During my college/post-college days I was a heavy social drinker. I would leap at almost every opportunity to get completely shit faced as quickly as possible. I have many stories of horribly embarrassing things I did while drunk, but I remember most of them clearly so they aren't for this update. However, I did manage to drink enough to black out a few times and on some of these occasions I also managed to make a spectacular asshole out of myself. If you have never blacked out from drinking, allow me to describe this truly unique experience. You will be walking into a party, throwing back some beers or whatever, and then as if some magical editing room has just snipped the intervening hours out of your film reel you will find yourself with broken glass in your hands bent over a gutter retching up 18 shots of tequila while a cop questions a guy about his broken car window.
I posted one of my most memorable lapses of memory on our forums and invited our readers there to post their own tales of inebriated woe. Considering how amusing some of these stories were and the fact that they coincide perfectly with the picnic debauchery of Memorial Day I have decided to share a few of them here with you. Let them serve as a warning for those of you prone to drinking a bit too much, and as an invitation to the terrible yet fascinating world of humiliating drunkenness for those of you who tend to abstain.
The Story of the Ass Punching
The story that springs most immediately to my mind is the tale of the ass punching. Many of my earliest drinking stories involve me either trying to start fights or insisting people hit me because the alcohol suddenly inflated my sense of toughness. I managed to get over this after a few months of acclimation to the psychological effects of alcohol, but during those few months I was a fucking horrible bastard. A few guys were having a dorm party a few doors down from me and I was friendly with them so I invited myself on over. I, as usual, filled a 40 ounce cup with vodka and some soft drink (it didn't matter) and jump started my efforts on getting hammered. An hour later and I was good and sauced, bumming beers off various people and already starting to turn into an asshole.
Now, this being a dorm room, there was not a lot of space, yet there were around fifteen people there. There were also four single women, which meant all of the males circled around them like Stukas doing dive bombings on targets of opportunity. One guy who I was friends with had scored himself a seat on the dominant piece of furniture next to two of them. After a couple of hours I spilled my beer, and this is notable because it's the last thing I remember. I drunkenly cleaned it up as best I could while the party stopped and stared. I was too gone to be embarrassed by it and no one seemed actually mad.
Then I was being strangled by a guy in the bathroom. It was a guy I was friendly with so it was pretty shocking and horrifying to be getting choked by him. In fact, it was the guy who had been sitting next to the girls on the couch. I grabbed at his shirt and punched him, but one of my best friends got him yanked off of me. I was, of course, enraged, but a certain clarity had entered my mind thanks to suddenly being on the receiving end of attempted murder. Extremely drunk Zack had done something bad. I was yelling, this other guy was yelling, and a couple of my friends dragged us in separate directions.
Over the next half hour or so I learned why he was choking me. Apparently this dude had gotten up from his seat next to the girls for some reason and I had shoved my way quickly through the party and stolen his seat. The guy was pissed about that, but shit happens at a party, and he let me mouthing off to him slide. After that I began my usual drunken and wholly inept parody of seduction on these two girls, which probably had the effect of making them extremely nervous. All the while this dude was standing next to us talking to one of the other girls. Other people showed up at the party and as they did this guy got pushed closer and closer to me until he was standing with his ass like six inches from my face.
I became convinced that this was some form of insult; retribution for me stealing his spot next to these fine honeys I was busy horrifying. I made some comments about what an asshole he was, but they were either drowned in the noise of the party or (more likely) far too unintelligible to be understood. This was too much for drunken old me and I took action. I was told that a lot of people saw it coming. I imagine it as doing a Popeye; winding my arm up for a monumental punch that would knock his proverbial block off. I delivered my haymaker directly to the center point of his ass, knocking him forward and (as I later learned from the man himself) causing him to shit his pants.
Now drunken Zack had no way of judging cause and effect. I saw my attack as the punch line to a hilarious joke. Following my ass punch everyone would laugh and all would be well. Of course to this poor guy, if you're standing there and you suddenly get punched in the ass and shit your pants, you're going to seek some revenge. Revenge he got, as a swaying melee evidently erupted between us, ending in the bathroom (which was right across the hall) where he shoved me against a sink and began choking me.
