Fun, Then Not So Fun

Late Thursday afternoon I was invited to go to the Lightning hockey game. The owner of my company had an extra ticket, and a bunch of the executives and administrative people were going too. They had tickets to the AFS club, which is this nice area of the Forum where you get in, sit in comfy leather chairs (think along the lines of airline first class) and have unlimited food and beer at your disposal – no shit. So, I went home and changed clothes, got ready, and jumped in the car to meet everyone at one of the executive vice-president’s house. I got there a few minutes after 6:00pm.

People started to slowly show up there for the next 45 minutes, and when all were accounted for, we jumped into a couple of vehicles (we only had two parking passes, so we had to cram in), and headed off towards downtown Tampa.

We get there, get in, and make our way to the AFS club area. As we’re walking through, we’re flanked by these chrome-plated serving trays with roll-top-type covers, all filled with food. I end up grabbing a plate of rice and broccoli chicken stir-fry. We end up camping around a couple of tables for the next couple of hours, laughing, having some beer, and eating some food. At one point I stopped watching the hockey game on the big-screen TV they had in there and walked the 30 feet to the seats to watch it in person.

The free beer was coming in waves, as our waitress, Jill, was trying to keep all the execs happy – well, I guess she was trying to keep everyone happy. She was dropping off trays of 16oz. cups of beer. I have no idea what kind of beer, but I’m sure it was mostly Bud, Bud Light, Miller, etc.

Here’s where this mundane story gets interesting. At one point during the evening, I realized that I lost track of how many beers I’d drank. After 16 cups, I just drank. I was eating some food here and there (aforementioned stir-fry, some turkey, and some baked ziti), and I’ve never gotten drunk before. Those of you that know me most likely know the stories I’ve told on how I drank a ton of vodka, etc. and only got a buzz going. So, I’m thinking to myself, “Self… This is just gonna be another one of those nights where the buzz will wear off in a couple of hours and I’ll be fine.”

So, back to the Forum. Drinks are going into me like there’s no tomorrow. The game finished (Lightning won), and one of the ladies that does the sales for XO Communications (who had met us earlier on in the night), escorts us all down to the XO Club, which is this really exclusive VIP club at ice-level. We get in there and we all start watching the Virginia Tech game and the Sox/Colorado world series game on the big screens. Laughing, hilarity, fun and, yes, more beer ensues.

At the end of the Virginia game, the manager of the XO comes out and says that they’re closing and that we have to leave. We do, and we all decide to head to a bar somewhere downtown. Since I wasn’t driving and don’t know the area really well (and am normally not a bar-hopper), I don’t remember where it was or what it was called. I think it started with an “M”.

We leave the parking garage, the owner ahead of us in his Mercedes, and we notice that there’s a parking cone jammed up under his car. We all start laughing and one of the guys hangs out the window of the truck we’re in and starts calling the owner “Conan” (as in “Cone-an”). Yeah. We were drunk at that point.

We get to the bar and I end up having a couple of vodka and tonics and I finished the evening off with a Guinness (yuk – I hate that beer).

We all leave and go back to the VP’s house. I get in my car, a little buzzed from the drinks, and head home, which is really only about a five minute drive. About half-way there, I get this insane pain in my gut – like the kind you get when you have a really bad shit brewing inside and you need to dump it immediately. I think to myself, “Ugh… Here’s that burger from this afternoon and all the stir-fry coming out.”

I park the car, run upstairs, plant my ass on the toilet, and erupt like a South American mudslide. The pain eases, and as I sit there with my head in my hands (it was freaking painful), I contemplate how long it’ll be before I can get up. I was spurting in waves, stomach feeling bad the whole time.

I lifted my head up at one point and realized that I was dizzy. The word “drunk”, for the first time in my life, entered my personal vocabulary. My head was spinning so much that I leaned forward and hurled burger-stirfry-turkey-ziti-beer-vodka sludge into the sink in front of me (while still sitting). Then I did it again. And again.

I finish my business on the toilet and decide that it’s just nice to sit on the floor. So I prop myself up against the cupboards and sit there, watching the tub tilt and yaw in every direction. I puke in the toilet. At this point, I decide that sitting on the floor is just good sense, as I’ll probably break bones or valuables if I try to stand up (I’m too proud to crawl) to make my way five feet to the bed. When I came home, Shauna was awake but in bed, so I’m sure she was listening to the entire disgusting ordeal from the next room. All I needed to do was to crawl into the bed at that point, smelling as I did (just imagine), and inflict that sort of nasty on her.

I fall asleep on the floor of the bathroom. I’m not sure how long I slept, but it felt like 30 or 60 minutes. I woke up, realized where I was (and had one of my legs asleep), brushed my teeth, gargled, washed my hands and face and went to bed. A short while later (maybe 15 minutes?), I ran back into the bathroom and threw up again (the bed was spinning, you know). Repeated wash cycle, crawled back into bed where I stayed until the next morning.

I woke up with a headache (hangover! YAY!) on the right side of my head near the back. I stood up, and realized I was still dizzy. I think I got home at 1:00am and eventually fell asleep around 2:30am or so. When I woke up it was about 8:00am. I used the restroom, shaved, and got in the shower to get ready to go to work. For some reason, half-way through the shower, I decided that I needed to take a bath. So, I sat down and drew one. Then after about five minutes of soaking, I realized “Shit, I forgot I need to go to work.” So, I stood up, emptied the tub and continued with the shower. After all that, and realizing I was still dizzy (read: drunk), I decided it wasn’t a wise idea to get behind the wheel of my car, so I ended up staying home Friday although I was online via my laptop and did a bunch of work remotely. It wasn’t until about noon that my headache went away, I stopped feeling dizzy and I started to nibble on some food.

So, that was the craziness of Thursday night. I will never do that again. I now know my limit is somewhere north of 20 cups of beer. As Shauna said, “that will be the sickest you’ll ever be in your life.” I think she’s right.

Sick Thought of the Day: Cleaning the bathroom sink.

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