It started 2 hours before my *actual* birthday. 10pm I was leaving Ralphs with my best friend Tom and a 6 pack of killian’s irish red. Next stop- the bachelor clubhouse known as the easton’s where all of my friends were waiting. Waiting for what? Waiting for me to get so shithoused drunk that I try and fight everyone, vomit and pass out in the front yard? Of course not; they were just waiting for me to show up and celebrate, a nice quiet Thursday night in Claremont.
When we pulled up, there were no spots, so we had a bit of a walk, which was fine. Tom and I cracked our first killian’s in the parking lot, raising it and saying “cheers” whenever a neighbor would pass. When we finally got to garage, we could hear a buzz inside, and that is when it opened, revealing my group of friends, drinks and cameras in hand, ready to catch a moment.
Tom and I raised our beers to them, they all responded with a hearty group moan, and we stood for a quarter minute. In the garage. In silence. Chugging whatever we were holding. After 45 minutes of photo-ops and 5 more beers, we were on to our next assignment: the press.
The press is the only “bar” in Claremont. I put it in quotes because it is the most petit bourgeois place I have ever been to, and to pack twenty-five alcoholic punk kids in there to celebrate a birthday is quite a feat. But like I said, if there was anywhere else to go, we would have gone. The inside is split into 4 quarters. Two quarters are “up top,” one of which is the bar, the other a lounge table seating area. The bottom two quarters are simple: seating, and seating with a stage, and they are divided by the walkway that goes back to the bathroom.
When we arrive at 11:45, I am not yet 21. Everyone is excited to go in, so they all crowd around the bouncer and when I get my turn he says “no.” the following conversation ensued.
“No you can’t come in.”
“Wait, are you telling me I have to wait fifteen minutes until I’m 21? I’ve been waiting 18 years.”
“Yeah. Then fifteen more minutes wont hurt.”
And so I was shut down. Cell phone in hand, I set my alarm clock for 12am, and lit a cigarette. At this point I was standing in the doorway and a line was forming behind me. I told the woman standing to my immediate rear (and far too close for comfort as her muffin tops would tickle my belt when she would swivel to talk about food with her friends) that they were at capacity, so we were waiting.
And she believed me, turning to tell her friends as the bouncer looked at his watch, 11:54. He sighs and gives me the “fuck it” look, to which I extend my hand and receive my first stamp ever. Bare in mind that I am already 6 deep. Since it took so long for me to get in, all my friends had purchased their own pitchers, afterall, happy hour ended at midnight, I just got a cup and went to get filled up. Robyn pours me some hef, and we chug. Jimmy pours me some hef and we chug. Ramil pours me some hef and we chug. Ryan buys me a guiness pint, and I nurse half of it when ryan and pam accuse me of being a pussy.
So I chugged that motherfucker too. Then my best friend tom’s eyes light up. He’s designated driver, so he is not drinking at all, and the way best friends work is by living vicariously through each other.
I’m pretty buzzed at this point, I believe I’m talking to hazel, she’s 24, married and with some people I know, but she’s cute, I’m drunk, everything is okay. I hear someone call my name. I slowly pull my gaze from the woman’s chest I’m staring at and see Tom staring at me, waiting for me to acknowledge him.
“come to the bar.”
“tom, we’re already here.”
“no no no. THE bar.” I say nothing, I just smile and follow. We get the prime spot on the corner of the bar, and it begins to fill in with people who came along. Then tom asks the fatal question.
“what’s your strongest whiskey?”
The bartender grabs a bottle that is called “126” and shows tom. Tom nods, shot is poured. The worst part about it is that due to a lack of shot glasses (rich white people don’t take shots of whiskey, they sip it. so sitting in front of me is a tumbler half full of whiskey, about a double; of 126 proof booze.) I raise the glass as hazel (who followed us to the bar) raises her JD shooter and I throw it back. Before the glass hits the bar, I knew that I had consumed enough.
But the bartender bought me a shot for my birthday, and toby bought me a three wise men, and pam bought me a blowjob shot (although I call it a muff diver), and tom bought me an adios, and victor bought me an adios (victor is about 35, I didn’t know I knew him, but free drinks? BEST FRIEND), and ryan bought me an irish car bomb and ramil bought a long island, toby bought a 7 mile high and tom bought me another shot of whiskey (although this time it was just Johnny Walker) and I drank IT ALL.
The 7 mile high was the last drink I had, and by this time I was quite obviously wrecked. I had danced with hazel who was sitting at the bar, while winking and smiling at a semi-hot 40 year old woman who was watching me dance, I had told the bartender he was going to kill me if he served me another drink, I had convinced the 40 year old milf to take a picture with me and tom and flip off the camera, but I was nowhere near finished.
