My first post kinda bummed me out. If it bummed out any one who should happen to stumble upon it I apologize. On the other hand its your own fault. These are pivotal moments in my life I’m writing about after all. Sometimes a pivot is a bummer. Sometimes it’s joyous. Sometimes it pulls you over in the ghetto’s of Cleveland and tells you to leave the neighborhood because your going to almost certainly be murdered, but that’s a story for another time. On a more light-hearted note I once got really drunk on tequila.
I worked at a pizza place for a long time (I told you I was a underachiever). Eventually our owner got tired of raking in the tens of dollars and decided to sell the store. It was a bittersweet day at the restaurant. On the one hand there would be no more impromptu, late night, after bar, pizza parties (yeah that’s right, try that out on the ladies, never fails), on the other we would not have to dig into the register on a daily basis to pay off random people who came in threatening to shut off this or that, or repossess our spatulas. I almost want to make that sentence even longer. Look at it… it’s huge. Where was I? Ok. So our former owner decided to throw a goodbye/hello party. Like most formal events in my town it would be held at the local bowling alley. There’s something about thick smoke and lane oil that really sets the tone for any occasion. It’s true, even baby stuff.
The night started like most any awesome night at the bowling alley. I show up with eighty pounds of gear and scoff at the poor bastards picking through the fruity plastic ball selection. “Oh whats that? Your fingers don’t fit? The thumb hole is cutting you? That’s why I spent $250 on this! (points to awesome bowling ball #1) That’s right I brought three balls. Yes I need all of them!” On a side note I don’t really think I’m cool because I have a ton of bowling gear. I just like to pretend. I do love bowling though.
Now, it was early in the evening and I was tightly focused on taking money from my co-workers. You’d think they would be hesitant to bet the guy pulling a small trailer full of bowling balls around but they’re not exactly geniuses. They also love betting. Also they’re dumb. I was well on my way to a cool thirty bucks when our former owner arrived. He made the rounds, acknowledging us personally one at a time with a grin, handshake, or bro-hug. Then he uttered the phrase that set all our lives on a course which would not end soon, or easily. “Drinks are on me. Have fun. Get whatever you want.” I have to admit I felt a moment of panic. I had thoughts such as, “does this man not realize who he’s dealing with?” and, “why does he want us all to die?”. After all, this was a group of 19-22 year old college drop-outs. We had to go to community college because we drank too much in high school. Then we dropped out of community college because we drank too much to make 2:00 classes. Presently we made pizzas and drank every night. The only reason we stopped drinking normally was because we ran out of money. Now the old boss hands over a credit card and basically challenges us to do our worst. I think he realized his mistake when the waitress started bringing out three pitchers at a time so she would have time to help her other customers.
The night progressed in approximately the following manner:
8-9: Beer and bowling. Much fun had by all.
9-10: Beer and less bowling. An insane amount of fun being had.
10-11: Beer. The bowling is degenerated to the point where it can no longer technically be called bowling. The fun level has reached its peak and is now on the decline.
11-12: Shots! Shots are instituted to try to salvage the declining fun level. Occasionally someone stumbles in the direction of the pins and drops a ball in whatever lane is readily available.
12-1: Triple shots! Of tequila! We now consider the bartender a close friend and he breaks out giant shot glasses for us. The fun has passed into some psychotic, otherworldly level where it’s just no longer safe. I literally love everyone I see and have to tell them about it in a most sincere and passionate manner. There is no bowling because I’ve forgotten what a bowling alley is.
1: The time has come to make our way home. We all try to figure out how to take off shoes and zip jackets. It takes a while. I regret bringing so much crap. One of my friends bends down for his shoes and just keeps going. He ends up face-down with his nose in one of the shoes. We all laugh. He stays in that position for about two minutes. We laugh harder. I gag a little…
Luckily I was able to catch a ride with one of our under-age employees who we had made close the restaurant. I’m not sure how everyone else got home. I’d rather not know honestly. I’m not really going to comment on the ride itself because I have no idea how it went. For all I know Santa gave me a ride on a magical buffalo. I do know I didn’t want to puke. I was later told that after arriving in the driveway of my rented shack I opened the door, got out, shut the door, and wandered off into the darkness. No goodbye, no thanks, not even a nod. In my defense I think I just forgot.
