You’ve heard one example of my version of March Madness and now here’s another reason why St. Patrick’s Day sometimes hurts – literally. I don’t mind the crowds and all the tacky lime green clothing, but the real truth is that I keep getting injured on St. Patrick’s Day. I am clumsy normally, but my dilapidated sense of coordination is heightened on that day more than others for some reason and I always end up face down – ass up covered in bruises.
I will tell you the event that actually was the tipping point of why I can’t go out on St. Patrick’s Day anymore. My wife was pregnant and had no interest in hanging out with a bunch of drunk fools (i.e. me) so she went out for the day without me. If you think this is leading towards me blaming her, it isn’t. I have tried blaming her and just cannot find a single soul to back me up; what happened next was my fault – whether I like it or not. Stupidity cannot be blamed on anyone other than the fool himself!
I went out and met up with some of my friends from work to watch the parade and then headed to the bar that we frequented almost every night. We didn’t even make it three steps into the bar before Darren saw us and already had the beer out on the bar for us. Not five minutes went by before we were finished with number two. Did I mention that it was before 11 AM and we hadn’t eaten anything yet? That’s never a good way to start the day or it’s actually the perfect way to start depending on who you ask.
So the parade was a blur and the aftermath was just getting uglier as time went by. Darren announced that my wife had just called and insisted that we do shots and it never occurred to me that it might not be the truth. It didn’t occur to me the first time he said it that it might not be true, nor did it faze me the fourth time he lined them up. It was then that I had the brilliant thought that I should probably eat something before I blacked out.
We laughed like crazy and apparently, I have never been funnier. That could be because a) I’m hysterical when other people are really intoxicated or b) I’m a stupid ass when I drink heavily. I’m inclined to go with b) here since we aren’t talking about looks (which is the funniest thing about me.)
After multiple drinks, a terrible lunch, and many laughs it took me spitting on a client (for telling me that he had chosen to go with a competitor) to realize that I needed to go home. Don’t judge me, who brings work talk into the bar? It was a ptthhh kind of spit – I’m Italian, that’s what we do. There was no phlegm involved, it wasn’t spit spit. Also, it’s not so bad because I didn’t fully remember it until I called him the following Tuesday morning not realizing that we had spoken on St. Patrick’s Day at all until he mentioned it. Good thing he’s a high-functioning alcoholic too and thought it was really funny…
I bid adieu and waited outside the bar for my cab to come. I finally got sick and tired of waiting and started to walk home. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had never actually called. They aren’t psychic and I was standing there forever thinking they were on the way to get me when, in fact, I had never even called for the cab. I only lived up the street, but it took forever in my drunken state. Did I mention that I also stumbled past and stopped to rest at that Popo Station on the corner? (The Popo Station is a Police Station for those of you that aren’t street like me.)
At the time, we lived in a townhouse in a gated community. It may sound obvious, but that means the development is surrounded by a gate. The front gate was a long wall of gates connected by brick pillars. If you see where this is going, you’re doing much better than I was that night. As you get to the entrance of the development, there is a gatehouse that is manned 24 hours a day. The “guards” in the gatehouse are the kind that refuses to accept a package for you if they have to leave the gatehouse in the rain and get wet or the type that will let anyone enter no matter what they say their name is. My sister actually used to drive up, push the buttons and answer Al Qaeda when he asked who she was and they would always let her in. No, we didn’t pay more for the high end security, don’t be a smart-ass!
Anyway, as I was stumbling up to the entrance, it was like something out of a cartoon. I lost my footing and smashed face first right into the brick pillar and then collapsed face first into a heap on the ground. As I was on the ground crumbled in a heap, assuming the gatehouse “guard” would come to my aid since he had just seen what had happened, my cell phone started to ring. It was my wife and she actually thought that I was kidding when the answer to her “Where are you?” was met with my “On the ground covered in blood.”
I thought my teeth had been forced out of my mouth and that my nose was broken for sure due to the sheer amount of pain and the massive amount of blood that I was covered in. My eye felt like it had a pencil sticking out of it and I didn’t realize how scraped up my hands and knuckles were until I actually tried to use them to answer the phone. I was in a bad way and she said to stay where I was as she was only around the corner and she truly thought that I was exaggerating. Since it was raining, I couldn’t really stay put and I finally managed to get myself off the ground. Would you believe that as I stumbled past the gatehouse, the guard actually waved at me? Here I was mangled, nose, mouth, and hands gushing blood and that asshole waves at me. Guess who was off my list and didn’t receive my wife’s homemade cookies in his Kwanzaa basket that year!
I finally made it to our front steps yet didn’t have the strength or dexterity to open the front door. My wife approached slowly and she was shocked with how badly I was hurt. She took me in and cleaned me up. As unbelievable as my cuts, abrasions, brick wall road rash, and swollen face was – all of the injuries were only on one side of my face. I actually looked like Harvey Two-Face from Batman. It was a like someone had drawn a line down the center of my face to spilt it in tow and then proceeded to beat the shit out of one side of it.
As I sat at the Hospital intake room with the admitting nurse to gather my information, she actually swung around on her stool and accidentally (or so she said) hit me in my mangled face with her fist. I screamed so loud, that they took me to x-ray immediately. I swear that if I had any sense of co-ordination left, I would have knocked her out. As she rolled my wheelchair down the hall, my wife said “Don’t you want to know how this happened?’ she looked right at her and smirked “Honey, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, I’m Irish and I have three older brothers – I know exactly how this happened!”
By some grace of luck that I’ll never comprehend, I didn’t break anything. I went to bed and slept forever only to wake up to voices. The doctor did give me painkillers, but these weren’t the usual voices in my head so I trudged down the steps to our Living Room. As I entered, there was a room full of my wife’s family and they all got quiet and just stared at me with looks of pity and some of actual disgust -due to the discoloration and severe bruising. No one said a word at all, nothing but stares.
“Oh my God, is this an intervention?” I muttered and felt nauseous. That apparently broke the ice to make them laugh. I had forgotten that they had previously planned to come over and spend some time with my wife and since they just got there she hadn’t fully filled them in about my face. I guess they didn’t expect me to come down the steps looking like Rhianna did after Chris Brown was finished with her.
I had to cancel all my appointments that week because there was no way that I could go into work and see people looking like that. I also couldn’t shave half of my face due to the road rash I got from the brick wall so I actually called my boss from the parking lot and said “Come outside and look at my face – if you want me to work I will.” He took one look at me and said “Oh God, Please go home” and I was in too much pain to even be offended.
I know what you’re thinking right now: At least he’s learned something from this. No, what I learned from this is that Darren is a liar. When he offers me a drink, forget about me because I have no self-control. I need to start hanging out with people that will say no for me and make sure I really do call a cab to go home. I don’t think the drinking was the problem, I think the problem was that I didn’t eat anything before it. Thank God I’m this overweight and my body was able to absorb all that alcohol or I would have fallen even before I left the bar and been more hurt than I was.
So, as you stumble down the bar for a refill this week, think of me safely in my house drinking nothing but Diet Pepsi and watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia to satisfy my bar fix wearing this: