Did you ever notice that AA has a slogan for every eventuality?

Are you feeling lonely? AA has a slogan for that. Resentful? Yeah, there’s a slogan for that. Angry? AA has lots of slogans for that one.

It seems like they have a slogan for any circumstance, or any question that could pop up. Heck, they even have a slogan for slogans: “Slogans are wisdom, written in shorthand”. It’s enough to make your head spin.

I’ve never been a big fan of slogans myself. I don’t think they are wise at all. To me, they are lazy, and even contradictory. Sure, the early bird catches the worm; but patience is a virtue. And I know know I should take what I want and leave the rest, but I also have to do the steps or die (I don’t do the steps, ‘cuz I figure I’ll die anyway, whether I do the steps or not).

andy_rooney_2-2006I have an old Army buddy named Phil who joined AA. We were pretty close — until he joined AA and started talking in slogans. I told him I didn’t like this new AA Phil. I liked the old Phil, even if he did drunk dial my wife, and throw up in the back of my Lincoln Town car once when I drove him home from a party. I stood by Phil during some bad times, but he likes his new AA friends better. They told him I was a bad influence (They probably don’t like 60 Minutes. They are probably more into that Catch a Predator show. I can see why, because I know a number of the sex predators caught on that show got sent to AA, and are now part of Phil’s new family).

Phil told me he has this disease, and that I have it, too. I don’t think I have it. I know my prostate is now bigger than a grapefruit, but I can feel that. I told Phil that he might be wrong about this one, but he told me that denial is one of the symptoms, and that I have a disease that tells me I don’t have a disease. When I told that didn’t make much sense to me, he told me that I need a check up from the neck up.

I told Phil that I was a little resentful that he had abandoned his old friends. He suggested I start my own AA meeting to take care of that, and that all I needed was a resentment and a coffee pot. I thought that sounded a little dumb, but I didn’t tell Phil. He looked too proud of that statement, like he had made it up himself. Then he told me that the road to sobriety is a simple journey for confused people with a complicated disease.

I think PhiI is now crazy. I want my friend back. I wonder if there is a slogan for that.