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Wherein I am a drunken lout

Today I give you a trifecta of drinking stories all involving the same cast. We’ll title them The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good

We were invited to a dinner party at Sarah’s friend Swill’s place. (Swill is her University nickname, which I don’t think I’ve ever used before and didn’t seem so unfortunate until I typed it out just now. But I’ll employ it to cut the confusion of telling a story with two Sarahs.) I didn’t know a lot of people going in, and I’m a little bit on the totally fucking awkward side, so I expected a fairly quiet and lonely night. But then I met Kevin. Kevin was Swill’s new boyfriend, and he seemed like a generally affable guy when we met on the way in—but this turned out to be a bit of an act. No one who knows Kevin would ever describe him as ‘generally affable.’ Kevin’s got rage issues. Kevin is intensely protective about the people he loves. Kevin uses and means the word hate more than anyone I know. But he’s also got crazy charisma. He’s a shit disturber and he’s funny as hell. At a restaurant once he scored us half a plate of nachos by telling the table beside us, “You know, that’s a lot of food for a couple of broads.” He also diffuses fights with his (now) wife with lines like, “You’ve got real pretty hair,” and “Why do you gotta be like that? All I want to do it love you.”

That night, we hit it off for whatever reason. That’s not true; it’s not like I don’t know why we became friends. I liked him because the guy was just a ball of fire. And he liked me because I snuck a few beers out in my coat before we went for a walk to get more booze. We were inseparable that night. After getting dragged out to a club called the Left Bank, we actually danced—and we all know my feelings about that. But AC/DC came on, and Kevin grabbed me by the scruff, and there wasn’t much resisting. Next thing I know, I’m rocking out on the floor. Then I lose Kevin. I stop dead. I’m looking around with big panic eyes. And then this girl on the dance floor gives me a pitying look, takes me by the shoulders, and turns me toward him. I could hear her thinking, don’t cry, sweetie—here’s your friend.

Another moment from that night I remember is sitting with Kevin in someone’s car, drinking a beer and shooting the shit. He started talking about how much he loved his girlfriend, which was cool. He’s nothing if not committed. Then he went on to elaborate that he would die for her, and that he would also probably kill for her. And it occurred to me that he was telling the truth. I instantly thought back to all my interactions with his girlfriend, wondering if I’d ever slighted her, because to some degree I was afraid that I had and that this speech was just a preamble to Kevin’s punching my heart out through my back. But he didn’t, and that was nice.

The Bad

Short and sweet this one. Back when Sarah was still at Guelph and in school, Swill and Kevin came to visit. Kevin and I started with beer and then moved on to Jack Daniels. (We’re not nearly as Crue as that makes us sound. In fact, I have no idea why we even had JD in the house.) I would later learn that Kevin is practically immune to the stuff; it might as well be diet Tab for all the effect is has on him (more on that in the next story). But after that, we ended up at a pub for a couple of pints. I was destroyed by this point—and the only one. I remember indignantly yelling, “Why am I always the drunkest one?” about four times before we left.

We got back to Sarah’s apartment and there was a small cat outside the door which, as it turned out, really liked to be petted but wasn’t all about getting picked up. But I got it into my head that this cat had to come inside with us. So I got the thing pinned to my chest and got it inside the door, and it’s scratching my arms and my hands and my neck but I’m still in love with it. It’s not until Kevin says, “Uh, Dave, I don’t think the cat likes that too much,” that I finally decided to let it go. That part I do remember, but I have only a fuzzy recollection of the next part, where after watching Sarah take her pill I shouted, “Why do you always get to take those? Why can’t I?” So Sarah gave me a placebo and I contentedly fell asleep almost instantly. The next morning, the first question out of my mouth was, “Where did all these scratches come from?”

The Ugly

It was Swill and Kevin’s engagement party at Kevin’s parent’s house. The event was off to a rocky start after Kevin’s mom fell and broke her arm while helping carry a keg, but the show went on. She even came down for an hour or so to greet everyone, whereupon Kevin stopped the show and made a speech about how his mom is the cornerstone of the family. (This is why I like the guy. I mean, who does that?)

I was drunk three times that night. I didn’t intend to be. The first time, it was the keg of Keiths’ fault (certainly not my own.) Once I realized how far gone I was, I consciously thought this is a family function, and not even your own. Slow down, Speed Racer. And I did for about an hour. Then came the Mongoose.

