Sober as a Button

I have a friend who recently got fired from his job at a restaurant. He got the boot because he showed up to work extremely hungover and still slightly drunk. He looked like shit, felt like shit, and the managers asked him to go home. They called him an hour later and told him that he wasn’t welcome back. It’s kind of bullshit because practically everyone in the restaurant industry has worked drunk at one time or another, but that’s besides the point. Well, I’m not sure I have a point really. I was only trying to tell you all an anecdote. I’m going to get back to that now.

So anyway, later on that day a bunch of us were at the bar celebrating Saturday night and my friend joined us. He was telling us his side of the story, downplaying how intoxicated he really was. Someone asked him if he was still drunk when he showed up to work. “No,” he said, “I was sober as a button.”

We all smirked, laughed, and did a double-take. I told him that I was pretty sure he just made up that expression. He was adamant that it was an actual expression. We Googled it. It’s not. Well, some people have said it in the past, but the majority of the internet doesn’t accept it as a real idiom. You can be cute as a button or sober as a judge, but you can’t be sober as a button. Then my friend reminded me that buttons don’t drink. Fuck, he’s right about that. We ended up agreeing that it wasn’t a valid expression but you could still be technically sober as a button.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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