I hear the barkeep call for last call, and I pull out my wallet. He turns to me and says “I think you’ve had enough bud.” And I’m shitfaced. SHIT-FACED.
“I KNOW I’ve had enough BUD. I had enough before all these motherfuckers made me have more. I’m pulling out my wallet to TIP you, cuz you’re fucking AWESOME!” and I slam a 10 dollar bill on the bar.
He says “thanks” as I stand up, and realize that it is very difficult. I also realize that I am hungry and I smell garlic and potatoes at the same time. I turn all the way around to see a plate of garlic French fries with noone guarding it. I blink and I am face down on the plate chewing my way around while andy and robyn try and pull me away from the people whose food I was essentially stealing.
But andy and robyn are drunk too, so when I stand up with my mouth full of fries and garlic, they burst into laughter, and I slam my face down into the plate again, this time doing a bit more drunken moaning than chewing, but nevertheless filling my mouth up again. It was this point where I black out and the rest of the story is told from pictures and assorted anecdotes retold to me to explain the pictures.
As soon as I blacked out, the dickhead bouncer who wanted to make me wait, came in and threw me out. He did it nicely, because I was leaving at this point anyway, he basically just verbally harassed me on my way out, which was fine, because he was bad at it. when we were outside, we realized that everyone was drunk. Very very drunk, so we had no sober rides except for Tom. Lance and toby decide to climb the tree out front, when the bouncer pulls them out of the tree, I kick lance in the junk as hard as I can, and fall down laughing.
Sober tom realizes that the police are either on their way, or about to be and wrangles me, lance, andy and ryan into his car. Toby and Jimmy run away on foot, the rest stand outside bewildered waiting for a ride home from Barbs, who was en route.
-we head to the amphitheatre at the Claremont colleges, our “sober up spot.”
- I leave my glasses, shirt and expensives in the car, as I expect a birthday beat down.
- on the way to the amphitheatre I end up without my undershirt.
-and my shorts.
-still have my shoes on, but tunnel vision is very very narrow, and I can’t see anyone.
-and I’m drunk and yelling. “come fight me,” and “I’m in my boxers, which pussy wants to BOX?!”
Not surprisingly, nobody volunteers. Not having much more clothing to take off, I begin to look for people who are standing around me, but I remember having the feeling of looking through toilet paper rolls, eliminating peripheral and binocular vision. I never ended up totally naked, but that’s a small concession, because I am quite certain everything was seen. And this was before I attempted the somersault, and before my clothes were stolen by Toby and Jimmy.
We left, after awhile of my nuts flopping around my clothes were returned, and I got back into the car. I was completely pissed. I could not keep my head up, so I was resting it on the window sill in tom’s dad’s Infiniti g35 sedan. We were on college avenue, the second busiest street in Claremont, at a stop sign when tom asked the obvious: “are you okay buddy?”
My answer could best be described as “uuhhowwwwwwwuhhhhhhhhhh” and with that my door opened, and I fell out into the curb. One leg was in the car, one knee was in the gutter, both hands were on the stone-sidewalk, and I was vomiting… and having a super time doing it. I would laugh every time I threw up because of what was in it. First was stolen fries, that was hilarious because I had forgotten ever slamming my face into the plate. Second was alcohol, estimated value (before mixing with stomach fluids) $90. third was more alcohol, another $60 bucks because it smelled like beer.
At this point everyone was out of the car trying to get me back in and off the 2nd most traveled street in the city, but I was concerned with slapping the puddle of vomit and laughing while everyone jumped away. I was taken by force. I threw up more, the rest however was in the toilet. Then I remember going outside for some fresh air, and passing out on the front yard in the muslim prayer position. Until the sun came up.
Tom wakes me to take me home, and I go peacefully, too weak to fight, too drunk to realize what is happening. I sleep at home for about 30 minutes before I am stirred by my mother.
“Happy birthday! Wake up. We’re going to a wine tasting.” The vomit began to rise again, but I held it in. I went, rarely did my eyes ever make it past half open, much to the dismay of the surprise guests my mother had invited:
-tom’s parents (his father taking an extended lunch break to meet us)
-ryan’s mother (having made the drive all the way from Northridge to see me on my 21st, 2.5 hours.)
-my aunt (surprise visit from New fucking Jersey) and my other aunt from san diego.
Poor travelers, I don’t remember much from that day, but I’m sure I was less than pleasant. We went out again that night, however I was still hungover. This attracted some negative attention.
When we were settling our wimpy bar-tab that evening, the bartender leans over to Tom and says, “it’s your buddy’s 21st birthday, he’s supposed to be vomiting and passed out on someone’s front yard.” Tom just half-laughs and tips the guy an extra couple dollars.