Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Birth of an Unrepentent Libertine

By the time I was fourteen, I already stood three inches over six feet. Through some quirk of accelerated hormonal development, I was also able to sport a mustache that would have looked more appropriate on the upper lip of Josef Stalin than beneath the nose of someone who was not yet old enough to drive. My lip hair was complimented by an ever-present five o’clock shadow that, though actually a result of early morning laziness, was reasonably fashionable thanks to the popularity of the television show Miami Vice in 1984. I was also blessed with a voice that could have made James Earl Jones sound like Mickey Mouse after somehow surviving an emasculating misadventure in the midst of a savage helium bender. In short, I appeared far older than I actually was.

Looking much older than one’s age, though a curse to those approaching their forties, has distinct advantages for someone just starting high school. I could get into R-rated movies without parental approval. I could buy adult magazines to sell at grossly inflated prices to my less mature-appearing peers. In fact, I lost my virginity at fourteen, in my dungeon-like basement going at it like a hyperactive rabbit convulsing to the effects of a Levitra overdose to try to finish the job before my parents got home (a deadline that I, tragically, made with flying colors). When we were finished, we were both pretty happy with ourselves. I thought I had bagged a babe that was way out of my league while she thought she had bagged a high school senior.

At fourteen, I really felt as if I could do almost anything I wanted to. The only thing I had yet to attempt was to try to buy alcohol, something I actively avoided because, though I had no problem passing myself off as 18, passing myself off as twenty-one was a whole new ball game and one that I thought required credible ID.

Now I really had no moral aversion to breaking the law by buying alcohol, but I had a real healthy fear of getting caught. In my young mind, getting busted buying booze had consequences for me that were roughly equivalent to those suffered by people caught passing state secrets to the Soviets. I visualized the local police dropping whatever investigation they were involved in and focusing the entire department’s resources towards bringing in a hapless youngster attempting to purchase a six-pack at a local convenience store. I pictured them treating me as an adolescent piñata as they forced me into the back seat of a black and white Crown Victoria to be transported to their secret dungeon where I would be mercilessly worked over by two goons beneath a blinding spotlight. I then saw myself being thrown, beaten and bloodied, into a cell full of incredibly large men two rungs below a Sasquatch on the evolutionary ladder, only to assume the same unfortunate role in jail as Ned Beatty assumed in the movie Deliverance. Then, after a show trial in a kangaroo court, I would be hauled away to a juvenile rehabilitation institute until I was released to spend the rest of my days looking lobotomized while passing out little bibles in area strip malls. It never occurred to me that, living in the Detroit area, the local police might have better things to do. So, when one of my friends finally dared me to try to buy a case of beer for the benefit of our circle of friends, my sweat glands opened up, my sphincter puckered, my mouth went dry, my knees went weak and I immediately accepted the challenge. Apparently, whatever horror the police were capable of unleashing upon me paled in comparison to the incessant ribbing I would have to endure from my friends if I backed down from a dare. They were that vicious.

My first tactic was to try to stall. I told my friends to go home and get their money because if I was taking the risk of trying to buy beer, I was drinking for free. When they left, I started melting down and tried to figure a way out of the situation. I came up with nothing. Within an hour, my friends were back and before I knew it we were on our bikes and on our way to a small local grocery store. My friends were dreaming of their first bender and I was dreading an inevitable encounter with the Allen Park Police Department.

No matter how uneasy I was about carrying out my mission, I kept up a pretty good poker face and I do not think that I betrayed my apprehension about the situation at all. Once we arrived at the store I got off of my bike and walked into the building like I owned it. I managed to maintain this façade until I was out of sight of my friends. Three steps into the store however the owner, an older Arab with a thick accent, warmly welcomed me to his place of business and unintentionally caused me to break out into a cold sweat. I was blowing my cover with my nervousness and I knew it. There was no way I was going to pull this off.

Still, I trudged on towards the beer and wine section via the health aisle. As I was passing through, something caught my eye and I had an epiphany. It was a package of diapers, a prop that would surely make me look older. I scooped it up and subsequently went searching for a box of tampons. Once I found them I confidently walked up to the beer cooler, grabbed two cases of Altes and made my way to the checkout counter where I started falling apart again.

