I would leave my office and proceed immediately to the big, new gas station / convenience store located on the right-hand side of the road just before the freeway onramp. Once inside, I purchased a six pack of Miller Lite cans and a single 40oz. bottle of the same. Upon pulling out of the parking lot, I would crack open the 40. and consume it by the time that I passed the Bryant Irvin exit on I-20. I would then pound a single can prior to reaching the I-20 / I-30 merge in eastern Parker County and conclude the commute by downing another single prior to reaching the farm.
If the routine was properly executed, I would enter the house feeling warm and carefree. I would greet my awaiting family and settle in for my nightly domesticated ass-whipping. When confronted by the Warden about how much I had to drink, I could claim that I had only consumed 2 beers; as there were only two cans missing from the six-pack that I carried into the house. I then would have two more before dinner, then finish off the remaining two singles with my meal. By 8:00, I would be full, as well as thoroughly lubricated and numb enough to endure the hell that my life had become.
That amount of beer was the optimum level of consumption for me; any more and I was officially shitfaced, any less and I was still coherent. My system worked well, until I was forced out of my routine by the weekend and my wife’s social calendar. She seemed to enjoy having dinner parties at our house on Friday nights. As I rarely paid attention to anything she told me, I never knew when I would come home to find a house full of people. Coming home half-drunk and walking in to find a living room full of people drinking wine and making small-talk was the equivalent of playing Dinner Party Russian Roulette for me. Needless to say, one fateful Friday evening I blew the head off of one of my wife’s get-togethers.
After my usual level of consumption during the commute, I arrived at the house to find several cars in front and a herd of kids running up the road to greet me. As I scattered the children by honking the horn, swerving toward them and slamming on my brakes, I quickly realized that my wife must have invited some people over for dinner. I walked into my home to find several people, most of whom I did not know, sitting around my living room. My night of sitting in my chair clad only in my sleeping shorts, drinking beer and watching the baseball game on TV was ruined.
After the standard introductions to the strangers and the cordial “Hello, good to see you again” salutations to the people I actually knew, I did find a silver lining in the dark cloud of that evening. There was a 12 pack of beer in the refrigerator, a beautiful, pristine, un-opened fifth of Chivas Regal sitting on the kitchen counter and one of the women in the group was a good looking young blonde with an enormous store-bought rack.
My wife then entered the room. She made some witty comment to the group about me not paying attention to what she says or something like that, then she pulled me into the kitchen. I immediately asked her why the hell these people were in my living room and how many of those kids outside belonged to them. In a whispering, stern tone, I was instructed that I was not to have too much to drink; that these were people that she worked with, and that I was to be on my best behavior. I then mustered up the best “shocked and appalled” facial expression that I could and replied…
“I would never get drunk and make an ass out of myself in front of a group of boring strangers that you work with… What kind of a fucking Cretan do you think I am?"
I received the wifely evil-eye for that remark. She walked over to the refrigerator and removed a big glass tray covered with raw chicken. With a scowl on her face, she whispered…
“Go outside and cook these… And leave that damn beer in here.”
Thankfully, she walked back toward her friends telling them that I was going to start cooking the chicken. I decided to be a good husband and comply with her order, primarily because she made one fatal omission in her commandment that gave me a new lease on life. She said leave your beer in the house, but she failed to mention the scotch…
I immediately grabbed a Big Gulp sized plastic cup from the cabinet, filled it with ice, and discreetly reached for the bottle of Chivas. It felt good as I cracked the seal on the bottle and it smelled even better when the aroma of the intoxicating elixir reached my nose. It looked like liquid gold as this nectar of the gods flowed over the ice in my cup, filling the large plastic tumbler in excess of half its capacity. I nonchalantly set the bottle back on the counter and noticed that I had poured about 1/3 of its contents into my cup. After topping off the cup with water, I grabbed the plate of chicken and headed for the solace of my barbeque pit.
Armed with some assorted barbeque implements, a platter of birds, a massive scotch and water and a burning desire to get the hell out of the house, I retreated to the yard. I should have realized that my escape was too easy; I heard footsteps behind me. I knew what was coming and I dreaded the ass-whipping that was on my tail. Two of the men that had been seated in the living room had followed me outside. After a cursory inspection of my barbeque set-up, the interlopers parked themselves in lawn chairs and began a discussion of how they prepared chicken.
“We marinade it in olive oil and Italian dressing mix for 4 to 6 hours before cooking”; said one of the spares. When asked about what my chicken was marinated in, I responded by saying, “I dunno… Some shit that The Commandant puts in a bowl. I just cook it, I don’t marinade and I don’t ask questions...”
My disinterested response never phased them; they continued their verbal assault. “So, how long do you cook your chicken?” I was asked. “Until it looks done, until I get really hungry or until I run out of beer”, I replied.
At that point I took the first of several 5 or 6 gulp slugs of scotch. I felt the comforting burn of the Chivas as it slid down my throat, whisking away all of the torment and anguish that was being heaped upon my back by the Bastards of Barbeque Banter. The more they peppered me with questions and commentary, the more scotch I hammered down. The numbing effect of the Chivas on my cerebral nerve center made the on-going beat-down somewhat tolerable. By the time I turned the chicken breasts the first time; I had downed better than ½ of the economy-sized cocktail.
