Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Curse of Friday

I used to look forward to Fridays but after the last few weeks, I have been dreading them almost as much as Mondays thanks in large part to the way I have been spending my Thursday nights. It started three weeks ago when a buddy of mine suggested we go to a local bar for a quick beer. Now, I used to be an Olympic-caliber drinker but after having a couple of kids it turned into one of my hobbies that I found myself neglecting more and more and as this “quick beer” turned into several that were complimented by multiple shots of tequila, I discovered that my tolerance for alcohol is nowhere near what it used to be.

On that particular evening, things started to go downhill when a biker entered the bar and for some reason decided to take up his post right next to me. The guy was huge, loud, boisterous and obviously looking for trouble, making rude comments to several other customers and being a general nuisance to what up to that point was turning out to be a fairly pleasant evening. He mellowed out a bit once he noticed my buddy’s accent and found out that he was from Germany and we ended up discussing fine Bavarian beers with the guy. Then we started doing shots with him. I am not sure how things progressed, but ultimately we ended up in the middle of a huge group of people doing shots and having a grand old time.

At 1:30, we ordered another round when the barmaid leaned in towards us and asked who was driving home. We both looked around and scanned the crowd before saying, “Our designated driver is around here somewhere…”

“Yeah, right. You two came in here by yourselves. I’m sorry but I’m afraid I am going to have to cut you off.”

I gasped in horror and indignation. I have never had my drinking cut off by a barmaid before. I’ve had it cut off by bouncers, police officers and angry boyfriends, but never a barmaid. It was quite humiliating. Getting cut off by door goons or the authorities at least leaves you with an amusing story to tell your grandchildren but getting cut off without incident by the serving help is just sad. It put me into an immediate funk. I was just getting over the shock of it when someone unexpectedly placed another beer and a shot in front of my buddy and I. It was a very large woman who looked almost exactly like the Wheezy from the television show “The Jeffersons”. I decided to leave when I felt Wheezy’s hand start working her way up my thigh.

I got home sometime after 2:30am, as I remember looking at the clock as I stumbled through the front door. Luckily, I had the house to myself (the rest of my family was taking advantage of a last-minute offer to stay at a relative’s cottage in Ludington) so I did not have a wife and kids around to wake up. Even though I do not remember it, I did somehow manage to get up the stairs and into bed.

My alarm went off at five, and when I woke up I was still pretty messed up. After silencing the clock, I took off my shoes and the clothes I wore to work the day before, and stumbled into the bathroom. I then got sick and passed out on the floor of the shower after I got the water the right temperature.

I hear of people drowning in the bath tub all of the time but I don’t think I recall being told of anyone who ever drowned in a stand-alone shower. Though I was in no danger killing myself while bathing that morning, I discovered a way that someone could. When I regained consciousness, the water level on the shower floor had risen deep enough to cover my ears because my back had plugged the drain. A little position change fixed the situation though and once the pool of water began disappearing I slept clear through until the point that I had run out of hot water.

After turning the water off, I found that I could barely move. I was laying on the floor of my shower for probably at least forty minutes with my feet stuck up in the air resting on the wall. I was stiff all over and it seemed like every movement was excruciating. I prayed that it was not rigor mortis setting in. I was in such bad shape after showering that I could not even bring myself to dry off. I just wrapped a towel around my waist, walked to the couch in the upstairs family room, turned on the news and went back to sleep.

When I woke up after that, I noticed that the time was when I typically would be arriving at my desk. I really wanted to call in sick, and technically I was, but I have a neurotic aversion to calling in sick because of a drinking incident. I forced myself to get up, get dressed and go to the office and in the end, was still the first person of my group to get there, though just barely. I also kept wondering on my way to work what my BAC would register if I got pulled over by the police.

The morning was miserable but actually went well from a professional standpoint and I managed to successfully conclude two morning meetings before spending my lunch hour sleeping in my car in the office’s parking lot. After lunch I was fine, got a lot done in the afternoon before going home and going to bed for the night by 7pm.

