Saturday, June 19, 2010
Booze and Babes In The Valley of The Sun
I’m in the middle of a three-week bender that would make Hunter S. Thompson proud.
I left Cleveland. Arrived in Idaho. Took a shot to welcome myself to town. And then I took a few more shots. And that’s how I got here.
Being the new girl in a small town, especially a booze and adrenaline-fueled mountain, is a lot like being the new kid in high school. Except with more booze and more boys. The one to ten ratio of bangable girls to truck-driving, tobacco-chewing, gun-shooting mountain further contributes to the new-girl-in-high-school sense of standing out like a sore thumb. And since they all know each other, and they all know every other girl in town, and they all know which combinations of their friends and their girl friends have slept together, the heralded arrival of a new girl who hasn’t slept with some combination of best friends and roommates is usually trumpeted with glad tidings of great joy, much rejoicing, boisterous fanfare and endless rounds of shots. Lots and lots of cheap whiskey, tequila and Red Bull.
You walk into the bar and the music stops, the conversation ceases, the heads turn and one solitary bottle clangs to the floor. Who’s the new kid in school? The generally consensus is, “Hey there’s a new girl. Let’s buy shots.” And then, once you get to know each other it’s, “Hey there’s our new friend. Let’s buy shots.” And after that it’s, “Hey it was sunny today. Let’s buy shots.” You get the picture. Which is how I’ve managed to work myself into a nasty little pattern of staying up too late drinking more tequila than I care to drink, waking up early, nursing my hangover with huevos rancheros, taking a three-hour nap, working, having “just one” post-work beer, deciding that it would be ok if I went our for “just one” drink at the bar, finding myself taking “just one more” shot at the Cellar, stopping by Whiskeys for “just one minute,” crawling into bed around 3 AM smelling like a booze and barroom and then repeating it all over again the next day. Tomorrow I’ll take the night off. Really. I swear.
If its one thing mountain towns do well, it’s suck you in. They’re like that crazy friend everyone has who can get you to dance on the stage at the Sapphire strip club in Vegas, jump off cliffs at Lake Cumberland, dance on tables in Cancun, huck the 30-footer, dance on the bar at Coyote Ugly (I’m seeing a pattern here) and take body shots on a lazy Tuesday night. You always play by their insane rules because they’re so damn convincing, and handsome and fun.
And that’s how people end up on thirty-year mountain town benders. They wake up one bluebird morning, rub their eyes and wonder how the fuck they got here. It’s like Rip Van Winkle, mountain bender edition. Confused, they say, “Last thing I remember, I was here for one summer (or one winter – take your pick). And then we took a bunch of shots. And now I’m here. Whoa. What a trip.” And when you’re a local in a mountain town your life really is others vacation. Which gets dangerous when you’re constantly surrounded by a bunch of loud Texans, sexy Miamians or snobby new Yorkers all drinking it down. You forget that they’re on vacation. And your not. And can’t help but join them. Somehow you get sucked in. And before you know it, everyone’s buying you shots. And you’re buying everyone else shots. And before you know it you end up blacked out and passed out in a boat somewhere.
And it always seems to be worse when you’re they new kid. One friend, upon arriving back in town, just gave up and just kept a running tab going at the bar for several days. Rumor has it they were going to set up a cot in the kitchen for her to sleep on so she didn’t have to waste precious drinking time and drinking money going home each night.
After awhile you forget that in the so-called “real world” outside your mountain town, people don’t drink every night of the week (really?), don’t spend their days skiing mountains tourists pay $98 to ski (suckers) and don’t believe that a daily 3 PM beer is as important as three square meals, eight hours of sleep and eight glasses of water (but isn’t beer the top triangle on the food pyramid?).
So go ahead and point and laugh. Call it frivolous. Call it immature. Call it not the real world. Call it a snow globe. I’m going to keep on doing it while I can. I work hard, pull strings, hustle, or some combination thereof, to make it all work. So if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to go now. I’ve got a cold beer and a shot waiting for me. I’ve got a lot of work to do to keep this bender rolling.
Author's Note: Special thanks to Sarah for this title.