Wednesday, August 18, 2010

No pain, no gain


I remember thinking "It had to happen sometime."
Just joking. I was way too canned to have a clear thought I could remember now.
It was 1997, the weekend Princess Di and Mother Theresa died; and for some reason the Princess Di story got more coverage and sympathy.
So, basically, it was a bad weekend for cars and drunks.
Not that Mother Theresa was a drunk.
You see, I was to meet a friend (no longer a friend, he drove his flag waving, G.W. pickup passed my mom's Kerry-adorned house the other month and failed to ever call me again.) in Ellensburg.
He was a dropout from Central University (joke on its own) and spent his college years taking bowling and engine repair courses (I'm not joking).
I hate Ellensburg. I hated it before the DUI, and I hate it now. It's a dump of a town and is probably one of many Eastern Washington towns that should form their own state and get the hell out of my beautiful Washington.
The air in Ellensburg is permanently polluted with the smell of a rendering plant. The town, itself, is thick with horseshoe and stirrup casting shops and leather emporiums for the cowboys that come to Ellensburg from the sticks in the Seattle-area.
Picture your high school. Now, picture all those rich kids that dressed up like cowboys and listened to Garth Brooks with their souped-up Chevy LUVs. Those douchebags who would put MOPAR stickers on their rides and blast Clint Black from Rockford Fossgate speakers and amps they bought to play DJ Magic Mike when they were going through their rap phase.
These toolsheds are the soul populace of Central University in such a great number that they have driven any real Earth and Land cowboys out into the hills.
Yes, the real locals are smart enough to live up in the brush where they can't be seen. Then, at night, during college parties, they come down and rape your 16-year-old little sister that came to visit from Renton and got so drunk on Everclear that she vomitted Taco Bell out of her nose and into her lap.
The town is also home to the longest fence in the world and the bleakest view of nothing you will find this side of the Mojave.
With this in mind, let me explain to you why I was so drunk.
Wait, I think I just did.
Well, let's explain why I went up.
You see, life for me at that time was rather boring. I was living in Seattle and all my friends still lived in Kent. I was enrolled at UW, where I successfully skipped every last credit I took.
I had just turned 21 and needed to be turned loose. But, where?
My friends were all older than me and had tired of the bar scene. They wanted to settle down into shitty relationships with sluts in the spins of pregnancy and abortion cycles.
Am I bitter? Yes. It was a shitty time to be yours truly.
I lived in this run down studio in Northgate that my father was paying for and spent most of my weekends down in Kent.
Now, if your life is so lame that you need to drive to Kent for a good time – you have problems.
So, I decided to take my friend (socalled) up on his offer to meet him in Ellensburg.
Now, I don't remember much from the weekend, but when I arrived the hicks up there were drinking whiskey and vodka straight out of the bottle in the looking forwards to of the Rodeo the following day.
These were serious drinkers, and who wouldn't be when you live in a town as close to hell as Ellensburg. They were drinking to forget that they not only flunked out of a shitty college, but they stayed in the town working in rendering plants so that they could keep alive their legacy of bowling, riding bulls for two seconds, and drinking their weight in Ranier Ice.
Hell, in a way, I can't blame them for wanting to spend their lives porking 18-year-olds that are drunk enough to think Taco Bell is a date.
So, when I arrived, I followed suit, like the ass that I am.
I'm a stranger to hard alcohol. I never really liked it and I don't now. So, when I tried to fit in, I had no idea what was too much and proceeded to get wasted beyond all belief. Most of the night was a black out.
Then, at some point in time, this whore I fucked for a week or two showed up and I got it in my mind that I was going to drive back to Kent, just so I wouldn't have to be reminded of the genital fungus I might have contracted from sleeping with her.
As you can see, I don't take rejection well. It wasn't that I ever had a big thing for this chick, but she dumped me – and therefore, I was the loser.
I don't lose well. Look at my life.
So, she shows up and I get in my car and decide that it's wise to take a two-hour drive across the mountains to Seattle at 3 in the morning, liquored beyond all belief.
