Chapter 12

 

What’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve done while being drunk?

How does one who’s been drinking for the past 3 decades even begin to answer a question like that?

Especially when they’ve complied volumes upon volumes of work, all titled Most Ridiculous Thing I’ve Done While Being Drunk that they could easily fill the Library of Congress with them.

For me to try to narrow down all the mishaps, misadventures and misdemeanors that I had engaged in while being under the influence of alcohol and crown one of them as THE definitive moment of absurdity was not only a fool’s errand but realistically impossible.

“C’mon, Stuke…” Marshall says, whisking his blonde hair from his face. “There has to be something you’ve done that stands out!” he yells as the crowd cheers in agreement.

Marshall had said he’d been saving me for last and there was one reason why:

Because of the way I look.

My image suggests I’m someone incapable of adhering to social norms and living a conventional life, that whichever route I take my destination always ends up at the corner of Ridiculous and Retarded.

And so Marshall had profiled me on my image, banking on the fact that whatever I had to say it would be gold, providing the most bang for the buck and rewarding his Paul Mitchell Mob with the utmost of merriment at my expense.

So he had waited until the very end of the shitshow to whack me off his hit list.

I had been saved as the headliner, the main event and the major attraction. I was the fat, sacrificial cow to be carved up and served to the masses as the fantastic finale to this morning’s morbid meet-n-greet.

“Well, Marshall, that’s a tough one…” I tell him in a bid to buy myself some time and devise a plan to keep from being annihilated by his venomous vitriol.

I knew I had to give him something of substance but at the same time nothing that could end up tarnishing me and making my life at school an unbearable hell.

I needed to feed him and his hungry horde a story that was humorous, harebrained and half-witted while at the same time harmless to me and my reputation.

“Give me a second to think on it.” I tell him, scrolling through my rolodex of drunken dipshitery,  searching for the perfect party-pleaser that would provide him with satisfaction and me with security.

“Take two seconds.” he says with a mischievous smile, spinning the mic in his hand.

I shave a lifetime of asinine anecdotes down to three specific incidents that stick out like huge, gaudy tombstones in a graveyard full of ludicrous exploits. I then go over each incident trying to gauge how vulnerable it will leave me to Marshall and his rancid ridicule.

The first incident is that time I and some friends started drinking on a Saturday afternoon and come Sunday morning I awoke to find myself in a bed…with four other ladies…in a brothel…in Tijuana, with a black eye.

One of the ladies was kind enough to give me a rundown of the prior day’s events as I was having a hard time making sense of anything.

“You and a couple friends came down and partied with us then we all went to a backyard fiesta, some clubs and then came back here. Everyone was drinking, dancing and having a good time.”

“How did I get this black eye?”

“Myra.”

“Who’s Myra and why did she punch me?”

“She’s one of our girls. You two disappeared into the bedroom then she came out a few minutes later yelling polla flacida borracho.”

“What’s that mean?”

“Because you were so drunk your cock-a-doodle-do became a cock-a-doodle-don’t and she took it personally.”

While this instance is a solid 10 on the Richter scale of rampant and reckless ridiculousness it’s also a hornet’s nest of humiliation.

And should I offer up this hornet’s nest to Marshall I know he’ll kick the shit out of it and I’ll end up getting stung with the status around school as the guy who got punched in the face by a Mexican hooker for experiencing temporary erectile dysfunction.

To share this experience would be a surefire way to commit social suicide.

VERDICT: FUCK NO

“Do you have THAT MANY options to choose from?” Marshall asks, wondering why it’s taking me so long to throw him a bone.

“I just wanna make sure it’s kid friendly.” I tell him, getting a wall of moans from the crowd.

The next incident I review is the time I went to Newport for a friend’s birthday.

He’d rented one of those triple decker boats that cruise around the bay for 3 hours and during that time you can eat from the buffet and drink from the bar to your heart’s content.

I was hammered within the first 20 minutes and then got hungry and ate until my stomach was so full it hurt to breathe and even worse, impeded my ability to keep drinking.

Naturally I didn’t wanna waddle around for the next 2 ½ hrs. uncomfortable and becoming un-inebriated so I went to the bathroom and pooped my brains out, ensuring that I could get back to drinking just as soon as I flushed the toilet.

Only this toilet didn’t work like regular toilets and when you flushed it a little metal flap would open up for the waste water to spill into the ship’s disposal tank.