As Ali started ringing me up, I started sweating profusely. I developed a severe case of the shakes and found myself stuttering through the small talk that the grocery’s owner was intent upon engaging me in. I was light-headed and I could almost feel the color rush out of my face as the shopkeeper punched the price of the beer into the cashier register. Once he did this, he turned to me, looked inquiringly into my eyes and asked, “Are you OK?”

I nearly responded by reaching for my wallet and pretending to search for the non-existent driver’s license that I was going to claim that I had left in my non-existent car. I got as far as pulling my wallet out of my back pocket before I realized that he was not carding me. With a sudden surge of improvised banter that impressed even myself I said, “Not really.” I motioned towards the diapers and tampons on the counter, “They baby’s been crying his eyes out all day and night and my wife has been bitching at me non-stop for three solid days. On top of that, my little brother is coming home from the army today and I’m just now starting to prepare for his party. I just need a break something awful.”

The shopkeeper nodded his head sympathetically. “I’ve been there, my friend. You need to relax. That will be $24.50.” I handed him his cash, gathered up my purchases and tried like hell not to run out of the door. When I walked around the store to the alley where my friends were waiting, I was greeted like I had single handedly conquered Cuba. They let loose a spontaneous cheer that I forcefully put down for fear of attracting the unwelcome attention of the authorities and set them to transferring the beer from their cardboard containers into the duffel bags we had brought. Once our contraband was secured we peddled down to the creek where we all used to hang out and initiated our first bender. We were soon to find out that there were none among us who could henceforth ever be described as docile drunks.

Had we been a normal group, we probably would have drunken ourselves to the point where our Blood Alcohol Level overwhelmingly surpassed our IQs and then spent the rest of the afternoon lying motionless beside the riverbank while holding on for dear life. As it happened however, there was only one of us who drank himself to the point of unconsciousness, the boy who later that night earned himself the enduring nickname “Lucky”, in fond tribute to his spectacular lack thereof.

The rest of us, who possessed an uncommon penchant for mayhem and chaos when we were not drinking, decided that something was missing and entered into a long discussion on what that could possibly be. After much debate and over far more alcohol than our freshmen livers could process, we decided it was eggs and dispatched two of our members, those who could still consider tackling the complex intricacies of bicycle piloting, to another convenience store to perform some impromptu grocery shopping. The rest of us picked up Lucky and tried to transport him to our predetermined rendezvous point: a nearby railway overpass that crossed over a fairly busy local road. We set Lucky down beneath the I-75 viaduct, which runs parallel to the railroad at that point, within the circle of light provided by a streetlamp used to illuminate the expressway above. Our reasoning was that if we laid him somewhere dark, we may not have been able to find him again. Had we put a little more thought into our strategy, it may have occurred to us that we were planning on doing something that would almost certainly provoke people into coming looking for us and had Lucky been sober enough to have had a say in the matter, he probably would have opted for a resting place that was just a little more non-descript. Had he possessed the benefit of hindsight, he most certainly would have.

It took an eternity for our comrades to return with the eggs we had requisitioned. While we waited, we made an enthusiastic attempt to finish off the beer we had scored while “Mad Dog” Dean McCallister entertained us by trying to sing Canadian folk classics while simultaneously forcing his stomach contents out through his nostrils. We were delivering truly heartfelt applause to his novel approach to channeling Gordon Lightfoot when our accomplices finally arrived with our cache of cholesterol. Disappointed by having missed Mad Dog’s rendition of “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”, they begged for an encore which was angrily refused.

Before we got started on the evening’s mischief we discovered there were five beers still left, one for each member of the gang still able to walk upright. We downed these with a great deal of ceremony and split up our eggs, placing them along strategic points across the length of the railroad bridge and then waited for some hapless driver to steer their luckless Le Sabre within range.