The next thing I remember, a cop is behind me. He pulls me over and comes up to the driver's window.
He does the regular cop routine (license, registration) and then asks me to take a field sobriety test.
"Don't even bother, I'm wasted." I shit you not, those were my words.
He made me take it anyway.
Of course I flunked, in what I can only imagine was the world's worst recitation of the ABCs and vaudeville stumbling.
He then breathalyzed me: 2.2. That's REALLY, REALLY, REALLY drunk.
In the cop car I learned that you
a) can't smoke
b) can't have the officer loosen cuffs that are biting flesh
c) are free to have the officer change the radio channel to something you like
So, he drives me to some underground jail and I'm stripped and searched.
The next thing I remember, I'm in an empty holding cell. These cells are as big as a cubicle and have a toilet and a concrete bed. I pass out and wake to the worst hangover ever and an incredible need for a smoke.
I learn more:
a) you can't smoke in jail
b) you can have as many collect phone calls in jail as you like if you're in the holding cell
c) some dude flushed his food down the toilet and I find that I can summon the strength to fish out the nastiest shit in the world in order to poop.
Foul? Yes. But, this was a foul offense and I deserved every bit.
Soon, I learned my options:
a) stay in the holding cell until 24 hours are up at which time I would be forced into -
b) go up in to "population" (meaning where all the other criminals were)
I chose "A."
I was then told how I may leave the jail:
a) wait until the following Tuesday (this was Labor Day weekend Saturday) for my arraignment and see how that goes
b) call someone for bail (I couldn't reach anyone in town and these ass holes weren't breaking their backs to find me. Just thinking about that makes me want to use the fucker's name – Matt Oien. Total prick. Didn't even lift a finger to figure out if I was dead or not. Fucking mutt. I hate that tool.)
c) get a bail bondsmen
So, I opted for "C." Which meant that I had to call my mother, have her drive to Tacoma to pay the bondsman company and then wait for the bondsman.
16 hours in jail later, the bondsmen showed up. He looked exactly like the bondsmen in Jackie Brown. He was sleazy as hell and wore jewelry.
As I left the cops were polite enough to let me know "Those bondsmen don't work like us. If you leave the state, they won't hesitate to put you down."
So, basically, if I decided to go to Oregon for shopping or something, one of these fuckers could kill me.
Let the good times begin.
At the time, Drinking and Driving carried a maximum penalty of a year in jail and all sorts of fines. Of course, no one ever gets the year (I'm sure there are some circumstances). But, of course, over the time between getting busted and the time of my trial (five months), I was positive that I would do a year.
I couldn't sleep, I damn sure wasn't going to drink and I had bailsmen money to work off at this Sign Company that I worked at.
I had to ditch the apartment and school, as I couldn't afford either and any money from my parents would go to help with the fines.
Soon, the sentence came down: deferred prosecution. This meant all sorts of things.
First, a fine of 5 grand, then two years of drunk classes, two years of AA, two years of probation, and a victims panel thingy.
Drunk classes: you pay a man 150 a month to cure you of the alcoholism you admitted to in order to get out of jail. These classes are 3 two-hour sessions a week for three months, then it goes down to once a week for three months, then it goes down to every other week, then once a month. They get to test you for drugs, force you to go to AA. If you blow any of this, you're back in court.
AA: You get to listen to the biggest "poor me" bastards in the world slapping themselves on the back for not drinking in two months and finally getting their GED. If they're not doing that, they're coming close to punching each other in sugar/caffeine rages.
Probation: You have to call a P.O. every two weeks and check in.
Victim's Panel: This is where they show you a bunch of videos of DUI accidents. Then, they have survivors, victim's families and such tell you what a piece of shit you are because you could, theoretically, have killed. The main speaker, I shit you not, was drunk. He was talking about how his son was killed by drinking and driving. He was smashed out of his mind, as he shouted at us for being drunks. Then, he went into a litany about how the Budweiser Frogs were responsible.
Take it from me, drinking and driving is not worth it.
Unless you're trying to impress your friends. Then, it's cool.

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