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Journals of an Insane Genius -- July 1999

Doug's version:
Okay, what's going on here? I have just woken up and there is a strange man next to me asking if I'm feeling better. I am relieved to find that I'm in a movie theater and not in a bed, but where is Melissa and who the heck is this guy? On the scale of spooky ways to wake up, this one is just slightly behind waking up while driving.

Mel's version:
Thank goodness, Doug's awake! I gotta get that ambulance cancelled. The older gentleman from the row ahead of us is sitting with Doug, making sure he's okay, so at least he wasn't alone while I was chasing down the guy who wanted to get help. He looks a bit freaked out, I need to get over to him.

Doug's version:
"Yes, I'm fine", I reply. Having no idea who this person is I have no reservations about lying to him.

"Don't worry, I heard an ambulance is on the way", he says.

I wasn't worried at all until he told me that. What on earth is going on? I remember not eating all day and then having a few beers as soon as I got home. Mel called and invited me over. That's when I started drinking the vodka, way too much vodka

We end up going out for cigarettes. I rarely smoke, so when I decide to take a trip to "flavor country" I know that it's really a sign that I've had too much to drink.

As we're driving around, looking good and smoking our cigarettes, the Molly Hatchet song "Flirtin' with Disaster" comes on the radio. We crank the volume and jam. Cigarettes, vodka, and bad rock & roll, rarely have I felt so close to my real mom.

Mel's version:
I had called Doug earlier, because I needed to know which showing of Star Wars (our seventh viewing) we were going to go see. He informed me that his lady-love had called him from out of town, and he was very happy. I could tell that he had already been into the vodka.

He showed up a bit later, drinks in hand, and we watched Mall Rats. Funny as hell, I mean it. After the video, we headed to the theater, stopping because I needed some cigarettes. I don't smoke pansy-cigarettes; I go straight for the Camel Wides. Doug, who only smokes around me, pouted for one, leaning back in the bucket seat to look cool after it was lit. We were jamming on the way to the theater, and even a bit in the parking lot before the movie.

Doug's version:
I convince Mel that I will enjoy the movie more if we make a quick stop to the liquor store so that I can buy a few airline sized bottles to smuggle into the theater.

I remember that during the Pod Race scene I started to feel really bad and made the decision that taking a little nap where I was at would be better than sneaking out to the restroom, vomiting, taking a nap there, and worrying Mel about where I was. Apparently It was not a peaceful nap.

Normally when I've had too much there is a little voice in my head with a Mexican accent (I call him Jose - after the Tequila) that encourages me on my path to self-destruction. I'm hearing that voice now, except it sounds panicked and that's a really bad sign. "What you need to do is stand up and quietly walk out of this place under your own power", Jose says, "And you need to do it right now". I get up and start heading for the door.

Oh good, there's Mel. "Are you okay?", she asks, very concerned.

"Yes, I'm fine. I will give you anything if you will please get me out of here before the ambulance arrives."

Mel's version:
Anakin's in second place. I notice a detail I had missed in my first six viewings, so I poke Doug in the side to get him to lean over to where he can hear me whisper.

I poke... and poke... and poke.

He just ain't movin'. I figure that the triple shots of vodka we sneaked into our lemonade from the snackbar had mixed badly with the multiple shots of Kahlua we had tossed on top of the daiquiris before leaving the house. I guess he just needs to nap.

Then I hear a sound like a rhino giving birth. I know that can't be Doug. Not *MY* best friend. He can handle his liquor. I hear it again, slightly louder. The man in front of us turns around. I start to feel embarrassed. By the third moan, I was past embarrassment, all the way to concerned. The guy behind us asks if he is okay. I slap Doug around a bit, trying to wake him up. His eyes are halfway open but rolled up into his head like the exorcist. I lift his head up, and let go. I didn't realize what an interesting noise the human head makes when it slams into hard plastic movie theater seats. The guy behind me goes to call an ambulance. Dammit! Now I have to squeeze past my dying giraffe friend, and stop this good samaritan dead in his tracks.

Doug's version:
Mel guides me to the lobby and tells me to go splash some cold water on my face. I see the manager on a cell phone.

"Is there any way you can cancel the ambulance?", I ask. "I'm fine and this is really embarrassing me."

Apparently the excessive alcohol in my bloodstream hasn't dampened my ability to perform Jedi mind tricks. As I wander into the restroom I hear him say to whoever he is speaking to, "I think we'll cancel the ambulance, he says he's fine and this is embarrassing him."

Mel was right, the cold water helped. When I come out she tells me the ambulance has been canceled. My relief is huge.

We wander out and on the drive home I think I tell her a very garbled tale of the time I fell asleep in the Burger King rest room when I was supposed to be best man at a wedding. Oh man, does she have some ammunition on me now.

Mel's version:
I finally catch up with the moron who thought he was trying to help, but the manager was already on the phone. I get back to the theater as quick as possible, and see that Doug is quasi-coherent. I squeeze past the throng of people and sit back down next to my buddy. I tell him to go splash some cold water on his face. It takes a minute, but he finally stands up. I carry him out to the lobby - well, sort of - and help him into the bathroom. I stand outside the door waiting for him, and converse with the manager. He cancels the ambulance.

Ten minutes later, a very sweaty, very pale Doug emerges from the depths of the restroom. I ask if he wants to finish watching the movie, since the ambulance was cancelled, but he offers me anything to get him out of there - I still haven't been paid for that one. We get to the car, and I start to drive to my house, when Doug says I should drive him home and let him sober up, at which point, he will take me home. I laugh at him. I suggest that he comes and sleeps on my couch. He laughs at me. So, we drive the long way around Sierra Vista with the air cranked, and the windows down. Finally, Doug tells me to take him home and bring his car back tomorrow. Now that, I can do. I drive to his house, help him up the stairs, and leave him, fully clothed, in the middle of his bed. Now I have to go home and explain to my husband why I am returning with Doug's car and no Doug.

Doug's version:

Where the heck is my car?

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