In my circle of friends, there really was no one who was a stranger to committing assault with a raw breakfast entrée and there were even of a few of us who were downright evil shots with them. This night was a little different though. We were talking aim at targets moving at a rate of speed far faster than the houses, mailboxes and the occasional pedestrian we normally took aim at and up until that night, we had never pursued our hobby while smashed out of our gourds. We could not hit a thing. We tried hitting cars coming at us. We tried hitting cars moving away from us. We tried hitting them from the side. All techniques were met with the same frustrating lack of success. We fired off eight rounds of eggs a piece and the only thing we managed to do was elicit a few honked horns from motorists who saw our feeble attempts at minor vandalism. We were on our last full round, our ninth egg per person, when we saw a Camaro come barreling down Goddard Road, right for us. We sprung into action and took our positions with commando-esque precision.

The Camaro’s driver spotted our ambush and decelerated considerably. It was the worst thing he possibly could have done because right as he entered the range of our weaponry, he had slowed to a virtual crawl. We opened up with our pre-poultry projectiles and by the time our target came to a screeching halt directly below us, it had been transformed from a pristine icon of America’s street racing heritage into an undercooked Chevrolet omelet. At that point of the evening, we had not expected to hit him even once, let alone five times. We erupted into cheers rivaling those given when I first scored the beer and were flushed with a buoyant wave of euphoria over our success. At least we were until we saw the driver emerge from his car.

The Camaro’s owner was a huge man, at least two inches taller than myself and probably more than a hundred pounds heavier. It was also apparent that he worked out religiously as he was chiseled in much the same way that Arnold Schwarzenegger was. I would have bet that he could have easily passed as the action movie star had it not been for all the prison tattoos. With a speed that maliciously broadcast his singular sense of purpose in tearing us limb from limb, he bolted out of his car and started up the embankment while screaming out a creative array of colorful adjectives that probably would have been worth documenting had they been directed at someone else. Not even considering the offering of resistance, we split and fled in all different directions. The only act of defiance was given by Larry Gizzarelli, who scooped up the last three eggs and, while running full speed down the railroad tracks, tossed them back over his head without the benefit of aiming. Carl Morelli, who had unwisely chosen to follow The Giz’s trail of flight, successfully dodged two of them but took the third right on the chin.

As for myself, I refused to bow to the shameless level of cowardice that my friends had. I was not going to give the driver of the Camaro the pleasure of watching me run frantically down the length of the viaduct screaming like a little girl trapped in carnival funhouse. I was way too drunk for that. I was going to stay right where I was at. With luck, I figured that he would be too busy chasing down my soprano-screaming sidekicks to notice me hiding in the tall weeds lining the ditch beside the railroad tracks. Once he passed, I would slip out behind him and just walk home. Luckily, I was wearing a Vietnam-era tiger-striped field jacket that was in style at the time and though the pattern was more suited to Southeast Asian rain forests than the thick undergrowth of cattails that I was cowering in, it provided much better camouflage than say, a set of fluorescent orange lederhosen would have.

My tactic worked. The carnage crazed Camaro cretin ran right past me after The Giz and Morelli who, having the frantic gait that only sheer terror can produce, had a rapidly increasing lead on him. As he was about to give up he spotted Mad Dog, who was seeking the sanctuary of the neighboring water treatment facility, off to his right and abruptly changed direction. He bolted beneath the I-75 viaduct and, after about a hundred yards of pursuit, gave up on him too. He let out a deafening barrage of obscenities and threats before turning around and heading back to his car. That was when he spotted Lucky, blissfully passed out against a pylon within the basking glow of the overhead streetlight. It was almost as if God himself was pointing him out.

I, as had my four other comrades, had completely forgotten about Lucky and from my vantage point could not even see him. I was not reminded that he was still among us until the Camaro’s owner had stopped on his almost leisurely stroll back to his car and gently kicked something outside of my field of vision as if to get its attention. I then heard Lucky’s groggy voice tentatively call out my name and ask where everyone had gone. Then, with a sense of panic that was clearly audible I heard Lucky exclaim, “YOU’RE NOT JEP!” and spotted him as he leapt to his feet and attempted to run. Unfortunately Lucky was still pretty drunk and, with a level of grace one could only expect from a lobotomized hippopotamus on rollerblades, got about seven steps in before tumbling head over heels and coming to rest face first into a discarded truck tire filled with malarial water. The Camaro cretin nonchalantly walked over and lifted him up.

