Monday, December 12, 2011

Drink Spiking Brings Out The Best In People

For those of you that have been following this blog since its tender beginnings (and WORD UP to all twelve of you) you'll know that my adventures in drunkenness are known to be quite colourful outings. There was that time that I accidentally roofied myself with a Disprin, that other time I knowingly gave myself food poisoning and and all these other times that I have took the time to illustrate below.

I have been The Girl Who Can't Match Her Fake Tan To Her Face, and is for some reason having an argument about it:

I have been The Girl Who Is Having SUCH a Good Time, and Never Wants To Go Home:

And of course, like all girls, I have been This Girl:

What I'm trying to say is, I am someone who has been a thousand different kinds of drunk. I know the giddy highs from the dark, dithering lows, and all the Dulux-like subtleties in between.  Moreover, I know when my body is reacting inexplicably to situations as a result of my own stupidity, or someone else's.

Which is a really long way of saying, on Saturday night, my drink was spiked in a London Bridge bar.

Like all nights that end spectacularly badly, it began rather well. I had gotten off early from work, and didn't have to be in until late the next day. My housemate Danny had given himself cabin fever via Skyrim. If we were horses, we'd be the kind that chomp on the bit, kick at the stable door and trace messages in the mud saying "WE'RE READY TO GET DRUNK  NOW."

So that's exactly what we did. We bought some beers, drank two each, talked about Lady Gaga, and then took the bus to a bar where Danny's co-workers had been since the afternoon. We all got along famously, in that warm "I know we don't really know each other, but I'm tipsy and you seem nice" sort of way. At around half-eleven, we moved to a second bar, and that's where things got weird.

Now halfway through my fourth beer, I began getting that feeling that girls get when they realize they're genetically undisposed to drinking beer. Which is to say, my burps started tasting a lot like beer. Ever the lady, I took a delicate lady-rest from my beer, left it on a window ledge in the pub's smoking area, and then turned my back on it. Yes, this is where everything becomes a giant cliché: every sorority-girl horror story, every Veronica Mars pilot episode ever.

As you can assume, I went back to my drink, I drank it, and then everything changed. The oddest thing was how quickly it all happened. In a matter of minutes I went from being my jolly self, to being unable to open my eyes the full way (which, if you look at photo two, shouldn't be all that surprising). I excused myself to the bathroom, and immediately slumped to the floor of the cubicle. Suddenly, getting up off the floor seemed impossible. This was really inconvenient, because within what seemed like seconds (but which I was then informed was fifteen minutes later) there were girls hammering on the stall door and wondering aloud if someone was having sex in there. I dragged myself off the floor, fell out of the cubicle, and flopped myself over the sink, and felt really, really content to just die there.

I might have just gone to sleep or tried to find the least exhausting way to kill myself, if it hadn't been for the small phenomena that is Bathroom Society. The oddest thing about girls in bars is that, when they're actually in, outside or around the bar, they are sworn enemies. On the dancefloor, in the bar queue or in the smoking area, that girl is the gold sequins see's you, the girl in the silver sequins, as the only thing between her and her meeting the love of her life that night. I know that sounds very flippant and incredibly shallow, but I'm positive a universal truth exists here. If that girl goes home that night without having had an erotically witty conversation with someone who later takes her number in a sexy yet dignified way, she holds you, and every other girl in the bar, wholly responsible.

And it's been happening FOREVER.

This is different, however, in the bathroom. While the dancefloor might be the battlefield, the bathroom is unquestionably the barracks, where inexplicably everyone is on the same side. Some of the greatest acts of stranger-kindness I've ever experienced have taken place in the ladies bathroom, where anything from "Do you wanna borrow my lipgloss?" to "Are you sure you have enough money to get home?" can genuinely occur. In this instance, the Bathroom Society that surrounded me knew that something was very wrong with the girl trying to sleep in the sink. They tried to talk to me, to ask if there was somebody they could call, and I tried to lift my head up off the faucet.

I tried to communicate with them, but my entire perception of the universe seemed to have split into very distinct layers. There was me, this core, tiny confused being. Then there was drunk me, who was even more confused. Then there was eight inches of plastic, that me and drunk me was trying to see the rest of the world through, and butting its head very painfully in the process. My body began to shake. I said three words to my party - Please go away - and promptly vomited everywhere.

Eventually, I left the bathroom, and was discovered by Danny's friend Debbie, who was part of the search party currently looking for me. Everything else from here is somewhat of a blur. I have a vague memory of saying goodbye, and then being propped up by Danny while he tried to find us a bus home. I even tried to text my boss to communicate that something was wrong, and that I might not be in the next day. (Fail, by the way: I managed to text the words "it don't make no sense", which seems like a racially dated thing to say.)

The next day was spent trying to do things, but instead getting violently ill and passing out. So was most of today. At some point, the thick sheet of plastic got gradually thinner and things started to feel normal. But during this 30-ish hour period, I came to an odd epiphany. Which is, hey, the reason why bad stuff happens to us, right?

Also the name of a rapper. Hilarious, by the way.

I moved here four months ago, kind of on a whim, and I knew one person. Danny. I didn't even know Danny that well, really: we had worked together for a short time years ago, and kept up a vague sort of friendship ever since. Somewhere along the way, he became the person that knows when something is wrong.

That, when I'm on some kind of inexplicable come-down from a drug I did not choose to take, holds a hair-dryer to my face while I'm shivering on a pile of warm laundry. That will check on me every few hours, and refill my hot water-bottle and buy me ginger beer that I will later puke. But hes not the only one: my phone's inbox has become a weird testament to the fact that I have a life here now. People hear that bad things happen to me, and they worry if I'm OK. After months of fretting whether my life in London would be any kind of a success, I realized that somewhere along the line it kind of became one. I have friends, and friends of friends, and acquaintances, and even though I don't know any of them as well as I know the ones in Ireland, it doesn't really matter.

Because having twenty people who care about you is slightly more enlightening that one person, in a bar somewhere, who put something in your drink so they could maybe rape you.


  1. Not to laugh at your ordeal, but 'it don't make no sense' made me laugh at your ordeal.

  2. I know, right? I felt like one of the crows from Dumbo.