Make irrational statements. Beat your girlfriend up. Buy cocaine. Send lewd messages to Congressional pages. Scream anti-Semitic remarks at a law enforcement officer.
If you appear contrite and blame it on the alcohol, you, too, can try to repair the damage that your abhorrent behavior caused. At least if pop culture trends are any indication.
The latest example? Dennis Rodman's belligerent response to a CNN interviewer's question about a human rights issue in North Korea appalled viewers and forced the washed-up former NBA player to quickly issue the de rigueur apology used by boors and jerks of all stripes: It wasn't me; it was the alcohol taking.
"I had been drinking," he said. "It's not an excuse but by the time the interview happened I was upset. I was overwhelmed."
How many of you, reading this, are thinking: That's what they all say.
And you would be pretty on target. Here are five more public figures who used the "I've got an alcohol problem and I need to get help" excuse:
When presented with visual evidence that he had smoked crack cocaine, the Toronto mayor famously admitted it with this statement, as recorded by the Toronto Star: "Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine. But no, do I, am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago. I answered your question. You ask the question properly, I'll answer it. Yes, I've made mistakes. All I can do now is apologize and move on."
Noteworthy, though, in this apology was that there was no attempt to earn sympathy points by vowing to go to rehab. A drunken stupor apparently doesn't constitute a time for self-reflection.
The Republican from Florida who was elected to the House in 2012 was charged with misdemeanor possession of cocaine.
He only fessed up when his court case came to light. After that, he issued a statement:
He said he struggles "with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice. As the father of a young son and a husband to a loving wife, I need to get help so I can be a better man for both of them."
He faces a maximum of 180 days in jail, as well as a fine of up to $1,000.
Now that he's out of rehab and back in Washington, it remains to be seen whether the incident will have an effect on his reelection chances.
Another Florida congressman who pointed to his bottle battle, Foley was confronted by ABC News in 2006 with sexually explicit messages he sent to male teen pages. He was forced to resign and then shortly after his attorney announced that Foley was gay and an alcoholic and had been molested by a priest as a teenage altar boy in Florida. Foley then checked himself into a treatment facility.
Stopped by a a Los Angeles sheriff's deputy during a drunken driving stop in Malibu in 2006, Gibson went on an anti-Semitic rant, including the statement "Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." After he was roundly condemned, he apologized and said he was taking "necessary steps" to combat his alcoholism. He remained a pariah in Hollywood for several years.
After beating up then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009, Brown issued a statement through his representative: "Chris Brown has elected to enter a rehab facility. His goal is to gain focus and insight into his past and recent behavior, enabling him to continue the pursuit of his life and his career from a healthier vantage point."