InkedFur’s Furry Friday: Alcohol Safety At Conventions

Hey you filthy animals, how was the turkey? In the afterglow of Fat Thursday, it’s time for another round of InkedFur’s Furry Friday here on Lawyers & Liquor, which means that it’s time for me to cast off the “normal lawyer” routine and embrace the Badger as we cast open the kennel doors and start talking about an issue geared specifically towards the Furry Fandom. Before we get into that, though, you need to be aware that the folks over at are offering 25% off dakimakuras this month for only the first 25 readers that go to their site and enter the super-secret code…which you’ll find at the end of this article!

Cool, so, this month’s article is definitely self-aware. Like, “totally woke” self-aware, because it’s coming a week before Midwest Fur Fest, a huge convention in Chicago, and it concerns a very specific type of convention safety. Namely, it concerns being safe with alcohol when you’re surrounded by thousands of unblinking fursuit eyes, and it’s geared towards the first-time attendee. Actually, I adapted this from a regular speech I give to high schoolers about safety right before they graduate, so, hey! You get to realize I’m like this all the time and not just with the furry horde that has assimilated me!

That said, without further ado, here’s the Furry Friday guide to Alcohol Safety at Cons.

Drinking Is Optional

I know, that’s damn near a sacrilege coming from a guy who has the word “Boozy” in his name, but it’s really, really true. You don’t have to drink just because you’re at a convention and every third person is sneaking booze around inside a Starbucks cup. What if they were all sneaking meth around inside a Starbucks cup? A Meth-accino, if you will. Would you go insane sitting around trying to find a way smoke the meth? Would you?

If you said yes, you really want to smoke meth, because everyone else out there in the wide, wide world of responsible folks is saying “Come on man, of course I’m not going to smoke meth because Rocky the Raccoon told me to! Have you lost your mind?”

Booze is the same, except, you know, it’s not meth. Some folks like to drink hard when they get a chance to cut loose away from home. It happens at colleges, at professional conferences, just about anywhere someone has disappeared from the norms of their lives. It doesn’t mean you have to, though, and, if you’re underage, you really shouldn’t do it in the first place. You’ll get everyone in trouble, unless you have a friend that has found the best fake ID websites that you can use to make it look like you’re old enough. But still to this day, I wouldn’t condone it myself, (even though I know people who have done this themselves). More than that, if you don’t drink normally, either due to being too young or just not liking the feeling that comes from a dozen microscopic booze-elves trying their damndest to make you sing karaoke, you really shouldn’t start by doing a butt-chug with a purple otter.

You can and should be able to have a good time at a convention or any other gathering without getting blasted. Keep that in mind.

Friends Don’t Pressure You.

Seriously, let’s keep on this train of the booze lessons for a minute and recognize that a lot of you who may not drink or never have drank are going to be meeting up with people who really want you to drink. These are what we call “toxic situations.” It’s not healthy for other people to come up and try to force feed you a beer bong or something like that. And, importantly, you don’t owe anyone an explanation of why you aren’t drinking. That’s a personal choice.

Here’s how this conversation should go:

Fur 1: “Hey Barfy the Bull, what are you doing?”

Fur 2: “Hello Temperance Tanuki! I am inventing a new way to drink flavored vodka by snorting it directly into my nose! Would you like some?”

Fur 1: “No, Barfy, I have decided not to drink.”

Fur 2: “Okay Temperance! We respect your decision!”

Here’s how I keep hearing about these conversations going if I listen to the howling mobs on Twitter:

Fur 1: “Hey Barfy the Bull, what are you doing?”

Fur 2: “Hello Temperance Tanuki! I am inventing a new way to drink flavored vodka by snorting it directly into my nose! Would you like some?”

Fur 1: “No, Barfy, I have decided not to drink.”


…I think Twitter may be exaggerating things a bit at this point, but I get where it’s coming from. So here’s the Boozy Rule: you don’t owe anyone else a reason for why you’re not drinking, and anyone that keeps pushing the point can be told to go away right now. Go find some people who actually respect your goddamn choices to hang out with.

If You’re Gonna Drink, Know Your Limits.

Seriously, guys, if you never “drink to get drunk” or “don’t drink hard liquor,” don’t start in a massive convention center or hotel filled with a bunch of people. That is how you end up singing Islands In The Stream in your underpants at 3 a.m. in the hotel lobby while wearing a fox head. You will regret the decisions you make in that situation.

