About a month ago, I had a friend visit from out of town. This friend shall remain unnamed, but we will call her Lush, mostly because she is not.
Lush and I had never gone drinking together, but we were looking forward to it. I, obviously, have a fondness for the fermented beverage, and she's from the party town of Vegas, where she has had adventures that surpass anything you've read here. At least in star power. (Defi, when are we gonna get NBA players to costar in one of our stories?)
Anyhow, I was operating under the assumption that Lush is indeed a lush, and thus would match me drink for drink and inspire some adventures that involve NBA players - and their groupies. Alas, I overestimated Lush's drinking capacity.
(She says she never said she was a heavy drinker. I counter that she's always got a story about some time when she was absolutely hammered. We'll call it a draw.)
Lush and I end up at Sloppy Joe's, a beachside bar and restaurant in Treasure Island, on the Gulf coast. It's one of my favorite spots because it's laidback, there's always room to sit outside and watching the sun set while sipping a mojito is pretty tough to top for enjoying life. I've taken dates there, my moms ... hell, I've even gone drinking there solo. Big surprise, I know.
Anyhow, we grab a couple stools at the outside portion of the bar, which was fairly empty. I order a mojito, but the bar was out of fresh mint, which should be illegal. I settle for a Captain and coke while Lush peruses the menu. A middle-aged couple, obviously vacationing, was sitting to our left, and the woman was drinking a "sloppy-sized margarita." Lush decides she wants one of those, only she gets the top-shelf version, with Patron and Grand Marnier. I dub it the Megarita.
The middle-aged woman was maybe an eighth of the way into her drink when Lush got hers. As the afternoon progresses, we end up chatting with the couple - visiting from Ohio - and they turn out to be pretty cool. However, after a while, the woman notices she's killed her drink while Lush is perhaps a quarter of the way through hers. She immediately starts giving Lush a hard time. I, of course, encourage this, since I'm on my second or third drink at that point.
Lush tries to play it off, saying it's her first drink, she's Asian, yada yada yada. The woman gets gangster with it and orders another, then tells Lush she'll probably finish that one before Lush gets through with hers. This lights a fire under Lush, who manages to finish it as the woman hits the halfway mark on her second drink.
However, Lush is already talking about getting a buzz, and how she's got a lot of hard booze in her drink. My skepticism was palpable as I started in on my fifth drink. So she orders a second Megarita, but as she does, she tries to mount a defense of her weak drinking while Middle-Aged Lady and I relentlessly tease her.
"Hey," Lush says to the bartender, "this is a really strong drink, right?" The bartender tries to give her an answer that won't piss her off, but it's obvious he doesn't think she's drinking a mindbender. "OK, but wait," she says. "I've had more to drink than him, right?" She points at me.
The bartender, who came on shift after we'd arrived, says he doesn't know the answer to that question because he doesn't know how many drinks I've had.
"So how much alcohol is in my drink?" she says, ignoring the warning signs of impending ownage. "About four ounces," he says. "And how many are in his?" Lush presses on. "At least two ounces ... maybe two and a half," the bartender replies.
"Ha!" she says, turning to me as I briefly wonder if small animals standing on asphalt ever really comprehend what that rapidly approaching car bumper portends or if they live in blissful ignorance until the thud. "My drink has more alcohol than yours does."
I look at Lush for a moment, wondering just how evil I am. I decide I am not that evil, at least that day.
"Sweetheart ... I've had more than four of these. Do the math."
As realization dawns on her, accompanied by giggles from Ohio people and the bartender, I give myself a mental pat on the back for taking it easy on her. After all, it was only our first time drinking together. She'll learn.