It’s Friday guys, hell yeah! Hands up who’s hungover from smashing tequilas into their face last night! C’mon, be honest – you at the back there, what’s your name? Eh? Dave? Fuck dude, you look like something I watched come out of a stray dog’s backside once, what the fuck are you doing at work?!
Fridays when I’m hungover at work always remind me of the infamous Friday-that-shall-not-be-named a few years back when I dragged my sorry ass to work, praying with all the strength left in me that my hangover would just cut the fucking foreplay and kill me already.
At this point I think it should be said that if you have delicate sensibilities you should probably just stop reading this right now. Just stop reading it. Just click close now, because the story I’m about to tell you is not pretty and I can guaran-fucking-tee you you won’t look at me the same way after you’ve finished reading it.
In my defence, it’s a mistake I have made once and only once and will sure as hell NEVER REPEAT AGAIN, because if I did, there’s a good chance it would be the last thing I would ever do, it was that bad.
So this is the last warning I’m going to issue – don’t read this if you’re some nancy, enjoys one-or-two drinks when he goes out, doesn’t like getting out of control, parties, but not too hard kinda guy (or girl) because you won’t understand this story.
Also, if you’re my mom just stop right now. Close this window and rather play Tetris for a bit, then make some coffee and carry on with your day and this won’t fuck your entire weekend up.
Ok. Now that that’s out the way, let’s proceed with reckless abandon.
It started at a client event on a Thursday back in 2007. It was a launch we had organised with a whole crowd of consumer media at this awesome and trendy barbershop that had just opened in Fourways Crossing. The turnout was excellent and the event went really, really well – we’d set up a Bedouin tent outside the shop and Liquid Chefs had specially prepared a selection of 5 different cocktails for the afternoon / evening. Very slick, very classy.
We kicked everything off at about 3pm and by 6 all the journalists had gone home, leaving only the owners of the barbershop, my colleagues and the liquid chefs barmen, who we’d hired until 7.
We were all in really high spirits because of how well the event had gone and so decided to sample the cocktails that had been specially prepared because, well, why the fuck not?
This was the first time I can remember getting locked into a proper old school drink-off with The MAEN! who, at nearly six and a half feet tall, can do to drinks what thirsty camels do to 50 gallon water troughs.
The MAEN! and I were both pretty much just ‘work friends’ at that time as I’d only been at my company for about 3 months, but thanks to the events of that night, all that changed VERY fucking quickly. It didn’t take us long to realise that between the two of us we had the capacity, unrelenting sense of purpose and single-minded determination to drink that entire fucking bar dry, which is exactly what we did.
We started out ‘tasting’ one of each of the cocktails Liquid Chefs had prepared in order to reach a proper scientific conclusion as to which was the best one, after which point we drank as many of those as humanly (inhumanly?) possible. Let’s just pause right there and take a minute to think about this – 5 different cocktails with at least 3 different shots in each one = 15 different shots.
Never try this. Promise me.
When they eventually packed up the bar, The MAEN! and myself were suitably unimpressed as both of us felt like we were only beginning to hit our stride and so The MAEN! somehow managed to steal a bottle of gold tequila which the two of us then proceeded to swallow in large gulps straight out the bottle until it was bone dry.
In hindsight, I definitely should have gone home right then and, like a werewolf who knows a full moon’s coming, chained and locked myself to our security gate.
Haha, hindsight. It’s always fucking 20/20 ain’t it?
Instead I drove home, got a buddy to pick me up and proceeded to go out to Tanz Cafe, where Guitar Jon was playing the finals of the singer/songwriter competition they’d been running for the last two months.
I was single at this time and experiencing an acute sense of what I can only describe as suppressed hatred towards the female race. It had been 7 long months since I’d last gotten laid, which was officially the longest dry spell I’d ever lived through.
I don’t know what I did or said to the female population of that bar and I don’t want to know. Probably it was like watching an 85kg wrecking ball of alcohol-fuelled testosterone swinging slowly and purposefully through the crowds of people gather there, smashing into poor, unsuspecting women and scattering them in every direction.
All the while I carried on drinking. Knowing me, it was probably whisky.
