Monday, November 07, 2005

The Aftermath: adventures in karoke gone wrong

This post might have also been called Brent vs. 20 Gin and Tonics, if you want.

This post is dedicated, with apologies, to my dear younger sister, whose adventures in drunken self destruction surely left mine behind many moons ago. Please take that statement as a marker of comedy, not tragedy, and please take the following adventure in the same light…

Last weekend was an Icarus-like journey through the best and the worst of what a man armed with too much confidence in both his wallet and his liver can accomplish in about twenty-two hours. The shenanigans began with a genius amount of fun organized by one of my co-workers: a scavenger hunt across the entire city of Tokyo. We sought random landmarks, artistic destination, old ladies with purple hair, Beatles memorabilia, train station songs and goodness knows what else. It was also a brilliant way to sample some of the best that Tokyo has to offer at super high speed. I admit that we stooped to googling some obscure answers at one of the stops (a marketing-funded ode to the genius that is the Japanese phone and tech industry, called the KDDI design centre). On the other hand, I’m also happy to tell you that we had a near-illegal amount of fun in one of those pay photo booths that take portraits. See, you can add fifteen kinds of “hello kitty” cartoons to a picture of yourself and three other people you’ve just met. It sounds stupid, until you try it.

Of course, an empty bottle of sho-chu (Japanese booze, tastes like water but kicks like wine...) was on the list, and then we went to the bar, and things went, ah, downhill from there.

About three hours and a lot of oversized beer with too much foam after the hunt, I found myself with four other teachers in a karoke bar, belting out “Don’t Stop Me Now” at the top of my lungs into a microphone shared with three other people. Oh, and teaching both massage and swing dance to a random Japanese guy (at the same time, if my foggy memory serves)…. This scene was followed by walking to the next karoke bar (yeah, there was another one) with two people I’d just met on my arms, and the only thing I felt like yelling was “DRUNK!!!”

At the next karoke booth, we did some more singing, some chilling, and drinking (yeah, still drinking). The lowlight of this little adventure occurred on a brief jaunt to locate the little boys’ room. You see, my feet decided that this was the time to assert themselves as a centre for cerebral consideration as well as for locomotion. Specifically, they decided to begin their career as “thinky-feet” with a closer look at the ceiling.

Now, this decision, well thought out and carefully planned as it was, actually turned out to be rather ill-timed. You see, the rest of the team that makes up my body was busy trying to descend some narrow karoke-bar steps. I say internal debate and a conflict of interest, but you can probably call it “I fell down the freaking stairs” if that makes life easier.

After I was done inspecting the floor closely, (aka rolling totally head over heels) I rejoined my pals with one HELL of a black eye and only a vague recollection of its origin.

After some “OH MY GOD, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU!!!?!?!”-s from them and some “uh, I don’t know”-s from me, my cohorts managed to find us some breakfast. Eventually, I managed to make my way to the train and slump my way home—restaurant-issued icepack pressed to my nearly-swollen-closed eye—and roll into my futon about 9 am.

Suffice to say that drinking for 13 or 14 hours straight means that the next day is dedicated to a meditative study in the number of times one can return to sleep.

This eye should heal up nicely for next weekend.

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