After I wrote my first book of essays my plan was to start writing a second book of essays. Somehow though I fell into a novel which is coming out next month and I feel like writing another 15 essays just doesn’t make sense for me. It may happen someday, but not someday soon.
This essay was going to be the first one in the new book (preemptively titled “Your Insecurities Are Unattractive – and other things I say to offend people”) I wrote it almost a year ago when I was in an interesting moment – that moment being that I realized I was on a drinking binge that I needed to get away from. I did a lot of stupid shit when I blacked out for basically two months last year and a lot of it was funny. It wouldn’t be funny though if I was still doing this kinda stuff but thankfully I got over it and now it has the ability to be at least a little funny.
One more note: I’m making a movie based on this essay. Soooooo yeah.
When I drink to excess I am not the same person. I mean, I guess if you checked my driver’s license I would still be Ryan Brady and if you gave me a DNA test I would still be of the human race – but as my friends would say in a California surfer bro accent, “you change, man.”
Beer doesn’t do it to me. It just can’t. If I were to try and get black out hammered on beer it wouldn’t happen because before I could even come close to that drunk I would be hanging out the back of the car losing my lunch. And dinner. All of the recent meals really. My stomach and a large amount of cheap beer from a can do not mix well. It’s like taking Nicolas Cage and putting him in a movie about actors who are good at their jobs; it just doesn’t work.
No, my real meal ticket to the blackout promise land is Vodka. A straight vodka on the rocks with a little bit of lime tends to sing to me, and if I’m drunk enough I’ll sing right back. Oddly enough though all my vodka and I can sing is “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette.
We have fun.
My friends, some acquaintances, and that random girl at a casino bar I yelled at for an hour about Dubstep have gotten to know Blackout Ryan aka The Bishop pretty well. That doesn’t mean they are ever prepared, because who could be, but at this point they have a better sense of humor about it.
Quick side note: The reason he is called The Bishop is because he tends to be impatient and moves people out of the way like he is playing chess. Also, I understand that I talk about him like he isn’t me, and that’s because he isn’t. Somewhere deep down I’m in there, but The Bishop has his own set of rules and goals – so to me, he is just someone I’ve heard lots about but never met.
Now, not everything The Bishop does is terrible. There are both pros and cons to me being absolutely plastered. We’ll do the “Pros” section first because honestly, it’s shorter.
I am better with the ladies. Remember though that this conclusion is solely based on evidence gathered by my friends plus what I could surmise the next morning when I wake up somewhere and try to recall what I did. Empirical evidence shows up to this point that my luck with women is magnified when The Bishop comes to town. This might be because I am subpar normally and I have nowhere else to go but up, but I’m trying to be optimistic here, so let’s just say I go from Casanova to supernova and move on.
The Bishop has two major moves that he deploys on unsuspecting women. The first is constant screaming. Don’t hear me? Oh well let me fix that for you by shouting every word I say at the same obnoxiously loud volume and not letting you get a word in edgewise. As long as you don’t speak and the bar is crowded you will have to listen to me yell at the top of my lungs about techno and bacon for what could be hours, so buckle in for the ride of your life.
The second major move I have in my blackout arsenal is my wallet. When I am blackout drunk I am the exact opposite of sober Ryan. Sober Ryan would rather stab his own leg with an ice pick than pay for other people’s drinks, but not The Bishop! (More on this later.)
The second and final Pro is also a Con and it’s something I like to call the “Taco Kick Incident.” On this particular night I was at a bar after a very long day of work and was so tired that after three drinks with my roommates and assorted friends I left to go home. (I was perfectly fine to drive if you were at all worried, I did the shake my head and see if it’s fun test and passed with flying colors. Granted though those flying colors did look like a pack of magical Unicorns frolicking in the road…huh. Oh well.)