Lucky was not a big kid. He stood 5’5” tops and weighed just over a hundred pounds. Our egging victim had no trouble tucking him under one arm like a squirming six-pack as Lucky screamed at the top of his lungs, “DON’T F*** WITH ME, MAAAANNNNN!!!!!! I’LL F*** YOU UP!” Unfazed, the Camaro guy just kept walking. It was at this time that I blew my cover. I stood up straight hoping that maybe he would let Lucky go and come after me, giving us both a chance to escape but he only speculated about taking the bait.

“Maybe I should go get that guy.” I hear him say to Lucky.

“You go right ahead.” I heard Lucky answer. “I’ll wait right here.”

When Lucky and the Camaro guy got back to the car, I was a safe distance away but still barely within earshot. I heard the sound of impact as the goon threw my friend against the Chevy and ordered him to clean off the egg.

“All right. All right.” Lucky said with obvious resignation in his voice. “Do you have a rag or something I could use?”

“Use your shirt.”

“F*** you.”

The Camaro guy then grabbed a handful of Lucky’s hair and brought the side of his head down against the hood of the car. Lucky then dutifully removed his shirt and started cleaning the car with the enthusiasm rare outside of the homeless rag men found at busy inner-city intersections. After seeing that Lucky’s efforts were only making matters worse, our victim grabbed him by the neck, opened the passenger door and threw him into the front seat while telling him that they were going to the police station.

As the Camaro’s driver went to walk around to the driver’s side, I heard the car’s engine rev up. I then realized that in his haste to exact his revenge upon us, our victim left his keys in the car’s ignition. Our victim realized it too and stopped dead in his tracks as he tried to figure out what to do next. In desperation, he flung himself back to the passenger side door and tried to open it up. It was an exercise in futility though as Lucky, who apparently had been sobering up fairly quickly, had already locked all of the doors and climbed into the driver seat. Before either the Camaro’s owner or myself could fully appreciate what was happening, Lucky put the car in gear and floored it.

As the Camaro spun around into a full U-turn, its former owner stood motionless on the curb with a look on his face that suggested that, while deep within the throes of a vicious tequila bender, he had accidentally liberated a midnight snack from the cat’s litter box. I am sure the look on my face betrayed a similar level of puzzlement. Both of us just stood there stunned as the vehicle swerved uneasily down Goddard Road back towards the neighborhood that I lived in. As it drifted out of sight, the Camaro guy finally looked up at me as if subliminally asking me what he should do. I gave him a “don’t know what to tell you” shrug and turned tail to run. We had crossed the line into felony territory and I did not want to be hanging around giving egging victims advice when the police showed up. If they were going to get me, they had to at least work a little for it.

The creek where my circle of friends hung out flowed beneath the I-75 viaduct, about two hundred yards from where we launched our egg assault. It then passed through a City of Detroit water treatment facility for about a quarter mile before flowing beneath Moran Road in the direction that Lucky had driven the stolen Camaro, intersecting about a block and a half from where I lived. I chose this as my escape route. As I was running along the creek through the water treatment facility property, I heard two people running full bore right at me. I jumped off of the trail and hid. A few seconds later I spotted Mad Dog and Richie Clayton running furiously towards me as if the devil himself was nipping at their heels. I jumped out of my hiding spot to see what was going on, terrifying both of them to the very precipice of involuntary incontinence. Richie leapt right off of the riverbank and fell into the creek. Before he even had a chance to get wet however, he was back on his feet running to the far shoreline where he pulled himself out, ran up the embankment and then out of sight. We did not see him again for nearly a week, and then only sporadically after that. I think that was the very moment where he decided to find a new group of friends. Mad Dog just let out a blood-curdling scream and fell into a crumpled heap of jelly at my feet. When he saw it was only me he struggled back up, grabbed my arm and, while hysterically hyperventilating shaking as if afflicted by a particularly virulent strain of Parkinson’s, tried to regain his stride with me in tow. “He..*gasp*..found..*gasp*..us.”


