Bay to Breakers

The time my buddy puked on a cop’s shoe

Since it’s almost Bay To Breakers time, how about a little drinking story? OK, good. I thought you’d like one.

I wouldn’t say that baseball and beer go hand in hand, but people actually pay $8 for a 12 oz can of Pabst Blue Ribbon at AT&T Park. Sorry if you’re tired of me mentioning this, but it still is one of the more staggering sums of money for anything in the world, ever. It’s like paying $10 for a bean burrito at Taco Bell. Or $5 for a single serving of Top Ramen at Safeway. It shows that while we all love the grand old game, we love it even more with a nice buzz on.

Sometimes buzzes turn into full fades, and full fades turn into blotto, and blotto turns into arrested. The goal is to avoid at least the latter two of those four scenarios. In this story about a friend’s experience mixing beer and ball (we’ll call him “Sean”), we barely avoided a grand slam.

We start this story in Oakland, where Sean used to live. His new girlfriend came over in the morning to make us breakfast (courtship stage, definitely), which was a good thing because my buddy’s first words after waking up that morning were something to the effect of, “I’m going to get drunk today.” Nothing like drinking with a purpose to turn a pleasant afternoon into a nuclear catastrophe.

He bought a 12-pack of Miller High Life, which all of you may know better as “The Champagne of Beers.” And if that’s true, the Whopper is the champagne of burgers. After eating our delicious breakfasts (well, I ate mine … but Sean barely picked at his — I’ve never seen him so excited for Miller High Life before or since), we proceeded to drink six MHLs each. So the walk to the BART station was nice and floaty, although we really had to pee by the time we hit the Montgomery Station.

When we walked toward the park, it suddenly started raining. Downpour. No way the game was going to start on time. So what did we do? Maybe drink some water or Gatorade to hydrate a little, or grab a sandwich to soak up the “champagne”?


We went to a bar.

We drank Fat Tire for the first time, and it was delicious. Now, I can’t stand Fat Tire anymore. Can’t even drink it. Least consistent beer of all time, it’s like the Aaron Rowand of beers. But that day, Fat Tire became my favorite beer (until the first time I drank it in a bottle), and we each had a couple pints until the weather cleared.

And boy did it clear. The sun was out, we missed the first inning in the bar, but instead of finding our seats we found the first vendor behind the bleachers (downstairs) that sold 20 oz cups of watered-down brew. And we each bought two.

We went to our seats in the centerfield bleachers, chugged down our beverages and a few innings later went back down the ramp for more.

You ever have those times when you’ve crossed the invisible threshold, where you go from feeling tipsy to “OMG the world is spinning”? Well, Sean stepped over that line sometime while we were in line, although I was too far into “full fade” mode to know it myself.

As we walked up the ramp, I told Sean that I needed to go to the men’s room near the downstairs outfield exit and turned around. I started walking, and realized Sean wasn’t with me anymore. I looked back, to catch the sight of the most prodigious projectile vomiting I’ve ever seen. At least six feet of distance, a good 1/2 gallon of beer, and the craziest thing was that it was all pink. I didn’t even want to know why at the time, and I still don’t want to know.

From there, the outing went from going to a ballgame to taking care of my buddy. I took him to the tables and chairs near what’s now the Sony Playstation area down there, and went and got some water. Made him drink the water (with an inordinate amount of resistance from Sean, who wanted to pass out at the table). Left him there again, got more water, made him drink. I repeated that cycle a few times, until Sean cried uncle. It was true, no amount of water was going to make a difference at this point.

Then I sensed someone coming up from behind us, and I looked up to see SEVEN cops surrounding our table. Oh, shit. Not good.

Cop No. 1: “Is your friend OK?”

Me: “Oh yeah, he’s cool.”

Cop No. 1: “Are you sure, he looks pretty bad.”

Me: “He’s a little drunk, but he’s fine. No problem, I’ve got it under control.”

As I was trying to pacify the small police force that had us surrounded, I started feeling something lightly splashing against my foot. I looked down and saw Sean vomiting all the water I just force-fed him onto the shoe of an officer who sat down to look into Sean’s eyes and determine whether or not he should go to the drunk tank.

Yep. My buddy was throwing up on a police officer, while I was trying to explain to another officer that he wasn’t too drunk.

Maybe it was my apologies and the effort I made to cover up the cop’s shoe with all the napkins I could grab, but SFPD decided to have a little mercy that day.

Cop No. 1: “Yeah, you should get your friend out of here now. If the paramedics have to come out here, he’s going to jail.”

Me: “OK, thanks sir.”

Cop No. 1: “Go. Now. Hurry up.”

That’s all I needed. Screw the rest of the game (which the Giants ended up winning), I needed to save my pukey friend from six hours in a dark cell (or whatever the drunk tank is … luckily I’ve never found myself there). So I took him for a walk down the Embarcadero, found a bench and we sat there for a half hour before walking back to BART.

We rode back to Oakland, watched highlights of the game we probably caught about 3.5 innings of, and went to bed. At 7 pm. The only other thing I remember is waking up at midnight with a thunderous headache, going out to the kitchen to get some water and finding Sean watching a movie.

Me: “Oh man, I feel like crap. I don’t think I drank anything but beer today.”

Sean: “Really? I feel fine.”

Me: “Must have been because you puked all over that cop’s shoe.”

Sean: “Wait, what?”

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