Everything hurts. Your head pounds, rattling erratically and aggressively like a moon bounce that’s full of fat women and dogs (for some reason). True to your alcoholic form, you start in on your weekly diatribe where you vow to stop drinking. It’s a cute little lie that you know is false the moment it leaves your mouth, not unlike how you’ve been telling your parents you still go church.
You roll over on your mattress, effectively knocking the half-eaten sandwich to the floor. Today is shaping up to be a day for pizza delivery, binge watching, and not wearing pants. With a few blind, errant pats on the floor, your hand finds the Tylenol bottle and you take however many pour out; the permanent liver damage is too far away to fathom and this current hangover is absolute torture. With that, your phone’s shrill, piercing ringer sends you into a cringe. Why is anyone calling now? Seriously, you think, it’s not even noon yet; if someone is calling now, well, it better be important, like someone-died important or dude-you-forgot-to-set-your-fantasy-lineup important.
With one look at the phone your memory is jogged. It’s your parents; they say they’re twenty minutes away and ready to see you for lunch on their visit. You string together a few coherencies blended with some non-words grunted at them.
You hang up and realize the impending awful. The wheels are falling off. The monkeys are in the banana patch. The snakes are on the plane. You're at the point of no return from disaster.
After a quick, vomit-inducing shower, you take more Tylenol to make up for said barf session and ejected pills. With a quick lie about a naked roommate and a garbage strike, you avoid your parents coming in and lecturing you about the favela-esque state of your apartment. Now, maybe it was because you stumbled down your front steps, or maybe it’s because you smell like what I assume a murder in a brewery would smell like, or maybe it was because you still had a little bit of dried sick in the corner of your mouth, but from the moment you stepped in the car you are positive that your parents know you’re hungover.
Pleasantries are exchanged and then, vindictively, your dad announces that he hopes you’re hungry because you’re all going to a steakhouse famous for gut-busting, Midwest-sized portions. Food is the farthest thing from your mind. Your appetite has become that of a depressed, body-image-obsessed teen at the moment and you know that you could make it thorough the day on little more than a few saltines and some Gatorade.
This has turned from what would typically be a nice lunch and time to catch up, into your mom and dad maliciously and passive-aggressively trying to make you puke hot meat out of your face hole in public. Despite being typically frugal, Mom and Dad have thrown caution to the wind today. They’re ordering like they’re about to walk The Green Mile or travel to a gross country. Deep-fried country ham cubes and an order of chicken and waffle nuggets are brought, and they’re just the appetizers for the appetizers. Your parents are forcing it on you, piling as much as they can on your plate as the gravy-slathered plate of potato skins are brought out. You take a bite—everything tastes like salt, meat, and butter and your mouth couldn’t be happier, but your stomach couldn’t disagree more.
Your old man is slamming beers, provoking you and the barely-touched, frosty brew in front of you. “You might still have your hair, but you can’t drink for shit. Maybe you were switched at birth; because I can always throw them back with the best of them,” your dad taunts as you feebly try to drink. The entrees arrive. A heaping mound of steaks doused in barbecue sauce piled inside two racks of lamb thumps onto the table. “Dig in,” your father says with a Nicholson-esque grin.
It’s too delicious. You’re like an addict: you know the unavoidable and disgusting end result but you can’t make yourself stop. You jaws churn like they’re mechanized and your stomach pleads to no avail.
You can feel it coming, but you can’t do anything about it; there’s no thinking of baseball or dead kittens to derail this. Frantic, you scan the restaurant, but you’re stuck in the corner of a booth. There’s no use fighting it; it’s time to be an adult. And, with that, you promptly throw up directly under the table, successfully missing your shoes. As you wipe your mouth with the back of your hand, you bring your head up to see your father, smiling and never more proud of himself. The satisfaction on his face truly stating as only George Bluth Sr. can,
“And that why you don’t get too drunk before your parents visit.”
Justin Gawel is an adult baby from Michigan whose articles appear on BroBible most Thursdays and some Tuesdays usually. Look for more of his writing, his BroBible.com archive, and his updates at www.justingawel.com or follow him @justingawel on Twitter.