Thursday, May 26, 2005

Early Twentysomething Follies

I have never passed out, puked, or fallen down in a bar. I’ve come close a couple of times in my early twenties, but it never happened. Now, I’m not sure if it counts as a bar, but it did happen once at a strip club in Vegas. As we edge ever closer to the auspicious blogger gathering, for some reason this one shameful incident is all I can think about. So, in an effort to exorcise the demons, I thought I would regale everyone with the story.

My first ever trip to Vegas came shortly after my 21st birthday. We had just returned from Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia, and needless to say, I was more than overjoyed to be back in the land of plenty. In hindsight, I certainly wasn’t ready for the city of plenty.

I was more than pumped when we all arrived at the Casino Royale. Never let it be said that the military doesn’t put their people up in swanky places. What the hell, I guess it’s better than having to stay on base, eh? We had a ton of old-timers in my shop, and they couldn’t be more stereotypical. As soon as the bags were placed in the rooms it was time for some alcohol and nude ladies.

Honestly, I have never really been a fan of strip clubs. I can’t stand the idea of paying a (most of the time) subpar female an exorbitant sum of money to tease me with something that I cannot, in fact, actually get from her. I always felt my money was better spent at a club, where I could spend less than half that amount and likely get laid out of the deal, but I digress. Come to think of it, the only times I have been to any strip clubs were during TDY trips when I was in the military, either in Ft. Walton Beach or Vegas.

Even though I wasn’t naturally inclined to go, I wasn’t about to decline, lest I become a pariah in my workplace. I was just getting over that “new guy” hump and cementing a fairly high position within the social hierarchy of our shop. The place in question? Little Darlings. Not the best, but certainly not the worst strip club I’d ever poked my head into.

I’m not sure what the deal is these days but at that time, even though they didn’t sell alcohol inside, you could bring alcohol and the bouncers would keep it outside for you in their little podium. Pay the cover and you get a cup, which you could fill with the alcohol you brought and bring inside. Well, lo and behold, there was a Texaco across the street, they have alcohol! Let’s get some and then we’ll be back. My friend Jay and I ran over and began shopping.

Here’s the thing: Jay was a really cool guy, but also a bit insane and a bit of an alcoholic. He was seven or eight years older than me, but we got along well because he was a “G” from way back and I was a “G” from not so way back. The difference between us was that I was growing out of it, and I knew Jay never would. While perusing the vast (yes it’s true, VAST) alcohol selection offered by the Texaco, our eyes both spied something I wish to this day we wouldn’t have: Cisco.

(For those of you that are unfamiliar, Cisco is a fruity and syrupy alcohol consumed in mass quantities by idiot teenagers and winos. It is commonly referred to as “liquid crack”. It’s really cheap and will get you FUCKED UP.)

Jay and I each bought two bottles. Strike One.

Return to club. Commence drinking. We figured, “Hey, why fuck around with a stupid cup? We’ll just hang outside and swap gangsta adventure stories while we drink and then we’ll head inside.” After the first bottle the crackification began, and the idea of some nuded up chicks started to seem much more appealing.

Jay: “Hey, let’s hurry up and finish this second bottle and hurry up and get inside.”

Me: “Good idea, lets do this.”

We chugged what was left of our second bottles. Strike Two.

I proceeded to roll into the joint feelin’ fine, my game was tight. Heading over to the area of the club where everyone else was, I got a look from one of the waitresses. You know the look, the one where not a thing is said, but you know “It’s On”. The evening was shaping up wonderfully. After hanging out with everyone for a few minutes, a couple of the dancers came up to me wondering why I hadn’t talked to their girl yet. In the interest of keeping my game tight, I threw off some bullshit about how I was busy but would join her in a bit, which I did after giving it another 15 minutes or so. Yeah I know, I was a regular Don Juan. I chatted her up for a while, but the club got a small rush and she got busy having to attend to other patrons drinks. She promised she would be around later and we could make some plans since she got off at 2. Nice.

Wandering back over to our group I found that someone had ordered a pizza and that sunuvabitch looked awesome. I can still taste it to this day, tons of meat and jalapenos, absolutely delicious (isn’t it strange the stuff we remember?).

I had two big slices. Strike Motherfuckin’ Three.

That pizza seemed to be just the thing that the Cisco was waiting for, because it proceeded to beat me around like a pimp, slappin’ a hoe. I could barely walk or speak. All I really remember is that time started moving really fast, and I had to throw up, so off to the restroom for me. After calling Ralph on the Big White Phone, the pizza started talking. It said, “You need to sit on the throne, NOW.” The pizza was talking sense, and I sat.

The next thing I remember is the supreme effort it took to raise my head. Someone was pounding on the stall door, it was my boss (who incidentally was an extremely cool guy) checking to make sure I was alright. I told him I was OK and headed back out. It was only after making it back to the group that I realized (because one of the guys told me) that I had been absent for nearly 90 minutes. O God, no wonder my legs were numb. For the record my power nap did nothing to dilute my shitfacedness, in fact it seemed worse than ever. It was, in fact, worse than ever, a fact confirmed when one of the guys who relayed the fact that while I was napping Jay had eaten an ashtray. No, I’m not kidding. He ate half of an ashtray.

No biggie though, I still have outs tonight! Where’s that waitress? Aaah, there she is, and I saunter over to resume our conversation, because as luck would have it, it was only 40 minutes or so till she got off. I wish I could tell you what I said during that conversation, but I can’t. My best friend Jonbo caught snippets and later told me it wasn’t pretty. My game had ceased to be tight, Mr. Cisco unraveled it completely. Needless to say, after that conversation the invitation from earlier was summarily withdrawn. Oops.

That was over seven years ago, thank God I’ve grown up a bit and learned from my mistakes. What’s the moral of my little story? Dunno. Perhaps the message is stay away from the Cisco. Maybe the message is to always remember to pace yourself. Like I said, I don’t really know. I just wanted to type out a story and get it out of my head. Aaaah, the freedom that comes with another expunged secret shame....