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Entry date: 1-11-2022 - Little Kings at Christown - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

I feel like I should finish the alcohol story so I’m going to jump back into my relationship with booze again today. It’s been on my mind a lot because, well, I’ve been drinking more than I’m comfortable with lately and it’s making me wonder about where I am at with all of it. As I mentioned yesterday, one uncle drowned because of booze and on my dad’s side, I lost another uncle to severe liver disease that was brought on my drinking, as well.

Alcoholism runs in my family. Probably every family, to be honest, but it definitely runs in my family.

I started drinking a bit more in sophomore and junior years of high school. Partying, really, became a significant pastime for me in high school. I did steer clear of beer for a while, but sophomore year I became a fan of peppermint schnaps. The idea of it now makes me want to hurl, just as it made me do on a few occasions in high school, but for a bit, that was my drink of choice.

I can remember going to Tommy’s, which was a teen dance club that was open on Friday and Saturday nights and we’d drink schnaps in the parking lot. Sometimes champagne, too, for some reason, and sometimes beer. With the peppermint schnaps you would always know immediately when you went one sip too far.

I remember one time being with Ben and my friend Jerry and his friend Paul was driving, and I took that sip that went too far, and I ended up puking on the floor of Paul’s car behind the driver’s seat. I neglected to mention it to anyone but heard from Jerry the next day or so that Paul was pissed. When he dropped us off at my mom’s ex-boyfriend’s house where we were staying that weekend because our moms were out of town, I stumbled in, picked up Ben’s duffle bag and puked in it. Classy move on my part, for sure.

I woke up the next morning to Ben and Bill laughing at me and them doing Ben’s laundry because I had thrown up in all his clean clothes. We laugh about it now, but I was embarrassed at the time and felt pretty crappy, too. Come to think of it, that may have been the last time I ever drank peppermint schnaps.

I’m not going to bore anyone with more of my puking stories, of which there are legion, but in those days, I always tended to blame the type of booze I was drinking rather than the fact that I didn’t have a great feel for knowing when I’d had too much, yet. For a while I thought Miller High Life was the devil, then Miller Genuine Draft because they tended to make me sick, but I never blamed Miller Lite or Milwaukee’s Best (Miller product) in the same way.

As high school went on, beer became my friend. I loved Little Kings, for example, and liked that the bottles were small. I remember thinking they were super strong in alcohol content, but they were only 5.5% which is pretty tame by today’s standards. I’m not sure you can even get them anymore. Perhaps someone will message me and let me know for sure.

We had many adventures with Little Kings during junior and senior year. One of the funniest ones was during the summertime in 1987. I was working at Marshall’s in the Colonnade Mall and ended up dating one of my co-workers, Cheryl. We went out on a double date with my friend Mark and her friend, whose name I cannot remember, and went to Christown (mall) to see the movie, The Believers. Prior to the movie, we had a bunch of Little Kings, and we went to a park and drank them. I was feeling pretty buzzed, as was everyone else, and thought I would be some sort of a bad ass and break a Little King bottle like the gang bangers did in the movies.

Of course, that didn’t go well and I put a pretty decent cut into the ring finger on my right hand. You can still barely see the scar. Luckily, I was buzzed, and Mark had a Band-Aid in the car, so it didn’t bum me out too much and Cheryl still liked me. We headed to movies and went upstairs to see the film.

Not long into the movie, which I had already seen being a big Martin Sheen fan, Mark excused himself to go to the bathroom. When he didn’t come back for a good long while, the girls urged me to go and find him because he was our ride. If you remember the UA cinemas inside the old mall, you might recall that you had to walk upstairs to get to the men’s room. When I got in there, it was a pretty strange scene.

Mark was lying on the floor in front of the twin sinks covered in puke. Buzzed (and probably super stoned), I asked him, “What happened?”

Mark looked at me and said, “Some big Indian (this was before we knew to say, ‘Native American’ or ‘Indigenous person’) came in here, knocked me down, and threw up all over me.”

At first, I completely believed him and asked where this guy was so we could exact our revenge which made Mark laugh hysterically. I felt like an idiot and got it together enough to see what he wanted to do. Obviously, he couldn’t drive, and he couldn’t sit through the rest of the movie, which had about 90 minutes to go, covered in puke. We determined I would drive him home so he could change, and we would go back to get the girls.

This plan was almost derailed when Mark’s parents discovered him home, very drunk, and covered in puke. I sat outside his house for at least 45 minutes before he came out and we got into his car and headed back to the movies just in time to get the girls as they came out of the theater. I’m not sure Cheryl’s friend ever forgave me, but since I don’t remember her name, it matters not.

Ah, Little Kings.

See you tomorrow.

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