An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Calling in Sick

So it started way before the Absolut Kurant, about a week before the Absolut Kurant to be exact. I woke up Christmas morning in the basement of my mother-in-law’s house with a throat so swollen I couldn’t fit a t-shirt over my head. And I can deal with a swollen throat, and all the symptoms that usually accompany the swollen throat, the sniffling and the sneezing and the swollen sense of self-pity, all made electrifyingly acute by the constant, quiet drip of phlegm down the back of the throat.

And everything would have been okay, I mean, everything was okay for at least a week. We drove to Las Vegas, or I should say, Jon drove to Las Vegas while I ached and groaned in the passenger seat. Six hours to Las Vegas and then an hour and a half back to St. George, and then back to Las Vegas and then six hours back to Salt Lake, all within 48 hours, all with aching and groaning and swelling and a husband who can endure torture at herculean levels.

And just as the swelling began to de-swell, as the drip drip drip of leaking sinuses slowed to a steadied silence, I was most certain that I was free. Jon was sure he’d be released from the chains of sick spousal bondage, a most frightful state in which one spouse must endure the other spouse’s incessant delusional pecking. It’s like, the sick spouse wants to make sure that the non-sick spouse knows just how sick she is, and the non-sick spouse, while totally aware that the sick spouse is really very sick and he’s very sorry that she’s sick, is doing everything he can to forget about how sick the sick spouse is, just so that he can live his fucking life.

And on New Year’s Eve I was feeling better than I had felt in at least a whole week. And Jon was relieved that I was at least no longer talking about not feeling better. And what better way to celebrate not talking about not feeling better than a half a bottle of berry-flavored vodka?

And while I remember drinking the vodka, and even making mental notes about how many glasses I’d poured (okay, this is number 6, okay this is number 7), I totally lost count at about 15, and don’t remember anything until Jon pulled over to the side of THE FREEWAY where I littered the guardrail with about a fifth of berry-flavored vodka and two bean and cheese tacos I’d eaten four hours earlier. And the whole time I’m doing this, cars are speeding by at 85 mph less than three feet away from my head.

And it wouldn’t have been so bad, really, had the littering stopped at that point on the freeway. It’s just, Jon had to pull over again about a mile south of the first stop, and this time an entire green goblin came out my mouth and nose.

And let’s just say that I continued to meet little creatures resembling the Orc Army throughout the night and well into New Year’s Day, a full 18 hours of meeting and greeting. And while I never thought I would ever hear myself utter these harrowing words, I can’t help but promise that I WILL NEVER DRINK VODKA EVER AGAIN FOR AS LONG AS I LIVE, I’M TOTALLY SERIOUS.

And while most hangovers last at most a day, this vodka hangover has lasted six days, going on seven. I wake up in the morning feeling like I’m trying to stand on a surfboard, and I’ve tried to stand on a surfboard, like at least 12 times, and the closest I got was squatting and then the wave ate my board and laughed at me. That’s what this feels like, like life is laughing at me. I even think my dog is laughing at me.

And I need to take this opportunity to apologize to my husband, I’m sorry for pecking and whining and ruining several perfectly good puke-free moments. And I need to apologize to the 11-year old girl at my niece’s basketball game on Saturday night, I’m sorry for calling you a cunt-ass bitch and for encouraging my niece to fucking elbow you in your fucking boobs already.

  • I’m sorry, but 11-year old girls ARE cunt-asses. I wish I had a time machine just so I could go back to 1988, meet my 11-year old self, and beat her senseless with the Babysitters Club Special Edition she is no doubt moping on the bed with.

  • sounds like my dad. only his libation of choice this past season was scotch. i had never seen my dad drunk before until then, and it was strange. he didn’t vomit, but he did pass out both on the toilet, then in the middle of the den floor.

    he also vowed never to touch the stuff again, and will moan in mock-agony if alcohol is mentioned.

    can’t wait till next year!

  • Sounds like a crappy week. At least your grandfather didn’t die like mine. Actually, by your description, I may have rather had him die as opposed to going through your episode. Actually, no, not him, but maybe my grandmother. She is a cunt-ass bitch. Her and her 80-year-old-100-
    -my-cheeks-because-I-am-so-rich-and-vein ass.

  • you could be slc’s very own hunter s. thompson. lord know’s the town needs a little more debauchery. ah, the amazing power of selective memory. today you will never drink again so help you anyone. please. dear god. nope. never. not a chance. i’ll gag if i look at it. but in six months (weeks?) you wont remember the vomit you were washing out of your hair for three days. you will, however, remember how cool you looked in those spiffy shades and how damn sexy you sounded as brittany spears. and how much you would really like another cocktail. first round is on me.

