Allie Gets Drunk

Note: I swear on my mother that this is a factual account (except that Brian isn't actually retarded.  I think.)  

As an 18-year-old, I had not yet fully grasped the concept of mortality or how my actions could increase or decrease my likelihood of experiencing it.

When I was invited to go boat-camping with four guys and a 32-pack of Natural Ice, I was all for it.   You might think you have some idea of how this story ends based on that last sentence, but trust me, you don't.  If it was possible to have any premonition of what was about to happen to me, even my stupid 18-year-old brain would have opted out.

But no one ever expects to end up sleeping on a pee-stained mattress in some meth-addict's yard.

Maybe I should go back a little and explain.

It was my friend Geoff's boat.   Geoff, Joey, Brian and Willie had decided to drive it out to a tiny, secluded island (red X on map) that was surrounded by jagged rocky cliffs.  A place where no cops could find us and reprimand us for our underage drinking.

We loaded all of our stuff onto the boat and set out toward our 900-square-foot section of paradise.

It took about 45 minutes to drive the boat out there.   We set up camp on the rocky beach and cracked into our overly abundant alcohol supply.  I had only been drunk once before and I did not yet know how to pace myself.

Just as the sun was starting to set, we got a phone call from a friend back on the mainland (how we had cell service on our island, I will never know, but I do know that there is no cell service in the middle of the lake).

The friend wanted to come to our island.  She wanted to be picked up.

I was so drunk, that I agreed to be a passenger on a boat driven by an even more drunk friend.  Again, you may think you have some idea of where this is going, but I assure you that you do not.

We drove safely all the way back to the marina, where our friend was waiting.  She decided that she didn't want to come camping after all.  We were too drunk to be mad.

We turned the boat around and set off across the water to our unmarked, unlit camping site.   In the dark.   That would have been a good enough adventure on its own, but we ended up mired in another problem entirely.

Halfway across the lake (approximate location of yellow X on the map), our boat ran out of gas.  Now, this particular lake, as you may have surmised from the part where I said it took us 45 minutes to get to our island, is very, very large (see attached map).  So large that all we could see around us were tiny specks of light on the distant shore.

Brian was passed out, so he didn't care.

We sat in silence for a few minutes, each contemplating our respective fates as best we could under the influence of way too much beer.

"Well,"  Geoff finally ventured.

"I have an oar."

An oar.


We took turns (well, everyone except for Brian) sitting on the bow and rowing.  We rowed for hours.

Lakes are really cold at night and I was wearing only a swimsuit, so I had to wrap myself in life jackets to keep warm.  At least I was safe (from drowning, at least.)

At approximately 3:00 AM we reached land (blue X on map).  The land we reached was the bank of a highway near a bridge.

I was told to stay in the boat and protect Brian.  The other boys would go try to find gas somewhere.

An hour later (by my calculations, which could be totally skewed by lapses in consciousness) the boys returned with two mangy-looking men.

I remember actually being able to taste the terror in the back of my mouth.  Maybe it was just bile - I don't know.  Whatever it was, it tasted terrible and it didn't make me any less nervous about the tattooed strangers that were quietly assessing my swimsuit/lifejacket-clad body like curators at a museum.

It was later explained to me that the boys did not realize they had left their wallets on the island until they had walked all the way to a gas station and pumped gas into their gas can.  They had been drunkenly haggling with the attendant, when two upstanding young drug addicts appeared out of nowhere and gave them an offer they couldn't refuse:  a free place to sleep (as opposed to staying on the boat?).

We left the boat tied to a pointy rock and followed the two men up the embankment and along the highway (we couldn't have gone far because I am sure someone had to carry Brian).  We eventually ended up at their "house" which was basically an old barn that smelled like drain cleaner and failure.

The leader of the two men pointed to a dilapidated pup tent that was half buried in garbage and unruly weeds.  Apparently we were supposed to sleep there.

All five of us climbed into the one-man tent and tried to sleep on the urine-soaked children's mattress that had been provided for us.

I don't know if I actually slept or just passed out, but around 5:30 in the morning, we were shaken awake by the gnarliest of the two men.

He said "Give me thirty-five dollars."

