Drinking for the USA

Where am I? 

I open my eyes as wide as I can but there is only darkness.

What the hell did I do?

If you have ever woken up like this, you know how terrifyingly confusing it is. Laying there, trying to piece together what is dream and what is drunken reality.

This story took place much more recently than I care to admit.

That being said, I’ll admit that this story takes place December 27, 2013. I remember the date because it was the same evening that my beloved Gopher football team broke my heart yet again with a loss to Syracuse in the Texas Bowl.

A few years ago, me and a couple of friends came up with an idea while “geeking” out and playing FIFA soccer on Xbox.

We decided that we would create the Minneapolis World Cup.


Yeah, we took it serious.

This involved everyone picking a country to represent in a video game tournament. What’s more, we all were to bring a food and beverage from our home country. Being the red-blooded American that I am, I chose to represent the United States. Some may claim that I chose to rep the US because it was easy pickings for the food and drink. Those people would be correct, but it sounds better to claim that I am a patriot.

The second Minneapolis World Cup was held on the evening of 12/27/2013.

Why does any of this matter?

The food that I brought for the United States was buffalo chicken dip in a crock pot (my wife made it). But more importantly, the drink that I brought for the United States was an alcoholic, apple pie shot concoction. Believe me when I tell you, it was delicious. That was the problem.

See, when the Gophers lose (well, especially when the Gophers lose) I tend to over indulge in alcohol in an attempt to numb the pain.

After the football game finished, it was time to start the futbol tournament.

I should point out that this tournament was being held in the home of a friend’s sister, whom I did not know.

We had three televisions set up in her basement so that we could get through the entire tournament quickly.

If you were to walk in on this event you would find three games being played at the same time. You would hear profanity laced trash talk from the competitors and spectators. You would see people passing out shots with alcohol from their home country. And, this is the best part, you would periodically here national anthems for each country represented.

I am hoping that we do this again.


My apple pie shots were so delicious, that I forgot that it was supposed to be shots and not drinks. Shortly into the Minneapolis World Cup my motor skills and hand-eye coordination began to fade as I continued to over indulge in the drink of my country.

I should have learned my lesson at the first Minneapolis World Cup. But, I’m a slow learner…

After the loss that ended the tournament for me, my memory gets fuzzy (very fuzzy). MY last clear memory I was something like –

I just need to lay down and rest my eyes for a little bit.

I had a couple of things working against me on this night (as usual).

  1. The previous year, I drank too much apple pie ‘drank’ and left the Minneapolis World Cup early without telling anyone by having my wife come pick me up like an 8 year-old scared at a sleep over.
  2. We were in a strange house that nobody was familiar with.

Where am I? What the hell did I do?

Darkness and silence.

My first order of business? I patted myself down.

Thank goodness… I’m not naked.

Score one for the good ol’ US of A.

I managed to get to my knees still unable to see anything.

Where’s my phone?

I checked my pockets. No phone. I started to run my hands over the carpet hoping to find my phone laying next to me.


I clicked the button to illuminated my phone and get a sense of where I was.

What the fuck?

The blue glow of my phone’s home screen had now lit up the room that was actually not a room at all but it was, in fact, I walk-in closet. The rods in the closet were relatively empty and there were a couple of pairs of old shoes.

This must be a guest bedroom. Why am I in a closet? Did I come in here on my own? What time is it?

I turned to the blue glow of the phone toward my face.

4:10 AM.


Everyone must be asleep.

At this point, I had no idea how big the bedroom was that the door of this closet led to. Nor, did I know who would be in the bedroom.

Slowly and quietly I opened the door. Still on my knees, I listed for the rhythmic breathing of someone sleeping. Nothing.

Again, I used my cell phone to scan the room. It is a big bedroom, with an empty bed.

Why didn’t I lay in the bed?

I moved to the bedroom door.

Everyone must be in the living room.

The last time I was in the living room, it had 3 TVs, scattered red solo cups and beer cans, and about 15 people talking and laughing.

I slowly opened the door and scanned the room.

No people. No TVs. No cups or cans.

What the fuck? Where is everyone?

I started to make my way up the stairs. I stopped quickly when I remembered three things.

  1. My friend’s sister is a nurse. She was working the night shift. I don’t know if she is home.
  2. There is a dog somewhere in this house that is certain to hear my shuffling around. If it barks and wakes up people who I don’t know, this will officially be the most awkward situation I have ever been in (assuming that the cops aren’t called because of break in).
  3. I need to find my crock pot.

I continued up the stairs to the door that opened to the kitchen. The windows and sliding glass door allowed for the orange glow of winter to aid my eyes in adjusting to the dark.

On the counter in front me sat the crock pot.

Like Indiana Jones, I slowly and carefully lifted the crock pot from the counter, wadding the cord in my left hand.

I made my way to the front door with each step taking about 5-10 seconds.

About halfway to the door, the floor let out a small groan under the weight of my foot. I could feel my heartbeat in my eyeballs as I froze. Then, from somewhere in the house came a muffled dog bark

Decision time.

  1. Wait and continue slowly making my way to the door.
  2. Run to the door, throw on my shoes and haul ass to my car.

If you are a frequent visitor of my blog you know that I would select option 2 every single time. And that is what I did.

I shut the door as I heard the dog making its way toward me. With the heels of my shoes folded under my foot, I ran through the snowy yard to my car. I started it and drove a few blocks with the crock pot in my lap.

Once I was a safe distance away, I stopped and put the crock pot in the passenger seat.

I was wide awake with the adrenaline pumping through my entire body.

Everyone left. Know one called or looked for me. What the hell?

Later, I found out that since I made my Houdini like escape from the previous Minneapolis World Cup, everyone just assumed that I did it again.

I didn’t. I wandered into a closet and passed out.

But, hey, I was 28. I was just a kid. I have grown up a lot since then.



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