The joyous holidays bring forth exuberant cheer in so many ways, what with all the year-end get-togethers with friends and family. One contributing factor, leading to such overwhelming jocundity, is all the alcohol that runs rampantly like a mountain waterfall at the various functions; and one can’t help but partake lavishly on occasion when not having the responsibility to drive.
My last bender started before Thanksgiving dinner, ushering in the holidays with a bang, ending the next day as the sun was about to rise. I paid for it all day on Black Friday. Needless to say, I didn’t go out shopping. The hangover was notably bad but not the worst, which harkens me back to my youth when the following happened.
While partying with an old friend who had just returned Stateside for the holidays, after his taking a Mediterranean Sea cruise—he had been working as a boiler man in the bowels of a US Navy destroyer, or a “tin can,” as he lovingly referred to it—I visited some mutual friends with him. We went house-to-house with his smuggled bottles of Ouzo, originating from some island off the coast of Greece.
At each abode, everyone had to have a few shots of his treasured booty made allegedly with an opium base, so I was led to believe. From my ensuing research done on the aperitif, I found no mention of opium in the distilling process.
Perhaps some pirated bottles were made using absinthe, the extremely potent substance utilized to produce the precursor of the spirit, instead of the presently substituted anise. If that were the case with my friend’s stash, it would explain me finding myself on the following morning atop a throw rug on the floor in unfamiliar surroundings. Someone was good enough to cover me with a blanket and put a pillow under my aching head.
Upon awakening with an extremely sore black eye, I couldn’t remember anything after the third or fourth residence where we stopped and drank shots. The inside of my head was pounding like a church bell on Sunday morning.
My hostess must have heard me stirring, bringing in some coffee straightaway and saying I had smacked my eye on the corner pocket of the pool table when falling upon it, after stumbling down the stairs into their recreation room, making an impressive grand entry. She had made sure I was still breathing with no obvious blood, flowing externally after the fall, covering me up before leaving me unconscious for the remainder of the preceding night.
One of my profound lessons learned in life is to stay away from anise, which also includes Sambuca, Pastis, or anything containing aniseed and licorice root; albeit, I’ve revisited them all on a blue moon.
Tonight, I’m drinking green tea to take care of any derelict oxidants, and coffee for keeping me motivated. I’ve been itching for a martini, which may very well take place later, being I don’t have to operate machinery. I’ve only got a couple of gin-shots left, so my falling off the wagon won’t be too serious. Tune into Twitter for reports of any possible nonsense as a result.
Happy Holidays, and keep those hangovers in check!