Soon the conversation turned from cooking to golf. For most men, this would have been a welcomed change; for me, it was just another left turn. I don’t play golf, don’t enjoy watching golf, I don’t even own a set of clubs. For me, golf only has two redeeming qualities: 1) The drunken cougars who parade their fake dairies around at the Colonial every spring, and 2) Golf announcers whisper their commentary, this makes for good nap TV.
As they talked about the merits of some fucking cryogenically treated titanium shafted driver, I began to plan my refill strategy. I had about another 5 minutes of scotch left in the cup and another 20 minutes of cooking time remaining. I needed to pull into the pits for re-fueling. I was feeling the effects of power-gulping the whiskey and I had to be sure to avoid a face-to-face confrontation with the Warden. If she smelled the liquor on my breath or if I slurred my words in the least, my well would surely runneth dry. I decided to go in under the ruse of washing the platter, refill my beverage and return to the 19th hole undetected. I excused myself from the conversation and made my move towards the kitchen.
As I arose, I really felt the scotch go to work on my brainstem. I had to concentrate on walking straight and surmised that any talking what-so-ever to the women would not be in my best interests. When I opened the door, I was greeted with a barrage of questions from the hens; beginning with, “How is it going out there, almost done?” I responded with a clear and concise, “Yep.”
One word answers were my only hope of completing my mission. The women followed up with, “What are you guys talking about out there?” After a slight pause to ensure that my brain and my mouth were synchronized, I replied with, “Golf.”
Fortunately, my wife was not in the room so no one detected my impaired state. I was doing my best to walk directly into the kitchen without staggering or running into any obstacles. I heard the women start to talk about how they hated their husbands playing golf every Saturday, or something of that nature, as I reached the kitchen sink. There, to my delight, was the bottle of Chivas, undisturbed and sitting right where I left it. Victory was within my grasp, but there was another obstacle yet to be conquered; the growing pressure in my abdomen.
The beer, scotch, boring conversation and the Mexican food lunch that I had consumed several hours earlier had merged and were rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with. I knew that it was merely a matter of time before I engaged in a dinner-party faux-pas of the highest order. I determined that I should be able to prolong the inevitable until the cooking was done. I surmised that I could slip off to the throne while the group was fixing their plates and starting to eat. The distraction of the food should allow me enough time to take care of business, so long as there were no mishaps or unforeseen circumstances.
I refilled my cocktail, rinsed the plate and turned to leave the kitchen. As I took a step, I felt something move deep within my bowels. The seismic tremor in my intestines resulted in an uncontrollable discharge of pressure; I paused to assess the threat… There was no sound. My starfish felt hot, but dry. There had not been any seepage; it was merely a fart. I felt a great since of relief upon the realization that I had not shit my pants; after all, I was drunk on whiskey, anything could have happened…
As I confidently resumed my exit from the kitchen, it hit me; a foulness like none that has ever been expelled from my body. Words cannot accurately describe the piercing, noxious odor that poured forth from my balloon-knot. Only the combination of rotten eggs, sour milk, malt vinegar and burning hair even comes close to the aroma of the science- project-gone-wrong that had been fermenting inside me. I almost gagged, it was awful. My asshole was obviously infected with the Ebola virus.
The smell was incapacitating. I tried to breathe through my mouth to avoid getting another whiff of the fumes. I was fighting my gag reflex as I began to flee the kitchen post haste. I took five or six steps into the living room before I realized that it was following me. Like a wake of Black Death, the mustard gas trailed me from the kitchen into the living room. I knew that it would be mere seconds before the un-suspecting women sitting nearby would be overcome by the stench. I broke into a jog as I crossed the room, headed for the back door. I am not a coward, but I could not risk my own safety by stopping to warn the potential victims about the nasal holocaust that they were about to endure.
The soft, Southern wind outside my house dispersed the funk and I took a deep breath. I was still amazed at how bad that fart smelled; it was one of the most rancid, toxic and corrosive aromas that I have ever experienced. Thank God that I was drunk, otherwise I would have been mortified that a bunch of my wife’s co-workers were subjected to my dying asshole’s last breath. I was both embarrassed and somewhat amused at the thought of what must be happening back in the gas chamber. I pictured everyone with watery, burning eyes, desperately going to the mask and trying to escape the ominous cloud of radioactive fallout. I giggled like a retard at the petting zoo as I made my return to the grill, imagining the sight of the blonde with the silicone cans, gagging and dry heaving as she tried to fend off the onslaught of funk.
The mushroom cloud in my kitchen and living room finally dispersed, the group ate dinner, made polite conversation and went their separate ways shortly thereafter. I managed to pull off an impressive drunk without spousal detection, let the worst smelling fart that a human being has ever emitted, avoided punishment or retribution for either of the previous feats and retained the left-over 1/3 bottle of Chivas Regal. Despite the potential for disaster, I felt that the evening went rather well.
As my wife was cleaning up after everyone left, she told me there was something that I needed to take care of the next day. She said the septic system might be backed up because she smelled a hint of sewage throughout the entire house. She said that she was embarrassed and hoped her co-workers hadn’t noticed the odor. I told her that it was just her imagination, as I raised my arms in victory and walked to the bathroom.
Evenings like this one make me wonder why my ex-wife ever wanted to divorce me...