28 May 2009

in-TOXIC-ation

Words and their construction...
It took me a while to figure out why the word "toxic" is in the middle of the word "intoxication". The fact that alcohol is toxic hit me square between the eyes one Sunday morning in Dallas, Texas.

It was during the time I was in Primary Flight School at Ft. Wolters, TX.
I thought we had a date, but when I showed up at her apartment she informed me she was goin' out with another guy and she'd be home late.
I was angry with her, because I thought she was playing games with me. I was angry because I was facing a Saturday night alone, in an unfamiliar town.
I was just plain angry.

Sometimes twenty-one year old brains make really stupid decisions in spite of having a higher-than-average intelligence quotient...
Down the street, within walking distance, was a liquor store. Facing an evening alone with the TV I decided I'd experiment...
Could I drink an entire fifth of spirits in one night? And if so, how would I behave? Would I remember anything I watched on TV? Would I even remain conscious?

What would be the vehicle for this experiment? In the store I studied the possiblities-
Gin? Bitter and not my favorite.
Vodka? I liked screwdrivers but didn't want to drink that much orange juice.
Bourbon? Jim Beam was a close friend, but wait...
Here's Mr. Bacardi, and he's sporting a number I have never seen...
"151 proof", and he's on sale!
Well after all, this IS an experiment, right?! I walked back to the apartment with a twelve-pack of Coca-Cola and Mr. Bacardi in a brown paper bag.

After forcing down two strong ones, the later cocktails could have been sulphuric acid and I would not have known the difference. I started taking pulls directly from the bottle.
The TV wasn't cutting it so, at probably 11 P.M., bottle in hand, I decided to go for a stroll around the parking lot. I had heard a jingle for "Clearasil" acne treatment on the radio on the drive to Dallas and couldn't get it out of my head, so I sang while stumbling around:
"Nobody loves a spotted-faced kid!"
Describing it now brings images of stereotypical drunks portrayed in movies. If a patrol car had passed through the complex at that time I'd surely have been arrested for public drunkenness and any chance of making it through ARMY flight school would have ended right there.

I finished the bottle.
Suddenly sleepy, I went to bed. I was not conscious when Mr. Bacardi decided to depart my body, but I'm glad he did. Though I woke with the most powerful headache known to man, the fact that I WOKE UP is the important thing here...
After all, toxic means poison. Poison can be bad.
So was the mess she left for me to clean up, headache and all.

1 comment:

cj said...

Don't know if it makes a difference but the kids of that age today are no better...

We had one drink a half gallon of vodka by himself. He was very, very close to never waking up - his BAC was .42 at its highest in the hospital.

Stupidity seems to have more than nine lives.

cjh