You walk up to a bar and order, "Jim Beam, rocks." You pause, the bartender pauses. She replies, "We have Jack."
"Jack? Jack isn't Jim Beam."
For the love of Christ, how can they be out of Jim? You pause, search and collect your thoughts. "No problem, I'll order again." But what? Then the terror hits. But what!
Insert your own drink, but the phenomena is the same. The slightest change of plans can throw the habitual drinker in to gibbering idiot searching through the vast reservoir of drinks you drank before you knew what you drink covering everything from your first vodka tonic to goofy shit like a Campari and soda.
You even consider rum drinks before you remember that what distinguishes a Rum Punch from a Planters Punch from a Mai Tai to most bartenders is if they put three different kind of fruit wedges, four different kind of fruit wedges and/or a cherry on top.
Welcome to drinker's block. Fortunately, we can help. We've been through this enough times to know the stages of drinker's block and how to beat it.
It starts with denial. You stand with your jaw open for about five minutes (that's approximately ten drinks time to a bartender) as if it'll just come to you. The bartender politely starts polishing a glass. That's when you know time is ticking down. You hastily order a Pale Ale and then take it back. Really, when's the last time you enjoyed a Pale Ale? The bartender, disgusted, turns away.
Next comes anger. It's the bar's fault, right? They have 100 different kinds of liquor but they're out of one so "f--- them." Sounds fair. Maybe you should call ahead next time and they can special order a bottle for you, princess.
Then there's sorrow. You stare forlorn at the foot rail. You wish you went to the pool hall instead. Too late, you can't walk out now. Besides the bartender is hot.
Finally, there's acceptance. The bartender comes back, mocks you as rightly she should, and you just have to bite the bullet. Order something. Anything.
"I'll have Knob Creek instead."
There, you did it. Glad we could help.