Its name brings a smile to the faces bar owners who see their profits rising when they hear one of their unsuspecting patrons say “let’s do some Fireball!”. Why do I say unsuspecting patrons? Because as they’ve driven Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey from being a relatively unknown product to one of the top-ten liquors in the US market, few have taken note of Fireball’s dark secret.
As you read “Fireball’s dark secret”, you may have believed that I’d bring up that the beverage was taken off the shelves in some European countries because it contains excessive levels of the propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is a preservative that is also used as automotive anti-freeze and to de-ice airplanes. And while this whiskey has too much anti-freeze for some European nations, the level of the chemical in it is within acceptable limits here in the United States. Propylene glycol is not the secret.
Someone Is Going Down, Hard
The dark secret of Fireball is that as soon as it is ordered by a group of people in a bar you can be certain that one member of that group will likely be so intoxicated that they will be unable to continue the evening.
The only reasonable explanation for this happening would be that Fireball has a higher percentage of alcohol than other liquors. But it doesn’t. Since there is no reasonable explanation, I have to conclude that a bottle of Fireball is a bottle of evil. It is concentrated, liquid evil. How else do you explain a beverage with such a high casualty rate?
And what of that casualty rate? Well, according to my research, Fireball Whiskey has a casualty rate of close to 25%. That kind of casualty rate would never be accepted in any other facet of life. A twenty-five percent chance you’ll actually drive yourself safely to work tomorrow? No, thank you. Twenty five percent chance that you’ll survive surgery? No way.
If You Can’t Attack The Message, Attack The Messenger
“You’re not a researcher”, Fireball’s defenders will cry, “you’re barely even a writer”.
Both of those things are true. But I assure you that I am a keen observer of my fellow man and I can tell you that in my research trips* to bars from Boston to Key West, I have seen the twenty-five percent casualty rate replicated over and over. If four friends are drinking, and one of them says “let’s do Fireball shots”, one of the four is destined for an earlier than planned bed time.
Don’t believe me? Start paying attention when you go out. When the Fireball starts flowing, I’m certain you’ll see that one of four people who consume it will do something very out of the ordinary, will injure themselves in some way, and/or will have to be taken home.
Fireball Chooses Its Victims At Random
Now, one of the tricky things about this liquid evil is that it is impossible to predict which person out of a group of four will fall victim to the curse of Fireball. There is no guarantee that the person who is most intoxicated before the cinnamon whiskey starts flowing will be the one being carried home by their friends. The only guarantees are that one of the four will be taken home early and, after they tuck their unfortunate friend in for the night, the other three will have a conversation that goes something like this :
Surviving friend #1: “What happened to him?”
#2: “I don’t know. He was fine, and then, he was singing “Having My Baby” and we had to go.”
#3: “It was right after we drank the Fireball. Do you think that had anything to do with it?”
#2: “Nah. Look at us. We’re OK.”
#3: “You’re right. Maybe he ate a bad clam.”
#1: “That’s it! I didn’t eat a clam. I’m fine! Stupid clams.”
And that is the other tricky thing about Fireball. Despite the obvious connection between its consumption and the impromptu performance of Having My Baby (or walking in to a tree, or waking up covered in blood, or…or…or…), none of those involved in drinking it can see that the liquid evil is the cause of their night coming to an end. No, there’s always a scapegoat…like bad clams.
My friends, we’re all adults here. We can drink whatever we want. We don’t have to drink Fireball just because someone else thinks we should. Peer pressure was a thing when we were thirteen.
We are not thirteen years old. Our friends are not the boss of us. One in four are going down.
Put down the shot glass and back away.
No one wants to hear “Having My Baby”.
If you do, it’s right here. You might want to do a shot first.
*Yes, they were research trips. Back off me, drunkard.
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