We actually couldn’t afford to stay in a decent hotel so we stayed at the Emerald Inn and Suites and bought some groceries so we didn’t have to eat every meal out. AND we went to a discount liquor store so as to by a mass amount of beer at a cheap price.

Well, the next thing you know we are drinking in the poor at our “hotel”. Vegas heat in March or April is still pretty potent. And my drinking habit got me that day. I learned a few lessons. I learned that you can get really drunk while sitting in a pool but still feel sober. Until you stand up. And then like a fucking freight train it hits you right in the mouth. A Evander Holyfield punch to the sober bone and boom there you are face planting into the pool and damn near drowning.

What else did I learn on that trip? Great question. I learned that you can in fact get sunburnt through water. That’s right. At the age of around 23 or 24 I still hadn’t learned that the sun’s radiation traveled through water. Why did I think water somehow protected me from the sun? No clue. But by the time we got the Excalibur to watch some jousting I was a) very, very drunk and b) as sunburnt as I have ever been. Like, I was glowing. I looked like a propane powered heat lamp. Spencer did too.

But it wasn’t just Fraser and I. Spencer was there too on that trip. Except he missed the knight’s jousting. Because literally as soon as we sat down in the theatre, ten minutes late, Spencer got back up and walked around the outside of the horseshoe shaped theatre. He was leaning on the wall the whole way around. Until he disappeared out the doors we had literally just walked in moments earlier.

Not long later they brought us food. To eat with our hands. I was starving. I was drunk. I went to town. Just devoured that chicken. Looking back on it now I can only imagine the way I torn into that poor bird. I mean, don’t get me wrong it was dead and cooked but still. No creature that was once alive deserves to be treated the way I fucked with that bird. Just torn it apart. The poor people in front of me and behind me too probably. I am sure chunks of chicken were flying all over the place and probably landing in their hair. Not to mention the sounds I was making. Oh, and Fraser and I were yelling things like, “Ahh-za wenches!” and cheersing our drinks together really, really hard. Like, medieval hard cheersing. (Greatest sentence I have ever written) So it probably wasn’t just chicken landing in other people’s hair. We “ate” Spencer’s share while he was gone.

Over an hour later the doors opened and Spencer made his way back to his seat. Again, leaning on the wall the whole way around the outside. He sat down and as soon as his ass touched his seat the show ended. Brilliant. 180 American pesos down the drain. He had missed the ENTIRE show.

Where had he been?

“I passed out in the bathroom.” He said. Other questions like why did we never bother to wonder where he was while he was gone? Or go look for him? Or worry about him in anyway? Explained by the booze I guess. We were drunk and in our own little world and had an extra share of chicken!

We took Spencer back to the hotel and dropped him off to pass out in a bed before Fraser and I went back to the strip where I eventually had my run in with the law.

And at one point in that long night of drinking and walking the strip we ended up in Circus Circus. Fraser has never been that angry. He just couldn’t believe the midway wasn’t open at 4am.

“I want to see some fucking clowns” was his epic line. If only we’d had a mirror.

Like I said. Gong show.

Now where was I?

After the bocce we ended up at the local pub. My first test of that specific environment. A local at which I was well known. John and I had dominated a fair few nights of trivia at that place. And I had dominated a fair few pints as well. It was a typical small town “trying to be European” style pub. Lots of dark woods. A nice long bar. Quiet booths in the corners. A stage at one end. Actually a pretty decent open mic night developed at that pub with a lot of very talented performers for such a small town.

And then a sort of a magical experience occurred. Just two weeks into not drinking I found myself walking into a pub with 3 friends. All of whom asked if it was okay if they ordered drinks. My response was a casualish ‘no problem’. And it wasn’t really a problem. I didn’t really want a drink.

And now I am starting to realize how annoying this book might be to someone who has an actual serious drinking problem. Like a real dependency. Because I was sort of able to just stop and a few weeks later I was in a pub. No problem. That’s just so incredibly fortunate. My problem with booze turned out to be that I couldn’t stop once I started. Trouble to be sure. But no where near the realm of awfulness that it could have been. Needing a drink every day to get through? That sort of illness is terrifying and I can’t imagine what that must be like.

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