By Erica Dent, our very own shoeless tequila drinker
Do not try this at home. Ever. You will die. Probably.
It was a night out with coworkers Thanksgiving Eve 2007 that I always expected to be my “I was so drunk” story. It consisted of ridiculously strong Vodka cranberries made with Hawkeye Vodka. Hawkeye is made in the great state of Iowa, in a town known for scores of illegal immigrants, pork packing plant, and meth production. One of our dearest co-workers had been killed 4 days before, we’d just come from working at Sesame Street Live, and we were doing our best to celebrate life and each other. I went from laughing, to hurling all over our table, and spending the next 45 minutes on the floor of the bowling alley bathroom while my three male coworkers tried to convince me to get up and go home. It had all the necessary elements; a solid pre-story, an audience, cheap booze, and a holiday. I figured I was set; however, Tequila, not to be outdone by Vodka, decided to one-up it.
The night was supposed to be filled with music, beverages, and forgetting about the miserable elements of my life. I had booked a two room suite for my boyfriend and me at a hotel on the river within walking distance of the venue. We’d spent the afternoon at the mall, had a pregame dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, and gone back to the hotel for a drink in the room and a stop at the hotel bar. Everything was perfect. The night was brisk, the city was emanating a bit of class, and I was with the one person in the world who matters most. Still thinking about it makes me smile.
Arriving at the venue, People’s Court in Des Moines, Iowa, we checked our coats, ordered our drinks and began to take in the scene. The place was filled with corn-fed Iowa girls doing their best Paris Hilton impressions, guys who know the difference between Guernseys and Holsteins dressed like Dracula’s cousin, and middle aged men and women spending their welfare checks trying to hold onto their youth in whatever sad way they can. Oh, and did I mention my ex-husband was there? Living in the same city we have never run into each other unless it was an arranged meeting. I travel four hours, shell out big bucks for a night out on the town to see my favorite band and he’s there.
At this point I’m one rum, two tequila drinks and one shot of Jagermeister in. The next move was to head across the street for a breather and another Tequila drink. James, my boyfriend, best friend, and savior, and I decided to return to the concert in time to catch my favorite band and see what the night held from there. (Three tequila drinks, one rum, and a shot of Jager).
Back at the venue I manage to avoid the ex, enjoy my band, and indulge in the company. (Five tequila drinks, one rum, and a shot of Jager) Then things were fairly boring. Of course there was drinking with intermittent talking, shots, mingling, and music.
Things are little fuzzy here but I think the count is eight tequila drinks, one rum, a shot of Jager, an Irish Carbomb, and a Liquid Cocaine. The next thing I remember is waking up in the hotel at 7:30 am with no pants, and my feet, knees, behind, and nose all hurting.
Allegedly, we retrieved our coats, and began the trek back to the hotel. After a few wrong turns I still insisted I knew the way back. My state, combined with the unkempt sidewalks lead to losing my shoes and a few falls. The location of the bruises indicated multiple tumbles on multiple body parts. At least one of these falls was on my face, leading to a mark under my nose that can only be likened to the kind of wound a child gets after that first dive over the handlebars of his bike. Roadrash. I also removed my socks for an unknown reason.
After an extended period of time outside, warming up in a building where the janitor found us, and a ride to the hotel from someone who most likely wasn’t a cab driver, I’m just thankful to be alive.
The next morning consisted of piecing the night together, gorging on the hotel’s mediocre breakfast, and vowing that tequila would no longer fuel my escapades. On the drive home I had the ultimate walk-of-shame. I meandered, in my stocking feet, through a strange Wal-Mart, picked out the cheapest shoes I could find, and wore them to the cash register, handing the cashier the tag and packaging.
That wasn’t even the lowest part of the day; that would be the ER visit where I had to explain to two nurses and a physician’s assistant just why I would have been outside without shoes long enough to get frostbite on both feet.
As much as I’d like a tasty Margarita I think I’m going to bow out on Tequila for a while and hang my head as I ask for a nice Stroh’s, Labatt, or even a Milwaukee’s Best. You’ve won Tequila, well played.