Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling is a semi-autobiographical movie about the life of Richard Pryor, how he lit his head on fire trying to smoke cocaine, etc.
I was in tenth grade when I saw this movie and some kids from my high school were working at the theater.
After the movie, the employees had a party at the theater (the creepy twenty-something manager, who wanted to hang with teenagers, bought the liquor). Through a combination of peer pressure and idiocy, I was convinced to play a game called Seconds (see how many seconds you can drink Southern Comfort out of the bottle!).
My first time drinking hard liquor, throwing up from liquor, blacking out, getting the shakes, getting the chills, breaking my parent’s curfew, and having a hangover.
When I got home at five in the morning, there were five people at my kitchen table: Dad, Mom, my friend Matt’s parents, and a police officer.
The police officer tried to lean on me, buy I made up some sort of ridiculous story about waiting in line to get an autographed copy of the latest Fabulous Thunderbirds album (that actually happened the week before, but I didn’t tell them about that, because I stayed over my friend’s house).
This is during the Nancy Reagan “Just Say No” era, and my mother was convinced I was on drugs. So off we went to the emergency room, because she thought I’d need to get my stomach pumped.
They looked me over and told her what everybody else knew – I was drunk as a skunk. After dry heaving in the hospital bathroom, we headed home and I slept some of it off.
The next day, I had to miss my soccer game, but my parents did make me work my 3:30pm to midnight shift at a drugstore. Worst shift ever.
To this day, I can’t take the smell of Southern Comfort, and I never have had a drop of it again.