Like everyone else, I'm getting older. A week or so ago I celebrated my 21st birthday, the last birthday of importance. However, like many our age, I felt coldly indifferent to this milestone. Having consistently been in possession of some form of fake ID since age 18, the freedom to buy alcohol as I please seemed old hat. Still, in the face of this, I sauntered down to the local watering hole for a few b-day cocktails. Since I wasn't in Omaha surrounded by dozens of bad influences, I didn't plan on getting blackout, keeping a quiet, dignified evening of silent stupor in the plans. This was not to be so. As we walked into the bar (at exactly 9:20 pm), the infamous Constantine loudly announced that it was my 21st birthday. Promptly, the bartender sent me a free Crown & Coke. Flattered, I gulped it down and ordered a Coors Light, which disappeared in equally short order, quickly followed by a second. This was when the shots began to arrive. First, a 3 Wisemen (Jack, Jose, Jim Beam) from Constantine's sister. Second, a water glass full of a godforsaken concoction of 151, tequila and "something minty" that was served ablaze. In a text message to my friend Zaps, this was described as "#2. Something huge and on fire!!!!!". And that was only the start. Some hottie bought me a Nazi Taco (Jager and Jose) and my high school business teacher sent me a Prairie Fire (Jose and Tabasco). It was about 9:45 at this time. The shots began coming in faster, as more people joined the fun. An Irish Car Bomb, Lemon Drop, another Nazi Taco, Scooby Snack, Vegas Bomb, Goldschlager, and straght-up Wild Turkey all made ther way to my table. Common sense and etiquette suggest spacing these drinks out, taking one every 10 or so minutes, keeping a steady, measured pace. Those of you who know me know that if there are two things I struggle with, its common sense and etiquette. Oh, and moderation. So, being the complete idiot I am, I drilled these shots the second they came to my table and no later, even getting to the point of quaffing the Goldschlager and Wild Turkey simultaneously. This all took place before 10:30. It may come as no surprise that at this point, my behavor became "erratic". Swaying on my stool, I ranted and raved, my hands gesticulating like some kind of Edward Scissorhands, knocking over the collection of empty Coors Lights I had managed to knock back between shots. I was, naturally, blackout at this point, so my choice words had to be recounted back to me the next day. Allegedly, I called some girl a bitch, and, when asked why, shrugged my shoulders and frowned, then proceeded to tell my friend Jake I would not be at his wedding unless he beat me at arm wrestling and named his first born child after me. He destroyed me. I capped this tirade off with a boastful claim and saucy point of the finger to the bartender that I was "running his shit like a marathon". He smiled, and served me up what some might call a conflict ender: two shots of Patron. Glinting like gasoline, the shots mocked me. I grabbed one in each hand, tossed my hair, grinned a shit-eating, and took them both. I fled the scene, and would later be found puking in the lot adjacent to the bar. It was 11:15.
The night didn't end there, though. Soon my "ride" arrived to pick me up. I have, to thus point, neglected to mention that my ride home from the bar was my dad. So, there I was, lying on my side in a gutter, dry heaving, when both my parents pulled up and my friends unceremoniously piled me into the car. The ride home was relatively uneventful, highlighted only by my stirring rendition of "Project Bitch" and upchucking into my own lunchbox. When we finally reached my house, my dad told me to sit down on the porch until I "cooled down". Apparently my drunken ramblings had left me unfit for the house, and unable to sit I stretched out on the porch, puking into the flowerbeds as the rain poured down on me. Oh, yeah, it was raining. Things become fully blank here, but the next sequence of events was accounted to me thusly; amid a great deal of swearing I was moved from the porch to the bathroom, where my mom proceeded to Google search the symptoms of alcohol poisoning. Finding me free and clear, my parents left me for the night. I awoke the next morning with a hangover like a hurricane and was skipped work entirely, electing to spend the day sipping Gatorade in the basement with my sunglasses on, preparing myself for Thursday night dollar bottles.
I end this long winded yarn with a snippet from an interview Conor Oberst once gave. After a particularly boozy performance, a reported asked the troubador, "Conor, how drunk is too drunk?" to which everyone's favorite suburban navel gazer replied, "Well, if you die...that's a bummer."