Let me just say before I begin that my brother is actually my hero. He’s going to take a bit of a beating in this post, and I didn’t exactly make him look great when I mentioned him yesterday, but trust me when I say he’s been good to me. For every bit of torture he’s visited on me throughout my life, he’s done 10 things for me that were nicer than I deserved. This is, after all, the guy who let me live with him for a FEW MONTHS after I graduated from college and moved to New York. And believe me when I say that as a younger sister, I was no picnic.
But that won’t stop me from telling this story.
OK, as promised, the time my brother almost killed me:
So, it was my brother’s sophomore year of college. He went to school in the northeast, and it was an easy few hour drive to get there from our house. I was 15 years old at the time and was pretty comfortable with his friends and the school in general – he played soccer in college, and we would go up occasionally to watch his games. So when my brother offered to have me come up for the weekend and stay with him, my parents didn’t hesitate. I would be fine. My brother would keep an eye on me.
My parents even decided to make a weekend out of it themselves. They drove me up on Saturday, dropped me off with my brother, and went off to spend the night at a nearby hotel.
Meanwhile, my brother took me for a walk around campus. We went out to lunch, met up with some of his friends – basically took it easy. However, it just so happened to be Hell Week at his fraternity. That meant he needed to keep me entertained for about an hour or two early in the evening while he did something with the pledges (I’m assuming there was torture involved, but whatever). Anyway, since my brother lived in his fraternity house, I needed to be out of the way, too. So how did my brother choose to keep me occupied?
Well, he dropped me off with a group of his fraternity brothers of course (who I guess didn’t have to be there for the pledge torturing). And since he couldn’t just drop me off empty-handed, he dropped me off with a brand new bottle of Rumplemintz. (Stupid me, I had complained that I didn’t like the wheat beer he was going to send me with – I’m a moron).
Now for those of you who don’t know, Rumplemintz is a 100 proof peppermint liqueur. It tastes yummy – and it goes down smooth. But it will kick your ass so fast, a novice drinker shouldn’t be allowed near the stuff. You give a lightweight something like Dr. McGillicutty’s, not Rumplemintz. Apparently, my brother didn’t know this rule.
So there I was, in a room with 5 of my brother’s friends. All big guys who knew how to drink. And me. So what did they do? Did they take pity on me? Did they ease me into the whole drinking thing? Nah, they put out shot glasses for everyone, provoked me by saying that I couldn’t match them shot for shot, and began pouring the Rumplemintz. Now today I would know enough not to take that challenge. When I was 15? I jumped right on in.
By the time my brother returned to pick me up, we had finished the bottle. The 6 of us had finished the bottle. I’d had just as much as each of the guys. And I was fucking hammered. My brother didn’t seem too concerned though. It was all part of the college experience.
So off we went back to his room. This time when he offered it, I didn’t mind the wheat beer. After all, I’d fried my taste buds almost an hour earlier. Why the fuck not accept more alcohol?
I don’t actually remember ever going out to dinner at this point, but my brother assures me we did. And when we returned to his frat, they were having a party. Of course they were having a party – as if I wasn’t already screwed, let’s NOW start to party.
It’s only fair to let you know that from this point on, everything that you’re hearing probably happened. Why only probably? Well, because I don’t remember much more than snippets from the rest of that night – flashes of lucidity if you will. Thanks to those snippets, and the stories I’ve been told by my brother and his friends, I’ve come up with this rough approximation of what happened.
At some point, after drinking more beer in my brother’s room with yet more of his friends, we ventured over to someone’s room. As we arrived, it seems that I missed the fact that there was a couch in the middle of the room and took a face-plant over it. But no big deal! I was fine. Happens to everybody. Let’s go downstairs and party!
Um, it would seem that at this point I had a bit of trouble with the stairs (I know – shocking), but since I had several guys “watching out for me,” I made it down to the party. Because I’m a rockstar!
Apparently the party turned out to be “boring.” This, coupled with the fact that I was doing some unauthorized flirting (never flirt in front of your brother – it’s guaranteed not to go over well), meant that we were moving on to a friend’s house. Fine by me. Whatever!
Only the whole walking thing wasn’t getting any easier for me. As we left the fraternity house, we turned at the end of the front walk and I kind of lost my balance. Thankfully, there were some bushes there to catch me. And it was while I was lying in said bushes (and yes, there was a crowd gathering at this point), this conversation took place:
Brother’s friend: Dude, I don’t think she’s okay to keep partying.
So being the good guys that they were, they brought me back to my brother’s room. They deposited on the couch, gave me a garbage can, and left (which I was actually grateful for; no need for an audience at that point).
I remember very little after that – I do remember feeling like I was dying. I remember getting sick – repeatedly. And I remember coming to at some point and seeing not one, but two pledges passed out in the room with me. I’m guessing it was time for that audience.
The next morning, my brother somehow woke me up (which, looking back, was a miracle). We were late. Late for what, you ask? Late for brunch at my parent’s hotel, of course! Awesome. Just what I needed – food.
Taking one look at the garbage can, my brother walked over to his dresser, grabbed an empty garbage bag, and came over to wrap it around the outside of the can.
Me: (Mumbling. Mortified) Do you want me to clean it or something?
Brother: Nope, this one is dead. I’d really rather just buy another.
Yup. My sentiments exactly.
It took my parents all of a minute to realize the shape I was in. Not that it would have taken a genius at that point. I was green. I kept bolting for the bathroom. And I couldn’t have eaten if my life depended on it.
But did my brother feel bad? Hell no. He taunted me all throughout the meal.
In between laughingly recounting the story of the night before, he kept taking his plate of bacon and eggs and waving it in front of my nose. I mean, he had no shame. (My parents particularly liked the story of my trip into the bushes by the way.) He was cruel – and I’m more than annoyed that I’ve never been able to repay him for that. Yet somehow I made it through the meal.
Anyway, to wrap things up, the trip back to New Jersey was no fun. The fact that I threw up for 3 days after that – also no fun. And that fact that I’m ruined for life – to this day I can’t swallow anything that is liquid and minty (goodbye Scope mouthwash) – not fun at all.
In fact, years later on my 21st birthday, I was doing the rounds to all the bars in town. People were buying me shots everywhere. And at some point someone got me a shot of Dr. McGillicutty’s. The second I swallowed it – game over. It went down, I experienced a full body shudder, and let’s just say the night ended right there.
BUT, I can say that since then, I have never allowed myself to get that sick from drinking. Sick, yes. THAT SICK, no fucking way. So that’s something positive. Right?
As for my brother, his take on that night (hindsight being 20/20): “I probably should have taken you to the hospital. It was clearly alcohol poisoning…ah well.”
Yup. That’s my brother. Jesus.