St. Patrick’s Day, The 24 Hour Bender.

St. Patrick’s Day is a super annoying day to be a recovering alcoholic.

I’m not a hater, but seriously, it’s a holiday that is fundamentally a free pass for a 24-hour bender. Every lightweight under the sun starts throwing back car bombs like they’re Janis Joplin. Everyone is talking in cursive and the cheap green draft beer inevitably transforms to vomit, which spatters the city sidewalks like a Jackson Pollack.

So for the second St. Patrick’s Day, I will be avoiding that mess like fucking kryptonite.

In the meantime, here is a glimpse into my St. Pat’s of yesteryear. Enjoy!

Bicycles, St. Patrick’s Day, and Palm Trees.

What do you get when you cross 10 pints of Guinness, a bicycle, a dog leash spiked into the ground, a 4 ton coral landscaping rock and a splintered palm tree?

4 days on your back and a prescription for Scelaxin, that’s what.

It was good old St. Patty’s Day and I was in my junior year of college.  Like any good 20 something, it was the day to brag about the 1/100th of your “Irish Heritage”, eat corned beef and cabbage, sing stupid ass too-ra-loo-ra-li songs and wear kelly green sweaters typically reserved for the mentally challenged while guzzling beers at the local Irish Pub.  There’s a feeling of camaraderie and everyone gets along.  Then again, if you put a bunch of kids with Downes Syndrome in a room there’s bound to be some hugging.

A few friends and I decided that the smart move would be to ride our bikes downtown instead of driving.  You know, we were planning on getting plastered and all, a bike ride was clearly the safer choice.

After our last class, we all got on our bikes and pedaled our asses over to the pub.  We (thought we) were bourgeois artists, far too cool to drink crappy green draft beer, so we ordered a round of Guinness and then another, and another, and another…About 8 pints and a few car bombs later, we had to ride over to a friend’s house to meet up with a bunch of other people, to go to another bar.  Wow.  8 pints in 2 hours, mounting your bike.  I felt like I lost a chromosome somewhere, as I struggled to keep my balance let alone work the pedals.  Did I mention that we were riding in the streets?  Where all the drunks were driving their much heavier and more destructive cars?  Yep.  I balanced a bottle of beer in one hand, held a cigarette between my lips and pedaled for the required 2 miles to our friends house.  I must have looked like a drunk idiot on that bike, because I was.  Laughing and swerving,  I was super awesome, I thought to myself.

We pulled our bikes up to the house our friends were renting and all went inside, where we proceeded to pass the bong. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Apparently St. Patrick was an alcoholic and drug addict because he really had quite a devout following.  Now completely beer drunk and stoned, I was feeling shifty so I told everyone I’d meet them out front.

It was dusk, and I mounted my bike and decided to practice riding it.  There was a very large coral landscaping rock, about 3′ tall, with an old ratty palm tree next to it directly in the middle of the front yard.  Apparently someone thought this was a good landscaping idea, and apparently they were dumb and blind.  But I digress.  It was the perfect obstacle in which to ride around, I could get “going in a circle” down on my bike and I’d be ready to make it to the next bar.  I finally got the pedals going and started riding around the retarded yard centerpiece.  This wasn’t so bad!  I was slow and shaky but I was doing it!

It wasn’t until about the 8th lap that The Bad Thing happened.

They had a dog, who was happily napping on the porch.  I was getting really creative, like Lance Armstrong, and began making my circles tighter to the rock thing.  As everyone started to walk out of the house, I picked up the pace to really show off my bike riding circling skills.  Just then, my front tire lodged, head on, into the metal triangle that was screwed deep into the yard in which they attached a dog leash.  The moment of impact, the back tire came up, catapulting me over the handlebars, onto the retarded lawn centerpiece.  Before I landed squarely on my back atop the coral landscaping rock, I was fortunate enough to slow my fall by scraping my shoulder blades down the palm tree, which was made entirely of 4″ splinters that peeled off and lodged themselves into my skin.

I just lay there stunned staring up at the sky as the entire St. Patty’s Day Bong Hit Committee laughed hysterically.

Now, here’s the part that will really clue you in to exactly just how fucked up I was.

I got up, got on my bike, and rode with everyone to the next bar.  Hooray!  I wash jush fiiiiinnnneee.  All I really remember is a sea of green and Jagermeister and car bombs and dancing on a table in a non table dancing kind of Irish Pub.  It was all pretty fuzzy.  I believe fuzzy is a nice way to say blackout.  I think I even rode the bike a few more times, I must have, because I woke up at home the next morning.

And by woke up I mean wished I was dead.

As the painful, blinding sun accosted me through the bedroom window I attempted to roll over to ward off its torturous rays.  I could not turn over.  My back seemed to be paralyzed.  This in tandem with the shattering migraine only 100 draft beers paired with Jagermeister can produce.  Through immense pain and screaming, I managed to get myself to a seated position, and only then did I realize there was another kind of pain emanating from between my shoulder blades.  What.  The.  Fuck.

I called a friend who came over to rescue me.  She helped me to stand up, shattering pain down my back.  I asked her if she could see what was between my shoulder blades.  She lifted my shirt, and all I heard was, “Holy Fucking Shit!”

I’m no genius, but I managed to deduce that this couldn’t be good.

“You look like you rolled on a porcupine!”

It started coming back to me…the bike…the rock…the palm tree….

Like any good friend, she told me that I was a mess and needed to get my shit together.  Of course I do, right after you pull 20 splinters from my back and drive me to the hospital.

Turns out the back is a tricky thing…there’s nothing you can really do to fix it, besides pop muscle relaxers and lay like a corpse for a week, and the only way I could do that was to have a fat bag of weed, which I procured immediately.   See, when you’re 20 this is called a bender, but when you’re 40 it’s called problem.

To this day I’m rather scared of bikes…and dog leashes staked into the ground.

And of course, Jagermeister and leprechaun’s.

10 replies

  1. This reminds me of the time when I decided it was time to quit drinking. (although it was not a real problem, but could have escalated into one) St. Patrick’s day, 1981, my brother and best friend had closed the bar, we were customers not owners and were proceeding to Denny’s for breakfast at 2:30 am. Jay, and my brother were in the narc car ( a 1972 Buick century, hence the name) and I was following on my nice new Honda Goldwing Aspencade. As usual hiding on the back alleys and side streets we came up to a stop sign at Tujunga Blvd, Jay stopped the car, I geared down and stopped the bike. Nor realizing, I didn’t put my foot down, I of course fell over on the right side. My brother took the bile home, and we went for food, all the while Jay telling everyone about what happened. Yup, that was enough for me. Luckily, there were only a few scratches on the crash bars of my nice new shiny Honda. LOL I’m happy you were not hurt any worse than you were. Great story! 🙂

  2. In my twenties, I used to go to Irish bars with my asshole brother and he would ask like a complete jerk, and then a fight would ensue. Once he ended up in the ER with a fucked up broken nose from getting hit with a pool cue. AND THEN we would go out again. Sheesh.
    Maureen (Irish every day of the year)

  3. We rode our bikes to the Earth Day celebration thing when I was in college. Bad idea. Ooh, that ride home sucked. No medical emergency just uphill the whole
    way. Stupid.

  4. It is the most life-threatening holiday, isn’t it?
    The only possible conrtender being Christmas with its record number of suicides and seniors collapsing while clearing snow from drivweways they never use.

  5. Man that sounds painful. But “Then again, if you put a bunch of kids with Downes Syndrome in a room there’s bound to be some hugging” might be the funniest thing I’ve ever read.

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