My memory of events is hazy at best, but I do recall getting really emotional during Guitar Jon’s performance and screaming ‘WE LOVE YOU JON! FUCKING YEAH!’ at least 15 times during his set.
Sadly, Jon didn’t even crack a spot in the top 3, which enraged me to the point where the ‘red mist’ began to descend. This is where my vision begins to turn blood red, much like the Terminator, and the switch inside me flips from ‘Party, Joke Around, Have a Rad Time’ to ‘KILL EVERYTHING’.
I gave the judge and sponsor of the event, Andy McGibbon, a piece of my mind, and not just any piece. A big, ugly piece.
Eventually, I remember feeling a meaty hand clap firmly on my shoulder, shortly after which I was forcibly removed from Tanz in a tangle of limbs and ‘Get yr ffuckin’ dirty han’s off me you fuckin’ ASS’OLE!’. That’s the last thing I remember.
The next thing I remember was waking up thinking I’d been run over by a truck. My skull was pounding like a jackhammer on a hard cement sidewalk, my tongue tasted like an oversized slug in my mouth and my eyes looked like fried eggs.
I didn’t look like shit. If I’d woken up looking like shit I would have been fine, a shower, shave and some Bioplus and I would have been peachy. I looked much, much worse than shit.
My face was loose and swollen with booze and I swear to god, if you’d squeezed my nose, whisky would have come out.
I showered, got dressed and left for work, the contents of my stomach swilling around malevolently every time I turned a corner. I caught my reflection in my rear view mirror. My face was turning green.
I was the first to arrive at work and dutifully booted my laptop up and took a seat at my desk in the tiny room I shared with The MAEN! and El Guapo. Once my laptop was up and running and Outlook was open I carefully folded my arms on my desk and passed the fuck out.
One of the girls I worked with arrived and popped her head into the office to say good morning. The stench of me sent her reeling like she’d been shot.
‘Woah, fuck dude! You smell like a brewery!’
‘Yep. I feel like a brewery.’
‘Are you ok?’
‘Yeah, I mean, I’m still alive… unfortunately…’
‘Do you want some coffee or something?’
‘NO! I mean, no, I’m fine thanks. Maybe just some water.’
‘Err, ok… I’ve got some Panado if you want any?’
‘That’s ok. Just water is fine thanks.’
Moments later I started getting that godawful feeling right under the back of your tongue that tells your brain that in about 5 seconds you’re gonna become intimately acquainted with whatever it was you ate last, which worried me because I couldn’t remember eating anything.
I calmly stood up and walked across the entrance foyer to the staff bathrooms in the most dignified way possible, smiling and nodding at Beth the receptionist, but not actually saying anything for fear of unleashing the fountain that felt like it was about to erupt from me.
I’m not going to go into the details of what happened next, but I kept things neat and tidy, and didn’t miss the bowl, which was a big plus. The big minus however was that I had to do it as quietly as possible because you could basically hear everything from the bathroom in the entrance foyer.
Have you ever tried to throw up quietly? It’s like trying to jump into a swimming pool without getting wet.
I immediately felt better though, flushed, washed my hands and face, and strode out the bathroom, ready to face my day.
The girl who made the ‘brewery’ remark from earlier was waiting in my office with a glass of water and a concerned expression on her face.
‘Are you sure you’re ok?’
‘Yeah, haha, I’m fine, gimme another half hour and I’ll be 100%.’
‘…Ok… have you had anything to eat this morning?’
‘Um, actually now that you mention it, no I haven’t…’
‘Well, I’m going make some toast with cheese, do you want some?’
‘I’m good thanks, I’ll just stick with water for now.’
‘You should probably eat something dude, you’ll feel much better afterwards.’
‘Just eat one or two pieces, it will settle you stomach.’
‘Cool, wait right there.’
I sat back down and stared blankly at my emails. I was definitely feeling better, but wasn’t quite out of the woods yet. Just then I felt a long, low groan deep in my bowels and suddenly everything became clear to me.
I needed a ‘beer kak’. Once you’ve had a ‘beer kak’ after a heavy night, you instantly start feeling much better.
And so I got up again, and with another big smile on my face, crossed the entrance foyer again, smiled and nodded at Beth politely, closed myself in the only cubicle the men’s toilet had and unleashed something that I can only describe as concentrated evil from my backside.