With my roommates (I shall call them Adam and Kate) still at the bar I walked into my house alone and passed out immediately on the couch. Something that is important to mention here is that I am a very heavy sleeper. When I was twelve a hurricane hit my town head on and a tree fell on my house, and I slept right through it. My younger brother and Mother were screaming while I was blissfully dreaming about high fiving Shaquille O’neal on the set of Kazaam. (Best movie about a 7 foot tall black genie of all time without question)
Needless to say, I was beyond passed out on the couch when my roommates walked in the door. Previously to this encounter I had fallen asleep on the couch many a time and asked my roommates to wake me up in the future so that I could go to sleep in my bed and not wake up fully clothed at 3am sitting straight up ever again – because of this request Kate and Adam decided to be nice and wake me up.
The only problem with what they did next was their positioning. Because of how heavy I sleep, something that actually wakes me up causes an over the top reaction where I have been known to flail. So, when Kate poked me to wake up, I panicked. Right as I opened my eyes I froze up. My body was on its own here because my brain hadn’t gotten the chance to boot up, so it made the only decision it could make: Kick Kate straight in the Taco.
If Adam had been standing right above my right foot, the reaction would have been exactly the same except this story would be called “Nuts meet stomach, stomach meet nuts.” Let me assure you as well that this was no normal kick. If I had thrown this intense of a kick to the side of a volcano it would have erupted without hesitation, but to Kate’s credit she took it like a champ. At least that’s what we all agreed upon after she was done rolling around on the floor simultaneously laughing and crying for ten minutes.
Kate is a trooper. She also might be infertile now, we don’t know yet. Only time will tell. Crossing my fingers for you, girl!!
What makes that story so much worse though is what happened to Kate the week before courtesy of The Bishop.
Exactly one week before the unprovoked taco assault we were at the same bar and a most of my friends who are still in school (PhD programs are for losers, btdubbs) had the weekend off and came home to hang out. Due to my obvious excitement I took it upon myself to drink myself silly. After the bar I jumped into someone’s car and we headed back to my abode where we talked and drank for a few more hours until everyone passed out.
Adam and Kate had gathered enough strength to get themselves to their beds but I apparently just went out like a light sitting up on the couch. (hence the couch talk that lead to the taco massacre.)
Now this next part is an exact quote from Kate because I don’t remember any of this. In fact the way I found out about this the next day was that I woke up to a text message from Kate saying, “Do you remember what you did last night?” That is not a text you want to wake up too. Sometimes it will turn out fine like when the next text is, “You totally slept with all those Victoria Secret models minutes after you became best friends with a lion and high fived all the living members of Van Halen!” But usually, the next text is more like, “We’ll talk in person you were out of control,” which is exactly what was sent to me.
So according to Kate this is what happened from her perspective. At around 3am, after everyone else including me had been asleep for a solid hour, she heard her door creek open slightly. Seconds after she heard that noise I kicked the door in as hard as I could and walked straight into her room, passed her bed, and right into her closet. Now obviously startled, she said “What are you doing?” while I started digging through her closet and completely ignored her completely justified question. She then asked the follow up question, “Do you know where you are right now?” to which I did not stop looking through the closet and then gracefully answered “so many places.”
At this point Kate figured something was up and I wasn’t all there so she asked me if I wanted her to walk me back to my room. With that question I was definitely offended because I turned around, walked towards her, and made the squinty eye face as if to say, “You seriously ask me that, bitch?”
Because Kate is a good friend she took my response as a sign to lead me to my room because I would never remember this. As she was leading me back not two feet from her room I went out of my way to stop her, pulled her close to me, and said, “Everyone is mad at you, and by everyone I mean me.”
I have no idea why I was angry. I had no reason in the world to be angry with her, but somehow The Bishop had some secret vendetta he had been waiting to inform Kate about that I was completely unaware of. After that line Kate just started to laugh in my face because she was so happy that she was going to get to tell me all about this tomorrow.
From there I didn’t say anything else and the only other thing that happened was when we got to the living room Kate walked around my friend Alex who was sleeping on the floor, but The Bishop decided taking a huge squat step over him was the more efficient way to go.
After that it was uneventful as I fell asleep fully clothed. It wasn’t the first time and it sure as hell wouldn’t be the last.
