In Boozo Veritas #32 by Teege Braune
No Rest For the Weird
Here it is a sunny, beautiful Monday afternoon in Orlando. What in the hell am I still doing working on In Boozo Veritas!? This should have been finished twenty-four hours ago! Like Dr. Duke alone in Vegas, panic is creeping “up my spine like the first rising vibes of an acid frenzy.” My own horrible realities are dawning on me: hungover, no cash having spent the weekend drinking instead of bartending, no entry for my blog; I don’t know who won the race, but I can safely say it wasn’t me. Is this the week I throw in the towel, put my head in my hands, and face the world with empty pockets turned out. “I’m sorry folks. We appreciate your continued support through highs and lows, but as it turns out, we spent so much time researching, we didn’t have time to write the report. We just couldn’t cut it this week,” I’ll meekly apologize before falling upon my own sword. Is this the week there was no In Boozo Veritas?!
No, with a spontaneous surge of new-found energy, my entire being rails against defeat. My caffeine fueled mind awakens to new ideas and possibilities. Did we not spend the entire weekend drinking? Buck up, young man. Tell the people about your adventures. They need to know about the drinking! Sit down, type the words they long to hear. With the music of The Misfits blaring around me, I begin, clacking away at the keys until the subtle movements of my fingers become automatic as if mechanized, my entire being bent to a single purpose, my one and only master: In Boozo Veritas.
Saturday night Jenn and I made our way to the Cheyenne Saloon for the Orlando Weekly sponsored Great Orlando Mixer.
Tickets cost thirty dollars; everything from that point on (and by everything I mean each multitudinous drop of booze) was free, cab fare and tip money being the only added expenses. The uber swanky, pseudo-historical Cheyenne Saloon had been done up as lavishly as if the party was hosted by Jay Gatsby himself, and more than once did I maybe hear someone say in my ear, “Pretty good show, eh, old sport?” feeling a jocular hand clasp my shoulder, only to look behind me and discover no one was there at all. Jenn and I were dressed to the nines in authentic-as-possible 1920s-style attire,
while elsewhere party-goers made mockery of the decade by wearing zoot suits and feathered head pieces, as histrionic and anachronistic as Luhrmann’s own interpretation of the flapper era.
Did I mention the booze was free? Or at least prepaid, which was close enough for Jenn and me. Apart from the mixology contest on the first floor, each guest was given five drink tickets, which entitled them to very stiff classic cocktails being made on the second floor. Furthermore, if you were able to spot her hidden in a back corner Kaitlin of Daughters & Co. was mixing some of the best old-fashioneds and mint juleps I’ve ever had. As I grew up in Louisville, that’s saying a lot. Grabbing drinks at every bar we passed, Jenn and I made our way through the crowds who were clamoring to become as intoxicated as possible before the booze ran dry. That nasty, little glitch in our nation’s history, not-so-fondly known as prohibition, was completely forgotten. Meanwhile, the festivities were presided over by the gorgeous Miss Carol Lee, dancers entertained with their delightfully executed rendition of the Charleston, and Will of the titular pub played Hemingway for the evening. Apparently, he was going for Walt Disney, but he’ll always be Hemingway to me. Rene of Hanson’s was deservedly crowned Orlando’s greatest mixologist and shortly after things dissolved into utter chaos. Any remaining booze was clutched at and downed with wild abandon. The dance floor was packed with revelers trading party hats and sucking the helium from balloons, and then just as we were all about to forget what decade we were in, which one we were recreating, past and future colliding dangerously, the clock struck midnight and without so much as a night cap, security ushered us unceremoniously out the front doors and onto the street.
I awoke at five in the morning, my throat dry, head reeling from all the alcohol and sugar, my stomach a sour, twisted mess, belching noxious fumes that tasted of basil, mint, and cucumber. Chugging gallons of water, I resisted the urge to lose my (liquid) dinner. I resolved to spend the rest of my Sunday hiding under the covers before I remembered I had committed to another drinking round table of John King’s The Drunken Odyssey that very afternoon where I knew I would be obligated to drink whiskey, beer, and Bailey’s Irish Cream. “Dear God,” I thought. “How can I possibly chug an Irish car bomb on a day like this?” This proved easy enough by the time I got there a few hours later. Together we recorded what I think will be a highly entertaining episode of the podcast. With St. Patrick’s Day providing a sort of lose structure, we discussed a myriad of subjects including tattoos, feminism, and of course Disney cartoons. Furthermore, I shared an obscure poem by W.B. Yeats in honor of the drink known as the Irish car bomb, but you’ll have to tune in next Monday to hear it.
While I was recording the podcast, Jenn had been fighting her own hangover in order to lend a hand at Bookmark It, the new independent, locally-themed bookstore located at East End Market. Afterwards, we had dinner with Bookmark It’s owner Kim and her boyfriend Pat at Gargi’s. As we watched the sunset on Lake Ivanhoe over pasta and sangrias it became increasingly obvious that no writing would get done that evening, and by the time I got home even the season finale of True Detective wasn’t enough to keep me awake. I arose early the next morning and collapsed on the couch. Before I could attempt to find my laptop or even think about composing my blog, a cat had jumped on my lap. Too cozy to disturb my furry friend, I drifted back to sleep and did not awake again until after noon. In no way rested for this upcoming week of work, I nevertheless fought fatigue and exhaustion to bring you yet another edition of the cultural phenomenon known as In Boozo Veritas.
Teege Braune (episode 72, episode 75, episode 77) is a writer of literary fiction, horror, essays, and poetry. Recently he has discovered the joys of drinking responsibly. He may or may not be a werewolf.