Wednesday, May 04, 2005
The Holiday Show and Wu's Magic Afro
I used to work at the largest, best-stocked liquor store in Louisville, the fabulous Liquor Outlet. One of the few benefits of working there was an invitation to the annual Holiday Show presented by our largest local distributor, Southern Wine and Spirits.

By Holiday Show, I don't mean wretched Christmas carols, tacky nativity scenes and a meth addict dressed as Santa; I mean free booze.

Free booze. Are there two more beautiful words in the english language? At the Holiday Show, Southern gave away unlimited free samples of every thing they sell, and they sell everything. It's the drinker's equivalent of a bachelor being invited to the Playboy Mansion. Who knew heaven was a convention hall in Louisville?

I went to the 2000 Holiday Show with my friends and co-workers Tim, Kristen, and Wu. The event always takes place in late October, so Wu decided to Halloween it up a bit by sporting the largest afro wig I'd ever seen. He could barely get through doorways with this thing. I'm sure that, as a group, we brought shame upon the once-respected name of Liquor Outlet for generations to come.

Tim didn't drink all that much since he was driving, but he practically pulled up a chair to the buffet. I think at one point he distracted the guy at the carving station and made off with three-fourths of an entire prime rib. Recently divorced, I don't think Tim had cooked in twenty years and was stockpiling food for the long winter ahead.

Wu did his share of drinking but spent most of the evening telling assorted ladies that he hadn't cut his hair in five years because "I've been in the joint." Most of them seemed more interested when they thought he was a convicted felon.

Kristen, who arrived about an hour after the rest of us, had a plan to befriend the liquor vendors and at the end of the evening ask for any opened bottles. Her low-cut dress increased her odds of making this a reality. Queen for a day, drunk for a lifetime.

I didn't have time to make friends or lie to strangers. I was busy trying one of everything. Beer, wine, scotch, vodka, gin, bourbon, mixed elixirs, frozen concoctions; all of them combined to make me a slurred-speached wreck. Someone told me I proposed to several members of the Budweiser Bikini Team, but to this day it remains heresay.

When it was time for us to leave, good ol' Tim helped me to the exit, with Wu and then Kristen, her arms full of liquor bottles, following close behind. All was well until I heard, "I'm sorry, no bottles can leave this room. You'll have to put those back."

I turned around and saw Kristen's eyes fill with tears. An entire evening of flaunting her ample wares to middle-aged booze peddlers was wasted.

All I wanted to do was go home, but Tim suggested we go to a strip club. The Holiday Show is traditionally an early evening affair so it was only about nine o'clock and Tim, with half a buffet table and very little booze in him, was just getting started. Wu was up to it and I was in no condition to argue, so it was decided we'd go to a place called PT's Showclub, located a few blocks away.

As we walked through the bottom level of the parking garage, Wu wondered aloud, "Where's Kristen?" On cue, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It was Kristen, crawling out of some opening that looked like an oversized doggie door but was probably the end of a garbage chute. She was dragging a plastic bag filled with liquor bottles behind her.

She never saw us. She got up off the ground, grabbed her ill-gotten treasure with both hands and ran like hell in the direction of her car. At the time, mainly because of my state of shitfacedness, I thought it was the funniest thing ever. I walked along, laughing, then KABOOM
I was flat on my back. I had just walked directly into a Stop sign. I lay there on the ice-cold concrete for what seemed like an hour but was really ten seconds, opening my eyes to see Wu and his freakishly oversized novelty 'fro standing over me. "I'm dead," I thought. "I'm dead, hell is a disco, and this is Satan."

I was only in the strip club for thirty seconds. I walked in, found a seat by one of the stages, and passed out. I fell asleep in front of a beautiful woman who was as naked as the day she was born. That, my friends, is drunk. As soon as my head hit the stage I was given the heave-ho by ten or so bouncers. Why so many? Maybe they thought I'd put up a fight. Whatever; I was so drunk I could have been thrown out by a girl scout with two club feet. My roommate at the time happened to be there, which isn't nearly as big a coincidence as it may seem, and gave me a ride home.

The next year, my last Holiday Show before I moved away, was quite different. Wu left the costumes at home, Tim was engaged to wife number two, and Kristen had long since found another job. As for me, I was a little more selective in my sampling.


Blogger Dr. Chingasa said...

"All I wanted to do was go home..." bwaaaahhahaha.

Blogger yournamehere said...

No, you don't understand how drunk I was. Think of everything you've ever seen me drink. Now double that. I'm lucky I lived through the night.
I really didn't want to go anywhere.

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