Lawrence of Inebria

Lawrence of Inebria

April will be Adri Blogging Month. I’m going to do my best to get back in the habit of blogging. So we’ll start in March (to show how much I mean it) and we’ll start with story that’s rather inappropriate for the internet (hello, future employers and students, I promise everything mentioned is legal and was done in my own time).

So I’m in Texas for the College English Associate Conference (one of my favorite conferences). Flew into Austin, where my friend Carly picked me up, and we drove together down to San Antonio for the conference. Got in, checked in, gave in—to the many temptations of downtown San Antonio. That’s right, we went to the Alamo.

And after that, the Riverwalk. The Riverwalk, a nice walkway around the San Antonio River lined with restaurants, bars, and historic buildings/bridges/whatever, more than anything though, is filled with promises of margaritas. And Carly and I cannot say no to a margarita. So we sat down at a place called “La Paloma” and partook of their delightful happy hour.

We ordered our first margaritas, along with some appetizers, and they were delicious. And only $4. (In Pittsburgh, a comparable margarita would be $9.) We’re gossiping, talking shop (as we’re both in Academia) and shooting the proverbial shite, when Carly noticed that the couple sitting at the table next to ours has left, and not only have they left, but they’ve left two intact, unspoiled, untouched margaritas on their table. Score! Free margarita for us. So Carly suggests I quickly snag one before the busboy comes and the margarita gets thrown out (see, how waste-conscious we are!). I do the old boy-stretching-at-a-movie-to-put-his-arm-on-the-girl’s shoulder move and with my arm extended grab the closest ‘rita. How exciting! A top shelf expensive margarita (because it was a $7 one) free for us! Yay!

How awesome is that? Fairly awesome. And we’re feeling a little titillated, being slightly bad and whatnot. And everything is going well until the happy couple return to their table a few seconds later, and realize one of their margaritas is gone. But, the man says loudly, we told our waiter we were going to smoke a cigarette and that we’d be back! Carly and I are mortified. Oh no, oh no. What do we do? We’ve already poured the ‘rita into our own glasses and downed most of it. And we didn’t think they’d gone to smoke. Who takes a twenty minute smoke break at a restaurant that has outdoor seating! Shit, shit, shit. What do we do?

I lean into Carly and whisper conspiratorially: “I’m about to tell a lie, play along.” She nods. I turn to the happy couple. “Oh, my goodness! I totally saw some dude come by and grab the drink. Jeez, I should have said something. Sorry.”

Carly at this point is trying very hard not to giggle. “Yeah, I thought he was your friend or something,” she pipes in. Meanwhile, our waiter comes back and the happy couple (who are now annoyed) explain that someone ran off with their drink and would he bring them another? And as the waiter leaves to fulfill their request, he grabs the empty third glass from our table. Tee hee.

We speak with the happy couple for a bit longer, and I throw in something about how handsome the guy was who ran off with their drink, and everyone seems happy and assuaged for a few minutes. We turn away and Carly and I start giggling softly, congratulating ourselves for a job well done. All in all, we have three and a half margaritas, some chips and queso along with some guacamole on the Riverwalk. Every time we say three and half, we start giggling at the half. Criminal masterminds we are.

Feeling slightly tipsy, we commence our walk back to the hotel, where the conference I am supposedly attending has been going on without me. Halfway back, we realize that we’re more tipsy than previously anticipated. This, of course, means we decide to watch street art, take silly pictures, and buy a small bottle of bourbon for a hotel room nightcap.

No need for a nightcap. The force of that half margarita hits us right when we get to the hotel and suddenly we’re drunk. Like, spinny drunk. Drunk drunk.

Whoa, I say to Carly, how’d that happen? Carly, of course, always knows what to say: “we really haven’t eaten anything today other than appetizers and salads. We ate like girls.” Like girls indeed. So I watch celebrity fit club, call my boyfriend, and when I look up, Carly’s passed out. At 9:30PM.

I’m in bed with the spins by 10. Well, I think to myself, I’ll just go to sleep and wake up normal and all will be well. After all, only three and half margaritas can’t be that bad.

So wrong. So wrong.

I wake up several times throughout the night and vomit my guts out. I drink water. I throw up water. Carly is dead asleep. The wakeup call comes at 5AM. I answer and then go back to vomiting and intermittently sleeping. Wake up again at 6:15. Take a shower. Try my best to look presentable. By 7:30 AM I’m putting the final touches on my presentation and still heaving. What do I do? Go downstairs, to the Bluebonnet room of the hotel, and sit down for my 8AM Saturday morning panel, as Carly sleeps.

The moderator introduces me, I apologize for being so sweaty and make a comment about food poisoning, and get started on my presentation. One paragraph in, I realize I’m going to throw up again. And I have no idea what to do. I feel it coming and I know that I don’t want to vomit in front of all six people attending my panel. So I stand up, excuse myself, and run out of the room toward the bathroom real fast. But not fast enough. It’s coming and it’s coming out, so I do what any person would do, I find a potted plant in the hallway and quickly and efficiently throw up into it. Then I wipe my mouth, walk back into the room, and pour myself a glass of water. About a minute has elapsed since I ran out of the room. I apologize and thank the audience for their patience. And then I pick up right where I left off. Because I’m a winner. And that’s what winners do.

Okay, maybe I’m not a winner. But I’m at least a rock star.

And at the end of it all, a couple of folks came up to me and congratulated me on my poise and excellent writing. They also ask for the name of the restaurant that gave me food poisoning. “Just so we don’t get sick too when we go the Riverwalk tonight.” I laugh and say “Joe’s Crab Shack.” Seems like a safe bet to me.

I conferenced for a bit longer, dry heaved for a bit longer, and then went up to the room where Carly seemed fine and not as hungover at all. When I tell her of my trials and tribulations, she points out that we really shouldn’t have taken that extra margarita, because, you know, Karma’s a bitch.

And then we did what all post-inebriated epic heroes do: we went to Denny’s.

Like rock stars.

Edit 2013: As we’ve told this story, Carly and I realized that were probably roofied. That the margarita we drank was laced with something, or else we both would not have reacted to it so violently. So we like to say we took one for womankind on this.