The third time I got drunk was when I worked at the Pizza Hut part-time while stationed at Coast Guard search and rescue station Taylor's Island Maryland. The event was the store's 1974 Christmas party. The manager and I were the only guys who worked there, so the only guys at the private party. The rest were young women, all attractive. I'm eighteen years old so attracted to most women. I started the party by telling everyone I didn't drink, which they thought was cute. I stood my ground for an hour before I submitted to the pretty girl wanting me to suck salt off her hand. Her name was Walda Kalowski. She was twenty-two, a second grade teacher when she wasn't working at the Pizza Hut. I ended up liking her so much I took her home to meet my mother. This was the first time I'd licked salt off her hand and I liked it.
She passed me a shot glass and filled it with tequila. I'd not tasted tequila before so the first shot was a shock. I coughed and choked, sucked the lemon then licked salt off Walda's hand. The bottle and glass passed around the circle and when it reached me again we repeated the process. When it was my turn the third time Walda pulled her shirt back and poured salt on her neck. This was a little too much for my rather puritan nature. My reaction was to reach behind me and grab a twelve ounce beer glass. This I filled with tequila. To the cheers of my coworkers I turned the glass up. I leaned back as I drank and was conscious of emptying the glass before I fell back into a shelf full of clean beer glasses. I was instantly crap face drunk.
I woke the next morning in the Pizza Hut's girls restroom. I had my arm around a toilet filled with my vomit.
My head hurt more than it ever had. Eventually I got up and made it into the restaurant. The doors were locked and no one else was there. I saw my car in the parking lot but couldn't find my car keys nor the store's door key. It was 9:30 am, which was a problem since I was suppose to be on the base for duty at 8:00. At a search and rescue station when one guy didn't show up his opposite couldn't leave. The guy I was suppose to relieve was going home for Christmas and anxious to get going. I knew he was going to be upset so I started looking for my keys. What I found was a note on the register saying that my keys were in the safe. Even stupid drunk I knew I needed to get to the base to relieve my opposite so he could go home, so I kept trying to leave. My coworkers knew not to let me drive, so they took my car keys and locked them in the safe. Their logic was that once I was able to remember the safe's four position combination I should be sober enough to drive. It was a pretty clever plan. It was an hour before I got the safe open. By that point I'd drank a quart of water and two cups of coffee. I was still drunk, but able to drive back to the base. The guy waiting for me never forgave me for being so late.
I swore I'd never drink again. For the most part, I didn't.