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  BENT ELBOWS AND BRUISED EGOS: LADIES WAX ON GETTING WASTED.  
  Jen Hubley, Kelly Mills, Darci Ratliff, Michelle Goodman, Krista Garcia, Aileen Gallagher Noelle Hancock  
   
 

Wasted. Bombed. Shitfaced. El Tostado. There are a million different ways to describe being incredibly, incredibly drunk. Most of us have been there on more than one occasion. And, amazingly, it's very confusing for us sometimes figuring out just how we got sooo drunk on those fateful nights.

In the spirit of this fine, fine mess of a holiday called St. Patrick's Day, some of the Black Table ladies have served up some of their finest drunken horror stories for your reading pleasure. If any of you Black Table readers decide to brave the green-faced rowdies on this amateur night of leprechaun-like debauchery, please be safe. There are too many tragic St. Patrick's Day stage coach accidents and we'd hate for anymore horses to die a senseless death.

So, Erin-go-bragh, and shit.

***

Jen Hubley

I generally avoid the dance floor as I do the DMV or Planned Parenthood. But on one particular evening, after four or five martinis, I had decided that I was a really, really good dancer. In fact, I wasn't at all sure why I didn't dance more often. More vigorously. In front of lots and lots of people. Really good dancers mustn't be encumbered by accessories, though, so I bent over to set my purse down. As I was doing so, a guy walked by and bumped up against me.

I've told this story a million times, and when I do, I usually say that he was really big, or particularly clumsy and inconsiderate, or at least in a hurry. None of these things are true. What's true is that he was an average-sized guy who brushed by maybe the teensiest bit abruptly, but that I was too shattered to recover my balance. I fell face-first onto the floor, cracking my glasses and slicing my eyebrow.

Trying to get through a crowded club to the bathroom? Might I suggest bleeding from your face? The crowds parted before the biohazard. In the bathroom, women descended, demanding to know which bastard hit me.

"No one hit me," I said, holding onto the sink for balance while a medical student taped my eyebrow together with a steri-strip. "But there was this really big guy..."

My friends took me to the emergency room, coincidentally at the same hospital where my mother worked as a nurse. Fortunately, she wasn't working that night. Unfortunately, several of her pals were. I can only assume that they choose the bright blue stitches on purpose.

I spent the next week looking like Frankenpunk, but no one at my office said anything about it. I nearly convinced myself that no one noticed. And then, one morning, I ran into my colleague Matt while I was getting coffee in the cafe. He nodded a hello, seemingly not aware of anything amiss. Then, offhandedly, he said, "Jesus, Hubley. I'd hate to see the other guy."

Jen Hubley gets all scribbly with it at her bloggy-blog here. Based on her picture featured on her blog, we can only assume her face has healed just fine.

 

Michelle Goodman

The decision to guzzle Jagermeister from a 16-ounce red plastic cup -- the kind normally reserved for keg parties -- came naturally to me. At the time, I had an intimate relationship with excess, not to mention unseemly, public retching. On the night in question, my live-in and I had hit a friend's party in Manhattan and were headed back to our Hoboken apartment, he at the wheel of the Pathfinder his daddy had bought him, me slumped in the passenger seat, battling the all-too-familiar spins.

"I have to puke," I announced as the truck entered the Holland Tunnel. My live-in reminded me there was nowhere to pull over. I'd have to wait until we were through it.

Even if I could have waited, I didn't want to, partly because I knew it would piss him off. But mainly, the thought of puking the entire length of the Holland Tunnel -- some 8,000 feet -- tickled my overindulgent self to no end.

And so I did.

I puked and puked for what seemed like a month, until Jersey came into view and I wondered whether I'd torn a hole in my stomach. All the while my live-in yowled about what I was doing to the paint on his car, the passenger side of which was pretty well caked with a vile orange paste that had formerly resided in my stomach. I started to laugh quietly, resentfully, dementedly.

"Dammit," he shrieked. "Will you look what you did to the freaking cabbie back there?"

In my side mirror, I observed the taxi driver behind us switch on his wipers to clear the streaks of vomit from his windshield. Call me deranged, but I still find this hysterical. Maniacal peals of glee burned my throat, which of course further enraged my live-in, now a curious shade of eggplant.

After clearing the tunnel, my live-in swerved into the nearest gas station, bought a roll of paper towels, and instructed me to help him clean the side of his car. I refused. He yelled. I yelled. Then I began to walk home, oblivious to the fact I had no idea in which direction that was, no equilibrium, and perhaps more importantly, puke in my hair.

Eventually he got me in the car. Eventually my hangover went away. And naturally my live-in and I remained together in dysfunctional harmony for three more years, until I stopped drinking like a college freshman, got a clue and got the hell out.

Michelle Goodman is a freelance writer and the 2002 Big East vomit champion.

