I had just turned 18 and I was fairly new to the world of drinking and doing stupid stuff.
We go to party at my friends house who has a remarkably cool mom who buys us assorted bottles of alcohol, including one for me to take home. It's a weekday and I work at a garbage company where my father is the manager. Like I said, I was new to heavy drinking, thus new to the side effects also.
There are maybe 10 of us at the party, including a female friend of mine that I was good friends with (just friends). Oddly enough, it was always cool between us.
We all drink heavily. I've never felt better and we chug straight out of bottles, including my new favorite, peppermint schnapps. Then we start smoking. We have crappy schwag and only a little. Then my friend's mom comes down into the basement.
With these youngsters wide-eyed, she pulls out the biggest bud we'd ever seen and the night spirals out of control from there.
It becomes 2am and I realize I need to get up at 6am to go to work. I decide I need to get home, and, not being one for goodbyes, I take my bottle and small backpack and set out on foot.
I live maybe 2 miles away, and I realize this will take too long so I start to jog. My flip flops do not accommodate jogging well, so I take them off. So here I am, running down empty streets with a bottle, a tye-dyed bag, and my sandals in hand.
Somehow, I make it about a mile without issue or injury. At this point, a car stops and rolls down the window. "Need a ride?" Tired of running, I am happy to get in his car.
I barely remember the car or the 20-something guy, but I'll never forget his words: "I see a guy running down the street with his shoes in one hand and a bottle in the other- that's man who needs a ride."
And he was right; he drove me the remaining mile home, I thanked him and admitted that I will never remember him but that he was a good man. I went inside and passed out.
6am comes and I feel like hell- my first hangover. I think about calling in sick but instead decide that if I eat breakfast I will feel better. I put down some cereal and go to brush my teeth.
I use my PEPPERMINT flavored toothpaste and immediately flashback to last night. I start vomiting instantly. Ugh, I decide to call in, but my dad was already at work. So I resolve to drive in and tell him, mostly so he can see my condition, and then I will come home and sleep.
I get to work and my dad knows I was out late, and tells me to get to work. Luckily I was in the shop all day painting dumpsters. This might not sound hard but involves respiratory equipment, and I am puking every half hour at this point.
My jackass coworkers (welders, mechanics) realize this and make fun of me constantly, to the point where my father catches wind. He asks if I'm hungover, and I deny it, saying I ate something bad.
He never said anything else about it, probably because 8 hours of painting dirty garbage dumpsters in the sun while vomiting was punishment enough. Either way, I never showed up to work hungover again.
Lesson learned, but I'm most thankful to that man who picked me up on the street. He may have saved my life because I was running in the street, just asking to be hit by a car or arrested. If you're out there: thanks for the ride, bro.