You might be thinking to yourself, “Kicking Kate in the Taco a week after I barged in her room and verbally abused her is a Pro? How can that be?!” Well that’s simple. I put it there because it is hilarious and not nearly as bad as some of the other reprehensible things I have done. Also, have I mentioned it was hilarious?
That Taco story does lead me into the first major con though, and that is Unprovoked Violence. Don’t take that term as serious as it sounds though. I don’t do anything insane like punt badgers or round house kick children. No, it’s more of a fun slap that I do except to The Bishop it seems like a fun slap and to the person getting hit it seems like I’m viciously assaulting them. The Bishop likes to partake in the fun kind of violence in the beginning of the night with the usual Jimmy Tap here and there, but as the night goes on and my memory leaves me completely, The Bishop takes full control.
The worst case of this came one night at a bar when I was about 7 vodkas in. I know this amount for fact because everyone told me the next day that right before I slapped my friend Adrian (who is jacked beyond belief) he asked me why I had an empty drink in my hand to play around and my response was, “This is my 7th vodka, you bitch!” and I slapped him in the face as hard as I could. The next morning I thanked Adrian for not kicking the shit out of me, which he had every right to do, but it is times like that that make me think 7 vodkas might not be the best choice.
Like I said up in the Pro section, my wallet can get a bit out of control when The Bishop is around. This gets even worse when I put one card down for a tab then blackout and put another down for a tab because I forgot the first one was there, come back to reality, and then blackout again and put my third credit card down on an even newer tab. This makes it really interesting at the end of the night when I ask to pay my tab and the bartender responds with, “You already paid two of them, here is the third.” It’s at that moment I look at my friends with the WHY WOULD YOU LET ME DO THIS face and they look back at me with their BECAUSE THE BISHOP WILL HIT US IF WE TALK BACK faces. I then say point taken and move on.
Another trick The Bishop likes to pull on Sober Ryan is purposely losing all of his belongings. Blackout Ryan has been known to throw credit cards around bars, hurl his shoes down laundry shoots, and last but certainly not least hide his own priceless NCAA Championship ring on himself. (I didn’t play sports in college, but I was in the band. It still very much counts.) The last time I hid the ring on myself I was in a car going home from a casino and had just gotten back in the car after throwing up on the highway (classy, I know.) When I got back in the car I put my hand on the window next to me because apparently I liked the fact that it was cold. As I was smearing my hand across this window the owner of the car politely asked me to take the ring off so I didn’t scratch the window. This marks one of the first times The Bishop has actually listened to other people and did what they told him to do. As per that friends request, let’s call him Elliot, I took the ring off, reached under the seat and placed it where I could barely reach it. As I came back up it has been reported to me that I claimed I would, “get it later.” Getting it later though requires you to remember where it is, which I certainly did not, so Elliot had to deliver it to me the next day which was actually very nice of him to do because of the 4th and final Con of The Bishop.
The Bishop is a raging ass hole. If I met The Bishop at a bar I would not want to be that dicks friend.
Still in Elliot’s car and right after I hid the ring on myself I put my hand back on his window and continued to smear my hand back and forth. Apparently at some point Elliot had told me that he had just washed all of his windows and then he politely asked me to stop what I was doing. The Bishop’s response was to lean over to Elliot while still smearing the window and say, “I’m going to enjoy watching you clean this shit tomorrow.”
When Elliot told me that’s what I said I could not say I was surprised. The best way I can describe The Bishop is that he is a lot like Michael Scott, Steve Carell’s character from the NBC Television show The Office, in that deep down he has a heart of gold but he is just so horribly misguided it’s hard to tell sometimes.
I would love to tell all you fine folks that because of all of these reasons The Bishop is retired, but every time I say that he always find his way back. He is a resourceful son of a bitch if nothing else. So, if you see The Bishop in the wild I have this one piece of advice. Keep your distance while asking him to order you a drink – he will buy it for you without hesitation but if you get too close he will most likely scream at you about how he doesn’t know what “Burning Man” is and why it’s such a big deal to dirty hippies and then slap you as hard he can in your mouth.
You’ve been thoroughly warned.