Sunstead Mark (Majestic)
Today I witnessed a Human ritual that I long thought a myth, or at least over-researched relative to its cultural impact. That is, the ingestion of ethanol to induce euphoria and knowingly hinder judgment.
When I first learned of this practice in the Techeun's data archives, it seemed preposterous. Why would a predominantly aqueous creature willingly ingest a substance that causes its body to purge liquid? What was the goal?
Today I discovered the answer: "partying."
Based on my observations near community ethanol distribution centers, partying is a distinctly Human form of enjoyment. It is similar to many Eliksni celebrations—a social gathering meant to foster group cohesion—but the Human version involves collective self-poisoning, for which there is no parallel in Eliksni society.
Apparently, partying involves a loose constellation of behaviors: speaking much more loudly than normal, making an increased amount of bodily contact, the purging of partially digested food, walking in eccentric patterns, expressions of fondness, increased laughter, public displays of sorrow, and coordinated yelling to previously recorded sounds.
Having witnessed the prevalence of ethanol consumption in the Last City, I can safely conclude that, if anything, the behavior is under-researched. Humans' fondness for poisoning themselves is prolific—it's a wonder their species has lasted this long.
I admit to curiosity as to the perceived effects of ethanol consumption, because it cannot feel as terrible as it looks. However, I am reluctant to engage in Human partying because I'm not sure an Eliksni could survive it.