Civilized. Calm. Mature.
I've also been know to drink massive amounts of alcohol in a single sitting. Two weeks pay gone on happy hour at the Shamrock Hotel in Toowoomba? Sure. Vomiting out of a moving car as it travels through the intersection of Margaret and Ruthven streets in the old T-Bar? Yeah... did that too.
Civilized? Fuck no. Calm? Absolutely not. Mature? Oh, in-deedy no.
Sadly, most of my worst boozing happened while living in Toowoomba, and there is one night in particular that will go down as the absolute lowest point in my life....
It was my work Christmas party when I was gainfully employed by the Toowoomba City Council at the Aquatic and Fitness Centre about ten or eleven years ago. Way too many a scotch and dry, followed by gin and orange, followed by black Sambucca shots were imbibed by young and innocent Benji. Many hugs were given, and many declarations of undying mateship and love were proclaimed around the group.
All stock standard for my work colleagues at the time.
As with most of my drinking sessions, I only left when the cash in my wallet got dangerously low, and stumbled out the door in search of a hot dog and taxi ride home.
The hot dog was found easily enough (and came with bacon and cheese), and eaten as I stumbled down the street looking some way of getting home. Unfortunately I tripped on an imaginary rock, twisted my ankle and tumbled over into the gutter.
Classy as, especially when I stood up and realised I'd torn the knee of my trousers (I never used to wear jeans out in those days) and now had blood pouring down my leg. But the number of Sambucca shots I'd had stopped the pain from the ankle and my leg from dampening my mood. However, the combination of Sambucca shots and the bacon and cheese hot dog was not sitting too well in my belly, and the need to vomit became overwhelming.
So I now hobbled as quick as I could into the the gardens of a nearby church, bent over and let fly with the contents of my stomach. It was one of those monster chunders too. You know, the one that you will think will never stop coming.
I think I must have been onto hurl number 5 or 6 when I noticed a set of legs behind me. I turned around mid-spew and worked out the legs belonged to an old fat police officer. Unfortunately as I turned to face him, the vomit was still flowing out of my mouth and I managed to get my quite a lot of it on his shoes.
"Sir, are you OK?" Mr Policeman asked me. My reply was to fall down and spew some more, but thankfully that seemed to be the last of the vomit.
"Sir, why are you in these gardens?" he now asked. My head started reeling with the realisation that I could possibly be in the shit because of what I just did.
"I really needed to be sick and I didn't want to do it on the street," is what I tried to say as I stood back up, but I'm sure it came out as "I dsagrasd chunder dfbfbwerbewfbr fucken argfdgvbd meh" and then fell over again.
"Sir, I'm going to ask you to come with us." Oh fuck.
I did the only thing I could - just resigned myself to the fact that I was gonna spend the night in lock up. I didn't put up a fight. I didn't plead or whine or bitch or moan to them. I didn't get violent and aggressive. I just let them put me in the back of the cop car and take me away to the Toowoomba watch house.
I was processed with polite efficiency. They took all my details on a triplicate sheet of paper. I would get a copy for my records the next morning I was told. I was asked to remove everything from my pockets, my belt and my shoelaces. The next sound send a chill up my spine.
The snap of a rubber glove.
Any remaining colour must have drained from my face, and the guy with the gloves said "No, we're not doing a strip search, I just need to check all your pockets to make sure you don't have a weapon"
My pockets were duly checked, my property was bagged and tagged and I was handed a blanket as I was herded down a corridor into a massive holding cell. Thankfully it was deserted. No one else but me, so I grabbed all the mattresses and tried to go to sleep in the corner.
After what felt like 10 minutes I was prodded with a steel capped boot. It was a different officer telling it me it was six in the morning and I had to leave. I had managed to sober up significantly and was now able to string full sentences together. "Ummm... will I have to go to court over this?"
"No. You could have been charged for what you did to his shoes, but it meant too much paper work," the guy at the desk told me as I put my shoe laces back on.
"How big is the fine?"
"You've been charged with being drunk in a public place, so there is no fine. You are very lucky."
I just nodded, put my belt on as quick as possible and got out of there ASAP to get to work by 7:30.
Like I said, lowest point in my life.