Sunday, May 06, 2007

Think Global Drink Local

Yesterday was Slope Day--the last day of classes at Cornell, and a day devoted to alcoholic debauchery. It was my first of-age Slope Day, so I bought a sixer of Ithaca Beer Company's Apricot Wheat and set to drinking around eleven. Later on this was supplemented by a glass of Hosmer Winery's red table wine (pretty good...meh, but it's made less than half an hour from my house, so at least I can get some snobby liberal local-food pride out of it). I didn't get DRUNK, since I find that neither enjoyable nor healthy--considering my personality and family history, I know enough to be careful with alcohol. I have no desire to end up in Betty Ford (not that I could afford it anyhow). Still, I got a good buzz on, and TV on the Radio was playing on the Slope, and it was a gorgeous day. I drank my beer, listened to the concert, grilled a few Tofurkey dogs (damn they're good) and generally spent time lounging in the sun with these people I've grown to love so much over the past four years. What's not to love?
Of course, there are always people that aren't so moderate, like the poor girl from Sorority X who fell in our house's parking lot. Just...fell. Couldn't walk anymore. When I saw her, two guys from the frat next door had her leaning against a car. "Wow, she's probably got alcohol poisoning," I thought when I saw her: half-closed eyelids over unfocused eyes, goofy expression, floppy limbs. Only after one of the frat guys asked me for help did I realize that she had cracked her head on the asphalt. There was a pool of blood at her feet, and the guys had blood smeared on their arms. "What should we do?" they asked.
"You need to call the police--or someone," I said. I ran inside and got a towel for her head. I couldn't tell whether she had alcohol poisoning, or a concussion, or both--she was completely out of it. When one of her sorority sisters wandered by, the frat boys flagged her down. Broken-head girl couldn't remember the day, her last name...last I saw, she was being hoisted onto the back of a go-cart by some volunteers, bound for the campus medical center. I've been inside the med center on Slope Day, accompanying friends, and it's not pretty--the whole place is essentially turned into a triage unit, a la MASH, with pallets laid side by side on the floor and IVs of Ringer's and 0.9% saline hanging from poles like squishy translucent fruit in some bizarre jungle.
So remember, kids...take it easy and drink responsibly. Alternate water with beer, stay away from hard liquor if you're going to be drinking a lot, eat before and while you're drinking, keep track of how many you've had, blah blah. Because if you want to ruin your day, a head injury is a good way to do it. And if you want to sustain a head injury without the fuss of an auto or bike accident, getting so drunk that you end up introducing your occipital bone to the pavement is the way to go.

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