Once I had sobered up a little I apologized to the guy and the next day we had calmed down enough for him to relate the pants-shitting to me. Apparently it wasn't a full-fledged GBS pants shitting incident, but it was enough to further stoke the rage. Somehow, I managed to live that one down, I guess because it was actually funny. Most of my antics were only funny in retrospect; but that one had people laughing as it was happening.
The Politician's Couch
My mother is close friends with a relatively powerful female politician, and one weekend mum and I were invited to stay at this politician's apartment in Adelaide (capital of South Australia) while I attended a robotics seminar at one of the universities. I was 15 or 16 at the time, and was still discovering my limits when it came to alcohol.
Anyway, I totally overshot the mark with whole a cask of really shitty red wine and a bottle of sherry that was lying about the place collecting dust, dimly recall lying on the couch and watching TV, and then being awoken by my furious, furious mother who had come home from a meeting and discovered me lying in a pool of my own red wine vomit on a $15,000 couch. Needless to say, it was thoroughly ruined.
The Video Sees What the Brain Forgets
For me I've mainly just woken up in odd places, couches, closets, etc. The one that stands out in my mind is unique because someone had a video camera and I got to watch my behavior after my memory stopped recording events. This was a night at beach week after classes were over for the year, and I was sharing a house with a bunch of friends.
Anyways, I started drinking around 5 or 6 in the afternoon and was housed by around 10 or 11. Blackout drunk, the last thing I remember was sitting at a table playing asshole. The next thing I remember was waking up on a couch with a headache. This was weird because I had claimed a bed, so I wasn't there. We put in the tape in and watched the previous nights events. I wasn't really the star of the film, but it was really funny because I'd constantly be just off screen yelling things, or walking around in the background. There was one shot where I went through the kitchen opening every cupboard and rummaging around it, finally walking off with a muffin tin. Nothing happened for a couple minutes, then a loud banging was heard and I rush on camera banging the tin with a fork. Another episode involved an interview with another drunken participant, where I suddenly dive onscreen and tackle the guy onto the floor. "SHUT UP FRANK SHUTUP FRANK SHUTUP FRANK" was all I was mumbling.
Also, apparently after everyone crashed, I got up off my couch to pee (into the toilet miraculously), and came back to the wrong couch. A friend of mine was laying there, and apparently I crawled on top of her and almost drooled into her face. She wakes up and says "What the fuck" and I mumble "Move is my couch" over and over. She tells me to get over to my own spot, so I them proceed to back off, put my head up to her ass, and bulldoze her off the couch. And thus I lay until my inevitable headache awoke me.
Everyone Hates Dave
By Bizarro Toby
My boyfriend was going out of town, and my best friend Ben and I kind of felt like "dad" was leaving so we could go out and get crazy. The boyfriend understood, helped me make up the spare bed in Ben's room, and told us both to be careful.
The party was at the GM of the college radio station's apartment. I arrived, decided not to drink around co-workers, and situated myself in a corner. Then the GM comes downstairs and tells me to get my ass up to her bedroom. I go in, 12 of us pass around a couple of joints for awhile and start to talk.
At this point I'm thinking, "god am I THIRSTY." So I wander downstairs and look around and see the keg. "Hey," fucked-up me says, "I can drink BEER."
Seven or eight beers later the GM comes back downstairs and gets me to do a couple shots. I get back into the beer line and our programming director, Dave, is behind me. Now, Dave is a total prick with shitty music tastes who uses his position to get Backstreet Boys into heavy rotation at the station. We all hate Dave.
"Dave!" says I. "What the hell are you doing here?"
"Charity invited me," he says nervously.
"WHY?!?! She HATES you! We all do, really." Then I pat him on the arm and find my way back upstairs.
Apparently, Ben finds me two hours later, asleep on the floor spooned with my friend Kate. He picks me up, puts me over one shoulder and we leave the party. I wave at everyone as he's carrying me, and flip off Dave.