“The..*gasp*.. Camaro..*gasp*..Dude!”

Stunned in disbelief and still far too intoxicated to work my legs with the efficiency they were used to, I lost my footing and tripped taking both me and Mad Dog down to the ground. I hit my knee upon something very hard as I fell and an excruciating bolt of crippling agony tore through my entire leg. Still, I managed to get back up and try to hop away on one foot. I did not make it far. Mad Dog was still lying on his back trying to catch his breath and on my last hop, I landed right on his crotch, expelling what little air was left in his lungs as his legs shot out defensively, knocking my one good leg out from underneath me. I crashed down hard, nailing my right elbow and putting me out of action. Mad Dog launched into another fit of Technicolor laughter. As Mad Dog and I lay writhing around on the ground I heard the sound of Camaro man crashing through the trees in the darkness behind us, gaining quickly.

Knowing things were about to come to a head, I reached around the ground frantically for something to defend myself with. Miraculously, I came across a fallen stick that was just about the size of a pool cue and sat myself up in the hopes of getting one good shot in before we were unceremoniously disemboweled. As the sounds of our assailant approached, I brought the stick up around my head like I was Hank Aaron and, for the second time in less than a half hour, waited for the owner of a Camaro to come within striking range.

When he finally emerged from the brush in front of me, I was ready for him. It was so dark that he never even saw what hit him. I swung my stick as hard as I could and caught him full in the ribs. Unfortunately, the stick was thoroughly dry-rotted and it virtually disintegrated upon impact. It was like hitting a charging wildebeest with a dry sponge. Not even slowed, the Camaro guy slammed right into me knocking me flat upon my back, then tripped over me and landed on Mad Dog, pushing him into the disgusting puddle of sidewalk pizza he had left in the grass a moment before.

In an act of suicidal desperation, I leapt upon Camaro Guy’s back and managed to get him into a choke hold from behind. I then realized that he was much smaller up close and shortly after that noticed that his voice was awfully familiar. In fact, it sounded so much like Lucky’s I had to let him go. Of course, it was him.

I spent the next couple of minutes explaining to Lucky how we had mistaken him for the Camaro driving vigilante until I noticed he was wearing a different shirt than what he had started out in. When I asked him where he got it, he explained that the Camaro guy had a basket of clothes in the car and he had helped himself to a clean t-shirt on his way out of the car. I then asked him where he left the Camaro.

“At the bridge.” He answered, referring to the point where the creek intersected Moran Road.

“Why the hell did you leave it there?” I asked in disbelief. “You cut off our way home!”

“No, I cut off your way home.” Lucky lived in the opposite direction of Mad Dog and myself. “I’m fine.”

“Not quite.” I corrected. “There’s a crime scene and an unnaturally large, ill-tempered motorist between us and your house, Scott.” Scott Grabowski did not get christened with his new nickname until the following day. “I’m sure he got a pretty good look at you and even if he didn’t…” I pointed out Lucky’s new wardrobe item, “I’m sure he’s going to recognize his own clothes. I’d advise you to get a better disguise back at my house before you try to chance making it to yours.”

This set off a lengthy conversation on escape strategy. We were essentially confined within the water treatment facility, surrounded by an eight foot high chain link fence topped with double strands of barbed wire with two unguarded breaks in it to let the creek flow through. One of these breaks was blocked by a stolen car. The other was potentially blocked by the homicidally deranged person it was stolen from. For all we knew, he was waiting for us beneath the viaduct, killing time by disemboweling Richie Clayton while he waited for the rest of us to show up. In the end we decided to leave our bikes behind (they had been left beneath an unused railroad bridge that passed over the creek halfway between Moran Road and the viaduct) walk the perimeter of the chain link fence behind the treatment facility, out of sight of both the facility’s security guards manning the gate and Moran Road, and chance jumping the barrier at the corner farthest away from the stolen car. That meant walking almost mile to cover a distance that essentially added up to one city block. As far as we could tell however, that was really our only option. Once we were at my house, Lucky just needed to kill a couple of hours before attempting to walk to his house.

