In case you’ve had trouble reading the name of this blog, I like to drink. And there’s no better time to drink than Christmas, when the eggnog is flowing and free beers are being passed around, and there are happy people who need to be drowned out with an over-abundance of alcohol.
Not surprisingly, I have a few stories regarding getting a little over-festive during the festive season. When I was working in Sydney, I earned a reputation for getting shitfaced at work Christmas parties, to the point that I never once managed to sleep in the bed I was meant to after an end-of-year knees-up.
And no, it’s not because I ended up in the bed of some Christmas miracle, having my candy cane sucked. I usually ended up passed out in public, covered in my own bodily fluids. Let’s go…
I was working in Sydney for two years before I was able to head to my first Chrimbo party, and I certainly made up for lost time. It was held at the Civic Hotel and the beers were free, so I smashed as many as possible and talked to shit to anyone who would listen. I tried to crack onto women and, when that didn’t work, a pot plant. And when the pot plant knocked me back, too, I chundered into it.
The last train out of Sydney leaves at 1:45am, so I staggered out of the Civic half an hour before that, and weaved my way through traffic to he station. I made it, and poured myself into a seat, looking more like a half-drunk bag of goon than a man. I was on my way home… and then it all went wrong.
We stopped at Strathfield, and I caught a glimpse of the Whelans Hotel, an establishment I’ve frequented on occasions. I was thirsty, so I stumbled off the train and over to the pub – which had, much to my surprise, closed several hours earlier. I rolled back to the station, where I was amazed that the train hadn’t waited for me, and then spent the next 15 minutes trying (and failing) to read the timetable. For some reason it looked like the next train wasn’t for almost four hours… the reason being that it wouldn’t be along for four hours.
There was a fat little man cleaning things up, so I teetered over to him and tried to talk, only to vomit on myself. The fat little man shrieked and locked himself in a small room, which looked comfortable to me. I bashed on the door, asking if he could let me in to have a sleep, and a few minutes later a couple of very large security guards sauntered over and grabbed me. Once they determined that I was just drunk and tired, and didn’t want to rape and eat the fat little man, they let me sleep it off on a bench.
The train finally rocked up, I hopped on, and promptly slept through Gosford and woke up at Narara, meaning I had to walk an hour home with spew on my shirt and an obvious wee-stain on my crotch. All up, the journey took me around eight hours.
The next year, I was determined to be more sensible, but it didn’t work out that way. The party was at Fox Studios, in a big shed used for filming movies. There was a cowboy theme, and I spent most of the night getting drunk and asking clearly-disinterested women if they wanted to ride me.
Bauer Media half-arses most things, including pay and employee rights, but they’ve always done parties well. There were piles of food, top international DJs (or so they said – they could’ve put a retard from the local sheltered workshop up there and I wouldn’t have known any better) and even a mechanical bull.
My lack of success with the cowgirls gave me plenty of opportunities to sink beer, and before I knew it, I’d missed the last train home. It was two in the morning and I had to be back in the office at nine, so I did the only sensible thing I could think of – I slept in a park.
I found a green, leafy space in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, and saw that there were a number of filthy hobos sleeping around the place, which was good enough for me. I was wearing a poncho, which worked well as a blanked, and I settled in underneath a tree for a surprisingly good night’s sleep.
One of the hobos must’ve shat in my mouth while I was asleep, because when I woke up the next morning there was a foul taste in my mouth. Some local skinheads must’ve used my head for a footy, too, because it was throbbing as I stood up and tried to get my bearings. And then something wonderful happened! A kind-looking woman trotted over to me with a plate loaded with eggs, bacon and toast, along with a tall glass of some kind of juice.
“God bless you,” she said with a smile. “No-one should have to sleep outside over Christmas.” I took the food and ate it while telling her about my life on the street, then swaggered off to my high-paying inner-city job and counted down the hours til I could head back to my exclusive beachside apartment (alright, I might’ve exaggerated for the sake of the joke).
And if you think that’s bad, wait’ll you hear what happened the next year…