Christmas Party

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope that everyone’s weekend was as amazing as mine. Allow me to explain. On Friday, I went out with this girl Jenn, who I met on some website, and a couple of her friends (Jen and Derek, if I remember correctly). We kicked off the evening in style at the Pickled Onion (PO) and had some appetizers and some drinks, and chatted about how she and her friends have all lived in the UK at some point (and in the same town, at that), and how the company she works for just opened their 7th store on the island.

After sufficiently coating our stomachs in a preliminary coating of alcohol, we walked down Front Street (e.g. Main Street in Hamilton) to Cafe Cairo. Cafe Cairo is a weird place, in that from what I could see, there’s a restaurant half and a “bar” half, which consists of an open space and a bar where you can walk up and order drinks. I say open space and not dance floor, because there was no DJ or anything like that, so dancing would feel pretty awkward. The whole place is decorated in a Moroccan style which actually works really well considering how small the place really is. At CC, we talked more about how Jenn wants to go back to the UK for New Years which I must admit would be a damn good time, even if St. George’s Island here in Bermuda is supposed to be nothing short of spectacular itself.

We were only at CC for about an hour before we decided to move on to bigger and better things; namely Square One. Square One is one of the big clubs here, but what’s really cool about it is the way you get to it. After you leave Cafe Cairo, you take a quick left into what looks like a narrow alley between two buildings. You walk for what seems like forever (however this may or may not have been thanks to the fact that the 4 of us were about as sober as a fratboy at a sorority formal) and then at the end of this alley, it just ends with a ton of stairs. At the top of the stairs is the entrance to Square One. If you weren’t aware of the club’s existence previous to walking past this alley, you’d think it was just some sort of lane to nowhere; rather poorly lit, nothing of note on either of the brick walls encasing you in your path.

Once you “enter” Square One, you are actually out on a patio about the size of a McDonald’s lobby area; table and chairs tightly packed together, people of all shapes and sizes sitting, standing, dancing and generally just grooving to the house music blasting out of the loudspeakers hanging from the metal rain-coverings on two of the walls, and becoming entranced in the rather decent light show emanating from under the tent-covered bar.

At this point, we were all drunk enough that outside of some small two or three line “conversations”, we were more there to enjoy the music and each other’s company than trying to compare and contrast how ancient literature has effected current civilization and how current literature does the same thing.

All in all, a great night, and to top it all off, I got to spend it with someone who I would definitely like to get to know more. Not only is she damn smart, but she has style like you would not believe. She also has an interesting history, in that she was born in Bermuda to British parents, but lived in Bermuda until she went to boarding school when she was younger, and then moved back here after university. Pretty cool stuff.

Saturday morning, I woke up with what I thought I could only describe as “the worst hangover ever.” I could hear every sound after 7:30am in frightening detail, from the birds greeting each other outside to the normally silent sound of the blinds moving mere millimeters back and forth. God apparently decided that if I didn’t need to turn the music down last night, he was going to pump his own jams at a volume just barely below ear-drum shattering levels (just to let me suffer).

At 10am, I donned the rock star robe, and proceeded to make my way out of room, in search of a bottle of pills. At that point, I really didn’t care if they were birth control pills; just something small and white that I could take with some water to make the pain go away. I didn’t think I’d ever felt as terrible after a night of drinking as I did that morning.

Of course, leave it to me to prove even myself wrong.

After waking up from my Saturday afternoon nap, I felt surprisingly good considering how bad I had felt mere hours ago. I was able to stand up without wobbling, I was able to breathe without hearing it in 9.1 ULTRA CLEAR DOLBY PRO DIGITAL SUPER SURROUND SOUND WITH OPTICAL TRANSFORMING TECHNOLOGIES (TM), in fact, I felt rather good. I had some food and within an hour I was almost as good as new. My legs hurt from going out the previous night in the world’s most uncomfortable (but sexy) shoes, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle.

Enter: the ACT Company Christmas Party. Well, no, not the ACT party, but the North Rock Ventures Company Christmas Party. As I’m sure the more business-minded of you understand, North Rock Ventures is our parent company which also owns 4 other companies on the island. ACT is the implementation arm (we do installs of servers/computers, maintain those servers/computers, etc), but there is also TCO/The Complete Office which is like Staples or Office Depot, Switchworx which is the cable tugging company, North Rock Communications which is the ISP and one other one that I’m forgetting at the moment.

