Underage Drinking Is Never A Good Idea
High school, circa 2009. I was 17 years old and in the theater department. Yes, you read it right. I was a theater geek. We weren't your typical group of overly dramatic, socially inept weirdo kids who didn't shower and worshipped anime. No, actually. We came from all corners of diverse high school cliques: Dancers, Cheerleaders, Football Players, Student Body, Singers, Artsy Kids, and everyone else in between. It was early spring when we had finished up closing night for our school's spring musical, Grease. By tradition and implicit law of high school, we were obliged to throw a house party and get as shitfaced as humanly possible.
The party was at this kid *Nelly's house. He lived in this three story palatial residence lined with wood and marble floors, beautiful interior and a backyard pool. He had ceilings that reached so high that I felt like I was standing in a cave. When you opened the fridge, handles upon handles of vodka, whiskey, rum, liquers, and chasers were crammed into the spaces between the carrots and Tupperware. I felt giddy and so excited it made my liver hurt. Now add about 50 high school kids dressed up in long skirts, flats, greased hair, and Converse sneakers.
The party kicked off smoothly--everyone was having a good time, getting their drink on, playing beer pong, girls obnoxiously yelling "SHOTS! SHOTS YOU GUYS," the boys burning nicotine in the backyard with Coronas in hand. I was a little bummed out that my friend, *BadChina, couldn't make it out. She was one of my closest friends and a raging party animal that could drink like a 300 lb. Russian man in Siberian winter. A party without her wouldn't nearly be as fun. She was grounded for some other unmentionable reason and was under unofficial house arrest for the month. Needless to say, I was disappointed. Fortunately for me, I found comfort at the bottom of the bottle.
I walked to the kitchen not nearly drunk enough and grabbed a little paper dixie cup and some vodka from the freezer. I poured myself three glasses of the thick, syrupy liquid. I looked into the cup and inhaled a warrior's breath. You are my Mount Everest, I thought to myself. I tossed back the shot and immediately felt my insides burn and shrivel like a raisin in Indian summer. My mouth puckered as I tried to keep the rising lava down in the pits of my stomach. Oh, vodka. We have such a complicated relationship. No matter how much you abuse me (or technically, I abuse you) I always come running back to you. As I was about to drink the second shot, I heard an ear shattering and familiar "WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Dost my ears deceive me? I ran to the front door, turned a sharp U-turn back for the other two shots, then ran back as fast as I could to the front door without spilling.
"NOW IT'S A PARTY!"
"THIS CRAZY BITCH!"
People ran over to greet BadChina and asked her why and how she was here. She had no car, she was grounded, yet she had a cellophane wreath necklace of little baby TSA approved Jagermeister bottles and their momma, the Jagermeister handle in hand. Was this a dream? A miracle?
Me: "Dude! How are you here right now?"
BadChina: "I drugged my mom!"
Okaaaaaay, NOW my ears have deceived me.
BadChina: "Yeah, I drugged my mom. When I brought my mom some tea while she was watching TV, I ground up some Lunesta and sprinkled it in. Then Christine came and picked me up. Let's drink!"
I paused in horror but then found the humor hidden somewhere along with the Lunesta. What's done was done. She was here. And it's not like I drugged her mom, so it wasn't my problem. I handed her a shot and yelled, "DRINK BITCH!" And like true champs, she and I threw back our shots, then BadChina handed me her Jagermeister for a swig. I was proud to be her friend.
Not an hour had passed when what-the-fuck moment #2 unfolded. A girl burst in the living room in a panic, yelling, "*Skinny's on the roof! He's about to jump into the pool!" I made immediate eye contact with BadChina as we all paused and let our brains comprehend what was just said. We all ran to the backyard in the bitter March evening weather and prepared ourselves to either witness an act of valor or a new level of dumbassery.
Skinny: "I'M GONNA JUMP! THIS IS AWESOME!"
Oh god. He was butt naked. This tiny, 90-pound uncircumcised, Chinese kid was standing on a three story roof in nothing but his birthday suit. Did I mention this was BadChina's boyfriend? And I am not exaggerating his weight. He was a 15-year-old kid who could loosely wear women's size 25 pants.
BadChina: "Skinny, what are you doing? Are you crazy?!"
Skinny: "This is so awesome! I'm gonna do this!"
BadChina: "Skinny, get down NOW. You're going to hurt yourself!"
Skinny: "I'm not going to hurt myself, I swear!"
After a few minutes of this back-and-forth between a teary eyed and visibly upset BadChina and butt naked Skinny, it was obvious that Skinny was not going to cooperate. Skinny inched toward the edge of the roof, looked over, and lunged himself off the roof with his fists in the air and his exposed wiener flapping in the wind like the American flag. What did I just witness? A second and a half later, the water absorbed him as it rippled violently and tossed water over the edge of the pool. For a second I thought the pool was too shallow, that he had actually twisted, or even worse, broken his ankle. Then he emerged and whipped his hair to the side, fist in the air, victorious.
Skinny: "OH MY GOD! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
I exhaled a breath of white into the freezing night air in relief. He was okay. He was a total dumbshit, but he was okay.
