You know who you are. Your tolerance is higher, or maybe you drank less than everyone else (it was wise to refuse that third shot of tequila). But now you’re the Last Man Standing*, and—depending on the circumstances of your night out—more than a few questions suddenly present themselves.
Never fear. We’re gonna answer (most of) them in advance, so that way, the next time a night out ends with you turning from the bar to find most of your friends either gone or seriously “gone,” you won’t have to think through the whole “what to do next” thing.
*We’re lazy, so we’re using Last “Man” Standing to refer to both men and women. Not at all implying that ladies can’t be the last ones standing—and they get extra points if they’ve been wearing heels.
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Check the Bar Tab.
Seriously. Has it been paid? While it might be some naughty fun to think you can scamper out of an establishment without paying for your liquid sins, chances are you’re gonna want to return to said bar. And chances are they also have a bouncer. Pay the tab for you and your drunk friends, but keep the receipt. You’re getting your money back once they sober up.
Continue Karaoke Alone.
Why? Because you rented that room, and you’ve got another 47 minutes to go. So what if your best friend passed out after croaking out their first maudlin “Hello, it’s me…”? You’ve got some Rick Astley coming up and you’re not missing out on it.
Don’t Order Another Drink
No. You’re the Last Man Standing. Congrats to your tolerance, god help your liver, it’s time to shut it down. Truly, there’s a very fine line between being the last man standing and the last man passing out, and it usually comes in liquid form.
Look for Everyone’s Lost Scarf/Hat/Wallet.
You’re a good friend—and you’ll remember all the favors you did anyway—so look around for your friends’ misplaced scarf or sunglasses or signed poster from the Backstreet Boys Reunion Tour. It’s kind of the worst to lose things, so you’ll earn a big favor in return. Quite possibly, your friend will look out for your stuff should you ever be the Second to Last Man Standing.
Cut the “Love Connection” Off at the Pass.
Maybe it’s yours, maybe it’s one of your friends’, but any love connection made tonight is about as likely to lead to love as a right-swipe on Tinder. Approach guy/gal and let them down gently. Something like “My friend always gets a little romantic after 7 Manhattans” should do the trick.
Know When It’s Time to Go Home.
The difference between a good night out and a terrible night out is that dividing line: knowing when to end it. If you’re the Last Man Standing, you clearly haven’t elected to go home yet. Now’s the time. You’re upright, you’re relatively coherent and you can still get your hands on some Vitamin Water and corn chips. Time to go home. It’s the classy thing to do. (Also share those corn chips with your ailing friend.)
Get Your Drunk Friend Home.
With luck, your friend(s) had the wherewithal to get themselves into a cab or Uber before falling into the sweet sleep of the intoxicated and soon-to-be-hungover. If they haven’t, it’s now on you to get them home. Don’t put them in a cab alone—bad call, for many reasons. You’ll have to escort them, but keep the receipt (again), and feel free to crash on their couch, if you please. You earned a sleepover.
Get Your Less Drunk Self Home.
If your friends have indeed left and you’re the Last Man in the bar, you now face the inordinately tougher challenge of getting home (everything is Everest when you’re drunk). An Uber or cab could do just fine, even if you live within walking distance. Chances are it’s late, you’re out of your gourd, and you don’t want to be strutting around—not least because there’s a 96.3% chance you’ll mosey into that tattoo parlor you always pass and make a bad, bad choice.
You’re the Last Man Standing, which means you’ve probably had a bit to drink. And while your friends might already be at home in bed, you are still conscious—meaning you have the opportunity to allay at least some of the inevitable hangover with a meal, or, more likely, a bag of Cheetos. And while those Cheetos are delicious and affordable, your best bets are protein and fat plus some carbs. And water. Oh so much water.
Don’t Tell Everyone the Stupid Sh*t They Did the Next Day.
The sun is shining its bright, jerky face right into your hungover eyes. You get through the morning, thanks to an egg sandwich and coffee, and are finally comfortable enough to grab your phone and start texting your friends about what asses they made of themselves. Except, don’t. You were already classy by being the Last Man Standing. Up the classiness by not telling your friend she sang “Summer Lovin'” like a screech owl with post nasal drip.