You Are What You Drink
I woke up Saturday morning in a hospital bed, vomit stains on my shirt, with my company president and my supervisor standing over me. As I start to sit up, the president stops me – “Don’t get up. You’re not wearing any pants.” I look down, and sure enough, I am naked from the waist down.
And this is a very curious thing. I mean, its one thing to wake up in a hospital bed and have no idea how you got there…but to do so with no pants? How, exactly, does that happen? I was going to have to backtrack a little bit. Today was Saturday…what did I do on Friday night?
That’s right…I went out drinking with my co-workers. It wasn’t an official company party, but quite a few people ended up going, including our president. We went to a restaurant owned by a neighborhood friend of one of the employees. I’ll call this woman…Cindy*. Cindy has a reputation for being quite the drinker around the office, so most of us were kind of bracing for a wild night from her. Also, when she gets drunk, she has a habit of flirting with me heavily, and making all sorts of innuendo towards what would happen between the two of us if I didn’t have a girlfriend already. I should point out that Cindy is married; however her husband never seems to come up in the discussions of “I love Az.”
*Yes, I know my nicknames are no longer creative. I do not care.
While I’m explaining Cindy, I need to add a word about my supervisor. If you’ll recall from the Work Barbecue editorial, this is the same woman who fed me generous amounts of beer and whiskey. She happens to have the same first name as Cindy, so I’ll call her Boss Cindy. I find her to be a very, very attractive woman. I think the feeling is somewhat mutual, but for various reasons (not the least of which, my FIANCE) we both hold back. At the restaurant, to accommodate our large group two tables had been moved together. Originally, I sat at one table with both Boss Cindy and Married Cindy, but as the night went on Married Cindy began to make her way down to the other table. This is an important logistics point, so remember it. Also keep in mind that both Boss Cindy and Married Cindy can drink a lot of alcohol.
The night starts out ordinarily enough. At first there’s one big group conversation, but as the night goes on and the alcohol flows, the conversation becomes divided between the two tables. I’m sitting with Boss Cindy, Married Cindy, and two other girls. The other two girls are not important.
At one point, everyone at my table decides they’re going to speak English. Married Cindy actually can speak some English, having did a study abroad in Canada for a few years. “What’s your hobby?” she asks me, “Mine is drunk.” Funny as that sounds, its actually kind of accurate. I say my hobbies to which Married Cindy tells me I’m boring. She’s trying to call me a country bumpkin, but her English abilities + alcohol influence aren’t letting her do a good job of it. “You are a potato!” She says at first. Nope, that’s not right. “You are a farmer!” Well, getting closer I guess. “You are Ohio!” Now we’ve moved into land masses.
I started out drinking beer. I like beer, beer is great. I’m also trying to workout and control my diet, and beer is like drinking fucking bread. After three beers, I decide to switch to something else. Now, I don’t know why I’m thinking this…but for some reason, I have the idea that Japanese sake would be much better for me. “It’s healthier”, I’m thinking, but in reality sake is about as healthy for you as sucking on the exhaust pipe of a diesel tanker.
The thing about sake is, when you order it in Japan they usually give you a bottle and at least two cups. Why two cups? Because one person drinking the whole bottle is suicidal, that’s why. I would have been more than glad to share my sake with someone, but the only person with the intestinal fortitude to keep up with Japanese sake was Married Cindy. Getting increasingly drunk (hey, her hobby!), she’d moved to the other table to fraternize with the people sitting there. I was on my own.
Boss Cindy notices me drinking sake, and asks why the change. I tell her I changed because I thought sake was healthier, and Boss Cindy informs me that it certainly is not. If anything, sake is worse than beer. Well if that’s the case, I might as well be drinking beer. Boss Cindy agrees, and as she has just finished a beer of her own, she calls over the waiter and puts in an order for two beers – one for her, one for me.
And this is the beginning of my downfall.
Waking up in a hospital bed Saturday morning was bad. Well, it was bad for all the obvious reasons, but doubly so because I actually had to work on Saturday. Yes, work on Saturday. I live in Japan, bite me. I tried to get up, but both the president and Boss Cindy stop me. “No no, stay down. You’re really fucked.” They both go off and leave me in the bed. Having just woke up, basically, I feel fine. Little do I know, as my body slowly starts to wake up, its going to realize just how fucked up it is.
