Nope, I really don’t handle my liquor well. It’s perhaps a good thing I didn’t start drinking in earnest until I was older than 21. Not that I didn’t have my share of drunken experiences before turning 21, because I did. My nephew turned 21 at the beginning of this month which got me thinking about this topic. Earlier today I had a discussion with my friend Scott about getting drunk. Without further ado, here are three prime examples of why I shouldn’t be allowed to drink tequila, meet Australian women, play drinking games, or to mix with the general public.
1. The year was 1998 and I met this swell new woman named N-Po. She came to visit me in Portland. We went out for some beers at the local pub with some of my friends. Drinking games were had over a few pitchers of beer. (At this time I was a manager for a restaurant which means getting drunk was required). It was an icy night and we all staggered back to my apartment five blocks away after concluding our drinking games.
My friends were drunk and thought it was a cool idea to climb the fire escape to my third floor studio. Me, I hoped the alcohol would escape my body. Unfortunately my wish was granted and I heaved like nobody’s business. This swell lady was not impressed and nearly packed it in that night. Gladly, she stayed with me and we got married a few years later. Oh, the following day I wasn’t feeling so hot at work and puked in the sink. Easily one of my lowest moments to date!
2. New Year’s Eve 1997 in Whistler, B.C. Canada. A group of us, 15 guys and one girl, headed north for our first of three New Year’s spent north of the border. We drove from Portland, Oregon to Whistler. We rented a two bedroom townhouse near Whistler Village and had a blast. I don’t honestly think I’ve ever consumed so much beer in a four day span in my life. It was insane, but safe and fun. We’d ski in the morning and then drink beer the rest of the day. Guys slept wherever there was a space on the floor. Heck, one guy even slept on the dining table since floor space was scarce. In the late evenings we’d visit the bars and nightclubs in Whistler Village.
We met some great people and scared an equal amount, roaming in packs from meat market to meat market. Oh, the snow bunnies were out. Being as inebriated as I was, I thought I was a solid dancer. Normally I tend to limit my dancing to an audience of eyeless individuals. Those with eyes were everywhere though and we did have heaps of fun with some women we met from Australia. I’m sure I puked at some point, but I hardly recall the details of those four days. My memory of the trip is something like this:
snow, ski, cans of beer, dance, snow bunnies, I love Canada, parlez-vous français? you’re from Sydney? I’m afraid of Canadians (we tweaked Bowie’s lyrics), Australian accents, blurry photos of strangers in Whister Village, etc.
3. The final outing takes the cake by a mile. It was summer of 1999 and I was back in Seattle living with my girlfriend. Yes, this is the same girfriend from Story One who later became my wife and my daughter’s mom. Whoa, that’s some dedication on her part.
Some friends were in town and we dediced to go out for a night of karaoke. Of course, I only watched the festivities because I’m terrified to sing in front of anyone with ears. We got to the mexican restaurant a bit late and squeezed into a table near the stage. My girlfriend and friend both speak Spanish so within no time they were yammering with the owner’s family. They made fast friends quickly and the drinks never seemed to stop appearing on our table. I have no clue who paid for all the tequila and I wasn’t interested enough in finding out.
Sidenote: here’s a little clue when I’ve had more than I should. I drink leftovers. I did this at college parties, rounding up the unfinished beers/cocktails and knocking them back. I can’t stand seeing things go to waste whether it’s food or beer.
Shot glasses littered our table and I figured it would be good to polish them off. Not so wise. About this same time I thought it would be fun to practice my limited knowledge of Spanish. “puta madre” escaped my lips more times than necessary, greeting the owner’s family. A short time later I recall being escorted out of the building by my friends and my lovely girlfriend. All I remember after this is throwing up at the bus stop across the street and waking up in the bathroom the following morning. Dreadful, that’s how I felt.
LESSON LEARNED: tequila isn’t my friend. Friends though, they will stay with you through thick and thin. There’s a common thread in all three stories. The common thread is my friend Scott. He married my wife and I in 2001 and is one of the greatest guys you’ll ever know. It’s not often you get to party like a rockstar with the person who pronounces you “man and wife”, but I couldn’t think of a better way to do it. Oh yeah, I haven’t thrown up due to alcohol since story three. Phew, good riddance I say.