This is a contest. Tell me about the worst hangover you've ever had, and the night that preceded it. The winner gets a $25 gift certificate from Barnes and Noble. I'm the judge, and grammar counts. Deadline is tomorrow, May 16, at midnight, EST. Limit 500 words. Expletives and emesis get bonus points. Ready, set, go...

I'll tell you mine after all the entries are in.

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Tequila Sunrise (the plural of that will always be sunset as far as I'm concerned).

September 1975


One metallic bright pink EH Holden – broken diff and a clapped out gear box.

Three 19 year old girls who got bored one Saturday night and had driven out of their home town, ending up at the other end of the continent 6 months later.

4 bottles of Tequila – don't ask me why, can't remember.

The night started tamely.

Okay so we were stuck in town, the car was broken and my mum wasn't coughing up the cash to get it fixed. A little drink would clear our minds, give us a chance to consider our options.

Work out a way out of town.

We were young, we thought that the amount of Vitamin C in the orange juice component of a Tequila Sunrise would help negate the alcohol. It doesn't.

Handy domestic tip. The orange colour that lingers in a Tequila Sunrise can stain the porcelain of the single toilet bowl in a rented flat in a way that's incredibly tricky to explain to a real estate agent.

Let's say we all spent the night taking it in turns to drive the porcelain bus with way too many bus stops. Lots of arguments about whose turn it was to sit on the back seat.

The bowl still had a vaguely orange tint after we'd cut out the drinking, got some jobs and worked our way out of that town 12 months later! (Okay, so we gave up Tequila Sunrises but you have to wean yourself off Black Russians - you can't just go cold turkey).

Mum, if you're reading this, this didn't happen. Like we said, we took a wrong turn somewhere outside Tennant Creek and we took the long way home.
LOL! Love it, Karen!
The really scary thing is I just realised it was September 1978 - it must have been a hell of a night after all :)
Took customers to a noted steakhouse in Nashville, began drinking. Nashville—music town—Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to write a song lyric while our minds were unfettered by common sense? We take pen and prerequisite cocktail napkins in hand and start the creative process. All I remember about that hideous song was the refrain – For every silver cloud, there’s a dark lining. Yes, you guessed it. Country music.

My customer tried to pass this off to our waiter. “Hey buddy, this song will make you a star. Go ahead, take it. It’s part of our tip.” My customer was really feeling generous, giving away our stroke of genius. The waiter wisely refused, still hoping his tip would not include cocktail napkins.

Then we continued our outing by touring the governor’s mansion parking lot at night. Picture five adults crammed into a rental car pulling in and out of the governor’s personal parking spot. In. Out. In. Out. One of our guys had political aspirations. He figured it might rub off.

Next we hit a biker bar, dressed in our business suits. Picture my customer and me standing on a table with men dressed in leather watching us sing Perry Como tunes--in between intermittent sessions with our great song lyric. By this time, we’ve got countless cocktail napkins and a real hit on our hands. I don’t remember much after that, but the next day, even my teeth hurt. To this day, when I write a character with a hangover, I write about the teeth thing. Apparently, it made an impression.

And when my customer with political aspirations ran for public office a few years later, I brought out those wads of napkins and framed them as a gift. I thought he should remember we once could have been Nashville stars. The road not taken.

Now, do you want to hear about pulling an all nighter that started in Chicago with 2 stretch limos, a live Jerry Springer show taping, something called the butt dance to rap music, and a midnight search for an open bowling alley? Yes, another customer meeting.
LOL Jordan! Where can I sign up for your services?

I used to write country songs for real, btw. Had a few published in Nashville. I think yours could have been a hit! :)
See? That's what I thought...
There are hangovers that make you wish you were unemployed, or wish you could unbolt and rinse the inside of your own head, the ones where you think you must've eaten a mouldy dustburger, or that someone pumped your stomach and replaced the bile with pus from a thousand drained abcesses. But these are transient sensations. Some hangovers haunt you for the rest of your life.

I clearly recall the last two sentences I heard that night, before my memory ceased to function: "Here, have a grasshopper", and "let's order pizza".

Never before or since have I crammed so much activity into a period of time I have absolutely no recollection of. The things I do remember include: a friend's bright idea to host a cocktail party, inspired by the purchase of a secondhand cocktail recipe book. My contribution: a bottle of Southern Comfort, which I genuinely didn't know didn't go into any drink recipe that didn't begin with 'Southern Comfort and'. The most memorable cocktail of the evening: the 'Foetus'.

Memory was conveniently restored by the next morning, so I have a crystalline recollection of the discovery that I had vomited the pizza I didn't remember eating. Apparently the previous night was cold, as I had attempted to make a blanket of vomit, even tucking it between the mattress and the wall. From the identifiable ingredients, it had been a "meatlover's" pizza. Either that, or someone had grated a cow into my mouth.

The remaining guests took delight in filling the gaps in my memory. Apparently I had: elucidated a detailed deconstruction of the science and filmmaking technique of 'DeepStar Six'. Attempted to engage a lovely young woman in polite conversation. Mistaken the front door of the apartment for the bathroom door and been unable to open it. Mistaken the loungeroom floor for the toilet, urinating over the lovely young woman's head in the process. Mistaken my own shoes for the toilet, then later tucking the shoes under the blanket I mentioned earlier.

The hangover was spent on my knees, wearing clothes that rightly should have been burned, scrubbing my own piss out the carpet, apologising for the consumption of more than my share of alcohol (and pizza) while negotiating a payment plan for drycleaning the lovely young woman's clothes - clothes that I admit I had secretly, faintly entertained the hope of removing, before that grasshopper.

Quite literally, I consumed more alcohol that night than in all the seventeen years since.
LMAO Sean! I think we all have at least one drink that we'll never again touch for the rest of our lives. I imagine grasshoppers are among the ones you've sworn off.
Dude, I virtually quit drinking entirely. I don't think I've had any spirits since that night. Full strength beer makes me nervous. I burst out laughing whenever a cop asks me if I've had anything to drink, even though I know it doesn't help the situation.

Billy Connolly once said that everyone had a certain amount of alcohol allotted for their lifetime, and he had chosen to drink it all at once. I didn't realise he was joking.
Dog (hope its a dog) licking right side of face. Beach cooties eating left side of face. Surf roaring in my cerebelum. Spit and sand pooling between teeth and left cheek. I open my right eye. Dog (thank God) drools and moves on, revealing a sunrise that boils my ocular fluid. Switch to left eye. Lashes caked with sea salt and cootie dung. View reduced to blurry pile of stinking seaweed. Stomach rumbles. Gain knee hold in time to avoid own regurge. Crawl to the left-wet sand. Crawl to the right-dry sand. Try to stand. Sand does not play fair. Regain knee-hold. Crawl to large driftwood log. Sit, head down to avoid beach-spins. Curse "East of Eden" and all Annette Funicello movies. Catch breath. Make note to self on large blank space in short term memory file: Never play drinking games with newspaper editor who carries own wet bar.
Damn! This reminds me of a clamming weekend I had in Alaska with my volleyball friends. It's bad when this thread forces you down memory lane with your old friends Jack Daniel, Jim Beam, and good ole Jose Cuervo.
Ouch! That boiling ocular fluid got me. Funny as hell!


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