Sunday, July 30, 2006

A cautionary tale of drunken revelry . . .

I told Laura E I'd publicly humiliate myself with this little trip in the wayback machine in return for her own drunken confessional.

One fine spring evening while I was in grad school in Richmond, Va., some of my friends noticed the general finals-induced malaise about my person and invited me to go drinking.

To set the scene, the bar was Max's and scenically wedged between the life-threatening Oregon Hills neighborhood and a downhill view of the old Virginia State Penitentiary (also know as Castle Dracula on the James). We often went there because it was a rather fast-paced execution scene in Virginia in the mid-1980's and it was a great view of the pro-death and anti-capital punishment demonstrations associated with those days.

On this particular occasion, my general attitude led me to start with a vodka gimlet and a plate of battered, fried mushrooms. After three gimlets and the mushrooms, I felt that the ice and lime twists were getting in the way of perfectly good Absolut, so I started ordering shots.

My memory of the ensuing 45 minutes is still fuzzy 22 years later, but I do remember a table full of shot glasses and the irresistible urge to question the manhood of several frat boys at a nearby table.

My next memory is that of flying through the hall of my dorm while hearing voices above me.
At about noon the next day I regained consciousness. The hangover was actually relatively tolerable since it was vodka-based and not whisky induced.
After showering and returning to he room to pass out, one of my drinking buddies came back by to fill in the blanks.
After standing up to offer some observations of the fraternity gang's ability to coexist in a manly world, I passed out, fell across the table and let the mushrooms air out, so to speak.
We had ridden to the bar in a pickup truck, and the driver apparently threatened to drive it through a car wash with me sprawled in the back like a sack of potatoes, although the rest of the group prevailed on his humanity.
The flying sensation came from being carried, face down and by each extremity, by my compatriots.
As I heard my tale of woe, I noticed that my glasses were missing. I asked if we could go back to the bar to get them.
"That's not a good idea," he said. "You're banned from Max's."
He did go get my glasses, returning with a colorful and hilarious account of the bartender's reiterated stance on my return to Max's.
Later that night, I consumed two greasy, wonderful cheeseburgers with onions and mustard and two vanilla cokes.
The State Pen was demolished a decade later. Max's was razed to accommodate urban renewal. And I sit here, gray-haired and alive to tell the tale.
The moral? Don't mix Absolut and mushrooms.

And to cap this evening's story, enjoy a little Frank Zappa. Somehow he fits the situation.

25 Comments:

Blogger Within Without said...

I see a theme developing here...

Your compatriots were carrying you by ALL extremities? And were you able to produce any offspring?

Please forward to us your friend's effort when she lives up to her end of the bargain.

Oh, the shame...

9:32 PM  
Blogger Frontier Editor said...

Oh, I meant skeletar extremities >B^D>

9:37 PM  
Blogger Frontier Editor said...

It's linked in the first graf.

9:41 PM  
Blogger tom909 said...

Why did that Frank have to go and die on us - what a star!
Thanks for that Fronty.

5:13 AM  
Blogger Mark Gamon said...

Why does it say 'comedy' in the picture?

7:30 AM  
Blogger Frontier Editor said...

Not sure, except it was a Saturday Night Live clip and probably repeated on some cable outlet.

Nuthin funny 'bout Frank, maaaaannnnnnnn!

8:49 AM  
Blogger Carmenzta said...

Fronty, I had a good laugh, especially about the part where you aired the 'shrooms! Actually I'm still laughing.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Miz BoheMia said...

Oooh! Partying editor you were!

Ten years ago, whilst living in Madrid, I had three Vodka lemons a tad too fast and went from having a conversation with someone about hair to waking up naked in my bed, scrambling to fill in the blanks. Turns out that vodka lemons make this bohemian unabashed enough to make chimpanzee noises in the middle of a popular gypsy bar in Madrid, to throw up in the bathroom while her flamenco dancer friend fights off a fat woman, and to be dragged home by said friend and an Argentinian roomie to the gypsy hostal where they all lived... although getting me there was no easy task as I repeatedly tried to shake off the friends and sleep it off in the street and when that didn't work the staircase of our apartment building would have done but they would still have none of it and tossed me on the bed, at which point I ripped off my clothes and my favorite necklace to boot.

