I remember the first time I got drunk. I had just turned 16, junior year of high school, and I was hanging out with my friends Brian, Chuck and Johnny Walker Red (that was his name, believe it or not, Johnny Walker, and he had flaming red hair). Brian’s parents were out for the evening so we had the place to ourselves. Red, who was the main instigator of most of the mischief in our circle, suggested we play a game of cards. And the loser of each hand had to down a goblet full of what he called “jungle juice.”
Red went to Brian’s father’s liquor cabinet and pulled out all the bottles. Whiskey, bourbon, gin, vermouth, vodka, etc. And poured a little bit of each into this big goblet. Then he placed the goblet in the middle of the livingroom table. We sat down and played a hand of cards, and of course I lost. So I dutifully picked up the goblet of jungle juice and glugged it all down. It went down pretty easily actually. I had never had a drink of alcohol in my life, so I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I just figured this was how people drank alcohol, sitting around drinking goblets of jungle juice.
Red re-filled the goblet with jungle juice and placed it back in the middle of the table. Well, I lost the second hand, too, so I drained another goblet of the jungle juice. “Ahhhh! That hits the spot!” And then things got a little blank after that. . . .
. . . . The next thing I remember, I’m in the backseat of a car and Chuck is driving me home. I suddenly had the urge to vomit, so I puked into the pocket of my jacket. Somehow, that vaguely impresses me. That, considering the state I was in, I still had the wherewithall to puke in the pocket of my jacket instead of all over the backseat of Chuck’s car. That would be an omen of my future, and my long and successful career as a fairly functional drunkard.
I remember staggering into my house. My mother and father were sitting in the livingroom watching TV. I mumbled hello to them and staggered off to my bedroom, no doubt dribbling a trail of vomit in my wake. And thats all I remember about that night.
And that’s the story of how I popped my alcohol cherry.