Libations: Ballz to the wallz
Editor’s note: Drink with a modicum of responsibility. I am a professional.
You may have seen them before, taunting you in the liquor store checkout line like a National Enquirer at King Soopers. They’re BuzzBallz, the 15% alcohol cocktail in the “please try to juggle me” round, plastic container with flavors such as Strawberry Rum Job, Tequila ‘Rita and Lotta Colada (I guess they abandoned the sexual connotations after the first one — shame — though I feel more could have been done with Horchata).
But how many BuzzBallz does it actually take to get a buzz? How many does it take to get blitzed? How many can I consume before finally coming to at the club, swinging around a stripper pole and telling everyone I’m Kareem Abdul-Jabar from “Airplane”? I was determined to find out.
Well, this was supposed to be a test run. You know, the control group established before Borracho Bill Nye starts his real experiment. A quiet evening of reading a novel (I went to the library for the first time since its renovation!), playing online poker and sipping Stiff Lemonade. I cracked one open and that first “ksssk” was very sweet.
Ding ding ding, we have a winner, like Bob Barker playing Plinko as the crowd goes wild. I am buzzed. Fighting off the urge to take that debilitating 6 p.m. nap, my friends text to say they’re en route. Science be damned; as Bill O’Reilly once famously said, “F— it, we’ll do it live!” I take a shot of Pepto Bismol to see me through.
It’s time to go full Einstein and answer all of BuzzBallz’ mysteries while still coherent. We poured a Peachballz into a glass. It tasted like a high school cologne value pack you buy at Marshall’s. The cup was almost half full, so I guess that means half empty. At a little more than 6 ounces, but with three times the alcohol content, how many beers does each ballz equal? Like 1.75ish, right? IDK, I never got past long division. We also arrived at the consensus that Choc Tease was the best flavor. It was actually fairly smooth and closer on the spectrum to chocolate wine than turpentine. Tea-Liscious was rather Tea-Sgusting.
“Chug it, Ben!” Sean screamed while draining ballz and throwing them against across the room. I got halfway through mine before dry heaving into a salad bowl. Everything from around this period is pretty hazy, but my Snapchat story shows crumbling pyramids of empty ballz and people dancing to the pop-punk hits of the late ’90s/early ’00s, so apparently that’s what we did.
“Escobar! Escobar!” I slur. It’s practically the only word I can say.
“Uh no, we’re leaving,” they reply.
Starting to pout, I consider the ramifications of texting ex-girlfriends. I can probably salvage an old relationship. Maybe even all of them. I could start a cult/harem and just wear bandanas and pajamas all day long. But then the sober Ben trapped inside whispers reality to me (I told you I’m a professional), and I cast my phone out of reach under the couch.
I wake up at 5 a.m., face smashed into the rug. Wish I had vacuumed it within recent memory, I mused, brushing crumbs and fingernails from my cheek. I downed a pint of water and climbed into bed.
I figured the next day would be forfeit and spent comatose, watching “Bar Rescue” reruns and lamenting my failing, late-20s body enacting vengeance.
But to my complete astonishment there was no hangover. I took out the recyclables, and all the BuzzBallz tumbling into the bin sounded like a lottery bucket being filled. And I had discovered the lucky number: 15.
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