 

Darci Ratliff

I have to applaud the other ladies in this month's issue. I had a hard time thinking of one spectacularly drunken incident that was special enough to write about. I mean, we've all been drunk. We've all blown chunks in some dirty bathroom or bedroom or backseat. We've all danced on tables in our underwear and offered up cigarettes from a pack wedged between our boobs. We've all pretend-married "Frank Zappa" at a "Come-as-your-favorite-dead-person" costume party. We've all lost our virginity to a total stranger at a New Year's Eve party, fucking against a bedroom door to keep the entire student body from breaking in. Right?

Right?

One of the most comic drunken moments for me happened when I was 16. One Saturday night, far past curfew and too late to sneak the car out of the driveway, my best friend and I "borrowed" the neighbor's paddle boat because we had to get back to a party across the lake. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but you know it takes like seventeen hours to go anywhere in a paddle boat. Apparently we had not thought this thing through...

I guess there is some sort of drainage plug one can remove from a paddle boat? I'm not sure-- obviously I don't know much about paddle boats. What I do know is that at about 50 yards out the boat started filling with water. In a panic, we tried in vain to turn around and head back to shore, but it soon became clear that we had no choice but to sit there and sink. We couldn't scream because we didn't want to get caught. We could barely breathe. We just looked at each other as the boat sank silently to the bottom of the cold, black, incredibly scary lake.

The lies we told the following morning were enormous and laughable, but we somehow managed to get some help retrieving the sunken boat while completely escaping punishment. I did learn a pretty valuable lesson, though. Always steal the car, kids. You must think of a way to steal the car.

Darci Ratliff doesn't get as drunk as she used to because now she tends to cats that wear pants.

 

Kelly Mills

When I was in college, one of the girls in my dorm was pledging a
sorority and happened to mention that she was going to a big frat party. Now, I'm not exactly a frat party kind of girl, but free beer is free beer, so some friends and I decided to make an appearance. We prepped for the party by doing shots, then staggered to the house, collected our red plastic cups, and camped out by the keg for a good couple of hours.

Now, here's where it gets a bit cloudy. Some guy was being a total asshole, making rude comments to people and singing loudly. I told him to "shut the fuck up" and threw my beer in his face. My action was met with a round of applause from equally annoyed onlookers. Missing the point altogether, I started throwing beers on anyone within range, waiting expectantly for applause that never came. This was apparently my mildest assault of the night.

I have no memory after that. I don't know exactly how I got the engraved frat house trophy cup past all those Theta Chis, but eyewitnesses have established that, although I did eat a dead frog for five dollars, the trophy was an act of theft, not a prize for some sort of performance. I'm also not clear exactly why I was wearing roller skates when woke up the next day, but a sprained wrist and a few cuts on my hands seemed to be my worst injuries. I noticed some puke on my pants, and I asked my friend if I had thrown up on myself at the party. "A better question would be," she replied, "where didn't I throw up?"

I do know I had managed to fill the trophy cup with vomit. And the fraternity brother in my English class with the roller skate shaped bruise on his cheek… um, well, let's just say I was banned from future parties.

Kelly Mills is a freelancer in California who sill loves to chase her dead frogs with a trophy full of hot vomit. Mmm.

 

Noelle Hancock

It all kicked off when my wallet was stolen and Papa Noelle wired me enough cash to tide me over till my new MasterCard arrived. Then, later that afternoon, a sweet guy I'd been flirting with for months invited me to dinner at the kind of place that offers $14 shots of vodka infused with horse radish. Over salmon and shots of lavender vodka, I relayed the wallet debacle while he nodded sympathetically. Then the bill arrived. He threw down money to cover himself and then asked me to "settle up" while he went to the bathroom.

Dinner: $140
My contribution: $70
Being forced to pay on the first date: Priceless (or, really, $70)

Yes, there are some things money can't buy but, for me, that dinner wasn't one of them. Dude took all the money I had to get me through the week. Then he asked to borrow a fiver for coat check. After leaving both the guy and the restaurant, there was only one thing to do, and that was get butt-ass wasted. I went to a bar where the bartenders know me and would give me sympathy drinks for free. I'd just ordered when…there was my ex -- and he was with a She. She was younger than me, bigger boobied than me, prettier than me, and within minutes She was wetter than me, thanks to the drinks that I threw all over the two of them.

In retrospect, I don't know what got into me. We hadn't dated long and things hadn't ended badly. Our feelings just tapered off like a pair of 1986 Jordasche jeans. I guess what happened is, at that moment, he became the guy who'd stolen my credit card, the guy that made me pay on our first date, and the guy who was standing right in front of me kissing my replacement. So I decided his shirt could use a little accessorizing and that the beer in my hand would suffice. Along with the two beers on a nearby table. Wait, it gets worse. Then I punctuated each drink toss by hurling the pilsner glasses to the floor.

