Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I have the World Record...

I applied to The Guinness Book of World Records, for my accomplishment. I told them I hold the record for Drinking more beer than any one person on the planet, in a 24 hour period. I told them I didn't have an exact number of beers. But, that I had consumed between 400 and 500 cans of beer. Of course they want full details and a list of reliable witnesses. And I gave them the full story. Along with the names of three of my friends, two arresting officers and the county magistrate. Along with a copy of the incident report, and my account of the episode.

What follows is the description of my trip to the world record:
On October 30, 1971. Some friends and I were involved in a celebration of the season. It was the day before Halloween, and we ere making quite merry. This was back in the time before adults dressed up for the day. And children didn't wear make up to look dead. But my friends and I weren't about let a chance to party get away.
The festivities kicked off about 1:30 pm, in the backyard of my friend Bill. I HONESTLY don't recall the number of beers I consumed. But I know it was less  than the 3 that had either been spilled or poured on me. And somewhere around 8:00 pm someone came up with the big idea to go see the Maco Light. So 5 of us piled into Bill's Rambler Station Wagon and headed for Wilmington, NC. Having more beer on me than in me, and having had several hours pass since my last beer; I was elected to drive the 60+ miles to see one of the most famous Ghost of North Carolina.

All went well and our trip to the remote trestle scene of the train wreck occurred without incident. When we arrived we were amused to see we were not the only people who had the same idea. There were 5 other carloads of people already there. All were drinking and having a ball. I was abstaining. But not for any social responsibility, or sense of duty to my friends. But simply because I never needed to drink  to have a good time. And in times of threat, a drunk is not capable of self defense.

At some point around midnight, someone suggested we all quiet down and watch for the Spectral light. We all agreed and stared down the tracks into the dark. Either side of the tracks was dense Southern White Pine forest with a swampy under growth. Typical of the Carolina Coastal Plains. Which just happens to be my homeland and the only place on earth where you can find the "Venus Flytrap." After about 10 minutes of intense concentration, I became acutely aware of how deathly silent the night was. No peepers, no crickets, no night sounds at all.

Then suddenly there it was. It was so dim at first, I thought I might just be seeing things. But when someone else said "Look." I knew I wasn't imagining things. In the darkness it was impossible to determine the distance. But it, the light, was changing. It was either growing in intensity, or coming closer, or both. And then I realized that although to light was brighter. It was not illuminating the forest around it. A cold chill, completely unrelated to the weather, climbed up my back. And the hair on my arms jumped to attention. Then someone made another suggestion. And without waiting for a vote, 6 different people started shooting handguns in the direction of the light. The muzzle flashes deprived me of my night vision. And the concussion of the gunfire was ringing in my ears. Temporarily blind and deaf, we all ran for the rambler and headed out of the vicinity. Fast!

A few miles down the road we saw the friendly lights of the Dunkin Donuts. So I pulled in to the parking spot and in we went. Two long haired hippie boys and three rednecks walk into the donut shop. We were so wrapped up in the excitement of the past hour, that we never even noticed the other denizens of the late night donut stop. We were already at the bar, ordering coffee and pastries before we felt the icy stare coming from the six New Hanover County Sheriffs Deputies in the corner. I had already glanced outside and seen the six cop cars that I had missed pulling in, when Renney elbowed me in the ribs and whispered  "Look at all them cops."

We hadn't done anything wrong. Except to personify the downfall of America's youth. Long hair. Blue jeans, with tie-dyed tee-shirts and black leather jackets. You could see it in their eyes. They would be doing America a favor by getting us off the street. No one could count all the virgins that would be saved by eliminating us from the gene pool. Forget the fact that our jackets had patches that said things like "Jesus is the only way" and "God Rules" and "America first." We must have been  trying to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan. And one deputy was sitting there slapping his night-stick into the palm of his other hand, in anticipation of showing us exactly how smoking dope could cause brain damage. So we decided to out wait them. I know it sounds like a fool's errand to try and eat more donuts than a country sheriff.

But after a very short wait they all paid  their bill and drove away into the night. We relaxed, finished up. Paid our tab and headed toward the door. I was sober and it had been over 12 hours since I had anything to drink. So in light of the circumstances, I drove. We were about 40 yards down the road, when three Cop cars pounced on us. Lights flashing and guns drawn we were ordered out of the car and down on the pavement. When the roadside formalities were done, Bill and I were handcuffed and taken away. Me, because I was suspected of DWI. And Bill, because he owned the car and let a drunk drive it. The other three; Renney, Jimmy-Ray and John were left by the side of the road with no car keys, no phone and no place to go. The fact that only the long haired hippie boys were in custody was not lost on me. And became the topic of my choice for those men of the law.

They gave me a breathalyzer test. And apparently didn't like the results and gave me another. Both times it read the same. 0.00% That only meant I must be on something their tests couldn't detect. But they could smell the beer that had dried on my jeans from earlier in the day. So they conducted the interview as if I were drinking. I was as disrespectful as I could be. When they asked questions that were answered by the info on my drivers license. I replied with quips like "Can't you read?"
When they asked how much I weighted, I answered "Ask your wife."

Bill thought I was hysterical. But the deputies weren't humored in the least. They were writing down every thing I said. And when he asked "How many beers did you drink today?"
I said "I can't remember." And he wrote "Suspect says 'He can't remember.'"
I said, "Hey! That could mean 4 or 5 hundred." He wrote "Suspect says "it could be 400-500.'"
The outcome of that night is for another story. I'm still waiting for The Guinness people to rule on my claim. Funny things we did when we were young.
What world records do you have?

On a serious note: I have a blog friend who is asking for prayer. Please hit the knee pads and hold Kat before God  for his care.


Heart2Heart said...


Your prayers mean so much to me and I am so honored to have you post this ribbon for me as well. It's my first surgery so I am a bit nervous but I go with God as my great Physician and In His Arms I commit my life! It's always been His to begin with!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you, Kat... good luck and the best of result with your surgery and recovery...

Andrea said...

Got my knee pads on an praying with you for Kat.
Blessings, andrea

Ms. Anthropy said...

The treated them that way where I come from too.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are with your friend!

I was going to say "Wow 400 beers and you are still alive!"

Anonymous said...

LOL @ your record Kurt!

I hope you don't mind, but I've copied your ribbon for Kat to my blog (and I've linked it back to your blog)

Kelly Combs said...

You crack me up. I'm not sure I'm the record holder in any category. Hmmmm.

Will pray for Kat.

Gotta Have Faith said...

Very funny Storjust wondeer if Guiness will ever contact you since you have a legal piece of paper that says 400-500 beers. Thanks for putting Kats ribbon up on your Blog.


Dutch donut girl said...

Good luck, Kat. May your surgery go well and your recovery be swift and as painless as is possible.


Small town cops are the worst !!!

I have known no bigger law breakers than small town cops.

I have prayed for your friend's surgery.

Great story, Kurt. I love your real life stories.