There are many phrases describing inebriation; so many, in fact, that it's nearly a cottage industry, which is also an arcane phrase but not this week's winner. Ladies and germs, I give you:
Tight as a boiled owl.
Mind you, I've never boiled an owl, which is odd since I live in South Louisiana where we boil crawfish, crabs, and shrimp. I think this could catch on, I really do.
Here's a usage example: the last time I played trivia with the NOLA Twitter people, I got tight as a boiled owl.
Since we're on the subject of booze, here's Aretha, before she became the Queen of Soul, singing a Mercer-Tauber tune: