In celebration of the pending release of my debut novel, HINDSIGHT, I thought it would be fun to revisit some moments in my own life when a little Hindsight would have come in handy…
As a fifteen year old, I did some pretty dumb things, such as smoking cigarettes in order to be ‘cool’, wearing too much make up, again in order to be ‘cool’ and spending my money on ‘Smash Hits’ magazines because I loved to daydream about marrying a rock star- either John Taylor from Duran Duran or Brian Mannix from Uncanny Xmen (cringe!).
But the dumbest of all would have to be getting horridly drunk before attending a ‘Blue Light Disco’ – a disco run by…da, da, daaaaaaaaa….the Police. Watch out! Genius at work.
It wasn’t my intention to completely obliterate myself, but it happened nonetheless. You’d think that the fact our destination was called ‘The Blue Light Disco’ and we knew that it was run by the Police would have been a sufficient deterrent, wouldn’t you? Apparently not.
As a crowd of teenagers waited for the bus to the disco at the back of the Bundoora Hotel, two of my friends and I disappeared into the back alley to consume an entire bottle of Southern Comfort. Yep- an entire bottle.
Like I said, genius at work.
I can’t even remember if we mixed it with Cola or just did the really classy thing and chugged it straight out of the bottle.
I had slightly less than the other two and so was not as mind-bendingly drunk, but I also wasn’t able to remain in a vertical position without assistance, preferably from a large, sturdy brick wall.
My best friend arrived – sober- and saw the mess I had gotten myself into and attempted bring me back to life by walking me around in the fresh air. It was a lovely gesture, and a true insight into our friendship, but no amount of exercise or conversation was going to undo the damage I had done to myself, but I guess every little bit helped.
Finally the bus arrived, by which time the full effects of the alcohol had hit my friends and I. Why we still got on the bus and didn’t attempt to leg it home, is still beyond me. What sort of a teenager, drunk and breaking the law by consuming alcohol, would then voluntarily go and present themselves to the Police?
Geniuses, that’s who.
So, as I watched one friend bring back up most of the Southern Comfort she had consumed – which landed perfectly in her white, high heeled court shoes, and another pass out on the bus, did it occur to me that we had done the wrong thing?
Probably – I can’t remember.
The parents of the other girls were called to come and collect them, with my step father coming along for the ride because he knew that I had gone with these girls. While they literally poured her into the car, I did my best ever impersonation of a sober person.
It was Oscar worthy. Truly, if an actor can win an award for playing a drunk while sober, then they really ought to challenge themselves and try to play a sober person while drunk. It’s an art and a science all rolled into one cosmically terrifying event.
I think the excessive adrenaline pumping around my body managed to sober me up a little and I was able to answer their questions as to how it happened. My standard response was, of course, “I don’t know.” I wasn’t going to lag on my friends.
So, we get back to my friend’s house and her mother, who worked in a bar, tried to identify the alcohol by smelling her daughter’s breath. She must have been gifted with extraordinary olfactory superpowers, because despite vast amounts of Vomit breath coming her way, she was still able to identify the culprit as some kind of Scotch. She wasn’t far off the mark.
I went home with my stepfather, who, miraculously, was still none the wiser as to my condition.
Our punishment? You can imagine it wasn’t pretty. Other than the mother of all hangovers, that was the end of our Blue Light Disco escapades. In fact, it was the end of life as we knew it for a good amount of time.
My very own punishment – I later became a Bar Attendant and lost count of how many bottles of Southern Comfort I had to open in the eleven years I worked in bars. Thousands at least – and every bottle came with a complimentary gag, stomach churn and evil flashback to a night when a little Hindsight would have come in handy.