bathtub experiments and other adventures in bad booze
by Turtle Jones

Bad booze. God, what's not to say about it. As usual, I always have to do this. I don't endorse my lifestyle or recommend it to anyone. It was an ugly lifestyle but sometimes people have to go thru what they have to go thru to learn life's lessons. Sometimes they may be hard lessons, but lessons none the less.

Ok, done with the turtle's standard disclaimer.

What is the worst thing I ever drank and kept coming back for more? Maybe a one time party or a one time shot or a lifetime of feeling numb. What was the worst. It took me all of five minutes to think up the worst thing I ever drank. Maybe even less than one. And the funny part is, we made it ourselves. We put the nails in the coffin for an entire party. We mixed it and served it so I have no one here to blame but myself. After drinkng it, I forgot my first name. Still don't really remember my name. It started with something in the alphabet. One of those letters at the end of the alphabet. Hm. Too much thinking. Let's get back to the story.

We rarely threw parties at our houses. They usually just kind of happened. But, this night was different. We were going to have a huge BBQ with bands and beach balls and kiddie pools and all that shit. Our friends at a radio statio were plugging it all day, so we knew it was going to be huge. We pooled our money together for a keg or two. Somehow we came up with 35 dollars. And maybe some change. Well, shit. This isn't gonna get us anywhere. And people are knocking on the door to get in. Walking thru the backyard to get to the band.thunder.jpg The DJ was telling everyone to come to our house. Well shit. We gotta do something. What do we got? A frantic search of the house revealed two bags of ice, a bottle of Thunderbird, two bottles of Everclear, and a 2 liter of 7-Up.

Well fuck. This isn't enough to get a party drunk. Or is it? We sat on the sofa and had a discussion of how we could get thru this, charge money, get another keg, feed the crowd, get drunk ourselves and somehow get thru the night. How?

35 bucks.

Ok. Buy 6 more bottles of Thunderbird. 5 more bottles of 7-Up. Buy a shitload of those little Hi-C packets. You know the ones with the stupid smiley pitcher guy on the front. Yeah, those. Get a bunch of those. More ice. We need more ice. And cups. We need those. Hurry. Go now.

Half the house stayed back to calm people down while some band sound checked. Twenty minutes later a roomate of mine was on the mic calling me into the house. I walked into a house filled with drag queens and sandwiches. What the fuck happened here? At this point, I'm not going to even go into that part of the story cause I still don't know what was going on. So I kept walking. Into the bathroom. Cool! Dope! No. No mien gentle readers. It was not dope. Filling the bathtub was the concoction made for this party. Watching three guys filling a bathtub with fruit punch, 7-Up, Everclear, and Thunderbird, I knew we were making something that would never be forgotten. Or at least it would be forgotten for 24 to 72 hours, but when your memory comes back, it will always be remembered.

A pink frothy mixure rose to about halfway up the tub. A taste. We needed more water. Bob's drink just melted his plastic cup. More water. After the tub was filled, we stood back and looked at our creation. What type of Frankenstein like drink did we make tonight? What kind of evil did we unleash upon the world??


A drink that looked innocent but knocked you back on your ass. Knocked you back hard. Like a fucking truck driver out of speed, it was gonna get thru you one way or another. You were gonna piss it out or puke it out, but it was going to occupy you for a little bit and do its job. What your body intends to do with this new occupant is up to itself. Just get it down and let the magic work. Thundercoolers(c)!

Actually tasted alright. Kinda like a happy little elf dancing his way around your shins to get get you to feel at ease, then kicking you in the nuts five minutes later. At least with straight shots of booze, people knew what they were getting into. Here it was different. It tasted...nice. Pleasant. It brought back memories of hanging out with grandma on a porch while watching the day slowly go away. Her spinning you tales of her past while you sipped your fruit punch and just stared at her.

Or maybe it was nothing like that. This shit kicked all the way down your throat. Like a fucking razor blade who just wanted to make you earn your drunk. It was a sign to everyone at the party that we may be feeding you and getting you drunk, but there will be a time to pay the piper. That time had come. The piper wanted to be paid. You wanna get drunk and eat? The ThunderTub(c) is waiting.

Lines of people pushed their way in to get to our new creation. I grabbed a pitcher and got out of the mix. Sorority girls were pounding it by the cup. Just slamming it back. Punk rockers were telling us it was a little weak. Big tough guys asking us where the beer was cause this was a girl drink.

Then the magic of Thundercoolers(c) hit!

I can say hands down, that was the drunkest party I have ever been at. Sometimes you get one or two or maybe even three drunken guys walking around talking about jesus or some weird type of car, but not at this party. Oh no.punct.jpg Everyone was either throwing people in kiddie pools, yelling at each other, crying that their boyfriend didn't love them, or lining up to get more Thundercooler(c) from The ThunderTub(c)! Drag queens were stripping. Bands were slurring. I, myself, was submerged in a kiddie pool that I named "Club Turtle" and had people visiting me all afternoon. "Club Turtle" has room for all, mon! Jump on in, mon! The water, mon. The water. She is fine, mon.