Anyways, there were essentially 5 companies with a total of 250 people all at the most ritzy country club on the island (the membership fees are $1 million/year) for the best steak dinner I have ever had in my entire life, followed by an open bar. Now I feel I need to explain something to you. Open bars at weddings usually consist of a few popular beers like Budweiser, Kokanee, or Coors Light, and some random popular hard alcohols like gin, rye, and vodka, and maybe a few different vintages (vintages….that doesn’t sound right…whatever, you know what I mean) of wine. An open bar at a country club like this consists of very old champagne and even older scotch. I don’t even like scotch and by the end of the night the group of hooligans that I had found myself drinking with for the better part of the last couple hours decided we were going to do shots of 20 year old scotch. Let’s just say that scotch still isn’t my favorite drink.
Now I lost track of how many drinks I’d had that night somewhere around 10pm. By midnight, I started to have a drunk thought go through my head every few minutes in which I started worrying that if my stomach overfilled itself with liquor, my brain would be the next most likely spot for the alcohol to go after entering my mouth, but my brain isn’t a cavity and as such, I would drown (trust me, this made a lot more sense in my head at the time). By 1am, the alcohol content in my body was probably high enough that had I cut myself and lit a lighter close to the cut, it probably would have looked like a fire geyser spraying out of my arm. By 2am, I probably could have stood on a counter and waited for someone to empty me in a shot glass and serve me as someone’s drink.

Somehow that night, I managed to arrive home in one piece. From what I can piece together from Matt, Hazen, and Georgina (the financial controller for ACT that apparently came back to our place for a bit before walking the half a block to her house), we got home, and I instinctively went for my guitar. I can verify this fact by looking at the strings and inside of the sound hole which are covered in blood; which coincides with what I first thought were knife cuts on my strumming hand. Mystery #1 solved.

Mystery #2 is a little more strange (and as yet unsolved). There was not a drop of puke anywhere in the apartment, but there is absolutely no way that I was able to drink my weight in alcohol and not be sick. I am still waiting to open the pantry or a cupboard or something a week from now to find a little surprise.

Anyways, the night was over, apparently I wound up in my bed, although I’m still unsure if that was courtesy of Matt and Hazen, or if I was able to make it there of my own volition. Yes, the night was over. The morning was yet to come.

I woke up Sunday morning around 7:30am to what I could have swore to God was Matt slamming a pot with a wooden spoon mere inches from my ear. I was so sure that was the case that in the process of opening my eyes, I actually made a swing for his face. Imagine my surprise when after getting both eyelids open, there was no one standing over my bed.

Dammit. Today is going to be fun.

I tried falling back asleep but I could hear every breath, heartbeat and chirp from a 3000 mile radius, as if they all had microphones with a direct connection with my brain. I could hear jack hammers in Calgary, and I could hear car horns in Bangkok.  There was no escaping the terror that consumed me.

I got up and once again made my trek around the house trying to find a bottle of advil, or tylenol 3’s, or morphine.  Hell, I would have taken formaldehyde if someone would have told me that it would cure me.  I was in bad shape, and this was just the beginning.

I looked down at my hand and it looked like it had got into a fight with some razor wire.  I looked in the mirror and the bags under my eyes were actually big enough that they had their own travel companions.  And to top it all off, my head was apparently host to the 2006 National Marching Band Competition, as all I could think was THUMP-THUMP-THUMP-THUMP—ad nauseum.

Around 1 or 2 o’clock I drank a full bottle of gatorade in one gulp and was able to somehow turn down the volume of everything around me enough so that I could go back to sleep for a few hours; I figured that if I could at least mildly rehydrate myself, the headache should pass.  Right?

Wrong.  That damn headache survived a four hour nap, the bugger.  Now it’s sometime around 5 or 6 and I do a couple of loads of laundry, and in between loads, Matt, Hazen and I all veg’d out and watch some ‘Frisky Dingo’ and ‘Perfect Hair Forever’, two of the funniest shows ever produced, and stupid enough that they don’t actually require the use of the brain to comprehend.

I think Dylan Moran said it best that we rate how much fun we had (when we’re younger, anyways) by how much pain we’re in the day after.  I would definitely have to agree even just by using this weekend as an example.  Both mornings I woke up wholeheartedly believing that I was mere moments from walking toward the light, but that they were only caused by having such a great time the night before.

Was it worth it?  Abso-freakin-lutely.

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