Then I wake up. It's daylight. I'm wearing three shirts and my underwear. The room is covered in vomit on Ben's side, and there's a huge puddle of water in the center of the floor. One of my jeans legs is completely soaked from the knee down (like I had stepped in a deep puddle), but mysteriously my shoes and socks are dry.
The story Ben tells me is that he walked me back, me hiccupping and gagging from time to time, until we got to his dorm. At that point I proclaimed I was hot and stripped down to my undies and started playing solitaire on his computer. Then I told him I was cold and went through his drawers and put on three of his shirts. I then tried to sleep in his bed (he kicked me out) and finally passed out. We're pretty sure he's the one who puked. The puddle of water and my wet jean leg were never explained.
Rich Londoners are Human Too
Best would have to be my 18th birthday party.
Now, my family is, putting it bluntly, loaded. We have a large farmhouse in northern France which we use for such occasions as big parties- my 18th had 250 people there. With that back story, let us begin the true tale.
The day began at about 11 or so, when several of my friends turned up at my place in London to travel with me out to France for the party, bearing their dinner jackets and the like. As my parents had already left the previous night to help get the place organized (Marquees set up, pick up the two whole pigs for roasting, that sort of thing), we decided to kick off the celebration with a few rounds of Jack Daniels. A few turned into a bottle split between three of us, so we were already pretty fucked by the time we got on the train to Dover. While riding through Kent, I suddenly realize that in my sozzled state, I'd forgotten my passport. No biggy, I thought- I'll just hide in the back of the car which was going to meet us and take us cross channel and then onwards to the party.. Fat fucking chance. The car was driven by two old friends of my mum; who both happened to be judges. No chance of breaking border security THERE. So to cut a long story short, I had to hotfoot it back to London and catch a Eurostar to Calais, meaning I arrived a good four hours late for my own birthday party.
Once I got there, all was good- we had an enormous buffet, two whole pigs on spits in the garden and a free bar. My friends and I, of course, hit the bar HARD. The last clear memory of the night was going out to the tennis courts to watch the fireworks display put on in my honor. Then it gets patchy, although I do remember us all sitting in the courtyard, swigging armagnac from the bottle and singing 'With a little help from my friends' badly out of key.. I ended up passed out on the futon, and this is where I have to rely on the videotapes of the proceedings to recall what happened.
Before I passed out, I was dancing in my new formal shoes (very slippery) with my friends.. I ended up slipping, stumbling and slamming into the wall.. I fell to the ground on my hand, said I was okay, stood up and did exactly the same thing again. In the process, I broke my hand in two places.. more on that later.
After I passed out, my brother took it on himself to start drawing on me with permanent marker. I woke up the next morning, with a head feeling like it was about to explode, covered in my own puke, and with my left hand swollen up to the size of a baseball, and colored black and blue all over. I knew things weren't good when one of the fingers was wobbling whenever I moved it, but at the time I just wanted to get a bath and wash some of the puke off me.
Fat chance. The first time I sat in the bath, I promptly hurled all over myself several times, got out, ran myself a new bath and just passed out for another half hour. Eventually I managed to pull myself together enough to go out and be vaguely sociable before I headed for home with two equally hung over friends (one a fifteen year old who I'd been force feeding vodka the entire night, as he 'didn't like armagnac'.
The next day, Monday, was my actual birthday and when I woke up my hand felt even WORSE. I decided I needed to go into hospital, and as I was the only person in the house (everyone else still being in France, cleaning up), I took myself down to casualty. I had x-rays and the like, and ended up spending my actual 18th in surgery. Just before they knocked me out to put the THREE metal plates in my hand, they noticed the scrawling all over my back ('I like horny sailors', 'Heaven this way' with an arrow to my ass, all that sort of stuff..) which I hadn't noticed in my monstrously hung over state. I just begged them to knock me out, and I'd deal with it later.
