The Walk of Shame is the tired, drunken stagger of someone who can't possibly drink any more and is in danger of doing something foolish so has left, been escorted from or been kicked out of the bar. It encompasses everything that happens on the way home - the banging into lamp posts, the talking to mailboxes, the singing to yourself on the bus that you think no one else can hear, the losing of your keys that were in your pocket the whole time and the unenviable task of dealing with your far soberer roommates, waiting with eyebrows cocked, when you finally make it home. In certain circles, The Walk is both a coming-of-age ritual and proof positive that you ain't a professional drinker. Contradictory, but most community-type hazing/acceptance thingies are.

There are two ways to avoid the walk. Three, really, but the third is more of a coping strategy than a preemptive strike.

  1. You can not drink that much, which is smart, true, but less fun.
  2. You can pass out on a park bench and tell your roommates that you got laid. This never works, but is funny, and you think it'll work at the time. Or,
  3. You can do it so often that it a. becomes less of a novelty and b. raises your alcohol tolerance so it happens less. This is very expensive.

If confronted with the walk, don't be too hard on yourself. It happens to the best of us, but please, please don't make the situation any worse by doing anything else other than going home, throwing up if necessary, drinking a few pints of water, taking some Tylenol and Vitamin C and passing out. It's far less interesting to hear about than you think.