We got to the point where we needed to jump the fence without incident but once we arrived, suddenly realized how formidable it was. Eight feet is a long height from which to fall and falling is a very realistic danger when you’ve compromised your motor skills with enough cheap beer to kill a Kennedy. To add to the difficulty, the fence was topped with two triple strands of barbed wire held in place with V-shaped bracket placed on every other post. Scaling that perimeter was bound to be the hardest task of the night.

We were fairly exposed standing by the fence and to preempt any lengthy discussions on how best to jump it, I just went ahead and tried. As I climbed towards the top, I noticed that dew had collected on the rungs, making them much slicker than I expected. The wind had also really picked up considerably which made the task that much trickier. I took as much care as I could but I still slipped while I was over the barbed wire and fell right into it. I fortunate in escaping any major injury, but my prized fatigue jacket was not so lucky. It was ripped to shreds as I worked myself free and fell to the ground, again aggravating the knee I had injured during my earlier spill at the creek. Mad Dog went next, choosing to cross over the V-bracket and managed to do so with an ease that was very admirable for someone who was still quite inebriated. Lucky went last, also over the bracket in the hopes of replicating Mad Dog’s success. He failed miserably.

As stated earlier, Lucky was not a big guy and trying to clear the fence’s V-bracket was just too much for someone that short. While over the bracket, he overstretched and came down hard on the street side of wire, hard enough in fact that both Mad Dog and myself initially feared that he had been impaled by the bracket’s tip. From our vantage point, it had jammed itself into Lucky’s jeans just below his belt and we watched in horror as his apparently limp body fell forward until he was suspended upside down from the top of the fence. Both of us rushed to his aid, fearing the worst. Fortunately, we found that though the fall had knocked the wind out him, he was essentially in good shape and had no visible injuries. Unfortunately, his jeans and his belt were somehow wrapped around the bracket and he was about as stuck up there as a person could possibly be.

As the tallest, I was best equipped to get him down but I saw it was a futile gesture from the very beginning. The only way he was coming down was if I cut his belt. Initially, Lucky was very much against this and though I did not understand his almost violent opposition to this course of action then, I sure do now. If I was stuck hanging upside down and some drunk wanted to perform belt surgery with a sharp knife six inches from an appendage that was vital for my future procreation, I would have been concerned myself. I would have had reservations even if he was not planning on doing it with only one hand while using the other to hang suspended from a wet chain link fence in high winds. Performing a stunt like that was just begging for an unintentional vasectomy. Still, Lucky’s options were pretty limited and finally, after the blood rushing to his head had sufficiently clouded his judgment, he agreed to let me give it a shot. Mad Dog, who had a fetish for knives that was unnatural for someone who had yet to do time in the high security wing of an insane asylum, passed me a particularly sharp specimen of his collection and told me to get it done quickly. With a precision that was far more luck than skill, I severed Lucky’s belt and immediately found that it was only half of the problem.

The other half was Lucky’s jeans. They were wrapped around the bracket as well and cutting the belt only loosened them up enough to allow Lucky’s pants to pass over his hips. In the flash of an eye they shot up to his shoes and Lucky found himself hanging by his ankles, baring his battered BVDs to any cars that happened to pass by. He immediately panicked and started squirming frantically in a vain attempt to get down. I fell off the fence and found myself writhing around in the grass, laughing so hard that I was able to produce no audible sound at all. Mad Dog was soon beside me suffering a similar affliction. I desperately wanted a camera and, though Al Gore had yet to invent it, internet access.

