Public Service Announcement

I live in Los Angeles. Living in Los Angeles means that, inevitably, I know people who work in the entertainment industry, the poor saps. A friend of mine worked on a music video for D-12 called 40 oz. where they built a giant stage out of malt liquor bottles. In this public service announcement, D-12 sings “pour the 40 out!” and can clearly be seen pouring malt liquor from bottles, thereby implying that it should not be imbibed and is, in fact, evil. The result of days of labor by untold people, including my friend, and the countless 40 oz. bottles who gave their lives to educate the public on the dangers of malt liquor can be seen here for those so inclined.

Picture 2
Screenshot from D12’s PSA.

The members of D-12 are from Detroit. I am from Detroit. Is it merely a coincidence? Yes.

Anyway, after D-12’s video addressing the evils of malt liquor was filmed, they had about a bajillion bottles of Olde English 800 left over. Not to be wasteful, D-12 gave it away to anyone who wanted some–a malt liquor charity of sorts. Does the generous, giving nature of these people never end? It brings a tear to the eye and makes me want to give a donation to someone… or maybe not.

My friend, apparently in need of charity, was bestowed with several cases. Fortunately, he rode a motorcycle at the time and that’s all he could fit, otherwise I might not be writing this story now due to an untimely death by malt liquor.

But, what does one do with several cases of Olde English 800? You couldn’t possibly drink that much malt liquor by yourself without side effects like being dead. Sadly blind to the hazardous health effects described at length by the D-12 video on which he had just worked, my friend decided to throw an Olde English (hereafter referred to as OE) party.

It was a night which will live in infamy, where friendships were made, broken and made again. It was a night where strangers threw up on each other and hugged; a night with many voices at high volume, misplaced undergarments and lost shoes. It was a night of sleeping on floors and waking up on tables, where late night, drunken revelations were more than inevitable; they were predestined.

Everyone got their own 40 (or two) with a little name tag to put on it since we were all drinking the same thing. There would have been fisticuffs over whose was whose if we didn’t keep track. Of course, after a while, nobody could read the name tags anyway, but it was a solid effort towards maintaining order.

Halfway through my own 40 oz., things got a little fuzzy. OE in large doses pretty much assures that remembering things, like your own name, becomes damn near impossible. I assume that time passed in the normal way for the rest of you, but for us, well, we entered into a rift where the standard, linear progression of time no longer made any sense. The time could have been anywhere between half fast walrus and a swarthy to fine for all we knew or cared. Space and time ceased to function normally, and for that matter, so did gravity. That which was supposed to stay down went up and that which was supposed to stay up fell down, sometimes repeatedly.

The only facts of which I’m (mostly) certain are the events of the following morning. At the time, I lived in a little apartment all of four blocks from my friend’s house where the damnation had started–ground zero. I walked to his house earlier in the night, so I was going to walk home, dammit. At least, that’s what I would imagine I reasoned since I don’t actually remember.

The morning (more likely, afternoon) after the party, I woke up in my own apartment. I was naked. I was in my living room. The front door to my apartment was wide open and the sun was streaming in. My keys were hanging out of the lock in the front door.

I know that I had visited the bathroom the night before since I hadn’t been all that neat about vomiting into the toilet. My living room was roughly equidistant to my bed from the bathroom, but they were in two different directions. Apparently, I decided against my big, comfortable bed, and quite reasonably, opted to pass out, naked and legs akimbo, in the chair in my living room instead.

There were larger questions at hand: why was I naked and where were my clothes? It was all too much to think about. I managed to crawl over to the front door, grab my keys out of the lock and shut it just in time to make it to the bathroom for a repeat performance. My head pressed against the toilet, I collapsed on the floor, unconscious and still naked.

The second time I woke up, several hours later, was to the sound of the phone ringing. Strangely and for no good reason at all, I answered it. It was a friend who had also attended the OE debauchery. How it was that he was up and about, and able to use a telephone in the proper manner the manufacturers intended defied explanation. He wanted to go get breakfast. OK, I said. Clearly, I wasn’t thinking straight.

