Saturday, October 8, 2011

Chapter Eight: Hangover – My First Hangover

Chapter 8 of the Autobiography... Letter H, Hangover.

Chapter Eight
Hangover – My First Hangover

  When I was twelve years old I was spending a little time on my Uncle’s farm near Stratford, WI. One of the days that I was there I had been working in the barn with my cousin and one of the farm hands. I was helping them scrape manure and mucking out the stalls and throwing in more straw while they finished up milking for the night. One of the two of them decided to have a couple of beers and offered me one too. It was an Icehouse and surprisingly it didn’t taste that bad. I’m not sure if that was because it actually did taste good to me or if it only seemed like it because I felt like I was grown up because I was drinking beer with my older cousin. 

  Either way, it didn’t last long. After I finished the first beer he told me to go ahead and grab another for all three of us. This went on beer after beer until the twelve pack was gone. But then of course they came up with another twelve pack, only this time it was Old Milwaukee. I still don’t know today how I managed to choke down that second twelve pack with them knowing how disgusting Old Milwaukee tastes. It must have been the fact that I had one hell of a buzz already. While we drank the Old Milwaukee we went inside and each got showered up. I wasn’t really sure what I was getting prepared for but they mentioned a party at some point. 

  When I got out of the shower they gave me a flannel shirt and a John Deere hat to disguise my young boyish looks to the people we were going to be around. When I left I was with the farm hand, Bud. He’s like family to me since he’s my cousin’s age and has been around since I was in diapers. Bud and I picked up his girlfriend and he asked me if I wanted to go to the bar with him before the party got started. Of course I was all for going out to a place that adults hang out at. So we stopped at a bar somewhere around the area. To be completely honesty, I was pretty drunk at the time. When we got inside I remember them asking me what I wanted to eat because I needed to eat something to sober up. I ended up eating deep friend breaded shrimp and had a beer before we left there. After the bar we went to another bar where someone was having a party and it was all-you-can-drink tap beer for five bucks! I was thinking, who could pass up a deal like that? Well they said the bouncer at the door was carding people but they knew him. So Bud’s girlfriend held my hand like she was my girlfriend and they talked the bouncer into letting me in. When I got inside and got my cup the bartender asked me what kind of beer I wanted and I drew a blank. I didn’t know what kind of beer I wanted so I said Ice House. He told me they didn’t have it on tap, but they had Miller Lite and MGD. I remember picking one of those two and I had a few beers while I walked around this place full of young adults. There were all kinds of people, but they all seemed like they were staring at me, which they probably were. I mean, a twelve year old kid in a bar? I’m sure I was a little obvious. But hey, they never said a word until I was so drunk that I was passing out at the bar. 

  Even then the bartender politely tapped me on the shoulder and said I couldn’t sleep there. He said that either I sat up and drank a beer or I had to leave. So I slammed the rest of my beer, asked for another, told him to give me five more minutes, and laid my head back down. All I remember after that was my cousin or Bud walking me outside and laying me in the back of a pick-up truck where I told them to leave me so I could sober up. I don’t remember a thing after that until I woke up the next day in the guest bedroom at my Uncle’s house. When I rolled over and saw the puke on the floor, I knew I had gotten sick. 

  It was the worst feeling in the world not knowing what happened for the rest of the night. That feeling was even worse than the sick feeling I had in my stomach and the pounding headache I had. I got up and brushed my teeth before I walked out to the barn to find my cousin so he could fill me in on the happenings from the night before. When I got out there all he could do was laugh at me and asked me how I felt. I told him I felt like shit. He said I probably just needed to get some more food in my stomach, and that reminded me that I needed to go back inside and clean up the vomit next to my bed. Even after I had some breakfast I still felt like that for most of the day. My cousin told me I should drink a beer and it would make me feel a whole lot better, but I wasn’t going for it. Either way, I thought I would have learned something from that night, or more so, the next day. But the one thing I learned was that hangovers get better and that the more I drink in life, they stop happening. 

  Not the best lesson in the world. I never would have thought I was fueling a fire that was turning me into an alcoholic.

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