Monday, May 10, 2010

BigMike - Drinking in Zero Gravity 

I'll be participating in the Great Strides event to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation with BigMike on May 15th. I rarely ask anything extraordinary from folks but this is a cause that is near to my heart. BigMike's nephew was born with this horrible disease and there is no cure. Even the smallest amount helps and you can donate on my Great Strides page.

Thank you for everything.


I've been avoiding my personal space here like the plague. I get enough questions with my insane ramblings 140 characters at a time on twitter and who knows what the hell I'd come up with given a blank page. It might never stop until my brain exploded all over the laptop or I pass out with head leaning uncomfortably sideways. Either way, it wouldn't be pretty.

I'm also trying to avoid the post where I get to write about BBT5 in all it's fucking twisted ass glory. The bitching, whining, moaning, "why not me" crap is a fun way to remind me I never wanted to run another in the first place. That post is written and ready to go but I'm going to wait until I'm safely planted on a barstool in Vegas and yet another BBT is in the rearview mirror.

Instead I am going to concentrate on the fun shit past and present. Coming up in just a few days I'll be joining BigMike for a Cystic Fibrosis benefit, that brought up some great memories while we were sitting around in the planning stages. I can't believe it's been nearly 6 years since we jumped a plane to St. Martin to spend a week in a ridiculous house with a few friends. That week also produced the one and only Big Mike Guest Post on this site.

Back then I didn't quite have "fuck you" money but it was damned close. We both worked our asses off and overindulged on the few vacation weeks we could find. Over the top was a perfect way to describe it all. Now I have traded my 3 weeks and big ticket vacations for 365 days of vacation and not blowing my head off due to stress. Below is the huge villa we rented to forget about work and drink our faces off, usually get slaughtered all while floating in the monster pool. One of those nights sent BigMike to the edge and he wrote a little something about it.

Enjoy Mike's post.

Drinking and the Benefits of Zero Gravity

It was All Hallows Eve. Traditionally not a good drinking day for me. Though I pride myself on my ability to pull back from the edge of complete oblivion on most occasions, something about the barrier being weaker between this reality and the afterworld makes me push the barriers a little farther, usually with extreme results.

It was day two in paradise. There we were in the pool again (although it felt like STILL). When Al first mentioned the villa of joy, the selling point for me was the Pool. Most fat mammals are happiest in zero gravity and I am no exception. My declared intention for the trip was to do as little as possible out side of the pool. And even though certain elements who Can't Understand No Talking were planning a week of activities, I was determined to get a decent amount of floating time.

Day one had gone very well. Here was the way events unfolded:

3:30 Arrived at Villa
3:35 Tour of Compound
3:50 Into the Pool
3:50:01 The Girls and Louie are off shopping
3:50:02 Into the Southern
5:00 First Bottle gone and tossed in the pool as a floater

5:00 - 6:00 Floating peacefully in the Pool with Al and the empty Southern bottle. Speech is completely unnecessary. Peace at last.

6:05 Our glasses are empty

6:05:01 Al makes the ultimate sacrifice and gets out of the pool and cracks open bottle number two. (Enthusiastic Cheers)

6:15 The women (and Louie) return with food.

6:15:01 Much needless talking ensues

6:20 We are ordered to go to the airport and pick up the rest of our rag tag crew. Of course we agree.

6:25 Our floating friend is discovered

6:25:01 Certain elements that Can't Understand No Talking indicate that we need to go to the airport because we "wasted time in the pool" while "important shopping was done." We again agree.

6:25:10 We are told that we are too drunk to drive. We respond that we have at least 90 minutes to sober up.

6:26 We are told we are too drunk to drive by Certain elements that Can't Understand No Talking. Mrs. Canthang asks if I am all right to drive. I answer "Is it 8:00?" From experience, she withdraws. We cap the bottle of Southern. (Expressions of Regret)

6:50 We are drying out. The silence is gone. The Southern is gone. I start to tease someone about their prior experience on vacation that involved drunkenness and fractured limbs. My head is beginning to clear. I am tearfully rebuked and told never to mention it again. I agree. I agree that making fun of drunken indiscretions would be wrong. I perform the Sacrament of Penance. I Mea Culpa until my chest hurts and agree that it is very wrong to exploit, tease, embarrass, or mention drunken incidents. I sign a non-aggression pact and cede half of Poland (after bombing the French of course).

8:10 The plane supposedly landed 10 minutes ago. We did not see it. (Yes my friends, we could actually see the planes arriving from the pool in the night sky!) Mrs. Canthang performs a sobriety test. I pass and I drag Mr. Canthang and we head to the airport.

