We used to have this tradition every summer within a circle of friends that we know. The women would go down to Niagara region and do a wine weekend. Which involves riding bikes around to a bunch of vineyards and drinking for 2 days. The ladies rent a house down there and have a relaxing girls weekend away. A few of the guys in this circle do something a little different. We used to go on a golf trip. Now the idea with this one was that we would travel somewhere, preferably somewhere in the States, and do a weekend of golfing. This has happened exactly one time for me and here is the reason why:
We have a hotel booked in downtown Rochester, NY. Which is only a few hours away but still far enough to make it an adventure. On this trip is supposed to be 4 people: myself, Mills, Ged, and Greer. We arrange to car pool in Mills’ Odyssey mini-van. At this point Greer has bowed out and will not be making it on the trip. (you smart, smart man) Ged has made all of the travel arrangements and planned the route using his GPS.
Day 1 – Friday
We meet up at Mills’ house to get our gear loaded up and into the mini-van. Mills is driving and we leave the house on time things are on schedule and looking good. We get to the border and stop into Duty Free to pick up some supplies…yes a metric shit ton of booze. Now we are stuck at the border for a pretty long time but we’re moving and eventually after about an hour we get across and into Western NY. Now Mills pulls over after about a Km and says he is done driving. It’s my turn to take over the wheel. At this point Ged and Mills are reclined in the far back seats of the van like they are in a limo and have cracked a bunch of beers. I should have seen that coming but didn’t. We cruise into this small town of which the name escapes me, but it was very nice and the course that Ged picked was pretty cool. We get checked in and get our stuff loaded into some golf carts and now the guys have each had about 4 beers and are feeling good. We discover that the golf carts have these odd looking racks on the side and can’t figure out what they are for. There is a shack at the start and it turns out that this is the spot where you can buy a half dozen beers on ice in a cooler for about 7 or 8 bucks. AHA! We have just learned the purpose of the funky looking rack on the side of the carts….YAY.
We all purchase a cooler full of beers and get out onto the course. Some golf happens, and that is about as interesting as this part of the trip was. It was downright civilized compared to the rest. I was always a responsible person in situations like this. I refused to have more than a beer or two prior to driving. So I was the DD for this part of the adventure. We left the course and made our way down to the actual city of Rochester. I get the van parked and we have to make two trips to the room. One for our luggage and supplies and one for just the booze. After we get settled and have a few drinks in the room, a decision is made to go get some food. We wonder around the city for a bit looking for places to eat and settle on this small bar/pub type place and end up spending a few hours there drinking and chatting with some locals. After this there was a rousing game of quarters in the hotel and MORE drinking. and….fade to black
Day 2 – Saturday
I find myself waking in a strange room and feeling pretty terrible. I am nursing a raging hangover. I blurt something about needing food and the guys decide to have breakfast after getting some hair of the dog into their systems. So some beers and a shower are in order then we are ready to hit a Perkins for some greasy bacon and eggs. Now ready for day two. oh how little I knew how shitty this day was going to go.
At this point I should describe my travel mates a bit. Ged is an ex military guy who works in a lube shop. He is a nice enough guy and one of those people that is incapable of knowing his limit when it comes to drinking. He is a hard drinker and he NEVER gets hang overs. (That fucker). Mills is a bit of a dick. He sells blinds for a living in his Dad’s company. They say that alcohol amplifies your personality…..what if you are an asshole? Both of these guys, like myself, are married.
We get to the course and get checked in and loaded up. We have already pre-packed beer into our golf bags. We start out on the course and I’ve got a nice glow on, the sun is shining and the only thing missing is my ability to play golf. We get going and are pretty much on pace to drink a beer on every hole. Eventually the beverage cart comes around and we discover much to Mills’ delight that the attendant is a beautiful young lady who has now become Mills’ favorite thing of the trip. He hits on her relentlessly, asking her to pose for pictures with him every time she comes around. He asks her all sorts of personal questions and eventually even asks her to meet up with us later when we apparently are going out on the town. This to me seemed pretty creepy but it’s the kind of guy that Mills is. His marriage vows are more suggestion than vow.