I was supposed to be going on vacation to my parents’ house in Northern Michigan last Thursday, but my oldest son came down with pink-eye that forced us to cancel. I ended up back at my buddy’s house that night spending the evening back on beer and tequila in his back yard until closing time. It was a good night but fairly uneventful aside from having nearly had my body’s blood supply sucked out of me through my ankles and toes by a swarm of ravenous mosquitoes. My feet are so tore up right now that it looks like I have some strange form of bubonic plague that only affects my lower extremities.

The good news was that I did not have to go to work the following day as I was on vacation. The bad news was that I did not have to go to work the following day as I was on vacation. Small children do not have the ability to feel any sort of empathy towards a hung over adult and they took great delight in torturing me until I had sweated every last trace of Mexican fire water through my pores (which produces a gut wrenching odor akin to a rotting water buffalo according to my wife).

This last Thursday, a colleague of mine from Toronto blew into town and I spent my third Thursday in a row trying to pop a cap into my own liver with a few colleagues. Even though I left by 9:00 (thank God I live so far away. I was the only one who went straight home and the other three closed the bars in their respective neighborhoods leading to various misadventures), it was still rough waking up Friday though not nearly as bad as the previous two Fridays had been. This was quite an accomplishment considering I had drank so much that I was hallucinating during my entire drive home. There were sounds coming out of my radio that made it sound as if the Detroit Lions made three scoring drives in the last quarter of the game to overcome a 16 point deficit and beat the Cincinnati Bengals by 1.

The hallucination was so realistic that I spent five minutes in my driveway yelling at my radio after I had arrived home. I have no idea how much you have to drink to experience wild visions of that caliber but I am quite sure that it was enough that I really should not have been driving. I should also have felt far worse than I did Friday morning too. In fact, I shouldn’t have been able to go to work. I should have been in the hospital with doctors rushing frantically around me trying bring me out of my tequila coma.

The crazy thing is that I am still having flashbacks. Just five minutes ago, I checked the sports page to find that they have listed Detroit as having beat Cincinnati during that game 26 to 27. Does anyone know what the score of that match actually was?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim are you out there?

7:48 PM  
Blogger JEP said...

I'm out here. Who be this?

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's me! SactoRitch! For some reason this GODDAMN thing hasn't been letting me post comments. I've put up a dozen witty posts only to be shot down, leaving me pulling out my hair and weeping uncontrollably. Unfortunately the blog gods still will not permit me to post under my SactoRitch blogger name.

8:16 PM  
Blogger JEP said...

The BASTARDS! I think you need to slaughter a goat or something to get your blog name back. Don't worry though, the cyber gods have been angry at me as well. They killed my computer, forcing me to post off of my kids', whose is about as fast as the speed of smell.

8:26 PM  
Blogger JEP said...

By the way Ritch, when you comin' out this way?

12:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be there on Wednesday. My sister is getting married on Friday. We'll be there until the 26th. How far is Claire from you? I have to be there for 3 loong, boooring days. Maybe you can come up there and get some fodder going for the blog. My cell is..Hopefully in your e-mail.


12:00 PM  
Blogger JEP said...

Claire is about 3 hours from here, a bit too long for a quick jaunt. Man, if you're coming in Wednesday and going to a wedding on Friday, does that mean that I am about to get myself pie-eyed on my 4th Thursday in a freakin' row?!?!?

I hope the Lindsey Lohan suite at the Betty Ford Clinic is still available.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...but I do not see my posting frequency getting any better..."

Liar. You're totally back. And rather than get 'discovered', just put all these posts into a book.

12:36 AM  
Blogger JEP said...

Not quite yet, Alan. Not quite yet. Things just got a little slow at home is all. They'll pick back up soon though and I'll find myself back on a time deficit.

10:36 PM  

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