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I Will Never Drink Any Liqueur with the Number "99" in its Name Again

Let me say this: I almost never drink. Aside from the occasional beer or a mixed drink at a nice restaurant, I don't have much taste for alcohol. On the other hand, I have a penchant for banana-flavored anything. Bananas Foster Ice Cream from Haagen Dazs is a current favorite, but I will gobble up anything with banana flavoring, from lollipops, to juice mixes, to banana cheesecake.

Last night, Rich and I joined his family at a dance at the American Legion in Baltimore, where Pasttime, his favorite cover band, was playing. We were running a little late, since beforehand, Rich had an electric razor accident: he meant to simply trim around his ears, and instead managed to zip the trimmer halfway up his head. After some desperate and failed attempts to make him look decent, we just decided to shave the lower half of his head and stick a hat on him. We left the house and zoomed up to Baltimore, stopping at a liquor store on the way so he could pick up two bottles for his mother of schnapps liqueur called 99 Bananas and 99 Apples. Considering beer was included in the cover charge, I was surprised they wanted more booze, but since nothing flavored with bananas has ever done me wrong before, I went with it.

Once we got there, we sat down and I poured myself some Sprite and added a shot or two of the 99 Bananas to it. Tasty. Sweet, but overall, not bad, so I guzzled it down. And another one. Of course, since I rarely drink, I don't have much tolerance for alcohol anyway, so it didn't take long for my lips to get numb and the giggles to escape. Normally, I would have stopped right there, not only so I could enjoy the evening in a tipsy state, but because alcohol makes me sleepy, and I certainly didn't want to be more zoned than I already was. The problem was that I couldn't stop for some reason; either the banana flavor was too appealing, or some sadistic part of me enjoys drooling onto the tablecloth. Eventually, I kept drinking even after the taste of the bananas was sickening, but when my head hit the table, I knew I was done.

So at the age of 32, I finally had my final deflowering: getting sick from being drunk. I have been drunk before, but I have never crossed the line into "puking" territory, and I have never had a hangover. Well, last night, after drooling onto my t-shirt for a considerable period of time, my stomach suddenly felt as though it were about to explode, and I staggered into the bathroom like a tranquilized chimpanzee in barely enough time to make it to the toilet. Indeed, my stomach exploded, and when it was all done, I felt mildly better and somehow made it back to the table.

But it didn't stop. The more I sat, the sicker I felt, and soon enough, I was making another visit to the porcelain god. By the time I returned this time, Rich's mother (God bless her soul) had brought a recycled receptacle apparently made for the very purpose of catching my barf, so I spent the rest of the evening drooling and spitting into it.

Finally, midnight approached and Rich escorted me to the truck. To make matters worse, I tend to get motion sick, so most of the 90 minute ride home was spent with my head hanging over that admittedly handy cardboard bowl until I was dry heaving, my stomach now completely empty. I always imagined that if you got sick from getting drunk that you might throw up once and just pass out; I had no idea it was a long, drawn-out process of coughing and heaving until my diaphragm actually hurt, like it does after you have been laughing too hard for a while. Furthermore, once we finally did get home, I figured I would be so tired I would sleep through the night, but instead, my night was fitful, and I tossed and turned for most of it.

Happily, I don't have any hangover symptoms this morning, which is good, since I am finishing up my Second Sight review today. On the other hand, the very thought of 99 Bananas makes my stomach churn, and I feel fairly confident that I will never drink that much again. If you ever see me in public with a glass of booze in my hand, please be a good samaritan and replace it with ginger ale.