"Wha...?" was the collective response from the urine-tent.

"I said, give me thirty-five dollars.  For rent."

It became clear that the man expected us to pay for our stay in his excrement-coated tent.  Drug addicts are remarkably resourceful at coming up with extra income!

Thinking quickly, or perhaps just telling the truth, Joey said "We don't have our wallets right now... we'll pay you in the morning."

This seemed to satisfy the man.  He stumbled away.

An hour passed.

Brian started to regain consciousness.  We filled him in on why he was in a foul-smelling tent in some meth-head's backyard.  He told us that he had his wallet on the boat - it was hidden so no one would steal it.  We were simultaneously furious and very pleased with Brian.

We ventured a peek outside the tent.  One of the men was lying face-down in the grass.  We couldn't see the other man.

Geoff snuck out to go find Brian's wallet, fill up the gas can and retrieve the boat.

He came back a little while later in the boat.   He killed the engine and drifted quietly to shore.  He motioned for us to climb aboard.  We stumbled (as quietly as we could) into the boat.   Geoff started the engine, which woke up the man in the yard.  He looked at us groggily.  We tried to back out of the dock quickly, before the man could wrap his drug-weathered brain around the fact that he was not going to get his thirty-five dollars.

The man staggered to his feet like a wounded mammoth and began to bellow something like "F*ckers!  You have my money!" (It was hard to tell because he was slurring his speech).

We got the boat going just soon enough.

We drove to the nearest marina and filled up the rest of the tank.

We drove the boat back to our island in the broad daylight.

(You may think that the adventure is over.  But it's not.)

When we got there, Joey, Willie, Geoff and I wanted to go to sleep.  Brian had other plans.

He felt bad for passing out and not being able to tell us where his wallet was, so he became hell-bent on cooking us breakfast.

Now would be a good time for me to tell you a little bit more about Brian.  The name "Brian" is an anagram of the word "brain" which is ironic because Brian has always teetered between "self-aware-but-slow" and fully retarded.  Not literally, but almost.  He just lacks even an iota of common sense.  He is the kind of person that gets A's in school but turns around and tries to cook baked beans on a portable barbecue grill, not pausing to consider the incongruity between the size of baked beens and the size of the spaces between grill slats.

And he did just that.  After trying to open the beans by smashing them against a rock (and looking surprised when 3/4 of them splattered all over the place), Brian proceeded to pour the beans on the grill.

When that did not produce the results he had envisioned in his head, he switched his focus to cooking "bean-smoked" hotdogs.  Twenty of them.

I don't know why he thought we needed twenty hotdogs.  I don't even know why we brought twenty hotdogs with us, but that is not the point.

The point is that we decided to leave Brian alone and go to sleep in the tent while he figured out how to cook us something.

Ten minutes later we awoke to Brian yelling "Guys?  Hey... Guys!  You guys!  Guys... um... guys?!!" in an increasingly panicked tone.

We poked our heads out of the tent.


Brian had decided to grill our twenty hotdogs in the shade of one of the three pine saplings on the island.    We think he may have poured lighter fluid directly onto them, but we can't be sure.  At any rate, he did not consider that fire plus low-hanging branches equals burning.

Not_ only_ that.

He was trying to put the fire out with the left-over beer.

By the time we realized what was happening, we could do nothing but stand there and watch the foliage on our precious island burn to the ground.

And that is the story of how I got stranded in a boat, slept behind a meth-lab and played a part in burning down an island all in one night.



Jessica Samantha said...

Hi Allie!
Thanks for the Hershey Bar!
You can e-mail that to

Thanks again!

And this is a sad yet hilarious story. Boy am I glad there are bloggers like you!

n said...

Girl, you are an amazing writer! If this is what 'unemployed' or 'underemployed' looks like, then you have got it MADE! keep up the great story-telling, you have a gift.

Lana@The Kids Did WHAT?! said...

I swear this is THE most entertaining post I have EVER read!! And you tell it so well!!

Gone, long gone. said...

I SO want to rent this on DVD!

Russ said...

You are too much Allie!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! This just got better and better as it went! I agree with a previous comment, I'd pay to watch this on DVD! :) Though I bet it sucked at the time, at least you can look back and laugh. A LOT! Haha! Thanks for sharing!