At the end of the party the house was wrecked. Ever been to a show after a set? Just friends and crew looking around at the damage knowing they have to clean it up. Shaking their heads. Now they have to pack it all up. A mixture of pain and sweat and well, a general, "fuck this. We can do this tomorrow" feeling. I climbed the stairs. Wandered into my room. Fell on the bed. I burped up some of the ungodly concoction. Closed my eyes. "Club Turtle" was closed for the night.

The last thing I remember seeing was a drag queen passed out on the sofa.

Thundercoolers(c) had done their job.

Don't ask me how long it took to get the stains out of the tub. -T

shots.jpgWorst thing I ever drank? Hmm. I've downed a lot of bad, homemade concoctions in my time. But none of them were the worst.

I was a shot drinker. What I drank depended on who I was with and what bar I was at. Sometimes it was fruity, too sweet shots like kamikazes and Alabama Slammers. If you drink enough of those, you can loosen a few teeth. I once drank 18 of each. In twenty minutes. But that’s another story.

There was the bar next to the funeral home, where we would pound back enough shots of 151 rum to set our stomachs on fire. And the place with a thousand names where we I did so many tequila shots they would have a bottle with my name scrawled on it with magic marker on the bar every Friday night. And you know how that goes. One tequila, two tequila, three tequila....floor. Though I would usually get to ten. Maybe twelve.

And then there was Vinny’s. I don’t remember the exact name, I just know that Vinny was the owner and he was a friend of ours and shots flowed the like fountain of fucking youth on weekends. Anything we wanted. Just as long as we bought a round every once in a while and tipped Vinny’s brother/girlfriend/whoever was tending that night good, Vinny was generous with the shot glasses. I drank a variety of stuff there. Really, whatever Vin picked out for the night was what I drank. Play a game of Defender, do a shot with Vin. We drank some real crap there. Goldschlager, Jagermiester, Rumple Minze - man that shit was deadly. It tasted like Kaopectate. But whatever gets you through, right? Well.

Ok, I used to hang out with my dad. He’d drop by Vinny’s sometimes and while this may have freaked out most people, to have your dad show up in the bar you were hanging out in, it was ok with me. My friends loved him. Vinny worshiped him. Dad laid a wad of cash down on the bar, gathered us all around and we drank and laughed and watched hockey. It was cool. Until that night.

Friday night, dead of winter.FL-00656-C.jpg
Hockey on the tv on mute, Eddy Grant’s Electric Avenue on the jukebox. Dad, me, Vinny, my younger sister and four or five friends at the bar doing shots. Dad starts telling stories about me. No bueno. Don’t do this, dad. Please. I just know he’s going to tell the story about Florida and me getting lost in St. Augustine and them finding me clinging to some guy dressed like Ponce de Leon, hysterical crying, my hand clinging to Ponce’s crotch. I think they have a picture of it. I think I might have also wet myself. Hey, I was little. And scared. Fuck off. Anyhow, with my sister there egging him on, I know this story is gonna get told and I start getting agitated. Dad says he’ll make a deal with me. He won’t tell the stories if I do some shots with him, but his choice. Fine. Like I’m gonna turn down shots. He whispers something to Vinny, who looks kinda horrified. Vinny walks to the end of the bar, grabs something off the shelf, dusts it off and brings it back.


Fuck me.

Ever had Sambuca? It’s like drinking liquid licorice. It’s sweet and powerful and thick and nasty. It burns going down and it scars your throat coming back up.romanasam_306.jpg
And trust me, when you have done enough of these shots, they will come back up. Hardcore. Especially when you had already been sucking back Jager. Ok, I can do this.

One shot. There ya go.

Dad grins. You think you’re getting away with one? Come on, you know me better than that. Yea. I do.

Vinny lines up twelve shot glasses. 12. Loads them up with Sambuca. Fills them to overflow. Oh, I will get even with him for this.

Everyone in the bar is watching. This isn’t even about the story anymore. This is about me being able to do this. Some people try to please their fathers with good grades or a clean room. I try to do 13 shots of Sambuca. I’ve got something to prove here.

One. Two. Three. They go down kind of easy. The mistake I made was in stopping. I should have gone straight through without even breathing. Getting that fourth down was tough.

Someone kept playing Electric Avnenue. Over and over. My head started to feel fuzzy. My stomach was churning. My esophagus was on fire.

We gonna rock down to Electric Avenue

Another one down. My teeth ached. My tongue was numb.

And then we'll take it higher

Another one. I lost count. I refused to look my father in the eye til this was done. People pounding their fists on the bar, shouting something. More? Maybe. Whore??? No, it was more. They wanted more.

Oh no

This was weird drunk. Not a rum drunk. Not a tequila drunk. More like a stomach turning, clammy hands, sweating profusely, what the fuck am I doing this to my body for drunk. I knew I was going to puke. This shit was heavy. It was like an oil slick in my throat. Don't forget I had been doing shots of Jager before this.