It felt amazingly satisfying and sure enough, the minute I’d choked that dirty bastard I started feeling almost human again. I wiped and turned to survey my accomplishment and immediately burst out laughing.
God only knows where I got all that fibre from, but the structural integrity of my movement (let’s just call him Derrick to avoid getting too graphic) was impeccable. So much so that when I flushed, nothing happened.
I mean sure, water sloshed this way and that inside the bowl, but Derrick refused to budge. Mild panic set in as I remembered that Beth could hear the toilet flushing loud and clear from the reception desk. I didn’t want to be that dude you know? The double-flusher. Nobody wants to be the double-flusher.
But what could I do? I’m not a fucking animal!
I waited until the toilet was done filling up again, said a silent prayer to whatever Gods may be, closed my eyes and with sweaty palms, hit the flusher a second time.
The sound of water churning inside the bowl filled my ears. It sounded like a good flush, surely this would be enough to send Derrick up the U-bend and out of my life?
I opened my eyes.
I said ‘fuck’.
Derrick didn’t reply. He didn’t need to. He had beaten me, the sick and twisted fuck.
What could I do? Flush AGAIN!? Become the TRIPLE-FLUSHER? No, if two wasn’t going to do the trick, nothing was. I washed my hands, waited for the coast to clear and, like a ballerina skipping across a stage, crossed the foyer in about three quick strides, trying not to make eye contact with Beth.
Back in my office I gratefully tucked into the cheesy toast Brewery Girl had left by my laptop. She was right, all I needed was to put some food into my stomach and I’d be fine…
Or was she…?
The pigswill in my stomach made friends with the cheesy toast at first, but it very quickly became apparent that they had a number of irreconcilable differences that weren’t going to just quietly resolve themselves over time.
My stomach started turning, gently at first, but gradually it got more and more violent until, not 30 minutes after I’d swallowed the last mouthful of cheesy toast, I could feel that unless I got my ass back into that bathroom, something bad was going to happen.
Once again, I got up from my desk, and once again I crossed the entrance hall foyer, smiling at Beth, only this time Beth wasn’t smiling back, she was looking at me with genuine concern and even got up and started to say something, which I pretended not to hear as I burst into the bathroom for the third time that day and closed myself back in the cubicle only to find…
Derrick. Exactly where I left him, reclining with a smug look on his face in his little brown plunge pool.
Do I need to write what happened next? Yes? No?
Let’s just say that Derrick was not impressed AT ALL. But seriously, it served that fucker right. In this world, you play by the rules or suffer the consequences, it’s fit in or fuck off. I felt rocks for Derrick, he brought that upon himself, the arrogant prick.
Still though, it was by far the nastiest moment of my life. The kind of story Alcoholics Anonymous group members tell about the time they hit rock bottom.
At the time I didn’t pause to dwell on the new low I had sunk to though, I just flushed and try to put it all behind me, which was difficult because even after a third flush, Derrick remained steadfast, that fucking fucker!
Fuck, I should be the poster boy for high fibre, I’m what every middle-aged woman trying desperately to become ‘regular’ would give a toe to be like. Kellogs would fucking love my ass if they ever met Derrick.
From that point, I slowly started to recover but, like a dead body I’d buried in a playschool sandbox, I started to feel really guilty about Derrick. Something about just leaving him there went against my code of ethics as a man and a human being.
And so, after a brief and only mildly embarrassing conversation with the cleaning lady, I crossed the foyer for a fourth time, this time with a large, plastic bucket tucked under my arm and a look of steadfast determination fixed on my face.
I hit Derrick with a bucketload of water large enough to drown a cat in and finally, thank fuck! the tough ol’ bastard joined millions of others in ducking up the U-bend and into a place that I see sometimes in my worst nightmares.
Needless to say, I blacked the events of that morning out of my mind for many years, and it’s only been through extensive psycho-therapy that I’ve come to terms with the Friday-that-shall-not-be-named and the indelible mark it’s left on my soul.
There’s a lesson here folks – do everything in moderation and you’ll be fine.
Especially fibre. Watch out for that stuff, it will fuck your shit up, literally
Have a killer weekend.