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The mixer. Almost two-thirds of a glass worth. I had no problems with this.
I don't know how I managed to get myself from Tommy's Joynt to Mel's Drive-In across the street. I'm not even sure how much of the rest of the evening I can remember. I'd imbibed no small amount of alcohol, including two shots of some fruity mix one the owners at Tommy's had mixed up for us on the house. I'd consumed a prodigious amount of food; more than any sane person should have in one night. I'm surprised I was upright, much less walking.
This is what almost killed me.
The only thing I remember clearly about Mel's Drive-In was staring blankly at one of their Chocolate Malts and wondering how I was going to get back to the car. Somehow, I managed to make my way though the mixer, and about half of the glass. The whipped cream was the straw that broke the camel's back. At that moment, I knew I had gone as far as I could go. This panda was done.
Fuzzy, Ninjafuzz's car mascot. He's been pointing the way for over ten years.
Somehow we managed to stagger from Van Ness and Geary all the way back to Japantown, where we'd stashed the cars. None of us threw up, although I imagine a number of us were in danger of doing so. I was having trouble seeing clearly or breathing. It was all I could do to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I think I passed out once I got in Waldensian's car.
Rock on, Fuzzy. Rock rock on.
VII XLII, saint and designated driver, got us back to the hotel in one piece. Mr. Big managed to get me up to my room, where I sprawled on the bed and fell asleep fully clothed. The next morning was probably one of the most painful in my life. What night.
My sincere thanks and appreciation go out to the fine lads in mah crew who took me out on such a wild ride:
- Waldensian - My best man. He envisioned and executed a masterful plan, part of which did indeed chafe my soul to the core. I'll never forgive him for what he made me do with those one dollar bills.
- Semajim - Our tireless trail guide and navigator. Without him, we'd probably have ended up aimlessly wandering the East Bay until we sobered up. Kudos to him for coming straight from work, carrying around a ream of legal briefs the entire time (and not losing them), and polishing off an entire pitcher of beer with Ninjafuzz.
- Ninjafuzz - Party man and beer ninja extraordinaire. It's always a blast when you pack your Ninjafuzz, now in convenient travel-sized packages.
- VII XLII - The insightful friend and the designated driver who got me back to the hotel that night. I totally forgive him for almost getting me killed on the way, another story that, like the dollar bills, goes with me to the grave.
- The Oni - Mah man with the magic baking hands. Kudos for jumping into a tub full of cockroaches for the sake of a food blog photo. I know you'll always have my back.
- Silver Paladin - He drove six hours from straight Irvine to Palo Alto, checked into his hotel, hopped onto the CalTrain for another hour and a half, got off at the end of the line, grabbed a cab, and met us in Japantown for the party. A truer friend I've never known.
- Cmzero - Another friend who drove up from Irvine the day of the big bash. I tease him a lot, but he's always there for me when the chips are down. Thanks, amigo.
- Mr. Big - My traveling companion and all-around good guy. Within that blustering, red-neck shell lays a heart big enough to hold us all.
Thanks guys, from the bottom of my heart. I'm a lucky man to have so many great friends.
Mel's Drive-In - I don't remember much, but the malt was good.
1050 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94109
3355 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94118
2165 Lombard St.
San Francisco, CA 94123
801 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
1660 North Highland
Hollywood, CA 90028
8585 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
14846 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
12241 Seal Beach Blvd.
Seal Beach, CA 90740