In high school, after drinking far too much one Saturday night, my friends dropped me off back at my parents’ house, but insisted that I sleep in my car because I had gotten too drunk to allow to enter my house – even if through the basement just to sleep on the couch. I would have made too much noise.
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I have told you before, I drank a lot in high school and college. They were great times full of fun and adventure. And just as importantly, I was safe about it. I never drank and drove. Well, I did once in high school but not after that. And that actually makes for a humorous side story before I even start telling this next of my wild experiences.
So, I guess I climbed in my car to go to sleep, but being ridiculously drunk, decided I’d go for a ride. My friends were worried, so they followed me to make sure I didn’t get in trouble. Apparently I ended up parked sideways in some lady’s driveway, then after doing like an 80 point turn, managed to drive down to the community pool, where I accidentally parked my car against the fence to the pool, stuck on a hill with a 50 degree incline. I wasn’t moving anymore, so my friends left me there to sleep. I woke up in the morning, with my car in a really bad spot and the pool opening in an hour. So, I put it in drive (it was an automatic) and got behind it to push it off the fence and up the hill. That worked, and the car caught the flat ground and drove squarely into a tree. But the good news is I was able to get out of the pool area before anyone found me. I got home and went to bed on the couch – just as I should have the night before.
But with that experience came a valuable lesson. Never drink and drive. And I never did. If people could rely on me for just one thing, that was it. My friends, not so much.
So, here I am in college and we’ve got some people over to our apartment. We’re drinking and hanging out, playing some drinking games and getting a little drunk before heading across the yards to another apartment where my old roomate Bones (yeah, that’s two different stories) lives. They’re having a big party and I was bringing a bunch of my friends by.
So, Irish at some point wanted to move his car out of the driveway and I had him blocked in. Like I said, I don’t drink and drive and I decided I was too drunk to move it, but if he had to get his car out, he could move my car and take full responsibility for anything that happened. I tossed him my keys, he came back about 20 minutes later, gave my keys back and everything was fine. He told me he parked it around the corner because they were cleaning the streets on Tuesday and he didn’t know if I’d need to drive before then – a fair assumption since the apartments were right off campus and I rarely ever drove unless it was to go to the grocery store or to buy a new keg (like the grocery store since beer is a fruit).
We went out to Bones’ place and it was a ton of fun. Helen Hunt met us over there and we hung out most of the night. As alcohol and parties tend to do to me, Helen got all pissed off and wanted to leave. I was with all of my friends, so I decided to stay. So I spent another few hours there and then went back to my apartment.
I woke up the next morning (at like noon) and needed, not wanted but needed, to eat Wendy’s. So, I asked Irish again where my car was parked and headed over there. But when I turned the corner, my car was nowhere in sight. What the fuck?
I came back in the house and started giving him shit because hiding my car was not cool and I was ready for lunch. But he insisted he had left my car right there and that it should still be there. So, we walked over there together – he showed me where it should have been, and agreed that we should call the police to see if they had found a car abandoned and if not, to report a stolen vehicle.
At the same time, my other roomates and some friends decided they’d go out around town and see if they could find the car parked at an apartment or somewhere on campus so I could go and steal it back. The police haven’t discovered any abandoned cars, they hadn’t impounded any cars, but they were eager to look for my stolen vehicle. I explained how my night had gone and that Irish had moved it the night before, so we had seen it about 14 hours ago. The guy took all of my information and this call starts dragging on.
My friends would come back periodically to tell me they’d searched some parking lot and it wasn’t there, it wasn’t in the aparment complex, it wasn’t at the science building, it wasn’t at the cafeteria, etc. And the cop kept asking questions about last night. Like I had done something wrong. Trying to determine how much I had had to drink. I was 21, what did he care?
Then my roomate, Rocky, came in laughing his ass off. He had found my car. Awesome, I told the cop we’d located the vehicle and tried to get off the phone, but it turns out, when you report a stolen car, you can get in trouble for making up stories like that. So, now I had to explain to the cop what happened and how I could have lost my car. I had told him I had drank 6 beers the night before. Now he was asking if it was more like 16. And honestly, it was more than that. He asked if I had moved the car, but not that I recalled. He asked where my roomate had found the car, and I told him it was in the parking lot of a dorm. He asked if I knew anyone who lived there and at that point the whole experience came back to me like being kicked in the nuts.
Helen and I had fought. She had called and left a message on my apartment phone and I called her back when I got home. I guess we made up. Unbelievably, rather than walking the half mile to her dorm, I got in my car and drove there.
The cop was satisfied he had humiliated me enough and we got off the phone, so I went to retrieve my car and try to downplay the hilariousness of the scene. But when we got there – my whole house and all of my enlisted friends went – it was clear why Rocky had been laughing.
I drove a Pathfinder at the time, and it was wedged into a motorcycle space. With maybe an inch or two on either side of the car. The sunroof was open, and it was obvious that I had elected to climb out of the roof of my vehicle to go inside to get laid.
Never drink and drive.