Thursday, April 24, 2003

I'm Baaaaack!!

The Blondage and I left at 5:00 Friday night and headed to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. If you've never heard of the Outer Banks, then I'm sure you have at least seen the stupid OBX bumper stickers. Until this weekend, I thought that it was some sort of a dirtbike racing circuit, you know, like BMX for the alphabetically disabled or something. Well, I am here to tell you that this is not the case. The Outer Banks are actually a delightful set of Islands between North Carolina and the Atlantic Ocean. They are less than a mile wide, windier than hell, and they only have 1 road that runs through the whole lot of them. Also, we didn't have cell phone service in the place that we were staying, so the office couldn't get ahold of me. I guess what I'm saying is that it was virtually paradise.

Virtually, but not entirely. I don't know if anyone told you, but it is April. And I was in NORTH Carolina. This meant that with the wind chill, and the sea mist, and the fact that the ocean was actually about 55 degrees farenheit, I never really got into the surf. No problem, I don't like sand or saltwater anyway. Just point me to the closest tiki bar and pour me a rum runner. What do you mean DRY COMMUNITY? What the hell kind of beach is this? Didn't you get the memo?

So, within the first 30 minutes, I had taken in the stunning beauty of the Outer Banks, smelled the crisp sea air, lapsed into hypothermia, and been thrown into a sort of involuntary detox. Within 32 minutes I had ascertained the location of the closest liquor store, and within 37 minutes I was on the way to the "ABC Store" with a fat wad of cash in my sweaty, shaking hand. The thirty miles along the shore were the worst I've ever experienced. I knew the clock was ticking, as it wouldn't be long before my liver shut down from boredom and my brainwaves were fried by overstimulation. I had to get there.

I slid my car into a spot and jumped out. It felt like I was running through quicksand as I struggled through the haze of sobriety to reach the ABC Store. I fell through the door, and collapsed across the turnstile into the gin section. The room started spinning, everything faded into blackness, and I heard all of my organs screaming in unison as the delicate balance of caffeine, alcohol, and sleep dep. that I had maintained for so long came crashing the ground with a sickening thud.


The Void.

Then, I heard it. Far off at first, but gaining in volume until it drowned out the complaints of my pancreas and liver. I heard a glug. Then another. Then another. Glug...glug...glug. The beautiful sound of booze escaping from a freshly opened bottle. As I opened my eyes, I saw her, looking like an angel. The Blondage was holding a bottle of my blessed Tanqueray to my lips as I came out of sobriety and back into consciousness. Slowly, I got to my feet, and The Blondage and I began piling gallons and gallons of liquor into our cart.

$437.75 later, we were ready for our 3 day vacation. I'll tell you about the rest of the trip later, but rest assured I didn't dare risk another bodily shut-down and involuntary discorporation. In fact, I spent most of the trip trying to restore that delicate balance and writing comforting letters to the gin and scotch manufacturers promising that I was still alive and had no intentions of becoming a T-Totaller.

Those babies need constant reassurance.

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