SOCRATES: Hi, my name is Socrates and I’m an alcoholic.
GROUP: Hello, Socrates.
SOCRATES: During a recent symposium I overindulged in wine. I called Plato a tunic-wearing twerp and demanded he stop following me, and then I told Alcibiades he could take me home. It was wrong, and I am ashamed.
CIRROSIUS: Why do you say your actions were wrong, Socrates? Is not the alcohol to blame for your actions?
SOCRATES: Cirrosius, you are bold with your words and wise beyond your years. I would be a fool to challenge your knowledge of the way things are. But isn’t it correct to say that alcohol is not a naturally occurring element in man?
CIRROSIUS: This is true.
SOCRATES: And if it is foreign it must be introduced from without?
CIRROSIUS: You are right again.
SOCRATES. And if I tell you that I recall no one putting a spout to my eager and hungry mouth do you not see that I alone am to blame for my drunkeness? Therefore it is the man who is a fool with wine and not the wine that makes the man a fool.
HEPATITUS: But Socrates, there are those of us with far greater problems than a night of alcohol poisoning. Look at me, for instance, who has ruined himself with abuse of a more serious nature. And yet there are others, like the Mormonites, who abstain all together. Does not your comparative indulgence merely illustrate your dictum of ‘nothing too much’?
SOCRATES: Hepatitus, for whom wisdom is constant, I ask you: What does it take to know a man?
HEPATITUS: To be his friend, I would say.
SOCRATES: And by friend, you mean a constant companion?
HEPATITUS: No, Socrates, we all must be alone at times.
SOCRATES: Then how can you speak with certainty about my habits? What if you learned that this was not the first symposium I’ve overindulged at? How many of you remember the night I drove my chariot into the Parthenon? On that night I was righteously pissed on Roditis, a jug of which was gifted to me that night by my old friend, Pouricles, son of Blottolius. Fortunately for me, Absintheus came to my rescue, took me home and nursed me back to health with the proper medicine.
INEBRIUS: Your talk makes my head spin. I cannot swallow any more of your words. Socrates, you are the greatest philosopher the world has known.
SOCRATES: Inebrius, your words takes me aback. You chastise me for not knowing my own greatness. But I ask you, is the great equal to the good?
INEBRIUS: No, it is greater.
SOCRATES: How so?
INEBRIUS: Take wine, for instance. The grapes from Anchialos are good, but those from Rapsani are reputed to be great.
SOCRATES: But was I a great man when I started that fight in the agora with Obstreperus?
INEBRIUS: Surely not. You were loaded.
SOCRATES: And was I so great the night I passed out on top of Xanthippe?
INEBRIUS (smirking): I would say she did not mind.
SOCRATES: And the vomit in her hair? Was that to her liking?
INEBRIUS: I still maintain your greatness far outweighs your drunkenness, Socrates.
STUPORICLES: Great as he is, he cannot have it both ways. Socrates admits he has a problem, and we must allow him to accept that. It is the only way he will become whole.
ABSTEMIOUS: Yes, Socrates needs our help to save him from the juice of the demon fruit. I would hate to see our great philosopher turn into another Imbibius.
IMBIBIUS: Oh, Abstemius, you killjoy, may Zeus put a lightning bolt up your toga. Let us raise a glass and ask in words our friend Socrates here might use himself: Is man allowed to get drunk?
IMBIBIUS: Is Socrates a man?
IMBIBIUS: Then Socrates is allowed to get drunk.
SOCRATES: My friends and fellow lovers of the grapes of Dionysus, you have won me over. Let us go now to the Vomitorium where we shall unleash from our systems the poisons of last night so that we may drink deeply once again. ‘Every action has its pleasures and its price,’ I always say. Who among you has the price of my pleasure?
IMBIBIUS: I have enough for us all!
SOCRATES: Then fellow Athenians, to the bar!