And now….the exciting conclusion to last week’s story, Two More Laps
I remember that each time a new face would come out to greet me, I would shout out an important declaration – “TWO MORE LAPS!” Apparently the accountant in me felt the need to express the solution in terms of a precise numerical declaration. I’m not sure how long I had been walking when 5 or 6 wet bodies came out to get me with the purpose of tossing me into the pool. Likely they felt a drenching was what was needed for sobering me up.
I was so drunk that I was scared. I tried to look as sober and straight faced as I could to the wet one of the group who had a reputation for being level-headed. That was a guy named Ricky. The guys had all had me lifted and were making our way to the pool. “Ricky – I don’t know if I can get out.” I’m certain Ricky had a few to drink, just as everyone else in the group, but my statement had the desired sobering effect because Ricky immediately got in front of the group and said, “hey guys, this might not be such a good idea. Let’s leave Rob alone out here, let him keep walking.” There were some moans and groans but they trusted Ricky’s judgment and set me down.
And so the journey around the median continued. For how long in total, I haven’t a clue. The next part I remember though was my wife coming out to tell me that it was very late and that the babysitter wanted to go home.
My response? “OK, but you’re driving.”
And Kim’s? “No Shit!”
We had driven over in our Mazda RX-7 that we had bought off of Suzanne, (one of the aforementioned pros I had been trying to keep up with). I don’t recall how I got to the car – did I walk to where it was parked or did Kim drive it over to me? The RX-7 is a sleek 2-seater with deep bucket seats. Red body, black velvety interior, I plopped down in the passenger seat. I heard some general chatter going on, worries that I was going to get sick in the car during the short ride home, (Alexandria was small and we all lived close to each other). So someone, (I think it was Andy), retrieved a bucket; not just any bucket, no, this was a big 50# empty chlorine tablet bucket.
In case you have to spew
The ride was short. The chlorine smell was strong. Perhaps the strength of the smell actually prevented the hurl? (I apologize there for the shameless Wayne’s World reference, but it was the 90’s after all).
I recall seeing our babysitter standing in our driveway when we arrived at the house. I don’t know if she was waiting there for us – most likely I fell asleep in the car for a brief period and then woke up as she was leaving the house. I ‘declared’ to Kim that I needed to walk still. “OK, but stay on our block, just walk around it.”
At this point in the story, I now need to write the rest of the evening as it has been told to me by my wife. That is because I do not remember any more of this evening. As told to me by Kim:
“So I go into the house and I’m waiting for Rob to get back so we can go to bed. Twenty minutes goes by and no Rob. Shit, I’m going to have to leave the house and go find him. So I lock the door of the house and get into the car. No sooner do I turn the first corner that I notice ‘something’ in the neighbor’s lawn. Is that a bag of garbage? No, that’s my husband. I was tempted to call one of my ER police acquaintances and ask them to come and pick him up to let him sleep downtown that night. He was passed out, totally asleep on the front lawn of one of our neighbor’s lawns.”
“So I got him awake enough to help me get him into the car. I drove him home and had to wake him again in order to get him to bed. We made it to the bedroom and I took off his shoes and clothes. He was awake but clueless I guess as to what was going on.”
Those last two paragraphs are the account details from my wife. I don’t remember any bit of that, nothing. What I do clearly remember is waking up the next morning around 11:00 or so and having a hell of a hangover. Back in those days I didn’t know that a hangover was caused partially by a lack of water. Even only a few drinks can deliver a headache if you aren’t consuming enough water. My head was killing me and I generally felt like death warmed over.
It was Sunday and we were supposed to attend an open house at our oldest son’s school, Alexandria Country Day. The open house began in the afternoon and they didn’t have the air conditioning going for this. They had all the doors and windows open for ventilation, but without the A/C blowing, I was having a rough time so I announced to my wife that I was going to go sit outside in the shade on the entryway bench.
Wearing sunglasses to hide my bloodshot eyes, I was sitting on the bench, taking a break and waiting for Kim. I had been sitting there less than five minutes when I see Dennis and Kathy, (accomplices from last night and fellow Country Day parents), walking towards the front entrance. They both were wearing dark sunglasses as well.
Me – “do you two feel as bad as I do?”
Dennis – “it was our turn to take in doughnuts to church this morning!”
Eventually, the word got around to all our friends that I had passed out in a neighbor’s lawn. Another way of expressing this I guess would be to say that my wife was fond of sharing this information with our friends. My coworkers were quick to greet me with ‘Two More Laps’ when we’d pass each other in the halls of the plant or in a meeting.
This night occurred more than 20 years ago and ever since then, if I am having a drink, I limit myself. At most, I will drink perhaps 3 beers and that’s it. I don’t like getting drunk. I don’t like the notion that it’s ‘killing brain cells’, (after all, how many can I afford to lose), and I don’t like the feeling afterwards. I enjoy the taste of a lighter beer and I love a good sweet drink like a Mai Tai. I guess I ‘learned a lesson’ that night – that I don’t have what it takes to be a good alcoholic….and based on the few alcoholics I’ve known in my life, I’d say that was a pretty damn good lesson!