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The International Writers Magazine: Drunks:

Hurricane Bobby: A Survivor’s Story
Antonia Greco

Showing up wasted at the bar you work at on a day off can be quite disconcerting, yet quite comical. Ah, yes. I said it. Drinking off of the clock: For those of us in the bar industry, we’ve all done it, we’ve all seen someone do it, and we’ll all do it again.
Allow me to explain.

It was opening day of the Mariners. It was also Mike’s birthday: A recipe for disaster.

Bobby, a bartender at the bar I work at, also happens to be one of my good friends. For this reason, when he is drunk, I somehow assume the responsibility of him. "Hurricane Bobby" as my coworkers and I like to call it.

It started off as a typical Monday night; Typical until we were graced with the presence of the hurricane himself. As Bobby plowed into the bar in the manner known as "land surfing," his speech was incoherent and his motor skills even more so.
With an attention span like static, he recognized a woman at the bar who was wearing a lace bra under a busty, black leather vest. Abruptly, he jumped onto an adjacent barstool and lunged onto her shoulders.
"You little vixen! I haven’t seen you in forever!"
"Get off!" the lusty lady shrieked.
"I’m….gonna….drop…you!" she screamed between gasps of breath.
Noticing Bobby’s level of intoxication was worse than most days off, I tried to lure him off of her with kind words as if he were a child.
"Honey, you have to do one of two things, ok? You either have to go over to the other side and lay down in a booth, or you need to leave and I will walk you home."
"Walk me home! Take me home! But wait! I need another shot first!"

He staggered behind the bar and grabbed the bottle of Southern Comfort, thrashing all of the glassware behind the bar in the process. He finally grabbed a shot glass and placed it ever so carefully on top of his head.
"Oh Oh Oh! Look at me go, look at me go!" he chanted as he poured the liquor into the glass on his head-most of its contents landing all over his scalp instead. As he danced to the song "Do ya think I’m sexy" by Rod Stewart, he squatted down with the shot on his head, in an unsuccessful attempt to give it to a random victim, oops, I mean bystander.
"Antwon, get him outta here!" Tad, the on-duty bartender, barked from behind the bar.
"Ok, Ok!" I stammered.
Finally Bobby and I left. I was still technically "on the clock," yet I abandoned all of my open tabs and remaining tables in hopes of walking him home in the meantime.

Still wearing my ankle length apron and Bobby still wearing his whiskey soaked shirt, we staggered to the top of the street-arm in arm-as if we were trying to qualify for some kind of Special Olympics event. (Thankfully his apartment was only half a block away.)

When we arrived at his building, of course we could not just quietly enter. It was a pre-requisite to make a scene!
"Bruce! Hey man, want a drink?" Bobby belted.
"No, No thanks, I’m good" Bruce replied
"Oh come on! A little vodka or somethin somethin?"
"No No, I’m really ok"
Finally I yanked his arm and lead him to the elevator apologizing to Bruce in the wake of his intoxication. We finally made our way into the elevator, but there was a problem: he didn’t remember what floor he lived on. I stood there patiently as Bobby, completely baffled, stared at all of the numbers and letters.
"Ok, this isn’t funny. Which floor are you?"
He still sat there in complete bewilderment, scratched his head and then pressed the button "S."
"S?" What the hell is "S?"
The elevator descended one floor from the lobby and opened its’ doors to face cement walls and parked cars.
"You don’t live in the parking garage! Bobby, I don’t remember which floor you are on, so be sober for a second and hit the right button!"
He quickly pushed 5.
Thank god. It was the right floor. I guess if you’re drunk enough, an "S" and a "5" look pretty similar.
As we quietly opened the door to his unit, he flailed into the kitchen counter.
I looked at my cell phone to realize I had already been gone from work for twenty minutes.
"Go to bed. I have to go." I remarked.
I tried to tuck him in but the little rascal wouldn’t budge.
"I want to come back down to the bar with you!" he pouted.
"No, you can’t. I have to go close out my tabs. You go to bed, and when I’m done, I’ll come back and check on you."
"No! Don’t leave yet! I have to pee. Wait for me, we’ll go back down together and then go get breakfast."
It was hopeless. No matter how many times I tried to lose him, his drunk ass would still be in tow.
As I waited patiently by the door he yelled to me from the bathroom "Do you pray?’
"Yes, I pray, why?"
"Get in here!" He demanded.
I heard the toilet flush followed by the sound of a match being struck, as he proceeded to light a Mary pillar of faith candle.
"Get down on your knees!" he exclaimed
"What? You want to pray here in the bathroom? Now?"
He got down on his knees so I followed his lead.
"We have to say three Hail Mary’s and two Our Fathers and then we can leave." He proceeded to say.
With a "what the hell is going on" look on my face, he glared over at me with an annoyed look and began with a drunken stammer:
"Hair Mary….fools a grace, the lordas weh you…"
God forgive us.
And then as if praying on the floor of your bathroom was a normal everyday gesture, he stood up and blew out the candle. "Ok, now we can go."

With a pounding head and a drunk on my arm, back to the bar we went. As Bobby barreled through the door the second time around, I heard Tad from behind the bar:
"Antwoooon, what the hell are you doing back here!"
"I know I know! I have to close my tabs and then we’ll leave, I promise." I closed out my tabs as quickly as possible so I could get him the hell home- for good this time. As we finally said goodbye to everyone and their dog, and Bobby told all of his victims how he loved them, arm in arm we finally left.

We made our way up the street and as we were about to cross the street to his apartment building, Bobby’s arms flail up in to air "Taxi!"
"What the hell are you doing? You live right there?" I stammered as I pointed across the street.
It was already too late.
"Hey cabbie, can you take us to the 13 Coins?"
"Seriously Bobby, what the hell!"

