I’m not sure I want to share this story because there are some things I think I’d just be better off keeping to myself until there is no possible chance that my mother could read them. Unfortunately for me, it seems like robot body upgrades aren’t as far off as they once were, and it is very possible none of us alive now will ever die. So, I’m just going to have to suck it up and be a big boy about this and spill the beans.
Seriously, though. Sorry, Mom. Your son was definitely not a good kid….
THE TALE OF PINEAPPLE BOMBERS
I was 19 and living alone for the first time. I don’t just mean living away from home, but truly alone. I lived in a basement apartment in a building called the Windsor. That apartment would one day become a legendary hive of scum and villainy, or at least a flophouse for ever transient friend I would meet in life. At the time of the Pineapple Bombers incident, though, it was a cold, empty place with every poor heat and dim lighting. I loved it when I was sleeping, but hated it when I was awake. My hands didn’t work right in the cold. I couldn’t draw or write. Back then, I didn’t own a computer. I couldn’t afford one.
The frigid emptiness of the Windsor Apartment led to me spending the majority of my nights hanging out at the IHOP on the south side of Springfield. I eventually even began working there. It seemed like a good idea since I pretty much spent 10-15 hours a day there anyway and was already on first name basis with most of the staff. If you’ve never spent a lot of time overnight at an IHOP, then it might surprise you to find out that there is very little traffic other than the regulars and because of that, you get to know everyone pretty well.
It was one particular group of regulars that drew me in. They were artists, writers, occultists, deviants and potential psychopaths. One of them had happened to notice that I spent a lot of time in the store drawing or writing, so asked to take a look at my work. For some reason my mediocre and appalling “art” intrigued her, and, before long, we were dating. Eventually I was fully integrated and accepted by this group of social miscreants that called itself “BORG” because “Resistance is Futile.”
I took to the group quickly, and have never regretted that decision. This was a group of people with so many collective problems that none of us seemed particularly crazy. It was a very powerful and familiar environment for me. I was this lonely kid living two hundred miles from home, and these people gave me a new family. I felt accepted. I belonged.
I was also the youngest member of the group. With one exception, that age difference was several years. It didn’t help that back then I couldn’t grow facial hair at all, and because of my chubby roundness and very juvenile gothic clothing, seemed even younger than I was. It was not hard for me to pass for 15 or 16 years old until well into my twenties. When adding in the fact that I was a fairly straight-edge kid, I was like a beacon of innocence.
I felt it.
They felt it.
In a group as diverse and insane as BORG, there were two natural instincts that arose. The first was the protective family instinct, and the second is the driving force of corruption. This always struck me as the purpose of family. Your mother will worry that you’re not getting the right nutrients, your father will give you a taste of beer. At least, I assume that’s how most families work based on what I’ve seen on TV. Neither of my parents really drank, and when they did, it was usually my mom having a strawberry daiquiri. Actually, both of my parents were pretty straight laced by the time I was old enough to remember. There are stories, though…
With my BORG family, it was more like one side thought it was interesting to have this straight edge kid hanging around and the other side thought it would be funny to get that kid drunk. In the wisdom of hindsight, I’m not sure either side particularly cared as much as my emotional self told me they did. As a general rule of thumb, it was a group of people who just accepted and enjoyed the company of the people around them. Very rarely did they judge.
I say rarely, because, well, there’s always the Queen Bitch Mother.
He judged everyone. That’s his purpose in life.
My Master Plan
My genius plan was to convince my friends that I didn’t drink because it didn’t affect me. Technically this wasn’t a lie. Despite what most people think about me, I had actually consumed alcohol before the Pineapple Bombers incident. I still stand by that fact. Unlike what I tried to convince my friends, though, it was never more than a sip or drink at a time. I really had never been drunk. I honestly didn’t like the taste. I still don’t. This is one of the reasons I rarely drink and when I do, I am very specific in what I put in my mouth.
They countered by calling my bluff.
“Everyone should be drunk at least once in their life,” I was told. It was decided that my time had come. We would all gather at my then-girlfriend’s apartment and A[1. I feel it is best to not reveal the names of those involved because I am technically describing a felony.] would make something that was strong and delicious. A was a bartender by trade, so it was generally assumed that she would be best suited for the job.
It turns out, we were right.
We all got together after work one night with assembled necessary ingredients. At the time, I didn’t know what went into a Pineapple Bomber and I sure as hell didn’t know that fruity liquor drinks are by far the most deadly and dangerous things known to man. I should also point out that where this recipe calls for “Southern Comfort,” my friends didn’t ever buy normal SoCo. It was always Southern Comfort 100 Proof.
This particular beverage, served in a 7.5 oz highball glass is roughly 3 oz of alcohol per serving.
At my current weight and experience with booze, it would only take two, maybe three, of these to knock me into blotto crazy land.
That night, when I had never had booze before and weighed 100 pounds less, I drank eight.
In under and hour…
Looking back, I’m probably lucky I didn’t die. I probably only survived because I had good friends around to keep me alive. I don’t really remember too much about what went down. I definitely had alcohol poisoning and was for the first (and next to the last time) black out drunk. The reports of events are mixed, but there are a handful of things I have pieced together:
1) I decided, while drunk to shave. I didn’t do a bad job of it. Better than I normally do, if I’m being honest.
2) I puked roughly ten pounds worth of puke. I weighed my self both before and after. I definitely lost 10 pounds.
3) I lost my sexy red beret.
4) There was some sort of the Lord of the Rings CCG tournament that I definitely didn’t win.
Addiction, especially alcoholism, runs in my family. That night scared me, but it also made me realize how so many of my uncles fell toy that particular monster. After the pineapple bombers incident, I had a better appreciation of what alcohol could do and I recognized something very important about myself.
I don’t stop once I start.
I would repeat the drunken buffoonery many times over the years. On a couple of more occasions I would even get sick from the booze. I only blacked out from booze one other time. That is a completely different story. That story is much more “After School Special.”
I still don’t have very good control of my own stopping point. One drink can easily become one bottle, or two, or more…
In the decade that has passed (almost to the day) since then, I have learned a lot about addiction and dependency. I have learned facts about what I knew instinctively.
I’ve always been afraid that if I drank regularly, I would end up drinking like that night every night. This has led to a lot of nights when I have stayed sober when those around me were drinking. Now, I’m not the straight-edge kid anymore. I’m the designated driver. It is never a bad time to the be the DD.
To me, booze is and always will be a cursed sword. Most people will tell you that when I drink, I become boisterous, gregarious and hilariously krunk rap. They probably won’t tell you that a boisterous, gregarious, krunk rapping Matt is also a giant douche bag that can’t stop until very, very bad things happen to him.
One day, I’ll talk about those things, too, eventually. It takes a lot to admit where my mom can read it that I am, in fact, a drunken asshole sometimes.