If at home your limit is a couple beers, drink a couple beers. If at home your limit is a shot of whiskey, have a shot of whiskey. If you don’t drink hard liquor at home, the room party filled with people you barely know is not the time to start. If someone gives you aggravation about knowing yourself and your limits, refer them to the portion above where they can go, even if Barfy is the sweetest piece of bovine ass this side of the Mississippi. Feel free to call me. I’ll be at the bar, and I’ll come up to tell them to go away.

Responsible adults will not push the matter with you.

Which actually brings up a good next point:

Find a Responsible Adult.

Everyone who’s going to be drinking needs a sobriety buddy, one person who either A) won’t be drinking; B) Won’t be getting drunk; or C ) Genuinely can keep their heads about them while drinking. That person is the lifeguard at the Beach of Everclear, in that they’ll be the person who will step in and say “Hey, you, Tanuki putting on the Dolly Parton wig and taking off your pants, c’mere…you okay?” They’re out there, they exist, and they’re going to keep an eye on you.

However, make sure that it’s someone you know and trust, okay? Cause a bad sobriety buddy is a liability, not a benefit.

Don’t. Drink. Strange. Stuff.

So on stage at iFC some guy walked up during a panel and stuck a bottle of…something…on the stage. The giant top-hatted booze generating fairy was running the panel, and in his expert opinion what was placed on the stage was “not whiskey.” However, that didn’t stop any of us from drinking it, or the pink shoe-leather concoction that was later brought to the stage. Frankly, looking back on it, we have no self-preservation instinct.

I mean, there could have been anything in that goddamn bottle, and here we were merrily chugging along.

Which brings up the next point: “Don’t take drinks you can’t identify” is the new “Don’t take candy from strangers” for adults. When someone just hands you a cup and says it’s a “Yiffy Fox Punch,” or something else you’ve never heard of in your life, your first question should be “What’s in this?” It’s not rude to ask, and you should be asking, and if they get offended put the drink down on a nightstand and walk off without drinking it. Go get a beer or something. Don’t mess around with a drink whose composition is unknown.

Also, you should probably just never take drinks from people that you can’t vouch for, or know someone who can. Because people are assholes, and just because they wear a fursuit and dance for cameras doesn’t mean they won’t totally poison you.

Always Watch Your Drink.

This one is a big deal to me, because I know folks this has happened to (I went to college, this stuff happens there). People will try to drug your drinks and force you to do much more harm than singing Dolly Parton duets. It happens all the time, and once again, furries are not inherently good (or inherently bad) people, but people. That means there likely will be someone trying to mess up your life somewhere at that place. So…

Always watch your drink, or have someone you trust watch it for you.

If someone offers to “fix you a drink,” watch them mix it. If you have to go to the bathroom, the drink comes with you or stays with a friend that you can trust to keep an eye on it. If someone just walks up and hands you something, smile politely, nod, then stage drink it and say how good it is.

(Stage drinking, guys, is where you keep your lips pursed while raising the glass, giving the appearance of taking a drink without actually doing so. For most drunk bastards who will try to drug you, it’s good enough. Then you can discard the drink shortly thereafter and make yourself a nice, fresh one. Preferably one that’s free of the rape drugs.)

Finally, Communication is Key.

This one is important: Communicate with your friends or group at the convention. If you have a room full of people, make sure at least one person in that room has your cell number and you have theirs. If you’re going to a room party alone, send that information to them (Room number, person name, etc.). Because if your roomie comes back at three in the morning and you aren’t there, they know where you are and can shoot off a quick “Hey, you okay?” Even if you don’t respond because you’ve found the love of your life, they’ll at least be able to tell the police where you were, who was with you, and all that other good stuff.

But you should also send them messages when you’re finding Barfy attractive too, like “FYI, won’t be back to room tonight, trying out Barfy’s Beef Log.” That way folks know this and know where you are, and can send help if needed.

Just talk to each other.


Look, as the song says, when you’re at a convention you’re “up all night to get lucky” or to “CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES, COME ON!” Still, having a good time at a convention means being aware of your surroundings, your limits, and taking basic steps to be safe. Because people are idiots, and while they shouldn’t be idiots, and possibly should be punched for this, the first step to having a good time is taking steps to be safe. It won’t stop others from trying to take advantage of you or harm you, but it will make you more capable of asking for help, of knowing a situation is wrong in the moment, and of getting away from it.

Have fun, stay safe, and don’t try to drink with me if you see me at the bar.

Enjoy the con!


P.S. Oh, Yeah, the dakimakura 25% deal! The first 25 people who go to their site and enter the word “boozygivings” will receive 25% off any dakimakura! Work fast, though, because that deal is only live through this weekend and will expire on Monday 11/27/2017!