A few years back, Google introduced an experimental Google Labs feature for Gmail, called Mail Goggles. The idea was simple: at certain hours of the day (or, more likely, night), a Gmail user with Mail Goggles turned on would need to answer a series of easy math problems before sending an outgoing message. Back when I was in college, the drunk dial still outweighed the drunk email in overall popularity. But, even then, I’m sure there were enough embarrassing late-night proclamations of love, enough angry breakups entirely forgotten by the following morning, and enough incoherently rambling drunken messages in general to have made Mail Goggles a reasonable idea. In today’s digital world, those Mail Goggles seem like more than reasonable idea, and nearly collegiate necessity.
In my own life, however, well post-college, I’m rarely up and emailing at 3:00am regardless of sobriety. Still, on occasion, I do end up having a drink (or, god forbid, two) at a business lunch. After which, I would usually come back to the office, plunk down at the keyboard, and launch into a burst of unrivaled productivity. Only later on those afternoons, once I’d sobered back up, would I re-read those ‘productive’ emails, and begin to worry that Yale might be calling shortly to request my degree back. I think of myself as someone who can hold his liquor. But, really, even a glass of lunchtime Riesling is apparently enough to knock me down to a roughly fourth grade writing level.
Fortunately, with age comes at least a little wisdom, and, by now, if I’m foolish enough to have a lunchtime drink, I generally manage to stay off email completely for an hour or two after, averting potential disaster.
But, it turns out, it’s not just liquor than can addle my email brain. Two nights back, I came down with a pretty spectacular stomach flu, and proceded to toss my cookies nonstop for 24 hours. Well enough, in fact, that I actually lost about seven pounds in a single day. (Bulimia: it works!) Of course, rapid weight loss is usually just dehydration. And since more of the water in your body is in your brain than anywhere else (your brain being made up primarily of water), it turns out that quickly losing 5-8% of the water in your body (as I just did) probably isn’t a great booster of mental function.
All of which is to say, if you got an email from me yesterday or this morning, and it makes absolutely no sense at all, please disregard. I’ve been easing my way back to solid food, and getting as much fluid as my stomach can currently handle. And I think, by now, I’ve edged up to largely coherent. But, really, I’m in no position to self-judge. So if this post is also a total mess, give me another 24 hours grace period, and accept my advance apologies for anything wildly offensive I manage to pull off before then.