I still remember nothing.

Vodka hangovers are hell, HELL I TELL YOU!

Dios mio!

8:42 AM  
Blogger Miz BoheMia said...

Oooh! Partying editor you were!

Ten years ago, whilst living in Madrid, I had three Vodka lemons a tad too fast and went from having a conversation with someone about hair to waking up naked in my bed, scrambling to fill in the blanks. Turns out that vodka lemons make this bohemian unabashed enough to make chimpanzee noises in the middle of a popular gypsy bar in Madrid, to throw up in the bathroom while her flamenco dancer friend fights off a fat woman, and to be dragged home by said friend and an Argentinian roomie to the gypsy hostal where they all lived... although getting me there was no easy task as I repeatedly tried to shake off the friends and sleep it off in the street and when that didn't work the staircase of our apartment building would have done but they would still have none of it and tossed me on the bed, at which point I ripped off my clothes and my favorite necklace to boot.

I still remember nothing.

Vodka hangovers are hell, HELL I TELL YOU!

Dios mio!

8:43 AM  
Anonymous raincoaster said...

Vodka hangovers?

Mymymymymymy, how young and innocent you are.

Worst ever: vodka, tequila, English gin, Dutch gin, Scotch, and cider.

I was quite surprised to find out it was Thursday when I went in to work, being as it had been Monday when I left.

Apparently, I'm quite an amusing drunk, very happy and all, but when I get home (which is quite late, because I get exploratory, too, and like to try all the doors in my apartment building) I enjoy staying up for hours accessorizing. I woke up with an unusual, and creative, ensemble that I've worn several times since. Perhaps I should become a stylist, but only somewhere I can drink at breakfast, because most of the time I'm quite slobby.

Denmark or anywhere in the UK should work.

9:34 PM  
Blogger Metro said...

Apparently Mel Gibson doesn't read your blog, FE.

My worst hangover--the one that stays with me long after the acid taste has faded--came as a result of the following activities:

1) Stole two litres of dad's home-made wine. Drank it thru a rag, as the grape solids were still in it.

2) In the resulting condition, climbed onto an elementary school roof.

3)Unable to break in. Came down and collapsed under a bush where my friends left me while they broke into a golf club and made off with a case of 12-year-old Scotch.

4) Apparently had a friendly conversation during which I assured the nice man in the blue-and-white car that I was just fine and oh--there's m'friends now ossifer.

5) Returned to basement of friends' dad's mansion. Left on sofa to watch TV, stood up and apparently fell through coffee table.

6) Was left on the lawn to aid in fertilization while my mates called a taxi. They tied my boots around my neck, and apparently I nearly strangled myself trying to crawl away.

I puked purple for three days. My mother sympathetically told me it was my own damn fault, and refused to pay for my friend's upholstery cleaning.

1:51 AM  
Anonymous raincoaster said...

Only cultivate friends who have naugahyde upholstery. Although I understand it IS difficult to plan ahead at a time like that.

5:38 AM  
Blogger Carmenzta said...

Raincoaster, Ever had a schnapps (or however the hell you spell that word) hangover? I do believe it's the worst ever. Not only are you puking what's left of your stomach out but you have that horrible peppermint smell to remind you. It took 3 days to get rid of the peppermint. Tears come to my eyes now when I see a stick of gum or breath mints.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Metro said...

Another hazard of booze. Leaving far-too-long comments on other people's blogs. Sorry. Should have posted it for meself.

Carmenzta--the point of peppermint schnapps is that once you're done for the night no-one minds that you've just returned the kalamari to the light of day:

"... cos it smells ... kind of nice. Fresh--y'know what I mean?"

Actual quote from revoltingly drunk friend.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous raincoaster said...

Never done the schnapps thang, although my sister once had a brutal encounter with peach schnapps in pink lemonade...resulting in a brutal session of "driving the porcelain bus."

11:47 PM  
Blogger Carmenzta said...

Metro, yeah, I see what you mean. But on the other hand, puking peppermint really, really sucks.