Another. Another. Must not disappoint dad. Gotta do these shots. I had flashbacks to sitting at the kitchen table, my father telling me I couldn’t get up until I ate all my Brussel sprouts. And now I can’t leave the bar til I’ve drank all my Sambuca. That’s all kinds of fucked up.

Finally, my father said I could stop. I was at 11, I think. Maybe ten. But I knew I must have been turning 18 shades of green. I wasn’t finished with the shots yet and they were on their way back up. I never really puked from drinking. And I’ve had some nasty shit in my time. But this, well, I fucking hate licorice. Hate it. And now I’m drinking it in alcohol form? Yea, I’m gonna hurl real quick here.

But I had to finish first. Eddy Grant starts in one more time. Now in the street there is violence. I finished what was left on the bar. Wiped my face with the back of my hand. My father started to say something to me. I turned and walked out of Vinny’s. Went around the back, behind the dumpster and just let all that Sambuca fire its way out of me. I swear, I projectile vomited that crap about five feet away. I didn’t bother going back in the bar. I just walked home and crawled into bed stinking of puke and licorice.

At about 5am my sister came home. Woke me up out of a near coma.

Hey. He told the story anyhow. -M

GBH - Alcohol
RKL - Hangover
Eddie Grant - Electric Avenue


Night Train. That is some nasty shit. I remember back in the day there was this guy who wanted to be just like Axl Rose and was drinking a bottle of it all by himself, among other stuff. The guy was totally fucked up, tripped over a log, almost landed face first into a bon-fire. Didn't help that we were egging him on... Dude, you ARE Axl Rose... Yeah! 'I'm on the Night Train! I love that stuff!'

I think the worst thing I ever drank was All-Star Vodka. Distilled in Somerville MA. And Golden Anniversary beer. Holy crap...


the worst was some kind of generic vodka. Lucky brand. God, that fucked you bad. Not like drunk bad, cause rubbing alcohol can do that, but in the morning, whoa. Blood and vomit.


Worst stuff ever - absinthe. That stuff tasted like bidet water filtered through bird cage lining onto the floor of a Tijuana shithouse, then mopped up and fermented in a tank full of dead fish. Then bottled with lye in an old bleach jug. But good God, it works. And it tastes just as good coming back up. Makes you just wanna drink it again!


did you drink real absinthe? or the american version? cause that wormwood shit makes a big difference


The real thing. 140 proof and 10% wormwood/thujone. Absolutely horrendous stuff, but we slugged through a bottle. Even with the sugar cubes and ice, it was hard to put away. And that's coming from somone who cut his teeth on cheap Scotch.


Pardon. Make that 10mg wormwood. That's pretty stout as far as that goes from what I hear, but I'm no connoisseur or nothin.


that stuff is nasty. i stopped drinking that along time ago. i have no idea why it is so goth to nail that shit back when it is illegal to sell the real stuff in america


It's like watching kids with candy cigarettes. They get nothing out of it, but think they look cool. Except these candy cigarettes taste like dog shit soaked in ammonia and vinegar.


Grapefruit MD 20/20.

It was so acidic we had to chase it with baking soda. No, seriously. That is the truth.

This was around 1992. They may since have discontinued that... "flavor". I haven't checked. I try not to think about it at all.

By the way, back in the late 1980s, we sat down and figured unit price for actual alcohol in Mad Dog, Night Train and a few other cheap wines, (IIRC) Gordon's Gin, and some kind of cheap beer... might've been Miller. Anyhow, they all came out eerily close. I don't recall the winner; one of the wines, I think.


cisco mutherfucker, cisco


they discontinued the cisco 12 ouncers in california. too many kids were dying. Thinking it was like a wine cooler, slamming them back.

Even the bums would shake their heads when they saw little girls pounding these things.


Thanks for the story! Here's my disgusting drink story:

Three just-post-college booze hounds decided to get a place together. This was in New Mexico.

One day one of them decides to make Sangria. You know, the shit with all the burgandy, rum and fruit? Great. Sangria is had by all.

But then Sunday rolls around, and in New Mexico, if one wasn't a careful planner, one could find themself completely boozeless on a Sunday.

Well, this group found that they had been inept planners. Boozeless. But you know what they did have? That's right, they had a gallon jug full of fruit that used to be sangria.

"There's booze in that thar rindy fruit!" They exclaimed, and off the the blender they went.

The resulting sludge was dubbed Chum by yours truly.

At this point I must confess that I never drank the Chum. I was still grossed out by the massive bowl of shrimp tails that had been left in the shower stall over the weekend.

The other two had themselves a shot of Chum. One puked immediately (it looked the same) and one complained of a bellyache all day. Until the Chum had run it's course, I assume. I further assume that it, too, looked the same upon exit.

That's the grossest drink I know of.


Thank you for interesting blog


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