Yet another tale from yet another drunkard

An open bar and my birthday do not a good combination make.


It was the end of summer. A national political Party was having their national convention in Edmonton, numerous factions were eager to trade alcohol and party favors for support, and party leaders had wisely booked multiple entertainment venues for conventioneers. Youth delegates from campuses across Canada were rowdy, and some were more progressive than conservative in their activities that week.


I was there with what was effectively an all-access media pass, a bachelor’s suite in a hotel on the outskirts of downtown, and a need to discover parts of the convention that weren’t on the agenda. As I had been up since 5 a.m. to catch the Greyhound, I decided the first evening would be tame (just hospitality suites and the obvious room parties), and I was actually interested in the next morning’s sessions.


I counted 12 drinks the next evening, though I’ve been told I had more. The evening started in earnest after I left the daily wrap party at the convention centre to get some journalism done. At the time, the upper floor of the Palladium Club, with its fine selection of Big Rock beers and other spirits paid for by the Party, seemed like a good place to get away for a while, away from the media and delegate traps, the unabashed rhetoric, and everything else, until the Party delegates packed the facility.


Shortly thereafter, some combination of my yellow media pass, youth, ethnicity (so I’ve been told), drunkenness and conservative ramblings drew political and other attempts at seduction. I selectively repelled the politicians as the evening rolled on while I ordered various alcohols I had always wanted to try. Conveniently, there were friendly bartenders and tubs of various beers, eliminating the need to attend room parties to get my fill.


The last thing I remember ordering at the Palladium Club was something to the effect of "could you please mix Jagermeister with something" (which ended up being Coke) to bring me back to something familiar, as I explained to a young female delegate from an Ontario university (who caught my attention before the drunkenness began).


That was at around midnight.


Our night of no consequences reached downtown Edmonton, and somehow we ended up at the hotel, after she reminded me that I was unencumbered and her obligations were more than 3,000 km away.


Though no public property was broken on the way, and I think nothing was unintentionally urinated on, I was thankful that any reputation for non-conservative behavior we earned that evening would die by week’s end. And I was grateful (and I suppose lucky) that the person in the adjoining suite didn’t complain to hotel management about our early morning activities, which probably made more noise than is prescribed by standard Party recruitment practices.


Three things I learned from that evening: Hotel cleaning ladies are great at cleaning up (ex-)bodily fluids; just because I could have more than 12 different alcohols in two hours doesn’t mean I should (even if it was the weekend of my birthday); and that particular hotel doesn’t do head counts even though their bachelor’s suites easily fit two.

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