  • hope you’re now able to take a holiday from your, eh, holiday. (ouch)

  • Jie

    so, to never drink any more vodka is your new year’s resolution =D

  • you should make the 11 year old drink the Vodka thus teaching everyone a lesson or some sort or something…

  • Absolut Green Goblin… didn’t I see that in last month’s Rolling Stone?

  • Kat

    You, m’dear, have just experienced the joyous rite of passage entitled ‘alcohol poisoning’. It’s fun, isn’t it? I’ve suffered through it once or twice myself. Makes you wonder how Bukowski lived as long as he did.

  • ahh alcohol – this time next year you will be swearing off the vodka all over again.

    You can try to get out, but it will drag you back in. Oh yes indeedy.

  • after similar events a few years ago, i vowed never to drink vodka ever again, and i was totally serious. one promise i did keep. thank god. i never want to puke like that ever again.

  • an old friend of mine once had a hangover that wouldn’t go away, turned out she was pregnant (!). if that be the case, congrats; if not, try hitting the Gin.

  • Have you ever puked so much from alcohol that the pink dangly think in the back of your throat swells to the point you can swallow it or make it lay flat on your tongue? Me? Only once. I havenít touched Goldschlager since then, that dirty bitch.

  • ow…

  • Yep, that sounds like alcohol poisoning to me…not that I would know anything about it….nooooo, that wasn’t me that drank most of a fifth of peppermint schnapps (!) at a party for the graduating seniors, a party at the COOLEST graduating senior’s house, when I was a junior in high school, round 1990 or so….noooo, that wasn’t me waking up in puke, puking for three days, trying to HIDE puking for three days from my parents, who knew anyway, but had decided that alcohol poisoning was punishment enough…nooooo, that’s not me that can’t even SMELL any sort of peppermint liquor…look at it this way, at this way, at least you picked something (perhaps) slightly outside your normal drinking range…meaning, whiskey should still treat you right…sorry to hear you’ve been so ill. I feel your pain.

  • Just look at it this way 1 time. Duh.

  • Just don’t switch to tequila – your mind could end up like a shaken Etch-a-Sketch, and we will miss you, dammit.

  • It was years before I could drink vodka again after the now infamous “vodka event of ’97” Several family carpets were ruined in the process, my friends were on the verge of calling an ambulance. Twas an educational experience, one every 16-year old should go through.
    You’ll be glad to know, I can now stomach small amounts of that ominous clear liquid but only as long as it’s mixed with copious amounts of some other sweet tasting beverage. The smell of it neat still brings back vile memories of vomiting in my trash bin.

  • the media

    drinking & vegas. an excellent way to spend the holidays. you rule.–apple martini @ the big apple bar kicks ass

  • Why is it always the vodka? And why did I decide to pair it with a hottub? Thank goodness for friends who will hold you up so you don’t drown in the toilet between rounds, and will wrap you in a quilt before taking you to the hospital in your teeny bikini.

  • I’ve made that promise a number of times, notably the Wednesday after Tequila Tuesday, and after hosting my first party.

    I’m a big stinking liar.

  • indeed it’s something every 16-yr old should go through. problem is, i didn’t start drinking until i was 23, so i’ve got years and years of debauchery to make up.

  • Red

    Make a liter bottle of water your constant companion (along with scrumptious husband) and you’ll feel better.

  • Dooce,

    Come now. You’re a capable drinker. It wasn’t the vodka. Clearly the currants used to flavour the stuff were bad. Don’t let this incident sour you on the world of boozing.

    Then again, I’m only now sobering up from New Year’s Eve. My advice may not be sound. 🙂

  • Sissy

    I think you are an alcoholic. See ya in a meeting real soon!

  • Is it a bad sign that this story gave me a yen for a nice tall drink? Yes. Yes it is.

  • Never promise to not drink Vodka. I do it every hang over after and then somehow I forget the pain I endured, and I do it all over again.

  • I remember myself, age 15, on a beach in Mexico. After building a fire and putting our parents to sleep, my friend and I decided to swag off a bottle of deliciously warm Oso Negro (Mexican) Vodka we happen to find in a cabinet at the house we were staying at. After we found a way to finish off the whole bottle, and found a way to fall over in our beach chairs and not be able to get up, and found a way to have our stuff stolen by whomever happen to roam down the beach in the wee hours and find two comatose teenagers lying in thier own recycled Oso Negro, we both had the worst hangovers in recorded history. Mine lasted close to three days. But I have worked long and hard to get back on that horse, and I am proud to say that I only gag a little bit whenever I enjoy that sweet sweet vodka. Dooce, don’t give up hope!!