(A word about Mongoose. I first picked this up for a party at Jorge’s place. The theme was bring a unique beer—something outside of the Molson/Labatt universe that everyone could share. I was the driver that night, and not supposed to drink at all, so I brought some pretty random stuff. Colt 45, Red Bull, and something called Mongoose. Check that link. There are quite a few things you should note:
1. On the front of the can, there is a mongoose biting a snake’s head.
2. The can is just shy of one litre.
3. It retails for $4.40
Oh, and it’s 8%, by the way. When I was young, the underage drinkers would share a six pack of Maximum Ice between ten people. I’m positive that today, when you’re sixteen, money’s tight, and there’s a half dozen of you, you’re probably sucking back a communal Mongoose. It tastes about as good as you’d imagine; like you’d induced night terrors in a hundred toddlers and then wrung out their sopping sheets into a glass. We cracked it open that night, it was awful, we got loaded, and Mongoose became legendary.)

So as it turned out, on top of the array of booze at the party, Swill had picked up a little present for us. I thought we’d never get around to it, but later that night Kevin and I shared the second Mongoose of our careers. Drunk again. Once more, I thought take it easy, Arthur. So I ate a lot of pizza and demolished a veggie tray and felt better for it.

Drunk number three came when most of the guests had left. I was sitting on the couch and Kevin, finished with all social obligations, plopped down beside me with a bottle of Jack Daniels. He took off the cap, had a swing, and handed it over—and after a few more turns that was the end of me. I got plastered while Kevin, as I remember, got nothing at all. The next half hour or so I do remember, but I’ll get to that. The hour or so that followed I have no recollection of whatsoever, even to this day. It was the only absolute blackout I’ve ever had while drinking.

The next thing I know, it’s morning and Sarah and I are in a fold-out bed in our clothes. I stumble to the bathroom, relieve an aching bladder, and go to wash my hands. The sink is filled with vomit. There’s pepperoni and carrots, and other all-too-identifiable substances in there, which I stare dumbly at for a minute before I realize: godammit, I did this! I instantly remember having thrown up the night before. Why the sink and not the toilet, you ask? Couldn’t say really. But I felt awful about it. This wasn’t a school kegger, this was an engagement party at someone’s parent’s place. There was no question, I had to clean it up before anyone knew. So I hand-bailed it into the toilet (because it wouldn’t wash down the sink and I was clearly still drunk). After scrubbing the sink with my hands and then washing my hands for about twelve minutes, the place was as good as new.

The only thing that makes me feel at all better about this night is that both Sarah and Swill were sick as dogs the next day. Sarah crawled into the bathroom after me, and through the deadly quiet of that basement I heard her gag, cough a few times, and then dejectedly mutter, “Nothing.” When Kevin came by later he told us that Swill had been sick all morning. He described the noise through the bathroom door as sounding like someone was filling up a pitcher with water and pouring it into the toilet over and over again.

Oh yeah, we’re classy.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Manus,

You had me laughing my ass off out loud at my desk. I almost fell off my chair. Yeah, Kevin has RAGE issues, all right. I like the fact that he is very open about it.

The best was our game of "I never" that we played on your stag night. The fact that him and I actually did some of the same stuff scares me.
Anonymous said…
It makes me proud to know I was present for your first sampling of Mongoose. I clearly recall you going on (at least once, though I recall more) about the picture on the can. Any beer worth its weight has animals chewing other animals' heads on their labels. Them Stella Artois guys got a LOT to learn.

Meanwhile, please add more public nudity or hot womens' midriffs references in your drunk stories. If you aren't consistent, you're gonna drive away your fan base. Alternately, references to either playing Jedi Academy or how much you want to buy Battlefront will suffice.
Because it's like the old saying goes, "Sex (and Star Wars) sells."
Jay said…
Man that was funny and disgusting. You are lucky no one else used that bathroom between the puking and the cleaning.

No, not classy, but we always say that you can't really judge a party until the first person pukes.
Melina said…
Oh my god you're too funny. I found you through Jay--that's why I appear to be a random commenter. Never have I laughed harder than when you described the taste of Mongoose (using the toddler reference). You're the best. Get drunk, tell me more stories!
Dave said…
Reay: I've got a drunken boob-biting story that might satisfy your cravings.

Melina: I take any and all encouragement to get drunk to heart. And random commenters are the best kind.

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