Friday, September 9, 2011

Oh The Worm

Gabriella Herkert

Catnapped and Doggone

Alas, I may be the one adult in all of America that doesn’t have a personal the worm did me wrong song. Of course all of you knew that since I’m such an angel the rest of the time. On the other hand, you may have suspected I earned that halo by dancing with Jose Cuervo. Not true. He and I have never so much as shaken hands much less tangoed to the early morning hours. I’m a genuine teetotaler (as opposed to a Tea Partier which I most definitely am not). As the temperance council president at numerous writing conferences, I have had much time to focus on my many other vices none of which is the topic for today. Go ahead, Mom. Take the breath. The worst is over.

In the land of fiction, however, the devil’s water has flowed more freely. Sara marries Connor after a dirty what happens in Vegas weekend. They met when Connor followed her running shorts in a local race and increased tempo until they were standing in front of a minister (not Elvis) at the chapel in the Bellagio hotel. All of which both of them did completely sober. Two days later when Connor was off to who knew where and Sara was in the ER having the doctor remove the 18K ring to which she proved highly allergic, Sara began to feel thirsty. Having explained none of this to her best friend (mostly because alien abduction was a more believable story and Russ, well, he never lets these things go), Sara suggested meeting for drinks at the Matador in nearby Ballard. A Norwegian fishing neighborhood north of Seattle, Ballard is the hard living, hard working, serious drinking “home” of many of the Deadliest Catch boats. Let’s just say by mutual consent, crumpets will not be served. And a skull on the sign is a SIGN.

The Matador has 95 ways to lose brain cells through tequila consumption alone. With each shot, you become a little less upright impressive Spaniard and a little more non-Halloween trapped by a cape Facebook photo. So Sara and Russ do shots. One to health, given Sara’s recent hospital visit which she explains as a bee sting gone bad. One to Russ’ new boyfriend. One to Russ’ old boyfriend who unknowingly still retains the title of boyfriend. One to hot ER doctors. One to hot rich ER doctors. And on and on. Sara had deliberately chosen tequila. If your plan is to scramble your brain in the hope that, like a kaleidoscope, the picture changes if you just hold still, tequila Is your drink. Or maybe vodka in colder climates. Both harmless-looking clear liquids, ingested without swallowing for fear of requiring Poison Control, and straight to the bloodstream. Tequila has the added advantage of turning Sara’s confessionals aphasic. Yes, she form words she thinks tells all of the details of her recent escapades but it comes out more like a cross between baby talk and Serbian. Russ has had enough, despite his larger size and greater capacity, to find this amazingly funny in a way only one drunk person could find another drunk person funny. The bartender is caring enough to take the car keys as both Russ and Sara have tears streaming down their faces, albeit for completely different reasons.

Tequila resolutions come hard. Russ’ come half way through his late night radio program when his producer switches to a taped recording and gets a second trash can for the small amount of Tex-mex he had as a chaser. Russ elects to spend the night on the cement floor where the world sways less and with his head under the production console where evil light can’t spear through his eyelids. Sara makes it all the way to the front hallway of her apartment courtesy of a please not in my backseat cabbie. She’s face down, missing a shoe and has some foreign substance lodged in her hair which will harden by morning resulting in a DIY haircut that looks like it was done under the influence. She would call in sick if the phone weren’t so far away. Fortunately for her, her office BFF Joe stops by in genuine concern when she can’t be reached. He tugs her shoulders to get her completely in the apartment, takes the keys still dangling from the lock and closes the door behind him.

Two days later, after gallons of water and aspirin far in excess of the daily recommended limit, Russ and Sara solemnly vow not to do that again.

Until the next time. Thanks for reading.


P.S. Hot off the presses! Kelli Stanley’s City of Secrets is released on September 13th. I need my noir fix.


Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Gabi, are you sure you've never had one of THOSE nights? That scenario sounded too real not to be from personal experience. ;) Fun post!

Reece said...

Gabi, if you're not drinking at those writers' conferences, then you're in a good position to gather some highly incriminating material on your fellow writers!