I ended up spending twelve weeks in plaster during my A-level year, unable to write (I'm left handed). I had three botched operations to try and repair the damage, and only got it finally fixed last year (the party was in 1999). One of my fingers is still distorted and partially paralyzed as a result. But was it a good party, and worth it? HELL FUCKING YEAH.
I'm one of those guys who reaches the blackout point at least ten drinks before the puking point. This means that I'll blackout for at least half an hour or so every single time I get drunk. Even if it seems like I remember everything from the night before, my friends will always come up with something I did that I have absolutely no memory of. My nickname is "Memento".
From the day I finished junior high, my parents encouraged me to enjoy a beer or a glass of wine with them at dinner so that I might grow accustomed to the effects of alcohol, and not succumb to abusing it like so many youngsters are prone to doing. This plan backfired horribly. Instead of learning responsible drinking habits, I learned that I like booze. A lot. My first true blackout episode happened during my senior year of high school. My friends and I had all finished our first semester, and we thought that we ought to celebrate. There was a party at the house of a girl name Nicole, at which our friend Alex and his band were playing. While at the party, I managed to polish off a fifth of Jose in less than two hours, so I had a few minutes of relative coherence before I sailed off into oblivion. I woke up in the hospital at six in the morning, IV coming out of my arm and still drunk. My clothes were in a plastic bag, covered in puke. When my parents came to pick me up, my dad looked at me disgustedly and said, "Well. I bet you learned your lesson."
He couldn't have been more wrong. When I got to college, my drinking escalated considerably. By the end of my sophomore year, I was at the point where it was a rare day that I would be sobered up by the time I attended my morning classes (if I attended them at all). I was having blackout episodes every weekend, and although a mere fifth would no longer send me for the toilet (or the emergency room), my mind would sometimes stop creating new memories after as few as eight or ten drinks. These small-scale blackouts would only last for an hour or two at the most, so nothing really ridiculous ever occurred during them. However, I would often come out of them in very interesting situations. I've had my mind start working again, only to find myself playing hide-the-sausage or lying in a ditch many a time. While mildly amusing, these mini-blackouts never led to any interesting stories. However, on occasion, I would drink enough to send my mind over the edge long enough for some really wacky things to happen.
Early this semester, my friend Chad was invited by a girl he knew from back home to go to some kind of sorority function at ASU. Chad had a girlfriend at the time, but his friend, Kristin, told him he could bring his girlfriend, along with any of his male friends, for whom she would find dates. Chad invited me, and having heard the rumors about ASU sorority girls, I jumped at the opportunity. I would be driving out there from LA with Chad, his girlfriend Kat, and my buddy Jake. At the last minute, Chad bailed on us because Kat really didn't want to go. However, Kristin told him that Jake and I were still invited if we wished to go, and that she would be very sad if we didn't take her up, since I was her date and she would be dateless without me. I couldn't let the poor girl down, so Jake and I drove the 5 hours to Tempe, Arizona to meet up with two girls we had never met.
After following Kristin's instructions, we arrived at the Gamma Phi Beta house right on time. I knocked on the door, and was greeted by a 5'7" blonde in a low-cut blouse and an impossibly short skirt, who by appearances at least, confirmed the rumors about ASU girls. She introduced herself as Kristin, and asked which of us was Joe. I answered in the affirmative and she greeted me with a long kiss on the lips. This ought to be interesting, I thought. She giggled, and told us that Jake's date, Krista, would be out in a few minutes. "Krista's really hot, but she's not the smartest knife in the drawer," Kristin told us. It looked like the part of the ASU-girl rumors concerning mental capacity had been answered as well. Jake and I produced a fifth of Jim Beam, and began to split it while talking with Kristin (who had moved from her desk chair to my lap in a matter of minutes) and waiting for Krista. Krista appeared out of the bathroom half an hour later, dressed similarly to Kristin. I noticed Jake's eyes light up. Noticing that Jake's lap was the empty one, she jumped onto it with a giggle and greeted him with a sloppy kiss. I could have sworn I saw some tongue. Jake and I had finished the whiskey, so Kristin brought four bottles of champagne out of her refrigerator. While opening hers, she "accidentally" spilled some on her ample chest, which I licked off immediately. More giggling. Soon after the champagne was gone, the bus Kristin's sorority had rented for the night arrived, so we piled into it along with all of the other Gamma Phi Beta girls and their dates.
