Drunk Once, Sober for Life!
It's just a normal busy Saturday. Things to do, places to go, people to see, … those types of things. While in line at the grocery store, I over heard a couple of guys talking about one of their friends that had gotten very drunk last night. It got me to thinking about my own experience with being drunk. It only happened once; but after it was over, I promised myself that it would not ever happen again. As it turned out, that promise may have saved my life.
Many moons ago, I was a sailor in the U.S. Navy. A few friends and I were celebrating the completion of our training. We decided to have a picnic at a local park. It would be about twelve guys and their girl friends, food, drink, and alcohol. Up until this point, I had not had anything stronger then a glass of wine during dinner.
At the picnic, the alcohol (Sloe Gin) was mixed with a variety of fruit juices. I really like fruit juices, and my friends knew this. Yet, no one told me that gin was in the punch. (I believe you know where this is going.) After about the fourth or fifth glass of punch, I was officially drunk, but I hadn't realize it.
For some reason I found myself over by the swings, where everyone was taking turns swinging. Some how, I walked (I like to believed I walked but I may have staggered) in front of the swing set just as a buddy of mine was pushing his girl friend. When he pushed, she failed backwards off the swing and the swing came at me full force. I tried to duck out of the way, but the wooden swing seat tapped me (but good) on the back of my neck, at the base of my skull!
When I came too, I had the strangest experience. I noticed that everyone was around me asking if I was OK. But the one thought I had was, “How are all of you people floating in the air like that?” You see, from my perspective, I was standing up and they were laying horizontal and floating in mid-air. It took me several minutes to realize that I was the one laying flat on my back on the ground.
Surprisingly, after I came back to reality, I was fine. And I didn't experience a hangover. Everything was fine about me, but I hated the experience of not being in control enough to know my surroundings. So I promised myself, I would not ever get drunk again. So far, so good!
Fast forward a few years.
Too Near Death Experience
I had visited numerous countries up to this point. And on one day, we were in the country of Sudan. A party was given for us by the Sudan military officials, so we were taken by bus to a remote location for the party.
Upon arrival, I noticed the place for this party was more like an old fort/prison then anything else. But the food was laid out, drinks were everywhere, and everyone started to have a good time.
After a few hours, the sky became black with small twinkles of shimmering lights. The day had fallen into night, and the night sky was beautiful; all the while, the party was still going strong. I had decided not to drink the punch because it had a faint smell of alcohol.
Soon after night-fall, it seemed that everyone was drunk! Then for some reason, some of the guys (sailors) started talking about going back to the ship. The buses had not yet arrived to take us back. So, some of my shipmates, decided that they were going to walk back.
As they headed to the front gate, I noticed that the Sudanese soldiers started drawing their weapons and pointed them at the navy guys approaching the front gate. The Sudanese soldiers were saying something (in their language of course) but no one stopped or slowed down.
Finally, one of the soldiers noticed that I was not drunk and told me, in broken English, that if any of the U.S. Sailors try to leave the compound they would be shot! What!!! I quickly ran to the front gate and stopped all the sailors from going any further.
After about an hour, the buses arrived to take us back to the ship. I was glad that was over. But I was also glad that I made that promise to myself. And I still hold that promise in place today! It's OK to have fun and enjoy yourself. But you should always know your surroundings!