In the summer of 1999 I went to The Gorge in George, a huge amphitheater in the middle of nowhere for Ozzfest with my friends Brandon and Jeremy, my ex-girlfriend Shannon, and a few others. We arrived the night before so we could camp and hit the festival as it opened at noon. However, Dave Matthews was playing that night, so the campground was already full and we were stuck in the huge grass parking lot just outside the amphitheater. We were smoking lots of weed, of course, and we each had our own choice of alcohol. I had a Sobe bottle half full of Vodka, and my friend Jeremy had brought a couple cases of Budweiser for himself. I also had a few Valiums, which I had never tried before.
I had heard good things about Dave Matthews’ live performances so I had gotten a ticket just for myself. Everyone else was there solely for Ozzfest. So I took two Valiums and a few sips of my vodka, left my Sobe bottle on the floor against the divider in the center of the back seat of the car, and headed in to Dave Matthews.
Dave played a wonderful show and I decided I needed to come back to see him the next time. Afterward, when I reached the car, I was ready to pop a third Valium and get really messed up. I grabbed my Sobe bottle off the floor and found another pill. I threw it to the back of my mouth and took a quick drink of vodka to wash it down, preparing myself for that nasty vodka pucker. Instead, the pill went down smooth and easy, the liquid oddly refreshing.
Something isn’t right, I thought. Am I really that drunk that I can’t taste vodka?
I smelled the bottle. No smell either. “What the hell’s going on?” I asked. Then it occurred to me. “Jeremy! Where the fuck is Jeremy?” I took another drink to confirm the lack of taste. “That fucker Jeremy took my vodka and filled it up with water.” This was the best explanation since Jeremy was an alcoholic, and had pulled this maneuver before.
“Huh?” my buddy Brandon said. “Jeremy’s got his beer. Is your liquor missing?”
“No. It was right where I left it and now it’s all water! Here, taste it!” I held the bottle out to Brandon.
Brandon backed away. “That’s not Jeremy’s pee jar is it?”
“No,” I said. “It’s just water.”
“Kalin!” Shannon said, suddenly looking up from her spot on the grass. “Is that Jeremy’s piss? He put it in the backseat on the floor in the middle.”
I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, sure. Real funny.” I took another drink, still wondering if this really was vodka and I was just too messed up to taste it, but still, it was nothing but water. I couldn’t walk or talk straight, but it didn’t seem right that I could get drunk enough to miss the bite of 80 proof vodka.
Shannon screamed and shook her head. “Don’t fucking drink it!”
“You guys are assholes,” I said.
Brandon opened the car door and began digging through clothes, fast food bags and other garbage.
“Why are you covering for him? You just let him steal my booze? That was the only alcohol I had.” I took another angry drink.
Shannon screamed again and shook her head. She turned and started marching away. “Oh my God that’s fucking disgusting.” And as she continued walking rapidly away, it suddenly occurred to me that maybe they weren’t joking.
Then suddenly Jeremy came out of nowhere. “What’s up with Shannon?” he asked.
“You stole my vodka, you fucker!”
“Hey!” Brandon shouted from the back seat. He held an identical Sobe bottle, one-third full of clear liquid. “I got your vodka!”
I hesitated before taking the bottle, still convinced this was an elaborate joke. I sniffed and immediately felt the familiar vodka bite. I took a sip, puckered my mouth and shook my head as I usually do when drinking hard alcohol.
“Is that it?” Brandon asked.
“Yeah,” I replied. “Thanks.” I paused and gazed at the other bottle. “So what’s in this one… you weren’t serious…”
Jeremy laughed. “Oh, is that my piss jar?”
As I glared, I took a long drink of my real vodka. “Why can’t you use the port-a-potty like a normal person?”
“Because they’re disgusting,” Jeremy said.
A moment later I blacked out.
Here’s the little blog post about this story.