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Ernest Hemingway once said, “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” I believe this for two reasons. Hemingway was one of the greatest drinkers the world has ever seen and we’ve all seen someone drunkenly say they’ll do something that is absolutely insane. Generally, people blow off their drunken promises in the morning by claiming they blacked out and don’t remember it. For two British students, that wasn’t an option.
After a night of heavy drinking, James Adair and Ben Stenning, students at St. Andrews University, made a bet. No, they didn’t claim that they’d streak through campus or take a shit on the dean’s lawn. They took a bet to row across the Indian Ocean.
Honestly, I have no idea how that came up. Maybe British people talk about different stuff at the bar than we do. Regardless, they actually followed through with it. Although it took years of saving money for an ocean-going row boat and training, they finally set about their journey.
Aside from battling huge waves, sharks and giant squids, and getting dangerously close to whales, the men had other ways to pass the time. They brought “whisky and cigarettes” with them, so at least they were staying buzzed while they completed their journey.
After 116 days, they reached their destination. Despite almost dying on the 115th day due to a capsizing incident, the two men still made it. So, the next time someone drunkenly bets you to steal a composite or enter a step dancing battle, just remember that two guys rowed across the Indian Ocean because they were hammered and someone said something to the effect of, “No balls. You won’t do it.”