At any rate, I have to go to the bathroom. I start to sit up to at least do that. That’s when the urge to vomit hits me. I’m trying to complete my getting up motion, but its clear that my body isn’t going to cooperate. The best I can do is grab a nearby trash can. I get half of the initial hurl in the trash, with the other half hitting the floor. Its the yellow, soupy type of vomit, with very little chunk or actual substance. This is disturbing for two immediate reasons.
1. If the first sensation I have upon waking up is to vomit…what the hell happened last night?!
2. I’d eaten a big dinner, and a decent lunch as well. …Where’d it go?
A nearby nurse hears me hurling, and comes by with a vomit bucket. The vomit “bucket” was no bigger than a child’s cereal bowl. Considering that my insides were still trying to turn themselves inside out, I decided to stick with the trash can. At one point, I was literally vomiting air – my stomach had run out of content, but it still wanted to hurl. The nurse, much like the prez and Boss Cindy, had told me to stop trying to get up and lie back down. I told her I had to go to the bathroom, and her response to that was to give me a bedpan. Great, to top everything else off about this wonderful morning, now I’m going to be pissing in a thermos as well. Again, I’m not in a position to argue, so the nurse gives me privacy and I take my bedpan.
HOLY MOTHER JESUS OF CHRIST! IT HURT. IT FUCKING HURT.
I’m not talking about the good ‘ol “burns when you pee” sensation. I know that one. This hurt was physical PAIN. Like, my urine was composed of 1000 Little Mac’s, and they were all left hook’ing their way out of my penis. “Burns when you pee” was NOTHING compared to this shit. Granted, its a topic I know nothing about, but I might compare the pain to that of childbirth. If the mother was giving birth to a porcupine. I’ve been in some scratches and scrapes in my life but Godfuckingdammit that piss was the most painful thing ever.
I thought back to my current state, specifically, the lack of pants. Was it possible that I’d had sex with someone and contracted an STD that causes extreme physical pain? What were the types of STD that could be associated with “The Georgia Tech Marching Band trampling down your urethra” pain? None that I could think of. It filled me with a sense of relief and added fear – at least I didn’t have something I knew of, but on the other hand, maybe I’d contracted a new and mutated form of Super Chlamydia. Who’d I have to fuck to get that? Is it possible that in my drunken state, I ran into my ex-girlfriend somewhere?
But then again, if a guy is drunk to that extent, in all likelihood the little general is never going to make it to half-staff, much less attention. I couldn’t have had sex. What happened?
I tried to remember back to last night again. I could see my downfall clearly – I was drinking both beer and sake at the same time. In America, this type of drink is called a sake bomb – you drop a small cup of sake into a beer mug, and then chug the whole thing down. You might as well call it a Kamikaze, because this is about as suicidal diving your poorly-constructed paper plane into an American battleship made of forged iron and steel. It wasn’t even that I was doing sake bombs, I just had a beer in one hand, a sake cup in the other, and was taking swigs from both.
I should consider myself lucky I was waking up in a hospital bed, not a coffin. …Well, I guess you don’t really wake up in coffins, but I think you get the idea.
Now my memory was starting to get a little hazy. I remembered being in the restaurant. I was talking to Married Cindy. No, scratch that – I was flirting with Married Cindy. I remember talking to Boss Cindy. She was talking about how, at over 30 and with no boyfriend, she was “no good.” I was trying to tell her otherwise, and I think I was inches away from saying terribly inappropriate things. Did I? Oh God, here’s where my memory goes blank!
The prez and Boss Cindy come back to my hospital bed. They tell me that my girlfriend is on the way with a change of clothes. Theoretically, this is good news, but I have a sinking feeling, it’s all going downhill from here…
My girlfriend arrives a short time later. She’s remarkably less upset than I thought she would be. I mean, what girlfriend wants to get the call from her boyfriend’s workplace: can you come to the hospital? Your boyfriend is passed out and covered in his own vomit. Oh, and bring a change of clothes too, because he’s not wearing any pants. Mostly, she just seemed worried about my health.