  • Mark Rose MD

    Yeah…Sounds very much like you have an inner ear problem. The vodka only made you puke, the throat probs before hand is causing your continued vertigo, especially when rising. A week of Augmenten or Zithromax should set you right.

  • i just asked my husband, “What kind of a person calls an 11-year old a ‘cunt-ass bitch’? I’ll tell you what kind of person… MY kind of person!”

  • Six-day hangover, huh? And on the seventh day, Dooce rested.

  • dirty sanchez

    i thought i read that 13 year old girls were the meanest people on the planet. im sure they also included 11 year olds in that batch of cunt bitches.
    but since im different my story has me drinking not only vodka and beer but anything in the cabinet of the best man whos house we destroyed. yes we even drank cough syrup. after we got kicked out of our first strip club we took over the next one. i had whor…girls all over us, tossing money around like i had it to spend. at least that is what they told me i did. i dont remember anything. like when i puked in my roommates room. three days later one of the guys brought my jacket back. he was just as sick as i was, and so was everyone else. i had only been drinking for 2 years. i was 29 years old.

  • Igor

    Sorry to hear you were so sick. That’s the exact time to be really good to yourself. Hubby did a great job. Keep him, do something in the sex department that convinces him that it’s a good thing to keep you around even when you’re temporarily intoxicated.
    On drinking… I started at age 21 and I got to know some really great beers. Try Rochefort 10, a 22.6 proof beer (no typo). Absolutely divine. If you treat it with the respect it deserves it will not hurt you. I hated the idea of puking after drinking and I never have. There’s no danger in my case but excessive drinking will all too soon ruin those fabulously gorgeous features Dooce sports in carefree abundance. Besides which, you don’t look really hip when you’re puking out your stomach lining in the gutter. Don’t do that to yourself. Moderation : you can drink Bush and still drive safely. I never could see where being shitfaced was cool. It might feel like that at the time but you know you’re lying to yourself. Listen to me, I’m preaching ! Horror !! Quick, give me some booze ! Grimbergen Optimo Bruno. Blond Kasteelbier. Absolutely fabulous.
    Punching 11 year old girls in the boobs… if you tried that here as a man, the cops would bury you. I also don’t believe in violence towards women. I’m not a Taliban, baby.

  • Igor

    Oops, that ran longer than I intended. Sorry.

  • Jen

    Ah Vodka. I remember how we used to be good friends. That is until it bit me in the ass and left me to die in the wilderness. Don’t EVER mix it with grape koolaid.

  • Ugh. Jen, you know this now, but for the record, Kool-Aid mixes with NOTHING. The sweeter the drink, the harder the hammers will be hitting your head in the morning.


    Dooce, this post caused two gut-bust laughs and mild insidious giggling.

  • Well, at least you had the decency not to puke on Jon. Whereas I, who had way to much tequila, decided to puke on some guy I had been making out with. Talk about a sour moment.

  • Vodka and I are way past best friend necklaces. We’re looking into promise rings. Rum and I, however, are no longer on speaking terms.

  • Vodka is E-VILE! Back “in the day” when an average night of drinking was a case of beer and a bottle of Rumplemintz – a single night of “vodka partying” laid me up for 4 solid days. I did not leave my bed except to pray at the bowl from Thursday morning till Sunday night. Haven’t touched anything with Vodka in it since. Hope you feel better soon!

  • Sarah B. – while you’re there, whap the 11-year-old me. No need to bring your ammo; you’ll find the Babysitters Club Special Editions on the middle shelf, between the Nancy Drew Files and the Sweet Valley Highs.

    (If you have a minute to spare, just light that whole shelf on fire, will you? Thanks.)

  • I think P.J.’s comment is *definitely* today’s winner.

  • PJ! goldschlager did that to me, too! i think i puked for 8 hours off of that shit. i can’t even chew cinnamon gum anymore because of that stuff. i’m so glad i’m not the only one to have experienced goldschlager’s wrath.

  • anna

    i was WONDERING what had happened to you.

    at least you got some good pictures. and at least jon didn’t take any of you that you could title “this is me hanging over the guardrail, puking my guts out, about 2 hours after the absolut kurant hit me like a motherfucking truck”. that was pretty nice of him.

    and i agree that maybe the dizzy thing is unrelated to the hangover and maybe from whatever it is that you had before new year’s eve.

  • SB

    Hmm, I believe it was vodka that inspired the infamous “Don’t touch me or I’m going to throw up” comment to my then-boyfriend/now-husband, who still brings it up every time I drink a tad too much even though it was, like, 20 years ago. And oh, yes – I still love martinis.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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