18 holes of golf are played and other than Mills’ attempted rendezvous with his new girlfriend (at least in his mind), it’s pretty uneventful. Our trio arrives back at the hotel and we decide to go get changed and take advantage of the pool. Again, more beer is loaded into a bag and brought down with us. What I remember about this part is that we had a nice time swimming; we could see out over the Genessee river and parts of the city. It was pretty nice. With swim time over we make our way back to the hotel room and decide to relax for a bit before deciding what we want to do for the evening. This is at about 4pm, I think. I hop in the shower and get cleaned up and Ged and Mills take a nap. At some point Mills wakes up and as he is walking across the room he reaches out and swats the tray containing the coffee pot, cups, and accessories. It goes flying across the room and smashes into the wall. He does not know why he did that, it just felt right I guess. Ged and I have decided to leave, Mills is too ruined to move so he passes out on the bed and is going nowhere.
We get a cab and it’s decide we are going to check out a club called the Klassy Kat. It’s a peeler bar, and it’s in the middle of a sketchy area of Rochester. The cab driver doesn’t seem too impressed to have to drive us out there. That should have been a sign. The cabbie gives us his business card and tells us to call when we need to get out of there. We get into the club and order some drinks.
NOTE: this is where the trip becomes really fuzzy for me. The rest of this will be pieced together from what I remember and from what I’ve been told.
Apparently at this point I am now the superstar of the strip club. I’m ordering rounds of drinks for dancers and for random strangers. I’m trying to be the bar tender. I’m telling people hilarious stories and I am in full “party Brendan” mode. Ged is trying his best to keep a couple of the dancers from dragging me away with them. As far as I know he was successful. What he failed at was keeping me from getting up on the bar and then from falling over onto my neck and back as I lean way back on a bar stool. This is the point where the bouncers have decided that I am a risk and need to be removed. Ged and the bouncer drag me out into the parking lot. They let me rest with my head on a parking curb and Ged goes back in the bar to finish his round of drinks. Then he calls a cab and we return to the hotel to get Mills. Mills is awake now and ready to party. They decide to take this cab down to the night club area of downtown. We get there and I fall out of the cab onto the street. They drag me up to several bars/night clubs but no one will allow us into the bar as my state of inebriation was beyond normal. They tell me that I got it together enough to finally make into a club after 4 or 5 have turned us away. Mills finds a group of girls and disappears, then Ged loses me. Eventually he goes to find Mills and the two of them can’t locate me. I have vanished.
NOTE: this is where my black out ends and I hazily remember what’s transpired.
I come out of the fog and realize that I am walking alone in downtown Rochester at about 2 or 3 in the morning. I have no idea where I am, or where I am headed or where my “buddies” are. I am trying to use my blackberry to navigate my way back to the hotel. I don’t remember the address only vaguely remember the name of the place. I notice at one point that I am being followed by a sketchy looking dude. This is not fun, I am now in full panic mode. I call my wife, who is asleep in Niagra Falls with Mills and Ged’s wives. I break down on the phone and tell her that I am lost and don’t know here Ged and Mills are. Now the whole house in Niagra Falls is awake on top of all of this. Mare finally says, “just get in a cab”. Why the fuck didn’t I think of that? I flag down a cab and it turns out to be the same guy that has been driving us around. He is laughing at me as he nicely drops me off at the hotel. I force him to take payment, he actually didn’t want to take my money.
Finally I home, without a room key and without Mills and Ged. FUCK
Eventually they show up after their wives call them and give them shit for losing me. They come up and are laughing at me as they let me into the room. I pass out.
Day 3 – hell
Next morning, I wake up and I have pissed the bed, I feel like someone has buried a hatchet into the top of my skull. I run to the bathroom and puke my guts out. Nothing is coming out as I realized later the only food I ate the whole day was the breakfast. I hastily pack my shit up and the guys get ready to head home. They can’t wait to stop at duty free to get stocked up….I’m questioning my ability to ever drink again. It’s pretty much the longest car ride of my life. I just want to sleep and not feel sick. It took me two days to recover from this.
When I got home I was informed that the one and only golf trip would be my last. She was less than enthused by my story. I don’t know if those guys still do that golf trip as I don’t really run in that circle much anymore.
For a long time I used to blame those guys for losing me downtown. But as I’ve written this I have come to realize that this was entirely my own doing. I have to take responsibility for this mess. I am the one that drank as much as I did. I could have said no to going out to the bars and I could have insisted on making sure we stopped to eat some food. When a person gets that crazy piss the bed type of drunk there is really no one to blame but the person doing the drinking. I know that some people might suggest that a bartender should not have been serving me after it became apparent that I was beyond intoxicated, and that could very well have happened. I don’t know. What I do know is that I don’t regret the trip only the wreckage …..