Essay / Hannah Paquette / November 2018

Babysitting the Drunks

Written by Hannah Paquette

When I went to Montréal with nine of my friends, I had considered the fact that the drinking age there was 18. I don’t have any interest in drinking, but I have nothing against those who do. Quite frankly, I went for the poutine and to visit Montréal in general, but I knew others wanted in on the trip so they could legally drink. So the ten of us rented an apartment from Airbnb in the downtown area, and drove up for the weekend, respecting each other’s different reasons for the trip.

It had been a long day in Montréal before the very eventful night that would follow. We definitely got lost a couple times and after we split up, some of us faced difficulty finding a good restaurant for dinner. People were mentally exhausted to say the least, which in retrospect probably made the night worse than it would have been otherwise. My dinner group returned home first. I patiently sipped my chocolat chaud from Tim Hortons while waiting for my one sober friend, Alex, to return with the other dinner group as the four people with me began to drink their rosé, beer, and Jack Daniel’s. I’d never been in a room with a bunch of drunks, so I knew I was in for a ride.

Once the other dinner group returned, the night went downhill very quickly. Everyone in the room was at varying levels of drunkness. Alex and I were completely sober; Jordan and Reese were tipsy; and Casey, Jessie, Kendall, Quinn, Riley, and Taylor were drunk. Some could mostly contain themselves; some were an absolute mess; and others were just tipsy enough to realize what a handful my other sober friend and I had to deal with, but didn’t really feel like helping out. Although it was an extremely exhausting night, babysitting the drunks did mean I ended up having a lot of funny moments from the night. I recorded them in my journal, totalling about five pages of hilarious stories. Here are a few of my favorite parts of the night:

  • Kendall was pretty far gone around three drinks. (I’m fully aware that Kendall drank more, as they continued to steal others’ drinks and attempted to down them until Alex or I would confiscate it.) At one point, Kendall was sitting down at the kitchen table, bawling their eyes out about how perfect they are (which is an absolute mood). Quinn said “You’re very pretty,” in an attempt to calm Kendall down, to which Kendall responded “I know!” and began to cry harder.

 

  • While I was in the kitchen tending to one person, I began to hear two people yelling from another room. Alex was currently sitting with someone else in the bathroom. So I peeked around the corner to check out the situation, not wanting to abandon the person I was already attempting to keep stable. Suddenly, Kendall yelled, “You’re a fucking republican!” and the two began to throw tortilla chips at each other. Luckily, Alex had just exited the bathroom while this was happening, and I turned to them and panickedly said: “They’re fighting about politics. HELP!” Alex’s eyes widened and they briskly entered the room just as Kendall yelled at Jessie, a bystander in this argument: “You’re a fucking conservative!” (Even though Jessie is not, in fact, a conservative at all.)

 

  • Casey REALLY wanted to use a neti pot while drunk. They continued to ask me if they could use it all night, to which I would promptly answer with a firm no. (I did not want Casey to choke on the neti pot and possibly die, considering that’s a pretty lame way to go out.) That resulted in Casey angrily yelling at me for a couple minutes until something else would distract them. They decided to take it out and attempted to use it anyway against my wishes, resulting in me having to hide it in one of the kitchen cabinets. I clearly did not hide it well enough though, as someone yelled from the kitchen later on: “Hannah! Casey found the neti pot!” I hurried back into the kitchen, where Reese was fighting with Casey over the sink to take the neti pot away. I ran over and attempted to grab it too, and the three of us struggled for about a minute before I finally ripped it from Casey’s hands. I restrained Casey, while Reese hid it this time, putting the neti pot somewhere up high where Casey couldn’t reach it.

It was truly a long night. At one point, I walked into the kitchen to find Alex lying on the floor in front of the fridge. They asked Reese if we had any cookies left. Unfortunately, Reese had to explain that the cookies were all gone. Alex then slid further onto the floor, groaning as they closed their eyes. If there was any way I could sum up that night, I think that moment perfectly describes it.

Through this experience I learned how difficult it actually is to babysit drunks, but how enjoyable it is at the same time. It was definitely much harder than my usual babysitting gigs. (Although to be fair, two kids versus eight drunks is a very different experience.) There have only been a few other occasions in my life where I’ve felt so mentally drained. Kids might need me to clean up their toys, while drunks might need me to clean up their spilled drinks.

But, when else in my life will my friend enter a room, get on their knees, begin walking towards me, and yell: “I can suck Jesus’ Dick!” (specifically on the holiest day of the week, Sunday)? I laughed and smiled so much that night, it hurt to smile by the time I was going to bed. I’m the type of person who enjoys helping and supporting others, so this was something I truly didn’t mind doing. I know for other people though, this isn’t the case.

So for those of you out there who enjoy getting absolutely wasted, please take a moment and thank those of your friends who prefer to stay sober, and watch over you while you do so. Be kind to them. Appreciate them. Don’t tease them for choosing not to drink. We are, after all, the ones keeping your drunk ass from choking on a neti pot.

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