Chad had warned me about these buses. Kristin had hinted to him what happens on the way to the rented-out club, so I wasn't surprised when she stuck her tongue down my throat as soon as we settled into our seats. I looked across at Jake, who was in a similar situation, and gave him a thumbs-up, which he returned. I was surprised, however, when Kristin unzipped my pants and began giving me head. This warranted another thumbs-up. The girl definitely knew what she was doing, and when she finished, she produced a canteen full of Parrot Bay. She had a few sips here and there, but I was drinking most of it, and by the time we arrived at the club it was gone.
This is where things start to get hazy. I vaguely remember groping Kristin while dancing to a very competent AC/DC cover band, but soon after that, my memory shut off. The next thing I knew, I was lying naked in an unfamiliar bed in an unfamiliar room, next to an unfamiliar girl. I was completely sober and my head felt fine, but I couldn't for the life of me remember where I was, how I got there, or who I was with. I've never been more confused in my life. While I was surveying my surroundings, the girl next to me woke up. She too fit the ASU bill. She took one look at my befuddled face and burst out laughing. She explained to me that she had come out of a bar with her friends and saw me sitting on the curb. She had asked me what I was doing, to which I responded, "Fuck if I know." She had apparently invited me to come back to her dorm (she was a freshman) and party with her friends. I guess I must have forgotten what the hell I was supposed to be doing that night, because I went with her. I was about to ask her if we, you know, but I saw a condom wrapper on the floor and figured I'd save myself the embarrassment.
After I got dressed and thanked the lady (whose name I never caught), I left her room and wandered outside. Having no clue where I was, I asked the first person I saw if they could direct me to the Gamma Phi Beta house, since that's where Jake and our car were. On the way there, I heard my cell phone beeping, and took it out of my pocket only to notice that I had eleven new voicemails. I listened to each of them, alternately hearing Kristin either crying hysterically or screaming that I was a fucking asshole, or Jake telling me that I must either be dead in a gutter or in the drunk tank. Interesting. I'll get to the bottom of this yet, I thought.
I arrived at the sorority house, sighing with relief that our car was still there. I checked my watch. It was now one in the afternoon. Deciding that it might be wise not to knock on Kristin's door just yet, I called Jake on my cell. He didn't answer the first time, but I called again in case he was still asleep or something. After six rings, he picked up. "Joe! Where the fuck are you, you stupid retard?" I explained to him that I was sitting at a table outside the house, and that I was not, in fact dead or in jail. Five seconds later, he emerged from what I assumed was Krista's room, carrying all of his stuff. "Let's get the fuck out of here. They want to kill you." Figuring I'd learn why soon enough, I followed him to the car. Once we were safely on the highway, Jake told me what I had done.
"Dude. You pissed all over a couch at the club. Then you pissed on the bouncer who came to throw you out."
"Fuck. Are you serious?"
"They threw you outside onto the street, but you kept harassing them and trying to fight them. They were about to call the cops, so I made you sit on the curb across the street. I told you not to move. When I came back out, you were gone."
I told him where I had woken up and how I got there. Then Jake told me that the sorority had lost their deposit on the club because of my behavior, and Kristin was in deep shit. I, and all of my friends, were never allowed back to Greek events at ASU again. Then Jake told me how his night went. Since I had deserted Kristin, he took it upon himself to entertain both her and Krista. You can guess where that went.
As we drove down a deserted I-10 through the desert, I thought about how mad Chad would be. We could never go back there again, and Kristin would blame him for sending me. But then I looked on the bright side.
"Hey. But I did get head."
I would like to dedicate this update to all the people I have wronged while drunk. From the girl who just broke up with her boyfriend who I made fun of until she cried to the guy whose house I got banned from the first time I was invited to a party there because I tried to beat up his best friend:
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
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