But because I’d just emptied my ENTIRE STOMACH there was quite literally, too much crap to fit through the opening and as a result the thing backed up and flooded the entire floor while people were knocking on the door to get in.

So, I did the only thing a person could do when faced with imminent insult from a boat full of his peers…I shoved my hand into the toilet, grabbing all the shit, piss and paper that had formed into a glob of wet cement and pushed it through the metal flap and into the disposal tank, thus allowing the water in the toilet to drain properly.

Next I washed the shit out of my hands and then grabbed an entire roll of paper towels and mopped up the floor, leaving the place as pristine as it was when I’d entered it.

Although this incident reeked with repugnant ridiculousness I came to the realization that if I told Marshall about it I would be setting myself up for a bowlful  of bowel-movement backlash because the truth is nobody lives down a shit story.

Shit stories will stain your reputation and follow you around like a skid-mark for the rest of your days, making it impossible for you to get a good job, a decent mate or have any semblance of a normal life. It’s a bad social credit score that never goes away.

Plus, my name is Stuke, you know what rhymes with Stuke?

Dookie.

And I’d forever be referred to as Stuke Dookie for the rest of my tortured tenure at Paul Mitchell.

It’d be like living the 4th grade all over again.

No thanks.

VERDICT: FUCK NO

Next up was the third and final incident and it seemed to hold the most promise.

I went over the tenets of the story, scouring it for anything that could make me susceptible to Marshall and his sarcastic scorn and after doing a swift diagnostic concluded this incident to be the safest to offer up.

It was ridiculous yet relatable. Cringe worthy yet credible. And most of all, it didn’t have anything in it that could be used against me in Marshall’s court of law. There was no unforeseen flogging that could come from it and I’d be able to escape this whole inquisition unscathed.

It would work.

It had to work.

VERDICT: FUCK YES  

“Stuke, you gonna give us the goods or make us wait ‘til we’re all collecting social security?” Marshall heckles from on high.

“You betcha.” I tell him with brimming confidence.

“Ok! Most ridiculous thing you’ve ever done drunk.” he says as his posse of pancake eating perpetrators howl for one last morsel of mid-morning mortification. “And don’t leave out any details!”

“I won’t.” I promise him.

“And…GO!!!!” he says, sticking his mic up in my face.

“So I was dating this girl and her grandpa had recently died. He was to be cremated and then a few days later a funeral was going to be held for him.”

“Sounds…sexy.”

“It gets sexier. On the day of the funeral I wake up late because I’d been partying the night before which means I was also still drunk.”

“Oh I like where this is going!” he says with the glee of a prepubescent girl. “Did you get to the funeral and throw up? Spill the urn? Pass out?”

“Worse.”

“I knew you wouldn’t disappoint!” he says patting me on the back. “Go on…”

“So I speed to the address I was given which was 422 South Oak, jump out of my car and run in to a packed church where the service had already begun.”

“And let me guess, everyone looked at you like what the hell?”

“Exactly. So while everyone stares at me I find a seat and sit down and then look around for my girlfriend.”

“You didn’t see her?”

“No, but it’s not unusual for family members of the deceased to be seated in a private room away from everyone else.”

“Yeah, yeah, when my uncle died we had one of those rooms and I was like ‘what, no bottle service’?” he quips as the crowd chuckles. “Anyway, continue!”

“So after a few minutes I notice there’s a closed casket up front.”

“Wait, I thought you said he was cremated.”

“Right. But I figured maybe I got the order of things mixed up and maybe the family was going to have him in a casket for the funeral and then would cremate him after the service. Who knew what the hell was going on because I sure didn’t.”

“Yeah people want all sorts of funny things done at their funeral.”

“That’s what I told myself. So as the service goes on I notice people looking over at me and then whispering amongst themselves. But I figure it’s either because of the way I look or because I smell like a distillery.”

“Oh that charming smell of canine cologne.”

“Totally. So when the minister gets to the actual eulogy where he starts talking about my girlfriend’s grandpa he keeps referring to him as Paul. ‘Paul was a loving husband. Paul was a decent man. Paul loved his cats’.”

“So was Paul all those things?” Marshall asks, wondering where this is going.

“No.”

“NO?! Then what?! Was Paul a closeted penis pincher whose secret you knew and exposed then and there because you were drunk?”

“No. My girlfriend’s grandpa’s name wasn’t Paul, it was Bob. And while Bob was a decent man and loving husband, Bob hated cats because he was allergic to them.”

