Welcome to the fifth edition of DBB's World Famous Drunken Mailbag... which is just like Keith Langlois' mailbag, except infinitely more honest and hilarious because the authors answer reader questions while
getting shitfaced imbibing their favorite alcoholic beverages responsibly.
I'm beginning this Very Special Edition from an airport bar in Vegas. It's 3:52 PST. In roughly six hours, I'll be seeing Guns N' Roses (and Alice In Chains!) in their first big performance since the Bad Boys era.
I'm hanging here waiting for my buddy Steve to arrive from Dallas, having a Stella Artois because airport bars don't carry craft beer and it's at least palatable.
Vegas is a tricky and potentially dangerous place. During my first trip back in 2000 (at the ripe old age of 25), I drank way too many alcoholic slushy drinks, downed a 2-pound bag of M&M's in one sitting (I woke up to find the empty bag on my chest and a few scattered on the floor. It was like a crime scene.), and accidentally wound up at a swingers club after our cab driver misunderstood our request to go swing dancing.
Last year we played beer pong at Brooklyn Bowl the first night, downed six pitchers in two hours, and all four of us were asleep before midnight. What a difference it makes when you hit 40.
So this may be a bumpy ride, but I'm going to try and answer these questions whenever I get a few minutes throughout the night, and maybe into tomorrow. Depends on how Vegas treats me.
There are some good ones in the thread that I want to get into, so here goes...
Sauce1977: Can we somehow convince Andre Drummond to hire you, Hypnowheel, as his personal mentor?
Since this has come up a few times on DBB, let me address it very clearly. If Andre chose to work with me, I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that he would improve noticeably in numerous ways. Free throws, focus, intensity, defense, confidence, tenacity, you name it.
Don't mistake this for overconfidence on my part. It's my professional opinion based on my experience. I've performed roughly 10,000 sessions of hypnosis. My clients improve. My track record of success is public. I've hypnotized people on CNN, Nancy Grace and Atlanta's most popular morning radio show... and every single time, I knocked it out of the park. (It's all on my YouTube channel. In their words.) Also, unlike a lot of mental coaches, I understand the game of basketball. So consider this an open letter to SVG and Andre... hire Sean Wheeler and you won't be disappointed. It's a good fit.
Alright, I just watched the Pistons finish off the Wizards and secure a playoff bid(!) here at the Public House at The Palazzo, our hotel/casino of choice on this trip. My buddy and I have knocked back a couple of my absolute favorite beers - Fin Du Monde by Unibroue, a Canadian brewery specializing in Belgian style ales. 9% ABV.
Things are heating up as we prepare to head off to the show. What an awesome night... Pistons win. Playoffs. Best friend. Guns N' Roses. Good beer. Good times. And a good time for these questions:
Boourns: On the off-chance that the Pistons end up NOT making the playoffs, what would you suggest as a proper response/mitigation plan for those of us on DBB likely to be extremely drunk and surly?
When the Pistons make the playoffs, how will you respond to The Boourns' last-minute pessimism with his question asked previously in this thread?
I never had to consider the first question because I knew they'd get in. Now that they have, I'll answer the second. Pessimism is a strategy. Keep your hopes down so you don't get disappointed. The reason I'm such an unabashed optimist is that I've learned to handle disappointment so well that I don't fear it. If they get stomped four straight by the Cavs in the first round and embarrassed on national TV... I'll be mad for a little while, and then I'll focus on other stuff. It's that simple. Replay the awesome memories in your head repeatedly and quickly push away the crappy ones. I've long since forgotten most of last season, but the PSE win streak and video? Permanent fixtures in my consciousness.
DRINK. MORE. KOOL-AID.
Off to Guns N' Roses!
Rainy night in Vegas. I pay the cab driver, get out and step into a very LONG LINE of people waiting outside the arena, in the rain, because GNR apparently went two hours long on the sound check and Axl Rose refused to let anyone in until he was finished. As soon as I take my place in line, I realize I LEFT MY IPHONE IN THE CAB!!!
I run out into the rain, chasing whatever cabs pulling away that might have been ours. Knocking on windows and peering inside.
It's long gone. %#^£!!!
Facing the horrible possibility of being without communications in Vegas - which is probably one of the worst places in the world to not have a phone for an extended period of time - my friend Steve calmly decides to start calling my number from his phone. After 3-4 tries, the cabbie answers. 10 minutes later, I have my iPhone back, and the cabbie is $50 richer. Disaster averted. I have to confess, normally calm and positive Hypnowheel temporarily lost his cool and cursed like a sailor. I blame the booze ;)
Finally, they let us in. Excitement builds.
Alice in Chains just put on an awesome opening act. I miss Layne Staley, but William Duvall sounds so much like him it's scary.
Here at the brand spankin' new T-Mobile Arena on the strip, we're pounding 16oz Stellas at $13 apiece. Damn, Vegas is expensive. I think I've had three of those so far, which makes it the perfect time to answer a very serious political question...
Sauce1977: Should the UK leave the EU?