On most nights of binge drinking this is where I get inside, start to cook something, and then pass out with it still in the microwave or sitting in a pot on the stove. Unfortunately tonight I had reached a level of brain-damaged drunkenness which wouldn’t even allow the usual dysfunctions to take place.
I’d mentioned I rented a shack and that was very true. It was a 600 square foot house built in a small clearing in the woods. Those woods were directly behind the local grocery store allowing me all the modern comforts but with a real “Friday the 13th” feel.
The first problem I ran into was the light was burned out by the back door. It was so dark you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. Also I was too wasted to recognize my own hand so I was screwed either way. The second problem was keys are small, and keyholes are small. Trying to match one small thing with another was pretty much rocket science right then and the process was a failure. I threw the keys down in frustration. I wasn’t feeling very well so I sat on a broken chair that was sitting outside. This chair only had three functional legs and had been out in the elements for a couple of years. I managed to balance on it for a minute or two before collapsing into the dirt. As I lay there trying to figure out why the universe was mean the puking started. I retched loudly and spewed out an amazing amount of liquid. I remember thinking, “why does all this puke taste like tequila? It’s mostly beer. I wonder if people know that drinking tequila makes all your puke taste like tequila.” Then I laughed. Then I puked more.
It occurred to me as I lay there heaving that this was not a good look for me and I was making a ruckus. What if the neighbors looked out and spotted me like this?(I missed the fact that it was pitch black) Don’t ask me how I’d retained enough pride to care about appearances but I had. Blearily I looked around the yard for a hiding spot. Besides crawling into the forest my only option was the far side of the propane tank. I crawled and stumbled my way over there and lay on my back, looking up at the sky. As I lay there I went through a range of emotions. I’d laugh, I’d giggle, I’d cry a little. Eventually I just lay there humming tunelessly. That’s how I fell asleep.
I woke a short time later shivering uncontrollably. The weather had taken a turn for the worse and I was being rained on in forty degree temperatures. It was time to make a more serious effort towards entering the house. I crawled back towards the house and after a short search found my keys. I also found tequilla scented patches of wetness. With vomit slick hands I managed to get the key in the door which shows just how much my nap had done to rejuvenate me. Upon entering I immediately lay down again. This time on the carpet right in front of my dogs cages. They were barking and generally going insane after being locked up all night long. I proceeded to have one of those classic drunken conversations no one should ever have to hear; but seeing as how you’ve read this far your getting it whether you like it or not. It went something like this.
Me: IIII know! I know… I sssucckkk! I suck you guys and your always soooo nice and I’m a baaaddd daddddy!
Me: I can’t help you. I can’t help me. I can’t help you or meeee eeeiitherrr. I’m sorry ok? I just love you, but I can’t help you… I’m broke. I’m broken.
Me: I’m sick. I’m sick. I’m sick. I’ll make it up to you. I will. But shut up now. Shut your mouths. Your killing me. I’m dying…..I’m dead. I’m dead soon.
I slept a minute or two more.
My phone rang.
Me: uhhh, hellllooo?
Girlfriend: (banging party music in background) Baybeee? I’m wasted. Can you come get me?
Girlfriend: what’s wrong? Are you ok?
Me: ….I was outside…I..puked… I can’t help you. I can’t help myself. I gotta go.
Girlfriend: shit. I’m coming.
She found me naked on the bathroom floor staring blindly into space. My corpselike appearance caused her to scream a little but she quickly discovered I was still amongst the living and set about nursing me. I made a full recovery.
My co-workers all had similar stories. One of them fell down the stairs into his basement and slept where he lay. Another slept on his parents front porch. We all had a good time though. And I learned something. Tequila is a jerk. It makes friends with you and then starts being a little rude and then is like, “hey, what’s that in the gutter?” CURB-STOMP! I haven’t touched the stuff since. I’ve also quit binge drinking. Except for one time. But that’s another tale.