With my girlfriend here to keep watch over me, both the prez and Boss Cindy go to leave. I’m still promising to come in to work today. The prez says “Don’t push yourself”, but in reality, I think he knows that it was more likely that God would part the heavens, reach down, scoop up Japan, and personally deliver the Japanese to the Promised Lands, than I would be able to go in to work today. I think my brain was the only one in the room who didn’t know better.
Az’s Brain: Okay, so we woke up in a hospital bed. No biggie. Just get up, clean ourselves off, and go to work.
Az’s Stomach: ….Oh Lord, he doesn’t know, does he?
Az’s Heart: Can you blame him? He’s been cut off from us for quite a while.
Az’s Anxiety: Still! Trying to make checks our asses can’t cash!
Az’s Heart: We’ve got to find a way to restore communication. Hey Penis, you two share a blood supply, right? Sometimes Brain uses you to think. Any way you can take control down there?
Az’s Penis: Hurts…so…much…kill me…end my misery…
Az’s Heart: Um, what happened to Penis?
Az’s Anxiety: We’re not sure, but this is the quietest he’s EVER been.
Az’s Penis: God, why? Why are you so cruel and unforgiving?
Az’s Heart: Allright then, so we’ve got no communication with either the main or battle bridge. What do we do?
Az’s Stomach: Hey, I’m really fucked up. I’ve sort of been keeping quiet about it, but I can really make a scene.
Az’s Anxiety: Sounds like a plan!
Az’s Heart: I guess we have no other choice. Stomach, you’re on!
My stomach begins to hurt really, really bad. The hospital decides to keep me there for further observation, or at least until I stabilize. The pain becomes so bad, I force myself to sleep so I don’t have to put up with it. I wake up at several random intervals, with my fiance at my side supporting me.
…Except, for one time, when I woke up, and my girlfriend, with a look of pure, unrefined evil hatred on her face, is waving my cell phone in front of my face as I slowly regain consciousness. It takes a moment to fully wake up and for my eyes to focus on what it is she’s waving in my face.
She’d found something I’d hoped she would NEVER find. Recent contact from a girl I’ve, uh, known, in the past. I want to clarify something right this instant – I did not have sexual relations with that woman. Okay, wait, I did, but not since meeting my girlfriend! It’s a long story, but basically, I stopped knowing her in the biblical sense a long time ago, 6 months before I even met my fiance. Yes, we do remain in contact. She speaks English and has a very high-profile job (she’s worked with celebrities and at major events and what not). Aside from just being able to speak English every now and then (which is rare for me), I figure she could also be a contact for a better/high-powered job or some kind of cushy gig. And, we are still basically friends.
However, the fiance does know that I’ve known this girl, and there isn’t an explanation on Earth that would make her comfortable with our continued contact. Guys, you know the deal – you’re doing something that’s not necessarily bad, but you know your significant other wouldn’t exactly be comfortable with it. You can choose to be honest and have her worrying about it the whole time…or you can conveniently not mention it, and if she never finds out…well, you didn’t do anything wrong anyway, so no harm no foul, right? It’s a brilliant plan, except it comes with the clause that if she does find out, a Hell Gate the size of Texas will be open, spawning billions of nasty demons with laser-tipped fingers, and all of them want nothing more than to kill you in the worst way possible. Yes, its a jolly-good brilliant plan.
I’d always been pretty good about what I kept and didn’t keep on my phone…but unfortunately, my calculations never took into account my fiance looking through my phone for my boss’s phone number while I lay in a hospital bed, covered in my own vomit and still without pants. Next time I shall plan for that.
So again, I haven’t done anything with this woman in years, but imagine what it must have looked like to my fiance to find her contact info, knowing about our past, and seeing that I wasn’t exactly up-front about it (which, to a woman’s eyes, are as good as hiding shit). This was quickly shaping up to be the worst day ever. I manage to diffuse the situation faster than MacGuvyer with a toothpick, 3 loose coat buttons, and a shoestring though. With a proper explanation, and deleting the woman’s number and address off my phone on the spot, all was well.
After a few hours I’m finally released from the hospital. I was still thinking about work, but on the way out of the hospital my stomach pains flared up again, and a subsequent trip to the bathroom reminded me that my urethra was getting beat up worse than Tina Turner who forgot to fold up Ike’s laundry. I was going to have to take the day off.