I stomped out before the girl beat my ass (She was buffer than me, too). The next morning, I called the poor guy and apologized for being insane. Then I checked my email and found a cheery e-card waiting in my inbox from the guy I'd gone to dinner with. He hopes we can do it again soon.

Noelle Hancock is a freelance writer currently seeking assignments that pay $4 per word. If you are lucky enough to go out with her, remember that drinks will be on you in one way or another.

 

Aileen Gallagher

If I'm rocking on my heels, it's already too late.

There's a point well into some evenings when I get a dopy, vacant look on my face. I sway a little and open my mouth. Pity you, you unlucky recipient.

It's not that I'm about to trail off into incoherent ramblings. I'm not going to yell or scream or cry. I won't get belligerent or tell you that I love you. Instead, I'll bring up some random, isolated bit of conversation that you probably don't even remember us having some years ago. And I'll repeat this conversation completely out of context in front of other people who wish they'd never, ever heard it.

The clincher came about a year ago, at a good friend's 30th birthday party. I was standing with my boyfriend, talking to the birthday boy and his girlfriend.
I looked at my friend cheerfully and a smile crept onto my face. Back and forth on the heels. Back and forth.

"Hey," I said fondly. "Remember that time you said you would pity fuck me?"

My friend looked aghast. His girlfriend looked confused. My boyfriend looked concerned.

"No," said my friend evenly. "I don't." There was an urgency to his voice that I ignored. His words should have translated as "Stop. Talking. Now."

My booze-altered self wasn't letting him off the hook. "Sure you do," I said, laughing. "Remember when we were on the phone once and I said I hadn't had sex in forever and you said you'd pity fuck me?"

Now the conversation I was referring to had happened A. Something like two years before and B. Completely in jest. But as my brain gently rolled in my skull, soaking in a warm whiskey bath, our talk was recent and sincere.

After a good 30 seconds of silence, my friend loughed (this, of course, is that nervous laugh-cough you do in an impossibly uncomfortable situation). My boyfriend said, "oookayy," and took a step back.

I looked around happily, sipping my drink and wondering why no one else found this story as hilarious as I did.

I am still good friends with this patient and tolerant man. He watches me closely when I've had too much to drink and waits for the signature sway. He laughs warmly and says, "Uh-oh -- here it comes!"

He learned the hard way.

Aileen Gallagher is a managing editor of The Black Table. She apologizes in advance.

 

Krista Garcia

Who hasn't drunkenly woken up to a doughy bespectacled Princeton graduate playing baroque music while attempting to flaccidly cuddle, or risen to diarrhea streaming down the sheets? Being held hostage by hug-crazed bad lays or shit on by older bowel-challenged gentlemen, while icky, comes with the intoxicated territory.

My only truly spooky inebriated exploit was the time I woke up in Canarsie. Despite concerned warnings from police officers and subway conductors, nothing bad ever happened during my late '90s subway-passing-out-phase. The only trouble stemmed from trying to make the L to the M transfer. (You'd drink hard too if you lived in Ridgewood, Queens.)

I knew something was awry when I woke up and the L train was outside. I didn't even know the L went above ground. I panicked, the next stop was New Lots Ave., which sounded bad (you just know New Lots is really scary old busted lots). I jumped up and switched to the other side of the platform, hoping for a Manhattan-bound train to take me back the right direction. One eventually came and I began conking back out, but not before noticing the guy directly across from me with his hand in his pants. Sober me would hightail it out of that car, but I was too bleary to care. However, I did care when minutes later the train stopped and cleaning crews came on.

Good morning, Canarsie. And apparently, it was my second visit to the train yards that evening. The only explanation my muddled brain could muster was that I must've been heading the right direction when I woke up earlier. Now I was on the right track, but stuck with the self-abuser.

When we finally reached the L/M junction I hauled haggard ass up the only staircase just in time to meet an open-doored M. Breathless but relieved, I ran onto the nearest car. Just as I was about to settle in I was waylaid by the exact same freaking guy from the L train, already poised and ready to whack. It didn't seem humanly possible; I was being haunted by an unholy monsterbater. Instead of cute pink elephants I got a blue-balled specter born of all the borough's dicks that had gone unsucked. And now he was agitated and violently growling at me in some African tongue. Throes of ecstasy? Voodoo incantations? I didn't want to find out.

I barely managed to escape the clutches of the Canarsie Creeper, and hurriedly stumbled home half expecting to see a horny apparition waiting at my door. I wasn't quite scared straight -- my alcohol consumption hasn't waned -- but my penchant for passing out has decreased dramatically.

Krista Garcia is a freelance writer and web doyenne who has been dating the masturbating Canarsie vagrant for three years now. They are expecting their first child.