Monday, July 24, 2006

Young, Dumb, and Full of Rum

Back in the 80s, there were very few things more scary than spandex, stirrup pants, E.T. hiding in your closet, or worse, having E.T. wear spandex while singing, "That's What Friends Are For" along with Dionne Warwick.

Speaking of witch, it has to be said, her nostrils are pretty damned frightening. Those tunnels must've been plowed by her big toe while digging for solid gold. Anyway. Besides all of that, one even scarier thing was going on a double date with your best friend just to make her happy.

My friend pleaded for hours until she finally said what I wanted to hear: we're going to New Orleans. Although I appeared to have followed the song's advice, I would've been better off contacting Dionne's psychic hotline instead to be more prepared for the future.

The year was 1986 and I was 18. Boy, girl, girl, boy was the seating arrangement in his El Camino for the hour-long drive to the wicked wonderland. Somehow even Chuck Woolery wouldn't have approved of that love connection when my date turned out to be one year younger, two inches shorter, and not old enough to get into bars. All of which led me to stay three steps ahead of him all night long.

Once we arrived, the exhilarating sounds of Bourbon Street melted away most of my concerns, but just to be on the safe side I found the nearest drinks-to-go stand. “Brass Monkey” played loudly from the bartender's oversized boombox as I made my ice-breaker purchase.

Various oddities caught our attention; particularly - an exotic window-dancer gyrating to Alice Cooper’s, “Welcome to My Nightmare.” Now, I’m no choreographer, but who would choose that song to strip to? Although in her case, it did seem to fit her description pretty well.

Every other street corner there was a Lucky Dog hotdog wagon. I’ve never actually eaten one and had no intention of doing so, ever. Mostly because of the black-toothed, leering vagrants, I mean vendors, who attempted to lure business by shouting lewdness like, “hot weenies - get your hot, steamy weenies here!” (for a perfect description, read The Confederacy of Dunces).

Of course, their tactics worked on my date, who suddenly dug deep into his pockets and ordered two. Mortified and unable to watch, I talked my friend into going to Pat O’Brien’s for a drink while they stayed outside and had their outdoor sicknic. (note: the legal age was 18 then.)

We passed through the brick lined courtyard into the outdoor patio area for one of their punchy specialty drinks: the hurricane - known to blow anyone away with it's red and fruity magic. After eating more than enough rum-soaked cherries at the bottom of 2 glasses, we figured a meeting in the ladies room was necessary before returning to the underaged prince alarming waiting outside.

A narrow, spiral staircase led to the second floor destination. As I grabbed the railing, I heard unidentifiable thudding noises coming from above, as though someone dropped 10 bowling balls on the ceiling in rapid succession.

It turned out one of those bowling balls happened to be a skirt-wearing, drunken woman. Who, after putting her best foot forward, decided to follow up with her head and shoulders. The human-slinky came rumbling, head-over-high heels -- bump, thud, underwear - - bump, thud, underwear - - all the way down the stairs. We just stood there and watched in awe as she landed on the brick floor right next to my boots - face, and skirt, up.

Quickly, I came to her aid and by that, I mean, I yelled enthusiastically, “Live from New York - it’s Saturday Night!!” Then I helped her to her feet while everyone else cheered for her first-rate Chevy Chase imitation. Luckily for her, hurricanes may make you feel a lot of things, but physical pain isn't one of them.

On our way out, we got a few go cups and shared the potion with the boys. We walked around a little while longer before realizing it was time to head back home. We piled into the El Camino again and as we were entering the on ramp to the freeway my date suddenly felt queasy. The panic-stricken hustle and bustle began! Pull over!! There’s nowhere to pull over!! Oh, Shit! Hurry up!

Hand-over-mouth did nothing to shield against the inevitable blast of pure evil when the contents of his stomach were violently expelled as though he was a fire hydrant and somebody unscrewed the cap.

For a good 10 minutes straight - in one solid stream - he hosed down the dashboard, steering wheel, and rearview mirror. His body turned rigid as his mouth locked into the open position like a marble fountain, to release everything he'd ever eaten before in his life - even a twisted Louisiana license plate.

Everyone else tried to maintain their composure while this was happening, and by that I mean, gagged profusely and hung our heads out of the windows at 70 mph, screaming and desperate to get the hell out of that rolling vomitorium.

We sped to the next exit and pulled over as quickly as possible. By chance, there was a coin-operated car wash at the next block. We drove in, got out, and washed the car as well as we could while Goofball found a nearby shadow to finish what he started. In an effort to drown him out, and to make fun of him, we blared Rock You Like a Hurricane while he attempted to turn his body inside out one more time.

Not being able to bring myself to sit inside again, I decided the bed of the car would be my best bet for the remainder of the ride home. Once we reached my house, he walked me to the door, apologizing the whole way. Much to my disgust and surprise, jackass actually had nerve to ask the unbelievable: do you think I could get a kiss goodnight?

At that point, I would rather have kissed the hotdog guy than him. There was no way in hell, and believe me, I was in hell was I ever going to come anywhere near that volcanic-spewing, crater that was his mouth. If memory serves, a slammed door in his face was the answer to that question.

There was nothing as wonderful as watching the tail lights of that El Vomito fade into the distance. My friend and I sat on the swing under the carport, lit a couple of Marlboros, and let out a heavy sigh of relief that the hell-night finally came to an end.

She repeatedly apologized and swore she'd never ask me to do something like that again. But after it was all said and done, I didn't care so much anymore because, as we all know, that's what friends are for.


Blogger David Amulet said...

Ahhh, one of the string of chairty songs by groups of singers/celebrities. This one brings back memories of Elton John hamming it up in the video.

Apparently, that's what friends are for. Who knew?

-- david

10:12 AM, July 26, 2006  
Blogger OnMyWatch said...

ugh. don't remind me. with friends like that...

10:48 AM, July 26, 2006  
Blogger Death Warmed Over said...

There should be a law that if you puke in someones car, you're required to buy them a brand new one. You can never, repeat, never get all the cracks, vents and buttons properly clean again and no amount of Pina Colada air fresheners will get out the smell. And yes, I know of what I speak.

5:07 PM, July 26, 2006  
Blogger OnMyWatch said...

Glad I wasn't the only one. :) and I agree about the new car, even though it wasn't mine. gross about the new and improved pina colada "scent".

6:51 PM, July 26, 2006  
Blogger Rocky said...

Great blast from the past partying/barf tale. The haunting memories you churned up almost made me run for Alka Seltzer, but my laughing from your story counter-acted it. :-)

9:20 AM, July 29, 2006  

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