Mandie said...

Lol! At least you made it off the island in one piece.

That was great.

Sherri said...

Okay, it's just not fair that you are a)adorable, b)funny as hell, c)an excellent storyteller AND you got to visit a meth lab. NO FAIR.

Ben said...

I think I'm still in shock on your behalf...

Allie said...

Vintage Vixen - I trust you received your prize ;)

Julie - right back atcha, my talented friend!

Lana - thank you!

Maelstrom and Josh - I would reenact if for you on the big screen, but I don't think I could find someone to play Brian convincingly - it's just such an intricate role. Plus, the production quality might not be top notch, if you know what I mean.

Russ - thanks!

Amanda - bodily, yes. My soul was shattered for years. (Kidding).

Sherri - thanks you for the compliments! I think you are overestimating the fun inherent in visiting a meth lab, though.

Ben - yeah, I don't know if I have really wrapped my head around what happened either. Retelling it helped a little, but I'm sure there's stuff I left out entirely because it is buried so deep within my psyche.

Anonymous said...

Aww, who'd be looking at the guy playing the Brian character anyway? We'd all be paying attention to the cute blonde in the bikini wearing several life jackets! ;) hehe

Passionista said...

Wow. And I bet you never realized what a great blog post it was going to be.

The Brain Twinkey said...

I don't think I could even make up a story like that. I love a good adventure! Glad you're safe.


Kit Walker said...

No fair; I've been living the boat life for 20+ years, and never had that much fun all in one night.


Anonymous said...

Good Lord. Never has jumping out of an airplane at 14,000 feet looked so ridiculously tame. Thanks for putting perspective back in my life.

Anonymous said...

Brian plus cooking plus beer plus You plus burning island Equals...
Pirates Of the Caribbean.
Captain Jack Sparrow, Rum, You, and the burning island.

mepsipax said...

Oh fucking christ girl. You are right this post is hilarious. I want to fly to Montana (after winter) and party with you. One of us may end up dead but the other would have a hell of a post.

Jovial Connoisseur said...

i wish you were a published writer
(well i dont kwno whether you are, or not)
simply awesome!!
yep the story suits for a movie ;)

Matthew J Bevis said...

I was waiting for the moment when the fires attracted the attention of your angry meth lab 'landlords' demanding their money! I guess it's a good thing that didn't happen, though. Mightn't have been a happy ending.

(Unlike the actual ending.)

Great tale to tell your grandkiddies! (On the evils of drugs and alcohol, and the various other safety issues you covered in this one post. Way too many to mention, to be honest.)

Unknown said...

I have a similar story about a midnight 13 mile hike through some woods around a lake with five drunk idiots, one flashlight, a giant stick, and a backpack full of beer and twinkies....and no map

tdot said...

LMFFAOOO brian = highlight of story...story highlight of my day ahahhahah

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

This reminds me of "Deliverance". But worse.

Geoff said...

My favorite line: 'We eventually ended up at their "house" which was basically an old barn that smelled like drain cleaner and *failure*.'

Pure genius.

Azzie Bastin-Lane said...

That was so so funny! Wow. I thought I had some cool adventures of drunken youth, but that surpasses them all xxx

ComputerGuy said...

wow... you're my hero.

bean smoked hot dogs...

Gnarly Meth Dude said...

You still owe me $35!

thatdamnbree said...

Haha, oh my goodness.
I read this and thought 'she must live in north idaho like me!'
and then i looked at the map.
yup, same area and everything.
isn't this just the greatest state ever for crazy epic quests like this? :]
btw you are so funny.
i was having the crummiest day and then a friend linked me to your blog.
i've been reading for about an hour and my funny bone and ribcage and laugh box are all screaming in agony.
keep it up!

love, bree

Anonymous said...

Beer would definitely put a fire out. Especially Natty Ice.

Davsot said...

Legal drinking age in Puerto Rico is 18. Burning islands is not. hahaha

Great story, enjoyed it all the way. I followed you on twitter recently.

Daio said...

I have never in my life laughed so hard from reading a blog. Thank you Allie for making me and my roommate's night. XD