Eventually, Mad Dog and I pulled ourselves together enough to try to get Lucky the rest of the way down. We worked our way up the fence on either side of him and each tried to take off a shoe. This was hard to begin with, but the task was made more difficult with the passing of each car. Every time Lucky saw approaching headlights, he would become hysterical and try to work himself free. This would send Mad Dog and myself into convulsing fits of laughter that made it even harder to hold on to the wet fence in wind that seemed to be growing stronger by the minute. Finally the shoes came off and Lucky fell out of pants, crashing face first into grass while letting loose a long string of expletives that would have turned a West Pac Sailor redder than Chairman Mao. Mad Dog and I fell after him, still laughing uncontrollably. Just as we were calming down, Lucky picked himself up and tried to grab his pants. The wind however, kept lifting them up just out of his reach. Mad Dog’s laughter then launched him into a set of dry-heaves, which set me off even worse. As Lucky’s pants flapped in the wind, the contents of his pockets showered down upon us. Wallet, keys and change fell into the grass while the two us that were still fully clothed tried to catch our breaths and find them through the tears in our eyes. Then the strongest gust of wind yet blew in and lifted Lucky’s pants off of the wire and carried them back over the fence into the perimeter of the water treatment facility that we had just escaped from. Lucky gasped and fell to his knees. Mad Dog guffawed so hard his dry heaves finally turned wet. I came the closest to actually wetting myself than I had since pre-school. I had to roll over on to my side, undo my zipper and relieve myself before I had an accident, a tactic that nearly backfired before I realized that I was urinating slightly uphill.

Eventually, we made it home. Mad Dog finally quit getting sick and made it back to his house. Lucky borrowed a pair of pants from me and eventually made his way back as well. When he got home he called to tell me the coast was clear. There was no sign of the Camaro guy, the police or the vehicle so we assumed he must have just found it and left. I finally passed out in my bed which, a few hours later, took on the qualities of a roulette wheel until I got sick myself. When I woke up the next morning, I felt like hell.

I was violently ill until lunchtime and had a headache that made me feel as if someone had performed brain surgery on me with a railroad spike. My whole body seemed to ache and I felt terminally dizzy and weak. As I spent the hours before noon unable to do much else, I took stock of the events that transpired the evening before. I committed my first serious misdemeanor by purchasing alcohol while under age. I committed another by throwing eggs at a moving car. My actions eventually lead to one of my closest friends getting man-handled by the enraged owner of a scrambled Chevrolet for an act that he had no part in committing. I then became an unintentional accomplice in the commission of a felony when my friend, who had been an innocent up until this point, stole the guy’s car. I then took an active role in the public humiliation of this same friend by creating the circumstances that presaged his spontaneous act of public nudity, robbing him of the little dignity he had left at that point. As I lay that morning wallowing in my own misery, I vowed that I had to start doing things differently. There were serious consequences to drinking on a scale like that and I had to make sure that I did not end up in this condition again. I had to start buying better beer. The cheap stuff left you feeling way too bad to fully enjoy the memories of the chaos you had instigated the night before.

Before long, my group of friends and I became devoted disciples to the cult of Liber-Bacchus and started living for the bender. Looking back, it was no so much the booze itself that drew us in, it was the mayhem that that particular group of future felons was capable of once alcohol was thrown into the equation. Before long, the novelty of being able to acquire booze easily had worn off and was replaced with manic attempts at trying to outdo the antics that had been done the night before. Our popularity among our peers exploded as our escapades of inebriation became relative legend and accelerated our descent into drunken delinquency. My tactic of buying beer with the help of diapers and tampons worked like a charm and I eventually was buying so much that the income from it began nicely supplemented the pay I received as a cook in a fast food restaurant. My technique only arose suspicion once when an alert cashier figured that either I was pulling some kind of scam or had fathered a child afflicted with some sort of exotic intestinal ailment with a woman who was slowly bleeding to death.


Blogger Sacto Ritch said...

I'm sure Matt will be pleased to know that he's not the only one that's had to babysit a bunch of drunks on a rampage. At least the Mexican taxi driver didn't drive a Camaro!

7:25 PM  
Blogger Sacto Ritch said...

I'm sure Matt will be pleased to know that he's not the only one that's had to babysit a bunch of drunks on a rampage. At least the Mexican taxi driver didn't drive a Camaro!

7:25 PM  
Blogger JEP said...

I heard you the first time man! You know, its about time I immortalized that story in the pages of The JEP Report, at least in the way that I remember it (which is actually a bit suspect). That was definately one of our finest moment, a bender of the ages.

9:54 AM  

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