There are pivotal moments in every young person's life. There is graduation, where you move on from High School and step closer to adulthood. There is the first time you drive on your own, feeling that first swipe of freedom. The first time you have sex is an important point (but not always the most memorable other than it being the premiere performance). The same goes for the first time you smoke the dangerous and illegal marijuana, get pulled over, and having the cops raid a party. This story will be about my second christening, entering the halls of the incredibly drunk, thanks to Toto, Sonic, and a little green bottle.
It started out as a special night, alcohol aside. Hated rivals Boston College were making their final appearance at Walter Brown Arena, facing off against my beloved Boston University hockey team. The biggest rivalry in sports (according to Sports Illustrated) was even bigger on this night, as it would close out a storied history in WBA as well as the possible 700th win for BU Coach Jack Parker. BU/BC hockey games are like concerts...except for the bitter hatred for a certain section of the audience. The Terriers won 2-1 and I was jubilant to say the least.
I hurried back to my dorm overwhelmed with joy and energy. Simply not knowing what to do with myself, I ran down the halls to some of the sophomore girls' rooms. They were all in Katie and Cindy's room, doing shots of something. Without hesitation, I double fisted two shots, thanked them, screamed "BC SUCKS!" and ran away, possibly kicking doors and walls on the way back to my room. Once I got there, I quickly changed out of my jersey and khaki pants into some jeans and a t-shirt. Charlie, my dorm neighbor, knocked on my door and told me to come to his room to watch Sonic the Hedgehog and maybe drink along with the show.
Yes, you read that right - Sonic the Hedgehog.
One day while reminiscing about childhood TV shows, Charlie brought up how he liked the second Sonic cartoon, the "darker" one, which was on ABC Saturday Mornings and had Sonic as a freedom fighter against Dr. Robotnick. Thanks to the internet, I downloaded every episode ever made. After viewing a few episodes, we realized that Sonic (voiced by "Urkel" himself, Jaleel White) said a lot of dumb things. Sonic made use of a wide array of terrible puns, 90s slang words ("tubular" "radical" "gorbachev" etc.), and was generally incredibly annoying.
We mixed this new idea with an old staple called UV Blue. It was a handle of blueberry-tinted vodka that cost twenty bucks. It was so good, in fact, that upon first procuring it, Charlie claimed you didn't even need a chaser to put it down. That quickly changed. UV Blue was more prevalent than water on our floor for a few months. We eventually wizened up and mixed it with blue Frost Gatorade from the vending machines downstairs.
Charlie came up with an idea for a drinking game where we take a drink every time Sonic says something stupid. Zack (friend, and future roommate) and I agreed, thinking it could be a fun way to get kind of drunk. Looking back, it would be a perfect way to get drunk, and you could sip away on beers for hours and get nicely hammered by the end. The fatal flaw in this system was that we didn't have beer, just somewhat diluted vodka. This never occurred to us to be any bit of a problem, let alone to someone still excited about a major hockey victory.
Another mistake was the cup that I played with. It holds about 24 oz of liquid, which means I roughly had between 6-8 shots of vodka per cup. Luckily, I only had one cup for an episode. Unfortunately, we watched three episodes. I was so happy and giddy as I drank away to all of Sonic's hack, cheesy quips. "Whoa, watch out for RO-BUTT-NICK!" would blare, and we'd all yell "stupid!" then sip away. Well, I would gulp. I lapped the other two guys a full cup (and mine was bigger than both of theirs) by the time the game was over. Then it got surreal.
While watching The Wizard of Oz dubbed with Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon that Charlie downloaded, a mystery bottle popped up. I had never seen the mystery liquid, but anxiously waited pouring it down my throat while I munched on salsa Doritos. That little green bottle contained Jagermeister, the thick, licorice-tasting drink that has taken better men than me. I believe it was medium sized, but who even knows. What I do know is that between Zack and I we killed off Charlie's bottle, not even allowing him to have a sip. And yes, we drank straight from the bottle. And yes, I hate licorice. Joy+Booze+Doritos+animated hedgehogs=up for anything.
The bottle was kicked somewhere after we were all looking for the dead, hanging munchkin. I got bored of watching a movie with strangely in synch music on top of it and wandered the hall of my dorm to socialize. For about an hour I had many conversations that involved people talking and ignoring my incomprehensible mutterings. I stutter when I normally talk, and when I'm nicely buzzed I actually speak perfectly. Once I'm drunk, it would be easier to understand a cabbie. In this case, it'd probably be easier to understand a dog.
