One of my favorite comedians and Chicago native, John Mulaney has a great bit called “Blacking Out and Making Money.” In it he gives a terrific description of what blacking out is like: “Blacking out is when your brain goes to sleep, but your body goes all ‘Eye of the Tiger’ and soldiers on.” Afterwards, he discusses the following financial wizardry, “I would go out for the night, blackout, and wake up with more money… But that means that I earned money. That means that I traded goods, and or services… which is scary.”
I always found this funny because of the ridiculousness of that scenario occurring. However, after a heavily ill-advised Santa-con bar crawl this past Saturday, I awoke Sunday morning in the throes of a downright savage hangover. Worthy of being ranked in the top five worst mornings of my illustrious postgrad career is no simple feat, but Sunday coasted into a respectable second place with ease.
Still donning an overly festive turtleneck sweater and my pants from the night before, I was able to check for the essentials (phone and wallet) breathing a heavy sigh of relief when I confirmed that both of them, along with my credit cards that were safely in my possession. At that moment I decided to check if the $40 I went into the bar with still remained, and it did, but with an extra surprise – Nestled up next to my pair of crisp Andrew Jacksons was another, far more wrinkled, but equally as valuable $20 bill. Confused, I checked my bank statement and was surprised to see no ATM fees over the course of the weekend. I began to recap my day/night in my head, searching for answers to why I had been bestowed this gift.
My Saturday preparation consisted of a substantial breakfast of bacon and eggs at the local diner. I felt confident, I felt ready, and I was ready to take on the world. Sure, it had been a couple months since giving postgrad day-drinking a chance at Homecoming, but I was positive I would fare better now than I had back then. In hindsight, I should’ve known not to start cracking beers before the Uber to the pregame arrived, but alas, a sense of youth-driven invincibility came over me. Beers, hard-ciders, haircuts, and multiple rousing games of flip-cup followed, in a college-level pregame that my body wasn’t even close to prepared for.
Within minutes of arriving at the bar, my already fleeting memory tells me I decided it was time for karaoke. With the swagger of a seasoned performer I approached the woman running the mic, slurring to her that I would be delivering my rendition of Shania Twain’s, “Man I Feel like a Woman.” She smiled and shook her head while one thought crossed my mind, “This is going to be electric.” What followed cannot quite be described as such, but was a somewhat respectable (if I do say so myself) attempt at not butchering Mrs. Twain’s wonderful song. Coming off the stage elated, yet slightly embarrassed, the drinks continued to flow. The last thing I remember was spilling part of my drink on some poor woman (if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry) and her beginning to yell at me. In a valiant effort to salvage the day I decided it was time to leave. I blinked, and woke up at 2 a.m. in my bed, the 7 hours preceding that moment seemingly lost to the eternity of time.
What happened in that Uber and where did the money come from? I may never know. I’m aware it was just $20, but the fact remains, what did I do to deserve being handed compensation for my actions? All I’ve been able to gain from this experience is the harsh reality that I can’t pull off day drinking anymore. It might be time to put the blackouts in my past and grow up a little. Of course, I say this deep in the throes of a two day hangover, and I’ll likely make the same mistakes again sooner than I’d like to admit. With a company holiday party coming up in a few days, I’m just hoping to still be employed by the weekend..
Image via Shutterstock