“Wait, so the minister not only had his name wrong but was also wrong about him loving cats?”

“No, I was the one that had it wrong.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean I was at the wrong funeral.”

“WHAT??!!!” Marshall screams incredulously as the crowd gasps.

“Yeah, it all the sudden fell together…right on top of my drunken head. The casket instead of an urn, everyone looking and talking about me, my girlfriend nowhere to be found, some dead guy named Paul…”

“Oh my god, oh my god, OH. MY. GOD. IT PAUL MADE SENSE!!!” So what did you do?”

“I got up real slow and then fled to the nearest exit.”

“But I don’t understand, if this was the church where the funeral was to be at why wasn’t your girlfriend’s grandpa there instead of Paul? Did you get the time wrong and there was another funeral before Bob’s?”

“I got the address wrong.”

“I thought you said you went to the address you were given…”

“I thought I did too but once I got outside I checked the street sign and grasped what I had done.”

“Were you on the wrong street and there just happened to be a church on that street that just happened to be having a funeral as well?”

“No, I was on the right street but the address I was given was 422 South Oak, the address of the church I mistakenly went to was 422 North Oak and since I was drunk I didn’t notice that small but crucial detail.”

“So you’re telling me there were two different churches on the same street with the same numbered address both having funerals at the same time?”

“Yep. I just hadn’t driven far enough down the street for it to turn from North to South.

“Holy Hell! Who has that kind of luck?”

“You’re looking at him.”

“So did you make it to your girlfriend’s grandpa’s funeral?”

“I did and it was just getting out.”

“And what did she say when she saw you?”

“I’m breaking up with you.”

It’s at this moment that Marshall loses his fucking marbles and laughs uncontrollably as the crowd joins in with him. Once he’s able to bring himself under control he looks at me with tears running down his face.

“Of all the times I’ve done this that has got to be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard in the best way possible!” he says dabbing at his eyes. “I really have nothing to say other than, Jesus, Mary, Joseph and Paul. Wow!”

My story of mistaken location due to intoxication entertained both Marshall and the school while at the same time allowing me to side-step his sadistic sarcasm.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

“Ok everyone, let’s give it up for our new class of Core Babies!” Marshall says, jumping onstage and throwing his hand up in the air like an Asian Freddie Mercury commanding a sold-out crowd.

The audience of Future Professionals jumps to their feet and gives our class of 12 a standing ovation complete with whistles, cheers and hollers as Charlie motions for us to exit stage right and retreat back into the safe and secure confines of our Core Room.

Once there we fall back into our chairs, exhausted from a hazing that was more brutal than the first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan and try to collect ourselves like rockstars that had just come off stage after giving the performance of a lifetime.

And as we all sat there trying to unwind Charlie takes front and center behind her podium.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am that you all weathered that storm.” She says with the look of a mom tending to an injured child. “And I just want to say-“

“Charlie…” a man’s voice beckons from the entrance of the room and in walks a Learning Leader that looks one part Obama, one part Denzel.

He sways to the front of the classroom with the swagger of a pimp and a politician, dressed in black tailored pants, grey cashmere sweater and a gold chain that hangs from around his neck.

He stands next to Charlie, rocking back and forth in his Armani shoes while holding his hands behind his back as if he’s waiting to address a crowd with the passion and fervor of MLK, Malcom X or Maya Angelou.

“Oh, class…” Charlie says both flattered and nervous. “This is Ron and I think he wants a few minutes of your time…”      

2 thoughts on “

  1. Once again we are the lucky recipients of your benefaction for the week.

    The ability to slay us with your arresting use of alliteration and unapologetic sarcasm never disappoints. To the degree that most of us reading your work need refrain from consuming beverages while engaged in this wonderful world of words, as the likelihood of the involuntary ejection of liquids is inevitable.

    Readers be warned!

    How is it that you are able to take us on such a ‘wild ride’ of words every Monday without making us feel nauseated and actually wanting to stay strapped in and go for another round? The easy answer… good old fashion talent y’all! And to that I say “Thank you sir… make it a double next time!”

    Like

  2. I’m sitting in my chair after a hard day at work and listening to Erik’s snoring. I decided to read Chapter 12 and I can’t stop laughing!! Erik woke up from snore fest 2020 because I was laughing so loud! I always enjoy reading your stories and can’t thank you enough for giving me an escape from my own shit to share yours ❤️

    Like

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