Wednesday, June 5, 2013


“It is so cool and clean and takes all the grossness away,” a friend of mine slobbered as he leaned over the toilet seat to vomit. He had consumed a considerable amount of alcohol at a party. I was mollified by the sound and smell since it made me gag. His body wanted to expel as much as it could before he poisoned himself from the liquor. Ah, the stupid things we humans do to ourselves.

My parents strictly forbad alcohol. It was the devil’s tool. The only exception was a flask of blackberry brandy kept on the highest shelf of the cabinet. Its only purpose was when a person was very ill and needed to sleep. No one paid heed that it dehydrated the sick person, too. I didn’t like the smell or the taste of it and Nyquil made me choke. My mother is severely allergic to alcohol. The fumes of rubbing alcohol make her swoon and she gets drunk just sitting in a bar inhaling the vapors. I’m not allergic but I may have a slight reaction to the substance.

During high school I would venture to parties and the cheapest beer would be available. Legal age was 19 and our alcohol-provider would purchase something hideous brewed in New Ulm, MN. I’d grab a can and take a swig. It took a lot of acting not to make a face at the awful flavor. I’d then discreetly excuse myself to the bathroom to dump out the horrible brew and fill the can with water. I quickly gained the reputation for being able to drink a lot. Ha-ha-ha I was stone cold sober at every soiree. I watched the antics of the drunken participants, which were rather embarrassing. .

Many inebriated teens would confess their secrets to me. At one party, a big wrestler threw his arm around me and whispered in my ear that he always stole 20 dollars from his sister’s paycheck. She never knew but he figured that I was drunk and could ease his soul in my ear. I watched people do stupid stuff, fall down, and get sick. Gross, crude, and disgusting. If the driver of my entourage became buzzed or drunk, I’d drive everyone home, drop off the car at the driver’s house, and either walk home or get a ride from their parents. If the idiots who confessed their sordid affairs to me bothered me at school I would discreetly mention their secret and they would back off. I never used their mutterings as blackmail but Dave never figured out how I knew that he padded his pockets. I did tell his sister about direct deposit at the bank, though.

It wasn’t until college that I learned that alcohol didn’t have to taste awful. The legal age was raised to 21. I was introduced to a cheap sweet wine and it made me feel fine. I would have one or two glasses and it was enough for a good buzz. When I moved up to the Cities someone made me a Fuzzy Naval. The vodka and orange juice combination became my favorite. Unfortunately, one chilly night I consumed enough to start seeing double. I ran to the bathroom and vomited orange slime. Yuck. I drank water and sought sleep in the coatroom. An hour later my friends freaked out because they assumed that I had wandered out into the cold. As they collected their coats they found me sleeping underneath.

I’ve only been dim-witted enough to drink myself into oblivion a few times. The first two times I really didn’t understand the sensation but the third time was enough, I made a total fool of myself. No more thank you very much. I get myself to a buzz and switch to water. It isn’t safe to drive after two drinks so my friends and I take turns being the sober driver. Most bars will provide free pop or juice to the driver, if you inform the waitron or manager. Its much better than a DWI, causing an accident which harms others, or death. No buzz is worth that much pain. When I was 16, a drunken motorist killed my friend’s brother. The family of my friend never recovered from his completely preventable death.

Sober drivers rule!
© Copyright 2013 Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

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