My penis pains continued as the day went on; I was terrified to go to the bathroom. As you all know from The Octopus Debacle, I do NOT play around when it comes to mishaps south of the border. I went to another hospital later that night, and got an exam. It was similar to my last penis exam, except the nurse watching was a lot older, and there was also a young guy in training watching too. The doctor also saw fit to stick a finger in my ass as well. I dunno, I guess he was just being thorough, but I imagine right now there are thousands of schoolkids cheering all over Japan. I got dick-grabbed AND kanchoed in a 30 second interval.
The doctor told me that I was basically fine, and offered up an explanation for the pain – I’d probably been subject to an urethra swab. I’ve heard about these as a form of STD testing. I always sort of laughed at the guys who had to ensure this, while secretly wincing in pain and hoping I never fucked a girl dirty enough to make me need to have an urethra swab. For the women in the audience shaking their heads in confusion – a urethra swab is basically someone taking a Q-tip and shoving it *in* your dickhole. Holy Evander Holyfield, that hurt to just type it, and to think I was the unwilling recipient of one! The after pain was already bad enough, thank GOD I wasn’t conscious for the actual swab. Its a kancho for the front end, and yes, that is every bit as horrible as it sounds. More horrible, actually.
Az’s Lesson of the Day: To all the young boys reading, be safe. Wear a condom. I don’t care how many bastard babies you father or how many strains of Super-AIDS you catch, let me tell you, you NEVER want to be in a position where you’re not sure if you have an STD or what, and you need to get your urethra swabbed to find out. Trust me, an urethra swabbing is THE WORST THING EVER. If some guy told me I could have a threesome with any two women of my choice, AND a billion dollars, and my only price to pay for this shot at heaven was a urethra swab, I’d fucking kick him in his balls and then give him a urethra swab. It is THAT BAD. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
*The More You Know rainbow logo flies overhead*
Later, in talking to my girlfriend and my co-workers, I was able to piece together some of what happened during my memory loss.
We finished eating at the restaurant. Everyone gets ready to leave, but I take one last trip to the bathroom. As I come back, I sit down and pass out. Now, Japanese people think that a person on the verge of an alcohol-poisoning death is the funniest thing ever, so apparently much fun was had at my expense. Pictures may have been taken. One guy decides it would be funny to call up my girlfriend, so he takes my cell phone and calls her up by video phone to show her the state I’m in. Fiance does not find the humor, and literally screams at him to either find a way to get me back home, or call an ambulance.
Apparently, it takes 5 guys 30 minutes to carry me out of the restaurant. Not counting the paramedics, 3 of the guys were drunk, but still. C’mon, I’m not that heavy. Apparently, the big problem was that we were on the third floor, and the staircase was one of those narrow spiral staircases which complicated things. 30 minutes later, I’m in the ambulance, and the paramedics are trying to find a hospital to take me to. Funny thing about Japan #2: hospitals actually close, and even if you are sick, in distress, or hell, dying, all you get is a “please come back during regular operating hours.” This actually isn’t funny at all. And there have been quite a few cases where hospitals refused to admit elderly patients or expectant mothers in labor, and as a result the patient/mother/newborn child died.
So, after the tenth hospital, they finally find a place to take me in. I’m given a bed, and the nurses advice to remove my pants just in case I piss myself during the night. It’s probably a good idea to remove my clothes anyway, seeing as how they’re caked in vomit. Someone comes up with the bright idea of giving me a urethra swab – I don’t know who, but I can only speculate it was some evil lesbian nurse who’d just been dumped by her boyfriend and wanted some measure of revenge against the male species. The next morning, I eventually wake up in the hospital bed with a shirt covered in vomit, and naked from the waist down.
I still do not know at what point I started vomiting, or where. I’ve asked if I said or did anything inappropriate during the period I don’t remember – everyone says no, but I don’t know if that’s the truth, or the truth of the matter is so unspeakable they must lie to me lest their eyes cry black blood. Either way, that is the first – and LAST – time I will let sake fuck me up that badly. And I think I’m going to stick to water and tea for the next few months. I’m pretty sure water and tea won’t have me waking up in any hospital beds. And if somehow I do, well…that will be the ultimate proof of my destiny, that I am fated to exist solely to entertain the masses.
And because its worth repeating: NEVER do ANYTHING that might lead you getting a urethra swab.