BadChina and Skinny got into a fight with Skinny apologizing while BadChina yelled about how worried she was. It wasn't really my business so I went back inside and cracked open a cold, fizzy, beer. The two eventually went upstairs to the bathroom and locked themselves in with the lights off. I don't even want to know why they were in there.
More time passed and I had to start the ever-so-hated "I need to sober up so my parents will never find out I was piss drunk" process. Some people had passed out, others were extremely hammered, so I figured, hey, why not clean up a bit? I grabbed a giant black plastic bag and collected empty cans, glass bottles, wet dixie cups, and other debris laying around in the aftermath of this shit storm. I walked over to the living room and *TheGinger was sitting on the couch, obviously drunk.
TheGinger: "Iwene, do you think I'm ugwy?"
TheGinger had a speech impediment where he pronounced all of his r's as w's.
Me: "No, TheGinger, I don't. Why would you say that?"
TheGinger: "No one loves a gingew. I'm so ugwy and I have no soul."
Me: "That's not true! Tons of girls love gingers. Um, look at, um.... Ron... Weasley. Girls lose their shit for him and he's a ginger."
Oh god. Is THAT what I came up with? I sucked so bad at comforting. Really? I wanted to kick myself in the head.
TheGinger: "Thanks Iwene. I feel a lot bettew."
He drunkenly knocked over a few beer cans littered by him as he got up off the couch to hug me.
It had been a while since I had seen BadChina and Skinny. The couple of times I needed to use the bathroom, the door was locked with the lights off, and I heard running water. I only assumed they were having sex, so I gave them their privacy. But after an hour and forty-five minutes of it, I got worried. I walked upstairs and knocked on the door.
Me: "Skinny, is everything okay?"
Me: "Skinny, why is there water running? Is BadChina sick or something? I can bring you guys water."
I pressed my ear against the door to get a better listen.
Me: "Skinny, I'm worried."
Skinny flung the bathroom door open, still naked, and with his face drained of any comfort. He looked distraught.
Skinny: "She won't wake up."
I was speechless. I flicked on the lights, moved him aside and saw BadChina completely naked lying unconscious in the bathtub with the water level slowly rising close to her nostrils. I pulled the plug to drain the water and shut the faucet off. Oh man oh man oh man. Train wrecks. Explosions. Gunfire. My mind was in a panic.
Me: "Skinny, what the FUCK happened? Why is she like this? And more importantly, YOU ALMOST DROWNED HER YOU FUCKING IDIOT. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?"
Skinny: "Well, she was really messed up because she drank her whole necklace in 20 minutes. We came to the bathroom for well, you know, then she started throwing up a lot and knocked out. I couldn't carry her out to the bed and she started shivering so I turned the water on to keep her warm."
I just looked at him.
Me: "Um, okay, that's all good and fine that you wanted to keep her warm, but it won't be of much use when the waterline is up to her nose and she's dead."
Skinny just looked at me hoping I knew what to do. I stressfully rubbed the bridge of my nose while I pieced together a rough plan on the fly.
Me: "Okay. First, go put on some clothes. Get BadChina's clothes and some water if you can."
Skinny: "Her clothes are drying on the heater."
Great. Cold, sopping, wet clothes. I grabbed a few dry towels from the shelf and covered BadChina.
Me: "Hey, are you okay? Do you know where you are?"
I slapped her cheek a little to bring her back to lucidity. I shook her, and finally, her eyes rolled from the back of her head to me.
BadChina: "Where... am I?"
Me: "Upstairs bathroom."
BadChina: "Why's it so cold?"
She was shivering so bad she could barely get her words out.
Nelly knocked on the door.
Me: "Not a good time, Nelly."
Nelly: "It's not that. The cops are here."
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? God, if you're there, please cut me a break.
Me: "Hey, BadChina, you need to wake up for me right now. The cops are here. I know it's hard, but can you get up for me?"
She stood up, wobbly, like a tower of unstable Jenga blocks and stepped over the edge of the bathtub. I took off my jacket and slipped it on her as best I could. I grabbed a clean pair of Nelly's basketball shorts and helped dress her. BadChina was still shivering as Skinny and I helped her downstairs into a friend's car. The cops stood there arms crossed impatiently as everyone piled out of the house into their designated cars. They looked bored and annoyed at being inconvenienced by a petty noise complaint.
Me: (to the driver) "Make sure BadChina gets home all right?"
Friend/Driver: "Don't worry, she'll be fine."
Me: (to BadChina) "Call me in the morning if you remember, okay?"
I shut the car door and watched them leave. It was freezing. I had no jacket and I was in just a t-shirt and jeans. I let my head drop back as I looked up at the semi-dark sky with only a few stars out. I hugged myself and shivered. That night was such a shit show. With the thought of drugging mothers, freed wieners, crying gingers, and naked friends, the only thing I could really do was laugh. I kept rewinding and replaying the events of the night. This is why underage drinking is never a good idea.
*Names have been changed due to shame and embarrassment.