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Weekly Column by Andy Grieser
Column by Andy Grieser

August 2, 2002

Last weekend was my 30th birthday party. We played it up Hawaiian style, complete with a lethal concoction called "aloha punch." Seriously, each batch had a full 1.75-liter bottle of rum in it. (The recipe only called for 1.5 liters, I think, but after a few coconuts full, our very own Norm Nevins and I decided to just add the rest.)

Mom and Dad, y’all can stop reading now.

I’ve been less lucid while drinking. I’ve vomited more. But something about Saturday night’s inebriation made it one of the worst of my life. Maybe it’s the fact that the next morning, I vomited hard enough to burst a blood vessel in my right eye. So now I have a charming red blood-slick next to the green iris. It’s not a flattering color combination. And from a distance, it kinda looks like I’m cross-eyed.

I’m trying to wear sunglasses as often as possible, but that’s sort of frowned on in the office. Lucky for me, there’s no actual eye damage, and I should look normal again in just a few days.

Okay, in honor of High Fidelity, my top five worst drunks list:

5. Margarita Madness: So, a bunch of us are drinking pitchers of margaritas in the courtyard of El Rey del Sol (downtown Manhattan). It begins to rain. The obvious solution? Grab a pitcher in each hand, get under the awning and keep drinking. The next morning’s splitting headache was remedied by greasy steak and eggs at a New Jersey diner.

4. The Tequila Incident: Think this was sophomore or junior year in college. I was drinking Everclear when a fellow college-newspaper guy revealed that he’d never done tequila shots. Whuh? Well, of course I had to show him the ropes. Big mistake. A few shots later, the girl I’d been hoping to impress arrived. I went outside to greet her — and vomited (into the grass, thank Heaven). It took years before I could drink tequila again in any form.

3. Saying Goodbye: When I moved from New York to Chicago, the folks at the dot-com decided to throw a goodbye party. (This was actually the first of two goodbye parties — the second was far less eventful.) This prompted most everybody there to buy me dirty vodka martinis, a sort of signature drink. Somehow, I managed to get across midtown Manhattan to the ferry, and across to Weehawken.

My brain was apparently still cognizant enough for me not to try and drive home. I wound up taking a cab, a fairly expensive alternative (especially considering I had to cab back to the ferry the next day to get my truck). On arriving at home, I vomited nothing but vodka and olives. Oddly enough, I still love martinis — but the olives make me gag.

2. Saturday night: Really. Just for the fact that I vomited so hard I burst a blood vessel. I mean, come on.

1. College Daze: Worst drunk ever. I just remember going to a house party with some friends. By all accounts, I chugged down close to a dozen cups of beer. I quickly became incoherent and, on returning to the dorm, threw up on pretty much every available surface. My roommate, bless his heart, stripped the now-soiled sheets from my bed and put them into my closet. (Not a fun thing to find the next day.) I didn’t notice — I had passed out.

The next day, he and a friend dragged me to a park for a picnic. I sat, scowling and in pain, on a blanket in the cruel, cruel sunshine.

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