Friday, April 14, 2006

Vodka: A Cautionary Tale

Last night, somebody put something in my drink.

That something was VODKA.

It all began when I met Agent Alice for a couple of cocktails in Chelsea.

"Should we get some snacks?" Alice pointed at the appetizer menu.

"Good idea," I launched into a mini-monologue about how smart it was not to drink on an empty stomach. I am all about not doing something so exceedingly dumb.

The waitress, who was approximately seven feet tall and built like a toothpick, brought me a bright yellow martini that tasted like spiked lemonade. Yummy! And dangerously non-alcoholic-tasting.

Dinner consisted of six oysters and a spring roll the size of my thumb. This was okay, because I wasn't planning on having more than two drinks, and was possibly going to have a snack when I got home.

What I didn't count on was this second drink. Agent Alice and I decided to go hardcore and get vodka martinis. The last time I had a vodka martini, four years ago, I ended up having unprotected sex with my first love on my best friend's futon. One reason why I generally stay away from these dangerous cocktails.

The waitress (Did I mention how tall she was? So tall! And so skinny! Eat something, missy!) brought out these martinis... really it was about a liter of chilled vodka poured into a glass the size of my head. With three olives. Ooh, I love olives! This counted as not drinking on an empty stomach, right?

Agent Alice and I proceeded to get toasted. Luckily, we parted company before 8:00pm, so I had plenty of time to sober up and fly right. Except that I was several blocks away from Bar K, the bar Willow and I love so much.

Oh, Vodka, the things you make me do.

Some crazy impulse made me stop into Bar K. Just one drink, I told myself.

I hardly ever go to bars solo, but this one is a small place, the bartenders know me, and it's easy to strike up a conversation with other patrons.

I was having a good time and just finishing up my vodka-cranberry when I turned around and saw Charlie. This wasn't so strange, since it was the same bar where I ran into him six days ago. However, I usually visit Bar K twice a month, not twice a week. He found it a bit odd as well, but was thrilled to see me. He bought me drink (are we all keeping count?) and told how he wished he had gotten my number, how glad he was to run into me, etc.

I was under the suspicion that Charlie was coked up again. He kept asking,

"Can you hang?"

It was only 9:00pm or so, so I said sure. Hey, he was cute, attentive, and remembered little details about me, like my nickname and where I was born. Why not?

Charlie bought a second round of drinks, and we had a good laugh over last week's narcotic incident. He asked if I wanted to go get some food.

"That would be a very good idea," I nodded.

"Okay, how about we have one more round, then we'll go."

That was a very bad idea.

Oh, I should confess that Charlie and I made out a little bit at the bar. Let's bear in mind that I was drunk as all get-out and hadn't kissed a boy in over a month. And we all know my weakness for tipsy make-out sessions in bars.

Charlie kept disappearing, probably to do more coke or call his dealer or something. I didn't see him for a while, so I finished my drink and left the bar.

I must have gone into a deli at some point, because I found myself on the subway eating ranch-flavored Wheat Thins. I do remember being very excited that all of a sudden Wheat Thins had a ranch flavor (when did that happen?).

At some point during the ride, I realized it would be a miracle if I made it home without being sick in public. To make things even more surreal, I ran into a friend from high school on the train. I told HS Hailey how drunk I was and how I thought I would puke at any moment. She offered to let me come home with her and crash on her couch. I thanked her, but said I could manage the two extra subway stops.

I made it the rest of the way home without incident. Oh god, I had crossed over into the dark side of being drunk. The dry mouth, the dizziness, the sickening, unbearable nausea.

Up came the six oysters, one spring roll, three olives, and unknown quantities of ranch-flavored Wheat Thins.

Today I am nursing one of the biggest motherfucking hangovers of my life. How could you do this to me, Vodka? I thought we were friends.

The moral of the story?

Eat before you drink, kids. I mean, like, a real meal. And don't order vodka martinis the size of your head.


a.nort said...

Oh man. I've had more nights like that than i care to remember...such good intentions, and then after drink #2 or 3, well. Good intentions go right out the f-ing window :)
Hope you feel better soon.

LaMa said...

Shaken, not stirred...

Been there, done that...ouch. You won't do it again for a year or so and might happen again.

Still Vodka is my favourit whenever I go out...

NotCarrie said...

Seriously, it's like the bottom of the glass needs to say "STOP DRINKING, YOU WILL REGRET THIS!"

Transformer said...

What prevents me from drinking too much is I changed my thinking from drinking gets me drunk, to drinking gets me hung over.

But I did get seriously stoned one night last week on my vacation. That was an awesomely beautiful evening of laughter and watching gorgeous women dancing on the beach, and discussions about Schrodinger's cat.

Darwin said...

I've been a silent lurker at your blog for a while now and thought I'd emerge from my lurkdom for a bit to comment;

Everything you posted about, with regard to not drinking on an empty stomach, knowing when to stop, falling prey to deceptively non-alcoholic sounds oh-so-familiar that I cannot help but empathise...

I'm not sure if its a good thing or not but I rarely suffer from hangovers. The pluses are obvious, the minus is that there is nothing stopping me from carrying on with the drinking the next night!

pookalu said...

this made my stomach turn.

ranch flavored wheat thins on the way back.


(and i'm still giggling about "charlie.")

Sarah Jayne said...

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions... and vodka martinis.

I, myself, am a big fan of Gin martinis extra dirty (more olive juice please)... It's a nice tasting swanky drink if you're just gonna have one.

Often, I'm half in the bag when I think it's a FABULOUS idea!

Another bad idea that seemed good at the time: Having a couple glasses (~2) of Shiraz while getting ready to hit the town... It's always that little extra push I probably didn't need!

coasta said...

Good martinis are usually in small to medium they are intended to be an elegant/refined drink.

Last martini I had was in NYC. It was this big shit-kickin soupbowl looking thing. I ceased to hear the piano player's music after the third one.

Maybe it's a NYC thing....

Mango said...

LOL! Too funny! I can't remember the last time I got that sick, but whenever I go out, I make sure I stick to my rule of thumb. 1 drink an hour, unless someone else is buying. Have a great weekend!

MonkeyPants said...


Starting to drink too early in the evening usually does me in. Either I keep going way too long and I'm a mess the next day -OR- Happy Hour = bedtime by 9 p.m.

Downtown said...

Dolly - You are hilariously honest. Too much vodka often provides the only excitement in an unending week of work-induced-boredom. :) Here's to next Friday's blogger meet-up...

brisvegasbandito said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
brisvegasbandito said...

everyone needs a reminder like this episode occasionally to keep us honest - no, u cant drink a martini the size of ur head and hope to get away with it. the laws of human physiology (or whatever) will prevail...:)

Homosexual Suspect said...


I am disappointed. Although, who knows how many times Bar K has made me puke. I've simply lost count. I think the bartenders spike the drinks. Maybe they put some chemical in that stamp they put on your hand that causes severe nausea. Just a thought.

I have such a fear of puking on the train. They really should have "subway sick" bags just in case. Maybe I should just invest in some as a backup.

emotional stew said...

I really like the idea of the note on the bottom of the glass. I can never find the off switch, or even remember to look for it!

Tyler Jourgensen said...


The hangover is from dehydration.

If I were in that situation, I would force myself to stay up until my stomach settled and then get as many fluids in as possible.

If your stomach is upset but your bladder is somewhat full, you might also try not peeing before bed. Or if you really REALLY have to pee, only go a little bit. Your body can pull needed water out of the urine in your bladder.

Although you go to bed being somewhat uncomfortable, it subsides as the night wears on and certainly is better than the excruciating hangover of the next day.