drinking is prohibited and many folks choose not to drink or never drink so if you someone goes to India you can’t trust anyone? I might be true here but if someone form India who is here may not believe the same ! ..

  27. Web Tasarım says:

    Yes I agree…People should be open minded to differ bad or good

  28. Someone says:

    Ha don’t trust a woman that does drink. The reasons being that 80% of the time they end up puking, crying, slapping, bitching, crying, falling, and scratching. i mean thank you for the free entertainment at the bar. then after they drink more than they should (which is always)100% forget the meaning of self-respect and self-control. this may seem sexist but every guy has been embarrassed by their hammered girlfriend, and has taken a girl home that lets be honest has been so obnoxious you hit and run so you dont have to deal with her in the morning

  29. Trevor says:

    Wisdom based off alcohol, scumbag alcohol. What a joke…

  30. sleight says:

    I don’t drink/smoke or take any other kind of legal/illegal drugs except for music. So I must be the next hitler according to this.
    Just because I choose to keep a clear mind at all points in time, I must be an irrespinsible prick. I believe only a drunk can come up with this logic.

  31. Noneya says:

    If you think this is just about drinking then you are the people he is talking about that should not be trusted. Those who do not drink inherently have in the back of their mind that they are better than the people who do, just as I subconsciously think that I am better than the people who do hard drugs. It is not a bad thing to not drink, but the people who have commented here have proven his point.

  32. arpie says:

    All the heavy drinkers I’ve ever known have been a huge disappointment to those who love them and ultimately an even bigger disappointment to themselves. While drunk they think they’re profound and interesting, but they’re always, at best, tedious and boring or just irrational, or, at worst, downright dangerous – the extreme of untrustworthy. I drink moderately and, aside from a few experimental binges when young, never in excess. I just don’t see how being unwilling to make a complete ass of myself in public translates into being untrustworthy. If my style of drinking turns off and turns away the heavy drinkers, all the better. For the most part their resentment of non-drinkers is part of the paranoia that comes from their own self-doubt due to their excesses and the unpleasant consequences that come down later, from spouses, employers, resentful/dysfunctional kids, and their own damaged bodies.

  33. ed says:

    I’m not surprised that the haters picking on Joey from the first comment are bitching so much. You are judging Joey, just like Mr. Crumley judges everyone who refuses to get drunk to be judging everyone else. So whether you do or don’t judge people doesn’t depend on your alcohol consumption.

    About the “deep inside” part. I’d rather be judging, than beating my wife. Now I’m done. Come at me haters, and give me more proof that I was right.

  34. mittah says:

    I m not suprised its true

  35. Tanner says:

    And I don’t trust heavy drinkers. Heavy drinkers are immature and irresponsible. I’d rather be sober and clear minded than drunken and stupid. By the way, alcohol smells and taste horrible. I hate the stuff.

  36. Ben Toman says:

    A lot of the non-drinkers sound like sanctimonious hipsters. No one gives a damn why you don’t drink. As someone earlier posted, why are even on this site? Why don’t you think about what the quote means instead of being “so offended”.

  37. Ryan says:

    This guy was obviously drunk when he came up with this.. Which explains why it doesn’t make any sense at all.

  38. moi says:

    also wasnt this a quote from a charater in his novel?

  39. This space was intentionally left blank says:

    Reread that quote, slowly, a couple of times if need be “..occasionally kneels before a toilet…” does not mean “puke your guts out every day or get wasted often.” Occasionally. Some of you are reading too much into something that is not there.

  40. kickitson says:

    that is probably the dumbest quote ever.

  41. snoozy suzy says:

    This is total bullshit. . . in my opinion

  42. Just some nobody says:

    I don’t drink because I don’t like the taste. I want to drink though. Does that count?

  43. christophe says:

    I’m severely allergic to alcohol… in all fairness I would drink if I could.

    Never trust a man who thinks correlation indicates causation, who is convinced his life experiences can be generalized to absolute truth, or who declares another man’s choices indicates a self-righteous judgmental meddler who is the root of all suffering.

    Don’t trust me for that matter. Make your own decisions about who to trust.

  44. Tanner Littleton says:

    One of the stupidest mentalities in existence. There are very few things that are useless as alcoholic drinks.

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