Monday, August 23, 2004
the dangers of the open bar
I learned something very important this weekend. When I die and pass on my legacy of over-eating, under-performing, and being a terrible lover and friend, my death is most likely to occur either 1) at an open bar or 2) immediately after an open bar.
I'm 25 years old. I've been to probably thirty open bars in my lifetime, and yet I still can't handle them. I absolutely lose my shit, like a kid in a candy store, albeit a really hairy kid with low self-esteem who one time got in a fight with a waiter at Denny's because the chocolate chip pancakes he ordered had laughably few chocolate chips. And sure, maybe he was hopped up on drugs at the time of this argument, but he still knew that he was right, and didn't think it was necessary to get the authorities involved. Dicks.
Anyway, every time I'm at a function with an open bar, it's like, "Wait a minute - you're telling me that these drinks are free? All of them? So I can't get any drink I want, and I don't have to pay for it? I can get three drinks, right now, for free? Holy shitballs! I think I just pissed myself!"
This past Saturday I went home to Philly for my cousin's wedding reception. She originally had her wedding in The Bahamas, but had a reception in Philly for those who couldn't make it. In addition to good food and good company, there was also tons of free booze.
A word before we go any further: I had been feeling sick on Friday night, and decided to stay in to make sure I was 100% for the reception the following day. I hunkered down in my apartment, where I ate lots of ice cream for my sore throat and drank a half a bottle of cough syrup. I was entertained by the messages left by my roommates, who were wasted, asking me to come out and join them even though I repeatedly said I was staying in. They basically went something like this:
Roommate Brian: "Dude, I know you're there. Pick up the phone. God, you are such a pussy. We're right down the street - why don't you come out and have a drink? Hello? I know you're sitting on the couch, probably eating a sundae, you son of a bitch. Put down the sundae and come out. [silence for five seconds] God, you are such a pussy."
This happened eight or so times. Finally, I answered.
Brian: [wasted out of his mind] "Dude, are you coming out or not?"
Me: "Dude, it's 1am. You've been calling every hour since 6. I've never answered. Do you think I'm coming out?"
Brian: "So you're coming out?"
Me: "No, I'm not."
Brian: "Come on, don't be a pussy. Have I ever asked you for anything?"
Me: "You ask me for shit all the time. This morning, you asked to borrow my soap. Yesterday, you ate my entire bag of meatballs. Also, you owe me $1200."
Brian: [silence for four seconds] "Dude, are you coming out or not?"
Me: "No, dude, I gotta go."
So that was my Friday: Haagen Dazs, Sucrets, and sore throat medicine.
Saturday I made the trek down to Philly, feeling better but still sucking down cough syrup, on the road to convalescence. I was feeling pretty good by the time the reception rolled around, and gave myself the green light to booze to my heart's content, which usually means way, way, way too much.
I am a man of many weakness: sour cream, cleavage, any woman who so much as talks to me, etc. But I have no bigger weakness than vodka. I love vodka. I've written about this before, so I don't need to go totally into it, but suffice it to say that tears are welling up in my eyes right now, thinking about vodka.
I have no excuse or explanation for how drunk I got on Saturday. Sure, I was double-fisting vodka cranberries all night, and doing shots of Stoli Raspberry, but still, I got way drunker than I should have been. I remember leaving the reception, but not too much after that. I went to another bar, then another, before I told some friends that I was going to use the bathroom, but instead snuck home.
Oh, I do remember one conversation with my friend Tara who I hadn't seen in a while.
Tara: "So Jase, what are you doing in NYC?"
Me: [very drunk] "I'm doing a little acting."
Tara: [excited] "Really? Anything I would know?"
Me: "You know the new 'Alien vs. Predator' movie?"
Me: [pointing to self] "I'm the Predator. Well, one of them. There were like 50 of us."
Tara: "You're kidding, right?"
Tara: [disgusted] "Oh."
I stumbled home and amazingly suppressed my urge to take my dad's truck and go hooker hunting. I passed out and woke up in the middle of the night and did something I never do: threw up.
I never throw up from drinking. Ever. Well, I've thrown up twice while intoxicated, but neither had to do with drinking (are you with me?). Once I puked because I had eaten a bad chicken roll (well, it was delicious, but it made me throw up). And once I made myself puke because in my drunken stupor I had taken too many aspirin (written about in the now infamous "Upper Hand" post).
But boy did I throw up, and vodka cranberry is one of the less pleasant things to see on the way up. When I woke up the next day with a crippling hangover, I made some phone calls to do some damage control. One friend said, "I was fucked up, but I looked over at you, and thought, 'Man, he is fucked up.' So you were really drunk." Another said I was "mangled." Another said I was "making stupid faces and had no body control." I'm not sure what that last one means, but it's not a good thing.
I took the train back to NYC, and threw up in the train station. During the unusually long train ride, I threw up in the train bathroom. I was a disaster. I made it back to my place barely alive, and recovered only with the help of some Krispie Kreme doughnuts I picked up at Penn Station.
I blame this entirely on the cough/sore throat medicine. I can handle my liquor. Shit, I practically drink professionally. I know what'll get me buzzed, what'll get me drunk, and what'll get me hitchhiking at 4:30 in the morning, set on going to Canada to go bear hunting. On Saturday night, I had enough booze to get me in the "I'm pretty drunk" range, but because I drank a bottle of cough medicine in the twenty-four hours before drinking, I wound up in the "I'm going to see if this car can float in the Delaware River" range.
The lesson: cough medicine gets you fucked up. Drink a bottle of Robitussin, and about a liter of vodka, and boy, you'll be feeling good. Just don't have any big plans for the next day, because you'll probably need help bathing yourself and breathing. Don't say I didn't warn you.