The year was 1990 and I was a wet behind the ears; a 16 yr old that was going to have his first real initiation into a little dice game called “Three Man!” The pungent odor of black burning asphalt oozed in through my open bedroom window. The sun’s rays barely seeped through the tightly packed city houses. It was a typical July day and some friends had recently graduated high school. They were shipping off for the Marines in a few weeks. The day started innocently enough with a distinct whirring and ringing echoing from the kitchen. Mom answered the phone and bellowed my name. I pick up the call; it was from my buddy Pete about going to crash Terry’s graduation party. He said “it was cool”. Since we would wait till most of his family left and it wasn’t a huge deal. My parents were super chill buy they said “definitely be back before midnight.”
Back then peer pressure ruled the day. It was common place to have maybe one drink at a grad party. Still to this day I think this is what turned me off to beer. Looking back, this was a life lesson learned the hard way and boy do I mean the hard way.
We began the night at Terry’s house with one drink. If I remember, it was a warm Genny Cream Ale, but my recollection is a little fuzzy. After the party started to die down, my buddy Mike said, “Let’s go to Dan’s boat and hang out!” We all packed into a 1989 midnight blue Chevrolet Caprice and boy it was pretty snug. The rush of the air through the open windows was refreshing. As we made our way to the marina located down on the city's waterfront. The night air was warm and refreshing.
Dan’s boat was docked at the “Left Port Marina”. The vessels lightly bobbed in their slips as we approached. It was a mid size boat with a cabin that could easily fit four, but we managed to cram seven warm bodies around a pint sized round table. They ask me if I have ever played “Three Man?” I stared at them in bewilderment. They said “Tonight is your lucky night!” Terry pulled a pair of red shiny dice. His parent’s pickup while in Las Vegas. They quickly explain the rules and without missing a beat. I was the “Three Man!” hastily finishing my first real drink of the evening. The frenzied pace of the game made it difficult to follow. Terry and the guys seemed to be changing the rules as it went along. I began to feel warm and fuzzy all at the same time. My cheeks were getting flush and sweat was leaking and rolling down my back. I had lost count on how many rounds, six, seven maybe twenty. The game came to a conclusion when we ran out of drinks. An uncomfortable feeling brewed deep inside me, I needed to release copious amounts of fluid. So I staggered to the Bow of the boat and Dan’s girlfriend Stacy held my belt from behind to ensure I would not fall overboard. The wind whipped my hair to and fro as the boat pitched and yawed in the water. The spectacle I put on was worth the sweet release of pressure on my bladder and it felt exhilarating.
I finished my business then we took off, but I thought we were headed home, but I was told the night was still young. We were headed to a local establishment to cap off the evening. I started to drink water and alternated with some Pabst Blue Ribbon. The rest of the night was a blur until I got home. It was nearing closing time and Mike grabbed me and said, “I gotta get you home in one piece or Don will kill me!” So we pile back into the Chevrolet Caprice “Shotgun!” I called. Everyone chimed in “boy the kid is learning fast.” The street light danced as we drove out of the city. We weaved in and out of side streets taking the scenic route home to give some time to gain some clarity. Mike slowly approached my house and I said, “thanks for the ride.” He waited till I fumbled my way in the house.
Then it all came undone. At first I start to enjoy the slowly spinning room, but after awhile the slowly spinning room was rotating at light speed. I felt a warming and rumbling in my tummy. In that moment, I made a hasty retreat to the bathroom. From what I recall it was not a pleasant sight. Warm mucus like substance oozed from my mouth from what seemed like an eternity, chunks of warm pizza and cheese spackled the toilet. Eventually the motion had eased and I was able to return to bed. Early the next morning, my father kindly woke me. He asked how my night was. I said “it was just fine”. He awkwardly smiled saying “you’d better clean up your mess in the bathroom before your mother wakes. I hope you learned a valuable lesson last night”, with a wink. I asked “you’re not mad?” He replied “No. I heard you praying to the porcelain gods last night that is punishment enough. Oh! And you have to mow your Grandparent’s two acre yard with a push mower since the rider is in the shop.” That summer, I learned my lesson to never play “Three Man” on a boat.