Things For People

No strong convictions about this blog site to speak of. Just occasional musings inspired by things that transpire outside my window: LAPD helicopters searching for fugitives, transvestite prostitutes wrestling with their pimps at 3am, and the chubby kid next door who sings in the shower 4 times per day.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Wednesday, February 26, 2003


I've had the hiccups for the past 45 minutes, and every home-grown remedy has failed me -- holding my breath, drinking a lot of water, standing on the neighbor's front porch naked. It reminded me of a long, strange weekend many years ago. Come and sit on grandpa's lap and I'll tell ya a little story. A few summers ago my college roommate invited me to a friend's lakehouse for water-skiing, barbecuing, and other assorted shenanigans. We loaded up the truck and set off for hillbilly fortunes aplenty. Our rallying point was a restaurant in the land of non-alcoholic beer and decaffeinated coffee -- Bedford, Texas. We had patronized the local liquor establishment for some potent potables. Once we had reached destination #1 I opened the passenger door of the truck and knocked the bottle of whiskey we had purchased out onto the pavement. I thought I could somehow salvage it by grabbing hold of the shattered glass. This only resulted in multiple lacerations, but at least they were sterilized by the high alcohol content of the quickly disappearing beverage that had once been contained inside the bottle-shards. Bad omen. We drove a couple of hours to beautiful Lake Granbury and set up camp in a friend's lakehouse. We spent the evening catching up on embellished stories (much like this one) and pulverizing our livers with firewater. At dawn, all of us you Americans say...rarin' to go. We loaded all of our gear onto the ski boat. The driver of the boat cranked up the engine, and...nothing. Since none of us had any mechanical skills, and all of us had already consumed multiple beers for breakfast, we were dumbfounded. I've always regretted the fact that I can't fix anything unless it has mayonnaise and bread on it. I suggested that we “prime the carb.” I think I had heard that on TV once, and since no one else had any suggestions, we went-a-priming. We grabbed a gas can from the tool-shed and poured it in with reckless abandon. The gasoline had a strange greenish hue to it, but that didn't seem to bother us at the time. Lo and behold, the boat started up immediately. I was so proud of myself. I was glowing like a pregnant woman with axle grease under her nails. We roared off toward the middle of the lake in anticipation of a great day of skiing. About 5 minutes into our journey, the engine started sputtering. So much for the grand priming suggestion. Unfortunately for one of our good friends, the contents of one of the water hoses burst onto his leg, causing unforgiving burning and blistering. The painful shock caused him to get the hiccups. Here we were, stranded in a boat with no propulsion, while the burn victim hiccuped continuously. None of us really knew what to do, so we just waited to drift ashore. We came upon a group of Mexican construction workers and asked if they could help us out. The language barrier made it difficult to explain what we needed from them, so we presented them with the universal language of negotiation -- beer. I can't recall what magical spell they placed on the engine, but we were back out into the open water in no time, while the burn victim hiccuped. Our victory was short-lived. The engine died within minutes. My roommate, another friend, and I decided to swim for it. After 10 beers, 400 yards doesn't seem like a great distance to swim. Besides, there was a spot in the middle of the lake on which we could stand, so we collectively assumed that we could just walk back to shore. We were only able to walk about 40 yards before we ran out of places to stand. Time to muster up our "Allowed to go into the deep end without parents" skills from 15 years before. I was in pretty good shape at the time, but I quickly succumbed to the "Don't go into the water after you've eaten, especially if you've been drinking alcohol" rule. My hamstring cramped up so badly that I couldn't move my right leg. I basically swam in circles until I ran out of gas. I was still a couple hundred yards from shore, and I knew I was in trouble. I noticed that a good samaritan had already towed the rest of the party. They were on the dock having a good ole' time while I bobbed for air. I knew that I couldn't hold out for very much longer since I couldn't swim in a straight line. I started screaming for help. Two of my friends jumped into action on a paddleboat that was tied to the dock. They were both so drunk that they couldn't paddle it straight, on top of the fact that paddleboats have a top speed of about 5 knots with a tailwind. I had given up trying to swim at this point, and resorted to doggy-paddling since I couldn't bend my right leg. Eventually they reached me, which saved my life. They hauled me back to the lakehouse, where I promptly passed out. I woke up 3 hours later to the sound of the burn victim’s hiccups. We had dinner, reflected on the wacky day's events for a couple of hours, and decided it was time to go to sleep. The burn victim had finally gotten rid of his hiccups (after 10 hours) and all was well. There were only two beds in the lakehouse. If I recall correctly, there were 7 of us on the trip. I figured that since I had almost died earlier that day, I deserved to have one of the beds. I sauntered off toward the twin-sized in the guest bedroom and I noticed that my roommate was headed the same direction. Our eyes locked, and I could practically hear the townsfolk whispering about who was going to draw first. My roommate was about 6'1" 220 lbs., but darnit I was going to have that bed. We both charged like bulls toward the guest bedroom. We wrestled each other for about 3 seconds until I finally said, "Okay, you don't touch me, and I won't touch you." We both crawled into the tiny bed. I crashed out within seconds. My roommate suffered from what are commonly known as "night-terrors". I can sleep through anything, so I didn't think it would bother me much. At about 3:00 am I was awakened by a blood-curdling scream and immediately looked over toward my roommate, who began punching me with all of the force he could muster. I struggled with everything I had to deflect the punches, fearing for my life. One of his punches missed me and hit the bedroom wall, causing a painting to fall off the living room wall and land on the burn victim, who had been sound asleep on the couch. I frantically tried to wake my roommate up. Once he came to, with my arms and legs wrapped around him, he calmly asked, "What's going on?" The next thing I heard was the sound of the burn victim hiccuping from the living room. The owner of the lakehouse, who was asleep in the master bedroom, was so terrified by all the screaming that he crawled under the bed, thinking that someone had broken into the house and was murdering all of us. Good times, good times.