Today is Friday and Paula and I are taking a well deserved weekend away to a quaint little resort called the Yellow Point Lodge, located about an hour and a half north from Victoria. It’s extra cool for us since the weekend was gifted to us from some good friends, “Mr. & Mrs. X” (Names have been changed to protect the innocent) as thanks for looking after their home and cat when they went away on holiday. Believing that an all-inclusive weekend at a resort was far too generous a gift for a few days of scooping poop and emptying tins of Friskies into a bowl, we decided to briefly stop by their place yesterday afternoon and drop off some 4 year old cheddar, gluten free crackers and a big ole’ bottle of Naked Grape wine for them to enjoy over the weekend. This was meant to be a 20 minute visit and then we were to be on our way – so much for best laid plans…
When picking up the vino at the local liquor store, Paula and I figured it only made sense to grab a bit extra for the 2 1/2 days we are going to be isolated at the lodge, since enjoying the surroundings would surely be better with a glass of red or nice cold pale ale in hand – so pick up more we did, including 2 additional “large” bottles of wine and a few beers. Let me say right now that if you are either (a) a soothsayer, or (b) have any hint of detective in you, you can probably see where this scenario is heading…
When we arrived an expertly cooked chicken was taken off the rotisserie which was to be the “X” family meal that evening. “What’s that? Would we like to stay for dinner?” It was a very kind offer, but one we politely declined because – as mentioned – we were only there to drop off the gifts and say thanks again for the weekend away. “What’s that? Would we like a quick glass of wine? Why not – Mr. X ‘s not home yet and we do want to say hello to him as well.” Needless to say, a half hour later when he eventually arrived Paula and I were contemplating a second glass of wine, and (not wanting to be rude of course) graciously accepted it when offered. But despite our hostess’s generosity, we knew we still had shopping to do and a car to drive home, things which made us keenly aware that (a) the clock was ticking, and (b) that our blood alcohol limits were ever-so-slowly creeping up.
Mr. X poured himself a half glass of red, which was all that was left in the bottle – this hardly seemed fair, since we three all had vessels filled up with red grape goodness sitting in front of us. Fortunately, the bottle of “gifted” wine was within reach, and without hesitation was soon put to good use.“What’s that? I shouldn’t – I have to drive and we still have a ton of stuff to do before we go away… Oh, okay, just a half glass and then we are leaving FOR SURE”; and with these “Famous Last Words” it was official: There was no stopping this runaway train!
Four and a half hours later we drained the last of the fourth bottle; yes, I said fourth. With the demise of each of their predecessors, it seemed in my drunken wisdom I’d quietly slip out to the car and retrieve a replacement for the soldier who’d just given his life blood for our entertainment; even worse was that I continued to do so until there were no more left to give. That beautiful chicken I mentioned earlier had been torn apart and ravaged by several greasy fingers, and was now a motionless pile of bones and skin lying on a plate; the cheese and crackers suffered a similar fate, being attacked from all four sides… such are the casualties whenever “The Munchies” that accompany the guzzling of 1,000 litres of red wine take over. This definitely was not the night any of us planned, but dammit, it sure was a lot of fun, until…
CAUTION: FOUL HUNG-OVER LANGUAGE AHEAD!
“6:00 a.m. Shit! WTF? My head… Oh, my head, my head… I feel awful. What’s this? $22.40 cab receipt – good, I remember that, the driver was really great. I need coffee. Now. Where’s my iPhone? Fuck, don’t lose the iPhone! It’s not in my pants pocket – it must be at the X’s house – but what if it’s not? Did I leave it in the cab? Fuck! Shit! Oh, wait, I plugged it in – whew, that would have been a disaster if I’d lost that – crisis averted! What the hell? Why is the toilet seat broken? Why are there parts of it in the kitchen mixed up with the half eaten crumpets?” There was more, but I think you get the general idea.
It’s 2 hours later, and the Ibuprofen and coffee have finally kicked in; they seem to have evicted the jack-hammering construction workers who took up residence in my brain overnight. I look around the tail end of the crime scene and try and put the pieces together. The best I can figure out is that it’s pretty obvious what happened, and come to one conclusion; this was a case of gifting gone horribly wrong – A lot of fun, great conversation, tasty nibbles and terrific friends, but nonetheless, – for our brains at least – this gifting went horribly wrong, and it was all my fault.
I’ve learned two things from this experience: First, when giving somebody a vat of wine as a gift, don’t be so stupid as to have several other vats “hidden” in the car trunk where they are easily accessible; that’s just a disaster waiting to happen. And secondly, understand that there’s no such thing as a “quick glass of wine” – not in our universe, anyway. If ever offered again, be smart enough to either say “No thank-you”, or prepare to hunker down for the long haul.
Anyway, I’m off to bed to lick my wounds, and from the look of things, I’m guessing we’ll be arranging for a “late check-in” at the resort tonight. Oh, and Mr. & Mrs. X – Please forgive me!
Readers: What can I say? Have you ever gotten so caught up with your friends that everything else went out the window? Let us know in the comments – if you dare!