Monday, December 04, 2006

Tales of Excess

So, yeah, yesterday pretty much sucked. I spent most of the day either on the couch under a blanket or flat on my back in bed, my guts roiling like hurricane seas as I loudly denounced the evils of drink with a vehemence profound enough to make Carrie Nation look like W.C. Fields. Eventually, after a hot shower and some dry pancakes that sopped up some of the misery, I came out the other side of my hangover a changed... I mean, I realized that you can't... oh, hell, who am I kidding? Hangover's aren't lessons learned for people like me. They're just the bitter denouement to fantastic tales of excess. Tales such as these:

Clinton's Top 3 Drinking Adventures:

WARNING: It's going to get a bit graphic here. Those with delicate sensibilities, or those who'd rather hang on to the misconception that I'm infallibly charming and am still in possession of most of my shame, might want to seek entertainment elsewhere. But just for today; tomorrow we'll return to the usual, classy ZFS!-style shenanigans.

3. I'd lived in Austin for about two months and was quickly failing all my classes at the University of Texas as I went about the business of bombarding my liver with all manner of alcoholic beverages during my every waking moment. One evening, a couple of my friends and I got together at an apartment on the outskirts of town. We had just consumed a large Italian meal and procured a few cases of Shiner Bock beer for the evening's merriment. Because I was 19, away from home for the first time, and titanically stupid, I drank an entire case of beer all by myself. I just assumed that's how it was done in the Big Boy world of collegiate life. The last thing I remember is passing out in the hall. Smash cut to: I wake up in the bathroom, which is comparable to the facilities found on your average airplane. There's a horrid smell. I sit up and realize that I'm soaked. Not with water. With vomit. I wipe it out of my eyes and take stock of the situation. The bathroom floor is covered, wall to wall, corner to corner, with about an inch of my own sick. Pasta dinner everywhere. I jump into the shower fully clothed and wash off. And then, because at that point in time I'd yet to learn the concept of a "party foul," I left. I spent the rest of the day shivering and gagging in my dorm room bed while my meatheaded roommate laughed at me. The friend whose bathroom I'd so spectacularly upchucked in was not pleased and didn't speak to me for a while.

2. Waiting tables at an Outback Steakhouse in Los Angeles. After a particularly hellacious shift, our manager was kind enough to let us waitrons use the restaurant's patio for some after-work drinking. Because I had only been there for a little while and was still "the new guy," I wanted to prove my consumption mettle; show that I could hang with the LA crowd where drinking was concerned. So I drank an entire bottle of gin, followed by three Mike's Hard Cranberry malt beverages. Things blurred for a bit, then I found myself projectile vomiting bright red spew behind the dumpster of our restaurant. After unleashing the contents of my stomach all over the pavement, I stood up to return to the party, assuming that now I was fine. As soon as I got upright, another wave of alcohol hit my bloodstream like a ghost train. My knees buckled and I pitched over backwards, right into the puddle that had only moments before passed through my lips. I laid for about an hour before I was discovered by some of my fellow servers, who, despite having only known me for a few months and in spite of the fact that I was truly a mess, packed me into the backseat of my car and drove me home. I crashed on my roommates flowery, girly couch, covering it in parking-lot grit and puke, and slept until morning. Ironically, the next day when I went back to work, the first customer I waited on ordered a glass of Tanqueray on the rocks. The smell nearly brought on a relapse, though I managed to maintain. Even more ironically, the incident endeared and bonded me with my waitstaff crew; they'd all been there before, of course.

1. New Years Eve, the year it turned 2000. My roommate and I's first party in our very own apartment. Due partly to the tremendous amount of hype surrounding the holiday (Y2K madness, as it were) and partly to the fact that I was excited about having a party at my new apartment, I worked myself into a positively bacchanalian state of mind. After a few beers, I decided to begin the night's celebration by drinking an entire bottle of Southern Comfort. In about 25 minutes. Quickly, I blacked out. I'm told that I began throwing glassware, tearing posters off the wall and chasing my girlfriend around, trying to plant sloppy kisses on her in a drunken show of affection. I woke up on the bathroom floor (again with the bathroom floor) at about 6am. The world had not ended, though it currently felt like Armageddon in my head and stomach. I flopped into the shower and laid there, water pouring over me, for about an hour. Then I crawled into bed, still wet, and slept for about 26 hours straight. Because my immune system had been so spectacularly shut down, I got a horrible head cold that lasted for most of January. It took about a week to get everyone talking to me again, after countless apologies, and they eventually forgave me for ruining New Years. Though, to be fair, they did get to see midnight. I didn't quite make it there.


Anonymous Braden said...

I was present for about 66.667% of that (a percentage which, if I remember correctly, was just a little below your blood alcohol level on both occasions).

1:26 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

And the fact that you still talk to me after all that only proves how good a friend you are.

1:45 PM  
Blogger Joel said...

Did you ever fill in the gap between your Ben Hur-like chase scene (complete with swigs of Southern Comfort) and waking up on the bathroom floor? I dragged your ass across our entire apartment to get you to there. And don't kid yourself... You didn't ruin New Years. You gave us the most spectacular Y2K new year's catastrophe imaginable. No apologies necessary, you put on quite a show!

11:23 PM  

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