Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Watching the Hammered Follies

Yes, I really am blogging on a holiday, that's just how devoted I am to writing. Plus there's not much else to do. I'm an only child and my parents passed away a long time ago. No pity party please -- I have about a zillion cousins and friends who invite me over for fun and festivities. But I'm off the hook per the compulsory family gathering. 

A bunch of friends and I had a tradition for years: they would come by my apartment with pie and bitch about their families. They didn't know each other's families and we would always be in helpless giggles halfway through the evening: everyone had an inappropriate uncle, a drunk brother, a slutty cousin, or any and all of the combinations thereof. My  friends would be quite loopy at the end of the evening (lots of champagne with the pie); we had a big girls' sleepover. I'd get up in the morning and serve my friends coffee and pancakes while they relaxed in their sleeping bags.

The weather has been crappy and I have no urge to go to town, but the island is perking up and the show is about to begin. There are a few more people on the island because there are a few more lights here and there. But the big rush comes for New Year's. People like to come here, get hammered and drive around -- because they can. There are only 30 residents and it isn't like we have a police force.

I don't drink, never have, and the idea of careening around hammered strikes me as exceptionally silly -- but what do I know, right? We find folks in the ditches all the time and they certainly seem to think they're having fun. Occasionally they go to remote corners of the island and that's a problem. If you  drive off the road out in the middle of nowhere, it is very likely that no one will find you. Heck, you don't even have to be out in the middle of nowhere, you can be on one of the roads that we all go along frequently -- but not at night.

Did I mention we have no streetlights? True. If I have to drive after dark I have to be careful to pick a car that has headlights. My favorite vehicle doesn't, though I can still drive it just fine as long as I have moonlight.

So there you are, drunky person, in the ditch, in the dark. You pull out your cell phone. Guess what? We have lousy coverage.

Even if you get your cell to work, you can't dial 911 and expect a helicopter to rush out and pick you up -- as many people have found out. "911" dialed from a cell phone roams; you might get any one of three or four dispatch offices in any one of four counties, we even get Canada. If you manage to get to the emergency services folks that are supposed to respond to us, they will want to send the boat (politics at work). It's a very nice boat which the driver put up on the rocks last summer running emergency patients to... not the hospital nearest us, but to another bigger facility that was farther away (more politics).

Moral of the story: if you must get drunk, do so with at least a dozen of your friends, so when you go joyriding and careen off the road, you can huddle together for warmth 'til we find you in the morning. Or you can stagger together down the road and sing loudly and off-key. Either way you'll have a great story to tell.

And so will I.

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