We went to breakfast somewhere and I choked down a little chicken fried steak. After breakfast, we went to Male’s house, who had also been done in by the evils of malt liquor the night before. I quickly deposited the chicken fried steak into his toilet and crawled into bed with him. He had the good sense to stay asleep through breakfast and all of that.

When I woke up for the third time, I was naked again. I didn’t remember where I was at first. The sadistic friends who had dragged me out to breakfast gave me a ride back to my apartment where I finally crawled into my own bed and slept forever, or pretty close to it.

When I woke up the fourth time, it was the middle of the night. I went into the kitchen to grab some water. I found an uncapped, nearly empty bottle of OE in the kitchen sink. On the front was a name tag with letters that sort of appeared to be similar to the ones in my own name… if a blind monkey who couldn’t spell had written them in ketchup.

Next to the bottle of OE was a bottle of water, unopened, yet empty. How can a bottle of water be both unopened and empty? It was a mystery. Well, dear readers, once I picked the bottle up, I discovered the answer. The plastic bottle looked like it had either been used in a violent crime or dropped repeatedly. I’m guessing it was the latter. There were several holes in the bottom of it with little flecks of asphalt and dirt ringed around them. The bottom of it no longer held the pristine, cylindrical shape on which bottles of water normally support themselves. Well, then, how very clever of me to have placed it in the sink!

Still, no matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t seem to find the clothes I had been wearing. Either I had walked home naked or they had entered the space/time rift. Then, hours later, I went to throw something in the trash bin. When I opened the lid, I found a surprise. On top of all the regular trash, were my clothes! Bra and undies on top, then my shirt and pants, neatly folded, a pair of socks cuffed together as if they just came from the laundry, and under all of it, were my shoes. I pulled my belongings out of the trash and they were soaking wet.

Hmmm, I thought. Wet clothes: it was another mystery. Since the moisture was entirely on the front of my clothing, including my shirt, I ruled out having peed myself. By a thorough investigation of the facts at hand, not through memory, since I had none, I determined that the unopened, yet empty, bottle of water and the OE bottle had to be the culprits for the wetness. So, as best as I can piece it all together, the following is the most likely scenario of what happened.

I walked home cradling the two bottles in my arms. The bottle of water kept sliding through my arms in a downwardly direction, whereupon I would bend over to retrieve it with the uncapped and presumably full bottle of OE still in my grasp. Through the laws of gravity, some of the OE would spill out (for my homies, of course) all over me until I returned to an upright position. Meanwhile, the repeated crashes to the pavement had created holes in the water bottle’s nether regions, allowing its contents to dribble down the front of me as I walked. Repeat for four blocks or until I ran out of liquid, whichever came first.

How I had managed to keep hold of the glass bottle while continually dropping the plastic one remains an enigma. I assume it was because the OE was alcoholic, and therefore, of greater value to me in my drunken state.

Upon returning home, I had first gone to the kitchen to place the leaky bottles in the sink. In the time that took, I promptly forgot that the front door was wide open and still had my keys in it. While I was in the kitchen, I removed my wet clothes, one article at a time, neatly folded them, placed them in the trash and shut the lid. After that, I went into the bathroom and partook of the toilet’s sweet, sweet comfort. Finally, I dragged my naked self into the living room where I proceeded to pass out, uncomfortably, in an uncomfortable chair. Case closed.

I’d like to tell you that this story is part of my long-forgotten past. I’d like to tell you that this happened to a bunch of teenagers who didn’t know any better. However, that’s not the case. Alas, we were sentient adults who should have had the good sense to steer clear of D-12’s leftover OE. To this day, if the letters “O” and “E” are strung together in the presence of anyone who was there that fateful night, they will be greeted with rolling eyes and a groan.

So, let this be a lesson to you. Olde English 800 Malt Liquor, when consumed in vast quantities over a short period of time might have the following side effects: impaired judgment, memory loss, warped space/time, disregard for the laws of gravity, singing and/or dancing, deafness and the inability to control the volume of one’s voice, gleeful removal and throwing of undergarments into the trash, repeated nakedness, conversations with inanimate objects, a head that feels like it’s been crushed in a vise, and impaired mental function for a minimum of two to three days.