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Party of Leaf and Xena.jpg

From an old website, Alien in Montreal

I wondered for a while if I should, in fact, write a review of this party, mainly because it didn't end so well for me, personally. But, life is life, and it does deserve a write up, in reality. I also took no pictures during the evening, but I've had some sent to me since, and so I'll use one of them... I'm sure Karloff won't mind.

The error of my judgement on this day can perhaps be traced back to the two pints I drank at 4pm in Grumpy's Bar after a day of shopping downtown. I was waiting for the wife at the time. After receiving a phone call to the bar from her (amusing image of the barmaid holding up the phone and shouting my name), I then went to meet her and Marty at the Barbare.

When I arrived they were already a few bites into burgers, so I ordered a cheese platter, as I thought it would be quick to prepare. I ordered a beer - a 5 a 7 special of some alcoholic orange liquid.

The cheese platter was obviously designed to be shared amongst several friends. There was a huge wedge of Camembert, a mountain of cheddar cubes, and a large slice of goat cheese. When I finished, which I did, I sat back and my stomach shouted angrily at me for filling it with so much dairy, on top of three pints of beer.

I felt a bit odd from this point onwards in our story, dear reader.

We returned home, to relax and change, and I drank a rather nasty bottle of Milwaukee Dry, which happened to be in the fridge. This beer always makes me feel strange, and often brings on stomach cramps or burning sensations. Anyway, beer is beer, I reasoned.

Feeling a little tired, I decided to have an espresso before leaving, but realised that we didn't have much coffee left. No problem, I thought, I'll top up the coffee with cocoa powder and make an espresso-mocha.

Hmm.

Well, with added sugar, I thought it was great, though the wife wasn't convinced, and in fact pulled an odd face when she tried it. Anyway, I drank it all down and proclaimed that I felt great.

I only had six beers with me to take - Belle Guelle - and had been told by Xena that there would be plenty of Gin and Tonic if I wanted more later at the party. The wife took a bottle of red wine.

Time passes. We arrive.

Very jolly beginning it was too. I talk to a lot of people, and drink a beer. Good atmosphere, plenty of laughter, this is the part of the evening that everyone recalls clearly the next day.

Then Xena arrives with a tray of shots. Vodka perhaps.

I pull a face. I have been avoiding shots since they were linked to my blackouts in the past.

'Ooh, I don't know,' I say. But I'm talked into it - just one to celebrate various things that seemed like they needed toasting, desperately, at that moment.

'Okay,' I say, 'just one.' And descend into murkiness. 'But,' I add, seriously to Xena, 'don't let me drink any more, eh?'

'Sure,' she says, and wanders off to ply spirits on more people.

So, suffice to say that during the rest of the evening, it was never long before a tray of shots was thrust under my nose for sampling. And, worse, I would often help Xena finish the last few on the tray before she went to create something new.

'What goes with Gin?' She would ask, desperate to make new and more interesting shots for the masses.

So we spend a lot of time on the roof, as we can smoke there. To get there you have to travel in the lift/elevator each time, then walk through darkened corridors and up spooky, gloomy steps. There are a few stumbles. Of course.

I'm having fun at this point in the evening, and have had, perhaps four or five of my beers. One of my final memories of the night is X's (who's name I shall not mention) girlfriend telling a large crowd of people how she shaves his balls.

'I can't stand that hair!' She cries.

'Well, we've all been there,' I say, and the men in the group thoughtfully nod.

Then it's all over. A few flashes, but no real memories. I wake up the next day, in bed.

I have managed to re-create the rest of the evening from various sources:

Downstairs I'm drinking strong German lager that someone has given me, slurring, and swaying. My wife sees this and brings me some water, which she thinks will do me some good. I'm of the opinion that it won't do me any good, and don't want to drink it. She is insistent, and I become excited in my refusal. This escalates into me tossing my empty beer bottle onto the table - the ultimate 'no' symbol.

I am manhandled into a small room, as I'm now considered a threat to society. And there various people come in and try and make me drink water, as I sit on a small chair, alone. I become more and more agitated as I perceive the world massing and conspiring against me, all of them wanting me to drink water, that I don't want to drink.

Then the wife begins to shout at me. She told me later that this once worked for her - when I was drunk, she shouted at me to pull myself together, and I did. However, this time, it did not, and I remained resolutely drunk. Then an idea came into her head - perhaps a slap across the face, like on the TV, would do the trick. Kind of shock me into sobriety?

She tells me that she is going to slap me.

I fix her gaze and say, 'Go on then.' But, I can't help imagine that I meant it in the sense of, 'no, don't.'

She tells me three times that she is about to slap me, and then wham! She lets rip.

A second later I have hurled a cup across the little room, and it has smashed into many bits. At least I took out my anger on an inanimate object, and not a live thing, I later thought.

We leave soon after, at 4am or so. The wife is upset with me, for some reason.

In the morning I'm simply told that I threw beer bottles around and smashed a cup against the wall.

'What?' I say, 'why would I do that?'

'I don't know,' said the wife.

During the evening I also managed to break my antique gold watch, the 1960 Longine Grand Prix. That watch is precious to me, so that when I saw the top fall off, in the bathroom that morning, and the little second hand bent into a 'U', I could have almost cried.

New resolution: No more shots.