Thursday, May 12, 2005

 

blow me


Once upon a time I had a best friend. She was killed by a drunk driver. She was 15.

There were three of us in elementary school who hung together. Me and Wendy and Angela. Angela was skinny as fuck and never said a word. Wendy was louder, but she was fat and too smart and she sucked her fingers, so her teeth stuck out straight. I was sort of normal-sized but shy and too smart. None of us were athletic, all of us were shy. We fit nowhere but with each other. And it was enough. Two is good; three is a posse. There is strength in numbers, and that posse lasted many years.

We made a movie in grade four. I directed and filmed it, Angela and Wendy starred in it. I would give a fortune to have that movie back.

I don't know where Angela is today, but after I moved to another province, Wendy got older, lost the puppyfat, got her teeth straightened. She was starting to hang with other kids, maybe even dating. The world was opening up.

Some of the cooler kids hung with her sometimes.

And then my other friend Kathy got drunk and ran a stop sign while Wendy was in the car. Kathy never saw the truck. I'm hoping Wendy also never saw it before it killed her.

This is one of the reasons that I have always thought that drunk drivers deserve to be shot.

Tonight I had a sobering experience.

I worked my day job from 8:30 to four and then my night job from 4:30 to 10:00. Long day, and both gigs were tiring. Lost files, code blues (codes blue?), the whole shebang.

Some of the students from where I work my day job were having a CD release party and I had promised them I would stop in and listen to a few tunes on the way home.

It's pretty important to the students when I show up at their gigs, so although I was tired I stopped by, as promised. It took me 40 minutes to find the place, but I keep all of the promises that I'm able to, and this one was a possible. There were several other students there and they were all excited I was there and got me my very own little red stool and sat me down and we babbled and listened to some truly excellent music.

I was there for about an hour and a half, and I had two beers.

Two. And I'm not a small woman (168 lbs, and on a 5'6" frame that's well-upholstered if not exactly waddling).

I had eaten today. Maybe coffee and a bag of peanuts for breakfast, as I'm breakfastfully-challenged and never manage to do anything reasonable for that particular meal. I had a small hamburger and a salad for lunch, and two croissants (one stuffed with ham and cheese and one stuffed with spinach and feta) for dinner.

An apple and a bag of cheetos at some point, too.

A perfectly reasonable amount of food for one woman for one day.

And then two beers.

I have never EVER had two beers and driven before. In fact I usually won't even drive after one, but I was far from home, it was late, and I needed to get to my bed.

So I drove.

And I ran into a roadblock. They asked me if I'd had any alcohol and I told them yes. I'm a middle-aged woman in a minivan. I look like Mother Teresa's chaperone. If I'd said no they would have let me go. But I told them.

So they pulled me over and made me blow in a machine. Perhaps if I'd blown them it would have been easier, but you know, out in the middle of the highway with no kneepads, I chose the logical test. Dude, this is my last pair of clean pants and I don't get the laundry again until Friday.

I blew an .048 (pronounced ohfoureight). I felt completely sober, but an .048. Dude. If I'd blown an .05 they would have towed my car. If I'd blown a .08 I believe they would have charged me with DUI and possibly locked me up. They would have at least charged me. More than likely I would have had some sort of licence suspension.

I was embarrassed as hell, but it was a good educational experience. If someone as large as I am can blow close to the danger zone (oh I like that phrase) afer two beers in 90 minutes, then the skinny chicks don't have a chance.

So.

a) I will never have two beers and drive again, no matter how much I've eaten. The likelihood of me even having one ever again and driving is close to nil.

b) If you think you're "ok" to drive, maybe you're not so ok. Leave the car. Walk or cab, or sleep in the fucking car.

Don't smoosh another Wendy, mmkay?

Comments:
Hi, long time reader first time commenter here. Inspired by this post to uncloak myself to ask (purely for my own information and education) how big a beer is in your part of the world? (A beer is a pint here in Ireland, and a pint is 20 fluid oz. I'm guessing your beers are smaller.) I'm as surprised as you were that 2 beers could put you so close to the limit and that does seem like a reasonable daily amount of food for an average lady. You learn something new every day and all that. I don't drive yet but I'm learning, so I could be you some day soon... And eventually I hope to be a skinny chick too. Cheers and thanks for the warning - Laura
 
Really, really good post. I'm going to link it....hope you don't mind. You're cool, Rabbitch. Not doubt about it.
 
Good idea to take a cab or sleep it off in the car. Remember though that if anyone out there in cyber land decides to sleep it off in vehicle, that they do not put the keys in the ignition...the police can charge you for this infraction. I guess they can reasonably assume that you felt drowsy whilst attempting to drive. I know someone that this happened to years ago...I think the law is still the same.

Sorry to hear about your best friend - that must've been one sad group of teenagers.

Take it easy Rabbitch,
Suzanne (your fan)
 
First time visit and have to say I'll be visiting again!
Estee
 
Know how you feel - lost someone that way myself.
 
I drove myself home drunk ONCE and count myself incredibly fucking lucky I made it in one piece. No only was I drunk, but had been drinking pretty much straight from the day before and the drive was about 70 miles. To this day I don't know how I did it. Also to do this day I feel very strongly about NEVER EVER doing that again. I encourage everyone to either designate a driver ahead of time, make arrangements to sleep it off where they are, or just stay home and get drunk there. Too bad not everyone can learn these lessons without hurting other people.

And I must say I applaud you for your honesty, both here and with the cops. That took a lot of balls, and it speaks volumes about your integrity. Makes me love ya even more. =)
 
What Rose said! But my drive home was much shorter. The next morning, I was appalled. And I never got behind the wheel after drinking again! (But, of course, you know I didn't stop drinking--until nearly 9 years ago, but that's another story).

I am glad you made it home safe! And I will tell you what I tell my friends. Cal a cab or call me, but don't get behind the wheel!
 
I am sending WaWa to read your blog. I have a hard fast rule about not driving after 1 drink. I like to think I can walk a straight line after 13 shots but girlie that's the alcohol talkin'. I ain't stupid. I recognize good ole Al when he's talking smak.

I never have and never will drink and then drive.

WaWa laughs at me. In that patronizing male way. He's ok to drive. Hum. Wonder what he would blow after 2 drinks ? (ooooh that sounded dirty)
 
*hugs bunnies* :)
 
Another first time visitor,linked from JenLa. Thanks for posting your very sincere post.I think many people allow themselves to think exactly as you did and get behind the wheel, discovering too late that it's a bad idea!

Sad for the loss of your friend, lucky she lives on in your memory!
 
Amen.
 
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