Monday, August 01, 2011

Uncle Butthole's Blackout



I've seen both those HANGOVER movies. They're good, but mis-named. The characters show little evidence of crippling hangover during the films.

They should have called it, "The Blackout."

Fortunately I've had very few blackouts in my 25 year drinking career.

(But I've had shitloads of hangovers.)

I think that was one reason I wanted to leave Russia, actually -- blackouts were becoming more common, which is of course an indicator and symptom of alcoholism and I certainly didn't want to be THAT guy, who ended every drinking session on the Dark Side of the Moon.

Some people have them every time they drink; English Teacher R, one of my first colleagues in Vodkaberg, was one of those. It was difficult to dislike him for the lunatic things he did, when he clearly had not the slightest memory of doing them.


(That's his hairy ass there, and he did that in a bar in the middle of the day.)

My first big Russian blackout adventure with him occurred back in 2004. English Teacher R ditched his new wife and child, turning off his phone, after some kind of student get-together.

My last memory was going to a bar and a student opening a second bottle of vodka. My last memory, literally, is of going, "Oh, shit, we can't drink that!"

I woke up in my own bed, at a quarter to one in the afternoon, and the room was trashed; the phone was off the hook, clothes were scattered all over the room, and a chair was upended.

The phone rang shortly after.

It was English Teacher R. "What the fuck happened last night?" he mumbled miserably.

"You're asking the wrong guy," I rasped.

He'd woken up in the doorway of a bar across town from the last place we'd been drinking vodka, with his jacket missing and his shirt on inside out.

The bar where we were drinking vodka with the students, incidentally, refused to let us in, the next time we went there.

It took us some time to discover, from one of the students we'd gone there with, that we'd been challenging English Teacher R to kiss men in the bar, to see their reaction, and we'd then started breaking bottles on the concrete floor.


I've had very little to drink in the last couple of years in Saudi Arabia -- part of the reason in going there was to dry out. My girlfriend doesn't drink much, so I've not had more than a couple beers on holidays with her.

Last summer I came to Russia and only had two heavy-duty drinking sessions -- one ended with a crippling hangover, and the other ended with another blackout.

So I arrived in America at the beginning of July -- the first weekend, the weekend of the 4th of July, my family and some friends had a party.

I drank a lot of rum; not sure how much. The party ended at about 3.30 am.

I woke up on the couch in the den, covered with cat hair. One of my nephews, the 11-year-old, was shaking me and asking me if I was okay.

"Yeah, sure. . ." I wondered why I was on the couch, when I'd gone to bed in an upstairs room. I remembered the end of the evening all right, and remembered going to my bedroom and chatting to some Russian girls I knew on the internet.


He giggled. "You were sleepwalking last night."

"Really?" I said, horrified.

"You came in our room and were going to poop on the chair. Dad asked you if you were sleepwalking and you said yes, and he took you into the hallway. You went into another room and were going to poop on the chair again."

"Oh. . . my . . . god. . ."

"They led you into the bathroom and you pooped but you didn't flush."

"Oh man. . ."

And somehow managed to "sleepwalk" down the steps and over two doggie-doors into the den, where I'd ended up on the couch.

My nephews are 8 and 11; they're a wonderful couple of kids, who love ninjas and zombies and after this event began referring to me as "Uncle Butthole." What might have been traumatic in another family, they thought was hilarious.

Sleep disorders run in the male side of the family -- both of them, like my brother, sleepwalk and sleeptalk and the older one had night terrors. My father (who doesn't drink, incidentally) suffers from restless leg syndrome.

So in this backdrop was Uncle Butthole's blackout wanderings camoflauged.

"I'd punish you kids for giving your uncle that nickname, if it wasn't so appropriate," said my brother, later.

6 comments:

TEFL SecretAgent said...

Good to have you back posting Uncle Butthole - we missed you!

Luckily, being married means I normally have someone to take care of me when I'm drunk - although 100% certified, If I'm out alone: I'll do something stupid.

When I was younger, I never puked or blacked out, now it's a common situation. I think as I consistently drink more, my body becomes less tolerant - maybe it's all the self inflicted booze damage.

Da Teacha said...

Ah another post. Back in the motherland now?

Blacking out is fucking shit. Especially that feeling a few minutes after when you realised you've missed 2 classes or something... Ah at only 21 I fear for my future. But still, kinda fun to go around the next day and pick up the pieces.

Calf said...

I guess I'm lucky because the worst thing that happens to be is that I wake up in the morning with no cash but a bunch of spare change in my pockets.

I've heard that once you blackout once, you'll always be prone to it. Just an FYI.

Eve said...

At least you didn't actually crap in a chair. That might have been traumatizing for the youngsters.

Lost Gringo said...

I laughed so hard I almost shit myself.....

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of another film:

Uncle Butthole Who Can't Recall His Past Lives