Now this story is not for the meek and weak of stomach. In fact, when this actually happened to me, I made my friend swear that this story would never be told again, and here I go blogging about it. I guess some stories are just too good not to be told.
I arrived in New York to visit one of my best friends, Heather. She and I get to see each other only a couple of times a year, so we really like to get right to it when we get together. The first day I’m there, we decide to start the day with a Bloody Mary to take the edge of the previous evening’s beer shmeared living room dance party. We head into Rudy’s Bar and Grill, which I find funny because have never seen a grill there in the few times I’ve been, just a hot dog roller for the free hot dogs they give out. Rudy’s is one of the oldest bars in midtown and has been open since right after the prohibition era. We walk in, and the smell of stale beer hits us like a wall, but I would expect nothing less from one of the diviest dives in NYC. Every inch of the booths are covered in duct tape and the bar is lined with middle aged men drinking alone as they should be on a Monday at 11:30 AM.
Heather and I cozy up to the bar and say to each other, “Bloody Mary?” as if we didn’t already know that one. The regular next to us, as any loyal patron would, says, “Maria here makes one of the best Bloody Mary’s in the city.” Note to self: never trust a regular at a bar in the morning on a Monday. I take that back. Never trust a regular when he is talking about his bar, ever. I think we all know where his loyalties lie. So we order a couple of Bloodies in great anticipation of Maria’s Best in the City. At a bar, there are a few indicators on if your Bloody Mary is going to be good or bad. 1. A good Bloody Mary takes a long time to make. 2. The richer and more speckled the color, the more complex the flavor. 3. The more elaborate the garnish usually indicates a tastier drink. When Maria delivered our drinks one minute after we ordered them, with a clear, reddish hued liquid, and a couple of olives, I had a feeling that this was not going to be the best Bloody Mary in the city.
Now, this is the part of the story where if you were with me in person, you would see the color drain from my face and see me start taking deep breaths in and out just to be able to get the words out. This is actually happening to me right now, but you just can’t see me. My first sip of the drink was simply unimpressive. Not strong, not spicy, not flavorful. I get through about a quarter of it before politely asking in Spanish, hoping to connect with this muchacha on another level, for more vodka and tobasco. She stiffed and spiced it up, so I hunker myself in to see if we have made any improvements. No, we haven’t. How can adding vodka and tobasco actually make the taste even worse? Now, I feel there is no turning back and like I have to drink this drink now that I have made such a fuss over it. At this point, I decide to just get as much of it down, go outside for a smoke, and come back in to order a beer and make it all go away. Yet another terrible idea. I wrap my lips around the straw, put on my man pants, gulp the watery gunk into my mouth, and immediately get up to head outside. The only problem was it only went past my mouth and into my throat instead of all the way down. I’m trying to keep my cool and not spew all over the entrance of the bar. The liquid comes back into my mouth. “Come on, Celise, not here, not now!!!” I swallowed it back down regretfully. I turn my head to see how far the bathroom was, and it seems like miles away (it’s probably about 25 feet away). But at this point, the front door is much closer. The liquid come up again, but I’ll be damned if I puke in this bar right now. If you know me, you know that I DO NOT puke EVER. The rare times that I have thrown up from alcohol is times like this; when the alcohol hits my body, and my body just says no. So, I swallow the liquid down for a second time, hit the door, and let the frosty NYC air hit my face. I’m feeling not like I’m gonna puke right at this moment, but definitely not back to normal. Heather comes out and takes one look at me, and says, “holy shit, are you gonna throw up?” Fuck, don’t say those words.
“Oh god, I just did a little bit in my mouth, but I think I got it under control now.”
“Girl, you look green. I think you should get that shit out of you.”
“Heather, I can’t go throwing up on the streets of New York on a Monday morning! People are going to work.”
“Get over yourself, you are going to feel so much better.”
So I glance up and down the street, wait for a moment when the least amount of people are walking by, and throw up in someone’s doorway. The puke is not even puke It is literally the liquid I just shoved down my esophagus. And sure enough, I feel amazing, like a whole new person. And I think only a couple people witnessed my disgustingness.
Even now, after a month, telling this story sets my tummy a-turning and I almost start gagging. But what I still haven’t figured out to this day is how did everything go so wrong for this drink. I mean, I feel like it’s pretty difficult to fuck up a drink this badly. The only think that Heather and I could come up with is that she has rotten tomato juice and watered down vodka. Oh, god, I’m feeling queasy again. I gotta stop talking about this.