8:30 We arrive at the airport
8:45 No sign of our compatriots
9:00 No sign of our compatriots
10:00 Return to consciousness and drive by the terminal
10:00:01 No sign of our compatriots
10:08 Mr. CantHang and the travel weary companions wave me down
10:28 We arrive at the villa
10:30 Back in the pool and the Southern is open
10:45 Buzz returns
11:05 The game of "Barnacle" is invented (Expression of Regret)
11:30 The second bottle is floating empty (Enthusiastic Cheer)
11:55 The third bottle of Southern is open.
1:00 Bedtime on the compound

Day two began where day one left off. I reflected on the negative moments of the previous day. They all involved the following:

1. Being out of the pool
2. Being sober enough to drive

Fortunately, these small matters could be easily remedied. By 2:00 bottle four was opened. By 3:00 bottle four was gone. Much of it in to me. Drinking in zero gravity masked most of the warning signs. You all know them, say them with me: dizziness, stumbling, slurring words, inability to control limbs, etc. In zero gravity, most of these are happily negated. You have nothing left but the buzz. You can surrender yourself completely to the buzz. I found that if I floated on my back, I could completely lose myself in thought and introspection without the annoyance of reality intruding. I spent most of the time floating on my back, doing flips, and basically wondering why we as a species chose to leave the sea. The dolphins were much smarter. It was obvious. Everything was better in the water. If you floated just right on your back, those who Can't Understand No Talking could not be heard. I tried to maintain that position as much as possible. When my head would accidentally come out of the water, I would hear chattering of concern with my wingman saying "He's fine, let him alone." Good man, Mr. Canthang! Eventually, I passed out. When my face went under the water, I woke up and stood up. HUGE mistake! Drinking in zero gravity cannot be stopped mid bender. Everything started spinning. Bad bad bad. Again, Mr. Canthang, in a demonstration of his drinking mastery, had the only thing I wanted at that moment....a garbage bag. I expelled much of the contents of my stomach, but I refused to exit the pool. Lifting my head to regurgitate the complete lack of food was more than enough for me. Fortunately, the pool was shallow enough to let me beach myself and only have to lift my head out of the water. As soon as the vomiting subsided, I would recede back into the water and float. And as soon as I was weightless again, I felt completely fine. My head would occasionally rise up enough to hear comments such as "Drown" and "Die" and "You have to pull him out of there." Again, Mr. Canthang kept them all at a distance. I finally got to the point where I could assist him in his efforts. Every twenty minutes or so he would say, "How are you doing BigMike?" And I would give him a thumbs up and the masses would give him a moment of peace. Occasionally, there would be the insane suggestion that I MUST leave the pool. I would extend a different finger on these occasions. The fact that I could differentiate between fingers seemed to bring comfort to the crowd.

By this time, six to eight hours had passed. Steaks had been promised. My thoughts were no longer a dreamy stream of consciousness. Lists of things to do started to creep in. Soon passwords and pin numbers reappeared. Visions of my family appeared. Steaks were promised. I lifted my head and it was not so bad. A little shaky but not so bad. Suddenly, I heard my wingman saying he would eat my steak. The time for decisive action had arrived. I turned over and asked for my steak. Of course, I ate it in the pool. By the time I was finished, my head was clear as a bell. I tried floating again and looking at the stars. It was nice and peaceful but not nearly the same. I relented and left the pool.

Few moments in my life have been as blissful as that floating inebriation. I vowed to repeat the experience, hoping not to step over the edge. Sadly, the pin number, passwords, to do lists, and those who Can't Understand No Talking prevented a repeat of the experience. I got close a few times, but I always seemed to have something to do that would stop the process before reaching the desired effect. Unfortunately, I am a creature of habit and I was unable to withdraw completely again from polite society for the rest of the week.

And remember kids, Mr. Canthang and I are professionals. Do not try any of the things you read about here yourselves.

P.S. The picture taken of me floating in the pool was violation of the non-aggression pact but I was unaware of it's existence until I returned. Not that it really bothered me. I consider the picture the best souvenir in years. If Stalin were as laid back as me, we would all be speaking German!

Originally posted on November 23rd, 2004

Since you are here and already in a reading mood, the next edition of Truckin' is out and I managed to sneak a story in this month. Old drunk guys and Delaware all suck.

Truckin' - May 2010, Vol. 9, Issue 5

1. Uncle Louie by Paul McGuire
He used to be full of life and love and generosity, but no more. These days, he was capable of saying horrendous things that made you feel like you were three inches tall. He had the madness of an angry blind dog... More

2. State Line by AlCantHang
It has never once failed me when I yell "OY!" and look like I'm going to eat your next born. People generally shrink away even though I barely reach 5-foot-nothing. Not once in my life had it failed, that is, until the "old dude" took a fucking swing at my gourd... More

3. If You're Gonna Lose, Lose Big by Broseph
I was starring at their boobs and I got the idea of maybe trying some threesome action. It's a tough bridge to cross, and I had no idea where to start. I decided to just start making out with Gwen and hoped that would work... More

4. American Hero by Dawn Summers
The skies were just this shade of pitch black at nine in the morning. The rain was slamming against my windows. And the wind, oh the wind huffed and puffed and tried to blow my house down... More

5. Self by Drizz
With a "normal" middle-income life that most Americans live grinding out work for the man and making enough scratch to satisfy the needs and wants, there’s hardly time to take a step back and enjoy this existence... More

6. In Between Fighting Souls by Tenzin McGrupp
My quagmire of a life resembles
A wretched Fox sitcom,
A Shakespeare play,
A black and white Woody Allen film.
Except that Joey Buttafucco is the lead actor
And stands forty-five pounds overweight... More