14 December 2011

How Not to Drink too Much at a Party

"The way I figure it, the law of averages is on our side..."
Playboy, 1965

Sometime between 8PM and that point when you hear a voice in your head tell you it's time to go... there is everything else. It can be a sober, hail fellow well met, gallant exit with thanks directed to the right people. Or, a slightly buzzed exit with gratitude displayed to the hosts and a little too much hand shaking and kissing on the way out. Not that that's a bad thing...

New Years eve night (1986) and I was on a California king size bed - in Atlantic City Long Branch - with three sorority sisters - watching TV. We were all leaning up against a massive butt ugly headboard when a sorority sister suggested we all have sex.

The night started with beers at the Stoned Stone Pony. Somewhere along the way it turned to gin martinis. Beaver Brown (WS: I don't think that was a Beaver Brown night though, you're conflating that with New Year's 1983) sang about bourbon and a retro order for Whiskey Sours was made (WS: The other option that night was to see Buddy Guy and Junior Wells at the Deckhouse in Asbury Park, which in retrospect we should have done instead). Wally mentioned his girlfriend was having a party for her sorority sisters at her parent's Atlantic City Long Branch condo.

We arrived at the girlfriend's-parent's-condo filled with sorority sisters. I had been ignoring the "GO HOME " voice in my head for at least an hour but this opportunity was too much to pass up. A thick scent of cigarette smoke and hairspray filled a room covered in white shag and pale blue everything else -- a perfect frame for 20 drunk sorority sisters.

Champagne was poured and I made my way to the sliding glass doors of a balcony overlooking the black ocean. I slid the door open and drank cold air like water. My nose hairs froze and sweat quickly iced. Revived, I walked back in and found the parent's bedroom. The TV was on and I sat at the foot of the bed.

Rule 1) Avoid mixing drinks you say? Wrong. Avoid moving around? Good for you. When you get to the party find a place to sit down and stay there. Don't go anywhere unless you need to refill or defill. Moving around, dancing, push up contests...these all get the alcohol soaring through the bloodstream. The less movement the better.

Rule 2) Avoid drinking anything fast. Beer. Soda and anything. Tonic and anything. Champagne. Wine. All bad. Drink hard liquor straight. Cognac, Single Malt Scotch, Bourbon... No ice. Trust me, it'll slow you down and all the wrong sort of women will be impressed.

Rule 3) Arrive late and leave early. This was Trad Dad's advice to me many years ago. Not that I ever took it, and I doubt you'll take mine, but there it is. The strategy is everyone will remember the party didn't get going until you arrived and it went to shit about the time you left.

Rule 4) Do not lie down. Not until you're ready to stay there.

Rule 5) Eat. A lot. Greasy food works well. Popcorn does not. Keep it dense. Beef, chicken wings, fried anything...Eat as much as you can. Someone passes a tray of food around...eat it.


The bed comforter was soft and a shade between Tiffany and Infantry blue. It was marshmallow-ey and calming. I leaned back and laughed at the TV. A girl joined me. Then another and another. A cute brunette with nice hands asked the question and I answered by throwing up on the Tiffany-Infantry marshmallows.

Looking back, I remember seeing them out of the corner of my eye scramble off the bed in film-like slow motion. I could see fear on their faces. I don't remember screaming but Wally told me there was a lot of it. We left quickly. No erudite goodbyes. No hail fellow well met. No exchanging of phone numbers. No that it mattered, but we did obey Rule 3. I never did like that rule.

Update: Corrections and comments noted in RED from Wallace Stroby.

Tomorrow: The Hangover & What Not To Do

24 comments:

Suburban Princess said...

Bookmarking this for my son to read in 20 years :O)

Makaga said...

What a story!

Anonymous said...

"Halefellow" is a wonderful term. But it is spelled thus. Sorry about the vomit -- it's obviously still haunting you, as it would me.

tintin said...

Anon- I thought it was too until I looked it up. Haunt isn't the word but regret will work.

longwing said...

I doubt it's any consolation but the girls probably felt a lot better about themselves the next morning. Well, maybe.

JKG said...

Tragic. Just tragic.

randall said...

I've always found that if I say that I'm going to be taking it easy on a particular night of drinking that I usually end up passed out behind a dumpster somewhere. So I always declare the opposite.

Yankee-Whisky-Papa said...

The "no ice" tip is key. You've hit it perfectly... it turns gulps into sips.

Kittie France said...

I'm printing this off and sticking it on my fridge.

Kittie France said...

I'm printing this off and sticking it on my fridge.

tintin said...

longwing- They looked like they wouldn't have cared one way or the other.

JKG- Yrs of soul torturing regret.

randall - "Seasons change and lessons get learned."

YWP- It is damned difficult to chug warm neat hooch. Also, I understand the alcohol cannot be fully absorbed without a mixture of water. Hence, neat is the way to cheat.

Kittie,
I'm flattered. Do you remember a show in Australia called Rock Arena in the '80s?

Anonymous said...

I showed this to my brother and he said: "and he's the one telling us how to drink?"

wstroby said...

Sorry for the editing/correction suggestions, but golden memories such as this deserve to be recorded as accurately as possible.

tintin said...

Anon- Your bro might have missed this was 25 yrs ago.

wstroby- No problem, Wally. My memory is a little wobbly -- not that I wanted to ever remember that night again.

Anonymous said...

you wanna snuggle buttercup?

GSV JR said...

Man, I don't do any of this. Food for thought...

I arrive late but wake up on the floor in the morning asking for an egg and cheese sandwich and a prairie oyster cocktail (see Savoy Cocktail Book). I'm usually shown the door and never invited back.

Stroby must have followed your advice if he remembers all of this...

M.Lane said...

This tale makes me sob for many reasons. The lost booze, the lost girls.

If they had been in a sorority of any merit a little vomit wouldn't have put them off.

ML
mlanesepic.blogspot.com

no hype said...

"If they had been in a sorority of any merit a little vomit wouldn't have put them off."

Quoted for truth

Anonymous said...

Tintin,

At least you didnt puke on the girls. I have seen that happen.

Rich Fader said...

Booting and rallying in the toilet, the bushes (the verdant shrubbery outside, not theirs) or other civilized receptacle will impress all the "right amount of wrong" sort of women. Especially if you brush, gargle and rinse first. Booting on the bed you've just been invited to share with three of said women...is going to put a damper on things, no matter how game they are or how cute they think you are.

Ah, the Eighties. I was a fraternity undergrad. Good times.

Anonymous said...

You know, I know all about throwing up but little about three sorority sisters in one bed... teach me your ways

ann said...

What an absolute hoot! Masterfully told, Tintin. On the money.

In 1970 my friend Ken & I took a ride to Stanton, VA from Harper's Ferry in WVA. We'd been celebrating the night before. A friend was at Mary Baldwin College (!) & I thought we'd surprise her w/ a visit. Ken had been celebrating a bit more more than I had, but who knew the extent. He gamely rode it out in the back seat. When we arrived I brought Joyce out to meet Ken. I opened the back door & Ken completely hurled all of the previous evening's drink right at Joyce. As you can imagine, we didn't stay long.

Anonymous said...

My own dad's sage (military career) advice: Arrive early and leave early. The idea being to come see, and be seen. Further, nothing good comes after midnight. I think he's mostly right about that second point. Unless you maybe made a connection well before then.

-DB

Jennings and Gates said...

Ah, those were the days. When one could learn things the hard way and not have the video record of it posted to the internet for all eternity.