Fronty, please humiliate yourself with a new post, puleeeze?

4:54 PM  
Blogger Within Without said...

Hey, FE, you must be on a week-long bender.

Did writing this post send you back to those days of lore so much that you had to relive your youth?

My own most ugly episode came at about age 15 when me and a buddy got some guy to buy us each a bottle of wine (Apple Jack for me, Cherry Jack for him).

We took the illegally obtained product to our local church, where we both served as altar boys.

Knowing the place inside out, we retreated to the crying room on the second floor, which has a glass window overlooking the church.

We proceeded to drink ourselves silly on the cheapest wine you could buy.

Then we somehow made it (I wouldn't say walked) to the dance at our nearby school.

I got into a fight, went back inside the dance with my shirt off and proudly proclaiming my victory, sat down and...

Promptly passed out.

The school principal drove me home. Halfway there, he had to stop so I could throw up.

My mom was none too pleased. My dad? He just laughed.

Get back on here, Man!

8:03 PM  
Blogger Frontier Editor said...

WW: Never fear. I may get delayed but I'm never gone! Wait, maybe you should fear that thought . . .

MizB: Vodka hangovers are far more pleasant tham whisky hangovers because of the relative lack of impurities compared to darker liquors. At least that's what I've told myself several times while hallucinating that Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa were sodomizing each other while doing drum solos on a kettledrum. May they both rot in hell!

Raincoaster and Carmenzta: You haven't lived until downing 16 shots of Rumpelmintz and waking up four hours later in a restroom stall and being inordinately grateful that the stall door was locked from the inside after several seconds of gutwrenching panic.

Raincoaster: the worst hangovers are a tossup (no pun intended) between cheap dark rum and amaretto and Seven-Up.

Metro: Lemme tell you about the time in grad school when I knocked down four pitchers of cheap beer, staggered back to the departmen building and spied an intact 50-pound bag of Morton's Rock Salt. Wishing to demonstrate to my fellow teaching assistants that I was perfectly ambulatory, I deadlifted the bag, carried up three flights of stairs to the TA's lounge and passed out on the couch. Twenty minutes later, I woke up feeling a tightness in my chest, gasping for air and thinking I was having a massive myocardial infarction. As one of my colleagues standing overwatch began laughing herself silly, I looked down my chest to see the bag of salt resting comfortably on top of me.

11:47 PM  
Blogger Frontier Editor said...

Oh, and in all my drunken revels/rampages/blackouts, I never called anybody a f*****g Jew/Catholic/Baptist/Muslim/Unitarian/Krishna/Scientologist/atheist/agnostic/Druid/pagan/Wiccan/Stanaist/etc.

11:56 PM  
Blogger Carmenzta said...

Ok, one of my most humiliating alcoholic moments was when I was in my late 20's, still single. I met a really cute guy for our first date. I had dinner at my mom & dad's beforehand and had some avocado salad, which I love. This cute guy took me to the English Pub a really happening place at that time (1981). I had two glasses of wine, got up to go to the bathroom and made it there somehow, but then puked up my guts then passed out. I woke up like an hour later when the guy was carrying me out of the Pub. He had my legs and someone else had my arms. He took me home (I slept most of the way) and I never EVER saw him again or heard from him. I always blamed the avocado and wine interaction.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Metro said...

What a horrid way to wake up with a twenty-minute hangover!

Channelling Hunter Thompson, FE?

Dammit--can't find the link. Thompson, on his way out to continue a hard night with some friends, spotted a fifty-pound bag of fertilizer in the basement of his apartment building.

"I need this," he said "it may be important."

He proceeded to carry it around the bars with the group until he got too drunk and left it on a street corner somewhere.

Just think, someone out there was growing roses with that. Twisted blooms they were too, I have no doubt.

Re. insults I confess that in the throes of buck-a-beer draught (if that's not dating myself) I once called somebody an "endomorph", a "mesomorphic mess", and was trying for "atavistic egotistical fantasist" when I fell over.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Laura Elizabeth said...

Ah, FE, thanks for the story! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back here!

Never had schnapps after watching a friend hurl her guts all over my car - inside and out - one night. ICK!

11:26 AM  
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