I've been reading about Alexander the Great and I stumbled on this story that solidified my resolve to not drink wine.
The story goes like this: Alexander has already conquered most of the known world by this time and has fought his way to India and is headed back to Macedonia. But before he leaves India, he convinces this Buddhist wise man by the name of Calanus to come with him. Now Calanus was eighty-three and had never been sick a day in his life, but when they get to the town of Pasargada, he comes down with a sever case of cholic. "Well this just won't do," decides Calanus, so after the fashion of his beliefs, he has Alexander build a funeral pyre for him so he can get this dying thing over with. Alexander tries to talk him out of it but Calanus has made up his mind and this is what he is going to do.
So they stack up a bunch of wood and the old man climbs on top and tells them that they shouldn't be sad at his passing. They should drink and carouse with Alexander to celebrate the occasion. Then Calanus lays down, says, "Flick your Bic, Alex baby," or something to that effect, and never moves a muscle as the fire consumes him.
Now we get to the good part. They take the old man's advice and have a party. Where I'm from they would call this a wake, but whatever. So to honor the memory of their dear departed friend, Alexander offers a crown to the person who can drink the most. The winner is a stout hearted brute by the name of Promachus who consumed eighteen to twenty pints of wine. He enjoyed his victory for three days before he died. Of the guests, forty-one died from drinking too much.
I don't know what kind of wine was served, but I would be willing to bet it wasn't made by Earnest & Julio Gallo, but I'm not taking any chances. I'll stick to beer, and if you are wondering, that's what will be served at my wake. The kegs will be conveniently positioned at the head and foot of my coffin as to provide the mourners a pre- and post-view drink without the fuss of bothering the bartender who is too busy pouring shots anyway. I like to be a considerate host regardless of the occasion.
And don't send flowers, send peanuts and pretzels.