As Bobby "land surfed" his way into the lobby of the 13 Coins, a popular 24-hour, gourmet diner, we made our way to the big leather back chairs at the kitchen counter.
Not paying attention, I look over as I notice Bobby has grabbed the waiter’s arm.
"Hey!" He grumbles in a drunken stupor. "What the hell is that guy over there lookin’ at?"
"It’s a cabbie waiting to pick someone up. Chill out man!!" the waiter barked.
I grabbed Bobby’s face.
"Do me a favor. Don’t look at anyone, don’t talk to anyone, and don’t touch anything!"

In the midst of scolding him, a redheaded dorky looking man with a bow tie and a perfectly starched white shirt approached us. "Hi I’m Nick, Welcome to 13 coins! May I start the two…"
(Bobby interrupts) "Yea Nick, We’ll take two vodka tonics."
"I’m sorry but the bar has already closed for the evening."
"Yea, but can’t you--ya know, get us a little something"
"No I can’t, I’m really sorry. But here are some menus."
"We already know what we want: two eggs benedict and a side of fries. " Bobby ordered.
"The Benedict comes with hash browns, are you sure you want fries, too?"
"Yes, bring it all."
Not even five minutes had elapsed when a waiter-not Nick-walks past the two of us with an order of crab cakes.
"Hey! How much for those crab cakes?" Bobby demanded
"Sir, I’m sorry these aren’t for sale. These are for another table"
"Yea, but how much can I give you for them. Right here, right now" as Bobby whipped a wad of hundreds out of his pocket.
"I’m sorry, sir. I can order you some crab cakes but I can’t give you these"
Not even a complete minute later, the waiter-again, not Nick- returns with the crab cakes and apparently a change of heart. "Here! If you want them soooo bad, they’re yours" he said while hastily setting them down and quickly walking away.
As Bobby mowed the crab cakes, sans a fork, I couldn’t help but wonder how the hell my night ended up like this.
"Ok, let’s go." Bobby said as he stood up and reached in his pocket for his cash.
"Bobby, we ordered food, remember?"
"Who cares, lets go."
Embarrassed, I asked Nick, "May we have our check and could you put that food into to go boxes?"
As we pay the bill, we call a cab and wait in the lobby.

Ever heard the saying, never turn your back on the ocean? Well I think that quote should become "never turn your back on a drunk."
I turned my back for one second to look at a pamphlet and in that brief moment, Bobby had stumbled into the hostess stand nearly taking out the giant bowl of complimentary after dinner mints.
"Hey, do you have any banana cream pie?" he asked the general manager.
"No sir, sorry we don’t."
"Ok… well ok then."
"What the hell are you doing now? I exclaimed. Why do you want pie?"
"Banana cream-it’s my mothers favorite, duh" as he shrugged his shoulders and walked away.
*Side note: I’m pretty sure we’re 86’d from the 13 coins. *

When the cab finally arrived, we quickly hopped in and I directed the cabbie where to go. Half way down the road I looked over at Bobby and it appeared that he had fallen into a bout of narcolepsy. As a stream of drool hung in limbo from his mouth, I abruptly hit his leg.
"Hey! You’re drooling!"
"Oops you weren’t supposed to see that."
Finally, 3rd Avenue. Home.

As we enter his building, again, door guy Bruce looks at us carrying box upon box of take out food. "Oh good, you got him something to eat!" (Little does Bruce know that NO amount of food will be able to help this fool!)?
"Alright Bobby, we’re here. I need to go home and go to sleep. So you need to get in your bed now. "
"Well we can do one of two things right now. We can either eat this food, or go in the hot tub." he mumbled.
And before I could even say ‘neither,’ Bobby-with two towels in hand-made a speedy exit out his apartment door. I began chasing him down his hallway. Too late. He was already opening up the door to the pool facility.

I may not be a rocket scientist, but I’m pretty sure that drunk people should probably abstain from any kind of water activity, but once again-too late. By this point, his little drunk and half naked body had already made its way over to the hot tub, removed the cover, and hit the button to turn on the jets. Not a moment to soon and he slithered his way into the tub and cozied up all drunk next to one of the jets.

For the next ten minutes or so, I was having flashbacks of high school, when I used to have to baby-sit for this well off family that had a pool. Everyday I had to watch the kids swim, and everyday I was paranoid that one of the kids would drown. I was indeed babysitting; only this time I wasn’t getting paid.
By the time I had finally convinced him to get out of the hot tub, what does he do? "Cannon Ball!" He screams as he jumps into the adjacent swimming pool.
"Shit!" I scream as I jump in after him, afraid he may indeed drown.
"Gotcha!" he exclaims.
"Alright! Enough water activity. Get out of the pool!" I demanded.
As we gathered our belongings and splashed our way back to his room, he belts out "Let’s watch a movie now!"
"Dude, you still can’t even walk! Go to bed and stay there!
I had gone into the bathroom to towel dry my hair when I heard thud of his body fall on to his bed, followed by the faint sound of a snore. Alas! Home free!

I quietly grabbed my stuff and made my escape.
As I made my exit from the lobby with my belongings in hand, not to mention sopping wet hair and clothes, Bruce just looked at me in bewilderment.
"Goodnight…I think," he uttered
I anxiously made my way to the street corner to hail a cab; somehow, I managed to hail the same exact cab driver that had dropped us off at 13 Coins. Go figure, because I’m pretty sure there are hundreds of cabs roving the streets of Seattle on any given night.

The cabbie began laughing when I entered the cab and in his Jamaican accent remarked, "Back so soon! And without your part-ner in crime?" as he laughed in an Eddie Murphy sounding manner.
"Just another manic Monday." I replied as I quickly closed my eyes for the rest of the ride home.
(Names have been changed to protect the innocent.)

© Antonia Greco July 2008

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