Yes. As should every other country. It's destroying Europe. I'll be making my fifth trip to France next week, and I still recall my French friend saying back in the 90's how everyone in France was opposed to the Euro and the EU. The people hate it, and it appears to be a creation of politicians more than citizens. Forced down the citizens' throats, and now the people of Europe are starting to rebel. The further away the governing body is from the citizen being governed, the weaker the voice of the citizen.
What a show! Axl Rose does the entire set from a throne he borrowed from Dave Grohl after breaking his foot/leg during a warm-up show last week. Time for a GNR question...
Merwinly: Axl or Slash?
Normally, I'd say Slash without hesitating. Tonight, they were both awesome. Axl's voice was damn near perfect. He was also in a good mood. Slash is a badass. They played 2.5 hours... from opener It's So Easy to closer Paradise City. So awesome.
Another by Merwinly: How many championships will this group of Pistons win?
My buddy Steve says "maybe one." My guess would be two... like a nice back-to-back in traditional Bad Boys style. It's tough to predict because it's so dependent on what other teams do. But all things aside, I think if all goes well, the Pistons core of current players, plus a star acquired via trade, plus an improved bench stocked with productive veterans and rising stars, yeah... I really think they could win a couple 'ships in the next 4-6 years.
But more importantly, I think we're looking at a long run of highly competitive basketball, playoff appearances and excitement. Championships are hard to come by, and a lot will have to go right to win even one or two. Hell, the Warriors are a young team, too... and I don't see them going away anytime soon.
Sauce 1977: In a Battle Royale with a Cage Match (anything goes, losers basically go subconscious), who would win ... if the cage features The Boourns, Hypnowheel, Packey, OK from J, madpoopz, Kriz, Donald Trump, and Keyboard Cat?
I know nothing of The Boourns' or madpoopz' fighting prowess, and don't want to make any assumptions about OK from J simply because he's from the martial arts capital of the world. But since I've taken Krav Maga and do kickboxing classes every week, I could probably take out Trump (which would be quite satisfying). Keyboard Cat would be my tag team partner (love cats). Packey will be an easy out because he's up late with an infant most nights. But Kriz? KNIVES.
It's 4am PST, which is around 7am EST, which means I've been awake for 24 hours... and have consumed more beer than I'd like to admit, even if I was able to remember. Back at the hotel and getting ready to pass out. Exhausted. Awesome time to get all serious and political again.
Merwinly: How do you reconcile the state of modern American politics with your obviously positive outlook on life?
This is my absolutely FAVORITE question of the entire mailbag, because it's at the heart of the most fundamental issue of human existence - meaning. What's the meaning of life? To me, it's love. It's joy. It's sharing those positive emotions and experiences with others.
So how does one remain positive and optimistic when treacherous villains like Trump and Hillary are the leading candidates for president?
You can be positive about life, about yourself and about your future by focusing on what you can control, which is yourself. Enjoy your life. Enjoy your family. Enjoy your friends. Enjoy the Pistons. Enjoy Guns N' Roses.
Every single day, I immerse myself in love for my 2-year-old daughter Sienna. She's an absolute delight. She's hilarious, adorable, funny, stubborn, surprising... you name it. And when I'm with her, everything else evaporates from my mind and my life. We go to the zoo, the park, the museum... and we laugh, play and have fun.
No matter who wins the next election, I'll still have the opportunity to be a good father. And that will matter more than who wins. No one can stop me from being a good person, a good father or husband... and that is why I can smile every single day.
Also, I've actually used my video editing skills to produce political videos that have been effective at persuading viewers. Between the past two presidential elections, versions of my videos have been viewed nearly 20 million times. So I'm contributing something in an effort to have a positive impact.
(Steve is now sawing logs five feet away. Snoring loudly. Good lord, save me.)
Life is about the experiences and connections you have with others. It's about discovery and learning. Crises, corruption and apocalyptic newscasters can't prevent you from enjoying life, nor from being positive and optimistic about yourself, your life and your future.
So yes, the country is going to hell in a hand basket... but everything is going to be alright.
Thanks for the good questions, Merwinly... here's one last one for you.
Merwinly: How does hypnosis affect your worldview?
Hypnosis flipped my world upside down. Once I learned how it could change my life so profoundly, I began questioning everything. Why the hell don't more people know about this stuff?
And the more questions I asked, the more I realized that our society has so much backwards. Politics, education, values, self-perception... everything. Totally had a Neo-coming-out-of-the-Matrix moment. I've performed sessions with a couple thousand clients, and it's taught me a lot about how people think. Most people I've got to know are more or less confused, frustrated, lacking in self-confidence, afraid, negative and pessimistic. Hard on themselves. Anxious. People aren't happy... they feel helpless... and they don't recognize just how powerful they can be.
(Damn, I'm rambling. But hey, I've been up 24 hours and have had a lot to drink.)
Before I turn out the lights, I'll just say that hypnosis has helped me understand the world in a way that gives me a great degree of peace. I may not like the state of the world today, but it's not a mystery to me. Even the lunacy makes sense when you understand how people think.
But I do know one thing - people can do amazing things when they believe in themselves.
Off to bed now. Thanks for reading, and congrats to me for making it this far!
See you in the playoffs!
P.S. I have a little present for DBB that should be ready before I leave the country and the first round begins. I think you'll enjoy it.