I eventually wandered in to my room to pass out around 3:15. I changed into an old t-shirt and the maroon shorts I wore every game of Tennis senior year (honorable mention all-league, thank you very much). Before I hit the sheets with the room just slightly spinning I noticed that my roommate wasn't here. Odd, I thought, just before succumbing to a sleep that would wash my drunkenness away like the few other times. I was not an experienced drinker when I got to college. In fact, the first weekend of college involved me taking three shots of Southern Comfort, seeing Commonwealth Ave bounce, and handing my id over to a small blonde girl to swipe in with. This was the picture:
My relative inexperience with alcohol set me up for a rude awakening at 4:15. I woke up by lurching forwards, sitting almost in an Indian style, and vomiting profusely. Racing out of my stomach was the crude mixture of too much vodka, Jager and salsa doritos. I puked all over my covers, myself, and possibly the area around my bed. After a moment of "holy shit I really just did that," the bed was stripped and I tied covers and all into a hobo's sack-situation and plopped it on my floor to be dealt with in a more-sober morning. I then realized I puked all over my clothes, so I threw my shirt, shorts, and two pairs of boxers into the pile as well (I still don't know where the second pair came from, nor why I felt the urge to take a clean piece of clothing and banish it to the vomit) before changing into a fresh pair of undies.
It was then that I realized I wasn't done yet. Inconceivably, there was more in me that wanted out, post haste. I got up and opened the door and experienced a level of fucked uptitude that I never want to even scrape again. My vision was like when you watch old movies and newspapers spin towards the screen - I was the newspaper. To further hinder my grip on reality, I see Charlie sleeping outside his door in a big inflatable chair. He did not seem to notice me, and I didn't have time to give him a proper greeting.
To get to the bathroom, I had to run through the elevator hallway, through a door to the men's side, through another door in the bathroom, and then to a stall, a trip lasting roughly 300 feet at maximum. If anyone was up they would have seen a 6'4" man in his boxers haphazardly run-stumbling to the bathroom. Once the destination was reached, the knees were on the tile and the face was around the toilet shared by 25 other individuals, I puked like I could win a metal for my ferocity.
Eventually, I made it back to my room to sleep on my bed cover with my comforter. All I wanted to do was go back to sleep and act like this didn't happen. My head hit the pillow like it owed me money, but there was something weird about it, mostly that it was damp. Immediately I pulled my head up and surveyed the situation. It seems I did not wake up and vomit, but rather that I woke up puking, as there was a spray going outwards from where my mouth was on my pillowcase. The case came off, the pillow thrown to the side (away from Death Valley), and the back up throw pillow was called up from the minors to get the start of a lifetime.
At around 11 AM I hear someone walk in and say, "what the fuck happened here?" It was my roommate Collin, returning home from...whenever he was, rightly confused. With the sun breaking through the cloth shades I saw the damage I had done. There was bright red liquid everywhere. The genius twisting I did to keep all of the vomit enclosed in the bedding fell apart, and the neon red juice spread, as if the dam broke. There was red on Collin's sweat shirt, on Luke's cd cases, on Collin's weird, skanky rug.
I woke up and ready to clean it and nearly fell over. Another first was hit: waking up wasted. It baffled me, as there was simply nothing left in my system, so how could I still be drunk? He was very nice and accommodating (one of three times that year where that combination came from the right side of 516) and said he would clean up a bit and would wait for me to sleep off the rest of my drunken stupor before letting me clean. I insisted on starting to help, but had him wash some clothes while I tossed things out. My Hilfiger sheets, tennis shorts, boxers and pillowcase were deemed unsalvageable. My makeshift triage condemned the pile to a quick, painless death after the suffering in the night. Collin went downstairs and watched his sweatshirt and some other articles of his and mine that were in the blast radius. He also had to say goodbye to his ugly, smelly rug, which was the one positive of the whole situation.
I fell back to sleep only to be awoken by a Buildings and Grounds Worker (custodian) telling me that I can't hang wet clothes from the extremely sensitive sprinkler heads outside. Collin offered to wash the clothes, but not to dry them, apparently. I crept over to the clothes outside, through them on the floor, and fell back asleep. At around 1 PM I finally got up and attempted to clean the bright red out of...everything. In some cases it worked beautifully. In others, well, Luke can tell you what's the new third color in his black and blue cd case is.
The rest of the day was spent being a patient with visitors. Everyone on the floor came by to pass on their condolences, with one girl saying "oh, this happens to me all the time," which baffled me. This was also the point where I swore off alcohol forever...well for a month....not really, just a few weeks...ok next weekend. I had to call up my mom to explain what happened to me, but more importantly to the expensive sheets. "Do you know how much those things cost? And you just threw it out? It's not hard to wash these things, Michael." She also was convinced I had a drinking problem for a few months.
I should hear back on my lawsuit against the writers of Sonic the Hedgehog for damages incurred based on their shitty dialogue some time in July. Fucking Urkel.