"The way I figure it, the law of averages is on our side..."
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
The night started with beers at the
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