The smartest person at UB might just be sitting in a pile of his own vomit with penises drawn on his forehead in a gutter this Friday night.
Research has now shown that smart kids are more likely to drink alcohol than their less intelligent peers. If that fact doesn't put a smile on your face, then I really don't know what will.
In 1958, two studies (the National Childhood Development Study and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health) were conducted to find out the differences between the lives of smart kids and the lives of dull kids. Researchers determined which kids were smart, waited for the kids to get older, and interviewed them as adults. Shockingly, the kids who were labeled as smart kids drank more alcohol than the kids who were labeled as dull.
Drinking in college isn't only some sort of natural passage into adulthood, but is also a collection of intelligent kids succumbing to their primal instincts of drinking more than dull kids. That old Keystone Ice sitting in the back of your fridge isn't a symbol of how much of an alcoholic you are, it's just a symbol of how naturally smart you are!
(Just don't go around bragging about that fact to your parents; they probably won't share your same enthusiasm.)
Many different theories have been popping up to find the reason why alcohol usage is linked to intelligence. Some have pointed to the fact that intelligent people have higher paying jobs with more stress, and alcohol serves as a crutch to deal with that stress. Others have hypothesized that intelligent people drink because they spent so much of their childhood studying and are compensating for it in adulthood (the Michael Jackson effect).
Perhaps the best theory I've come across is that smart people feel alienated living in a world full of stupid people. We live in a world that elected Bush: enough said. Alcohol levels the playing field between smart people and stupid people. It takes years of studying, hard work, and a little bit of luck to become smart, while it only takes a 12-pack of Natty Light to get stupid.
A couple of months ago, I went to Buckin' Buffalo with some friends. We had been drinking for a couple of hours when an older gentleman wearing a cowboy hat stumbled into the now-empty bar. He wanted people to talk to, so he started buying drinks for my friends and me. We gladly obliged.
He went on to tell us that he was the first African-American to graduate from Yale and that he was being paid close to $100,000 to consult with HSBC on some business plan. I also distinctly remember him telling us how stupid the world we live in is and that we should drink until we burn a hole into our liver.
At the time, we all laughed it off and thought he was crazy, but perhaps he actually was a genius. He may have been the smartest person I ever met, or the craziest person I ever met. Either way, drinking alcohol made him seem like a completely different person.
Drinking doesn't cause someone to become smarter, but it's scientifically proven that there's a correlation between intelligence and getting crunk. Kids don't drink to become smart, they drink because they are smart.
So the next time you're at the Steer and see some scraggly old dude, don't jump the gun and just assume he's some bum living his life vicariously through drunken college students. He might be the chair of some random department at UB. Either way, buy him a drink (or let him buy you a drink). He'll probably be a fun guy to get drunk with.