F to the Y to the I… this is purely a story that materialized over 10 years ago. I was much much more stupid and in no way am I encouraging the activities I participated in. This is simply the first part of a story that I look back on and say “I was a complete dumbass.”
Back when I was 19 and dumb as hell (as most 19 year olds are)… I got alcohol poisoning. I also suffered some memory loss (as alcohol poisoning tend to do). I also wound up with a rug burn in the shape of New Zealand on my forehead.
Allow me to explain…
I was just starting to get what it was to rebel. I was actually much older than most kids when I discovered how much fun rebellion was because I had been homeschooled for four years before I went to high school and my social development clock was about four years behind those who had experienced the angst and pressures of the public school system. Aside from only one time at junior prom had I really even drank enough alcohol to get drunk… until this summer after my first year in college.
I had started a job working at El Chico, a Mexican restaurant with the flashy Mexican exterior and a Taco Bell kitchen. Seeing that this particular evening was my first Friday evening experience being a waiter without my trainer… I got absolutely slaughtered by my tables. I got stiffed twice and couldn’t seem to handle multiple tasks OR multiple tables.
El Chico = Taco Bell on steroids
This was the beginning of a perfect storm of circumstances in which I was becoming primed for a series of events which would lead to memory loss, dirty mattresses and a mysterious rug burn the size of a slice of ham on my forehead.
By the time my shift at El Chico was over and I’d hardly made any money… I was in the frame of mind to get crunk.
I would appropriately dub this “circumstance #1”: just wanting to forget the night ever happened regardless of the consequences.
I was still living at home because I was attending a junior college at the time so I had told my parents I was staying at a friend Brad’s house who just so happened to be having a party that night. Since I had worked late that night I pulled up to Brad’s house to find that most everyone had left to go elsewhere.
“What the heck!” I said as I got out of my truck. “Where’s everyone gone?”
My friend, Wolfgang (not his real name… I have to protect his identity since he’s a school teacher now), obviously was well on his way to channel the ghost of W.C. Fields seeing the way his stumbled over to me.
A young Papa K and “Wolfgang” in more sober times (Wolfgang’s true image concealed to protect his identity)
“Man… it’s just you, me and Brad dude! We got tons of beer left because everyone left! You better catch up! Brad and I are freakin’ drunk!”
Thus we are faced with “circumstance #2 and #3”: anger at the fact I missed the party and missed the fun AND now I have to “catch up” to my friends’ current state of intoxication
Now faced with the fact that there were NO GIRLS at this party… I reluctantly changed from my salsa stained El Chico garb and into some more comfortable party clothes.
I quickly downed several Coronas seeing that I needed to “get” to where Wolfgang and Brad “were”. Being that this alcohol abuse was a fairly new thing to me, I had no real concept of pacing myself. I had to “catch up” to my friends. Not having any kind of tolerance whatsoever… it didn’t take me long to get “there”.
Over my puffed out chest and through my double vision, I saw Brad pull out some cups and sit at his table.
Uma Thurman… as seen through my eyes that night.
“Let’s play a drinking game!!” he shouted.
I honestly can’t remember what we were playing or if we were actually playing anything at all! I just remember it resulted in drinking more… and drinking faster.
Suddenly… Brad whipped out a bottle of Southern Comfort he had snatched from his father’s liquor cabinet.
“Let’s take some shots!” he ballyhooed!
Situation #4: liquor is bad. *urp*… I don’t feel so well…
As I’d mentioned before… I was new at this drinking stuff and as an “up-and-coming” drinker… I had actually thought about what I wanted to be “known for”: beer drinker or liquor drinker. The image that came to mind when I thought about a beer drinker was a bloated, fat redneck as opposed to a distinguished gentlemen in a smoking jacket swirling his highball glass containing his Jack Daniels on the rocks when I thought of a liquor drinker.
I wanted to be a liquor drinker.
I thought I was a liquor drinker.
Boy was I off.
After the Southern Comfort had been revealed, the three of us came to realize there were no shot glasses. All we had were regular glasses. So… we carried on our barrage of stupidity by guesstimating what was a shot within our regular sized glasses. A guess made nearly impossible when you’re processing things with a brain being rapidly depleted of its problem solving ability.
The glaze over my eyes could have been to cover a donut… but I hollered “pour me another” as I slammed my empty glass to the table after shoving yet one more shot the size of three shots down my gullet.
“Yeah…” I thought as the memories at this point in time start to fade away, “I’m definitely a liquor drinker.”
Wolfgang struggled with a shot… then sputtered. He clumsily placed the glass which was a third full of Southern Comfort back on the table.
“I can’t do this!” He said. “I gotta mix it with something… it’s too gross”.
He then proceeded to pour the rest of his Corona into the glass effectively mixing the two liquids into one horrible concoction. He raised the glass to his lips only to slam it back to the table moments later with his face contorted in such a way that made you think he might have just drank from the septic tank.
I can’t even begin to tell you where I was at this point in time. I mean, I know where I was physically… but mentally I somewhere between Mars and Saturn. I don’t know what else I felt I needed to prove to myself or anyone else but I grabbed Wolfgang’s pint glass that was full of Southern Comfort mixed with Corona and said, “YOU PANSY!!” and subsequently downed the entire thing.
Situation #5: total annihilation.
“WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” I said.
That is the last thing I remember.
Stay tuned for Part 2… already written but to be posted soon…