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A bottle of red, a capsule of white:
A senior trip story

Newsday features an article today about senior trips. It's not good enough to give full coverage to the missing girl in Aruba, you've got to have the scare-mongering, extraneous articles to go along with it. According to the piece, schools around here are pretty rigid about rules and regulations regarding senior trips.

It wasn't always that way. Let me tell you a little story.

In 1980 our senior class trip took a trip to Disneyworld. Looking back, I still can't believe my parents let me go, given my reputation for causing or getting into trouble. I'm sure they thought the chaperones - teachers from my Catholic high school - were of high moral fiber and integrity and would never let me get into trouble.

Right. On the first night of the trip, we caught the typing teacher making out with one of the students. A history teacher spent the night in the motel lounge. Another one disappeared for a few hours, but he was spotted in a rent-a-car making out with what looked to be either a really big girl or a guy with a blonde wig. High moral fiber, indeed.

No chaperones, no problems. The drinking age at the time was 18 and because several of my classmates had already turned the magic age, we were set to party. A bunch of us left the motel in search of a convenience store. We found one right down the block and bought more beer and Boones Farm wine than could be carried. Luckily, Tommy found an abandoned shopping cart outside the store. We dumped the beer and wine into the cart, then bought enough bags of ice to cover up the goods.

We carted everything back to the motel and didn't even have to sneak around, as no teachers were in sight.

Back in my room, the bathtub was turned into an impromptu cooler, filled with ice and enough alcohol to get all of Kissimmee drunk.

And then it started. I had some ridiculous flavor of wine in my hand - not a glass but the whole bottle. The pot was free flowing; joints were being passed around the room at a pace I could barely keep up with. I was doing shots of something that one of my friends had stolen from motel bar.

Earlier in my high school career, I earned the nickname "One Drink Michele," due to the fact that all it took to get me wasted was one drink. Boones Farm wine to me was what a bottle of tequila would be to a hardened drinker. Mix the wine with alcohol and pot, and you have a disaster waiting to happen.

So there I was, stoned and drunk and starting to feel the effects of the combination of chemicals and alcohol running through my bloodstream. It wasn't long before the room was spinning around me. Voices went in and out of my head; I could comprehend none of what my friends were saying. I swayed and slurred and stood on my feet only to fall down again. Who needed the rides at Disney when you had all this?

I developed an intense headache. It was part because of the cheap wine, and partly from the tension I was feeling at the prospect of a) getting caught; b) getting sick in front of everyone and c) getting homesick. I was never very good at traveling without my family. Oh yea, I had this cool exterior and a reputation to match, but inside I was just a run-of-the-mill nerd. The pot paranoia and alcohol melancholy had combined to make me a complete emotional wreck.

I guess looking as bad as I felt, because suddenly Tina was there, taking care of me, putting a cold towel on my head and rubbing my back. Tina was my best friend at the time, even though I was really starting to hate her slutty ways, her giant breasts and her penchant for getting me into trouble.

Tina pulled a little tin full of white pills out of her purse.

"Take these," she said.
"What are they?"
"Just Tylenol. You'll be better in a few minutes."

In my half-stupor, I trusted Tina and took two of the little pills she handed me. She smiled and patted me on my head like you would a two year old.

Within minutes - or maybe it was hours, I couldn't tell - my headache was gone. Unfortunately, it was replaced with other ailments.

For starters, I was having trouble breathing. My chest was tightening up and I felt like my lungs were going to collapse.

My senses were dulled. I could barely hear anything. I couldn't feel my hands. Everything was a blur, a haze, a slow motion movie of my friends laughing and throwing their clothes around while I was sinking into oblivion.

I felt my eyes roll in back of my head, the way it happens when you are falling asleep while watching tv. I kept trying to snap myself out of it. I was terrified. I was going to die. Right there and then, in some skanky motel room in Kissimmee, Florida, in a room full of half dressed Catholic high school students while my chaperones fucked each other and several classmates in the rooms next door.

I think the last word that went through my mind before I fell on the floor was scandal.

Tina was there first, panic written on her face. I started to say something, but she put her fingers over my mouth to shut me up. She leaned in close and whispered harshly in my ear, "don't tell anyone I gave you any pills."

That bitch. I should have known better than to trust her. Those pill she gave me were not Tylenol.

"What the hell did you give me?" I asked her. At least I think I asked her. Maybe I said it in my head but thought I said it out loud. Everything was so unreal. She didn't answer me, anyhow.

I felt some hands on me and suddenly I was being lifted up and then thrown on the bed. They would make me better, I thought. My friends would make it all better.

They left me laying there. They continued partying and undressing and drinking and smoking. I laid there on one of the twin beds, with that itchy motel comforter scratching my skin like a thousand needles.

And then the scariest moment of my young life happened. I thought I had died. Tina came over to say something to me and I tried to answer her. I couldn't. I could form the thoughts in my head; I could see and hear everything that was going on, yet I couldn't respond to it. My limbs were stiff. My entire body was frozen in a semi-concious state. I struggled to reach my hand up, to scream at Tina to call an ambulance or get one of the teachers, to make them know I was dying. But I was paralzyed.

I heard Tina scream "OH MY GOD, SHE'S DEAD!"

Shit. They thought I was dead! I tried again to talk, but it was like one of those nightmares where you want to scream, and nothing comes out. A million thoughts ran through my head at once, none of them good. They would bury me alive. They would throw me on the side of the highway and claim that I had just gone missing. My parents were going to be so pissed that I died in such a stupid way.

They were shaking me and poking me, but I couldn't respond. I think my muscles had just gone slack and were rendered useless from the wine and liquor and pot. And whatever that was Tina had....

"What the hell did you give her, Tina?" Some voice. A male voice. A panicked voice.

"Tylenol, I swear!" Tina's voice was shaky. Fucking liar, liar pants on fire. That's what was going through my head.

They had propped my head up on a pillow.

"You have to keep her head up so she doesn't choke on her own vomit."
"Ohh, like Jimi Hendrix!"
"Totally. Die like a rock star! How fucking cool!"

I was watching. Listening. Just not responding.

"Tina, you have to tell us what you gave her."
"Fucking Tylenol, I told you."

Kerry dove for Tina's purse. Tina tackled her. Tina's little tin fell out of the purse. Kerry grabbed it, opened it, looked at the pills and hauled off and smacked Tina clear across the room.

"What. The. FUCK?" Kerry screamed. "What the fuck is wrong with you? These are Quaaludes!"

"I just wanted to see what would happen!" Her exact words. My best friend risked my life for some kind of bizarre science experiment.

Oh shit. I was going to die, die, die. Overdose. My poor parents.

The rest happened on super speed. Tina ran from the room. I was lifted off the bed, stripped down to my bra and panties (oh jesus I think they have a hole in them, I should have listened to grandma), and thrown on top of the ice in the bathtub. They turned the shower on. I had hot water streaming down on my face and frigid ice up my ass.

Finally, a scream escaped. It came from the bottom of my soul, traveled through my heart and gathered momentum all the way up my throat and out of my mouth and I bellowed:

"Tina, you fucking cunt!"

And then the typing teacher whore was there, telling everyone there was no need to call the police, no ambulance needed. Our room cleared out, all the drunken senior stumbling back to their own rooms. Cups were cleared, beers taken away, wine dumped down the toilet. The teacher took me back to her room where she and the music teacher watched over me through the night. I felt like such an ass.

That was the end of my friendship with Tina and her giant breasts. I spent the rest of the Disney trip with the drama club, ignoring those who would rather have watched me fall into a coma than ruin their party by calling for help.

Last I heard, Tina was living on the east end of the island, making her living as a crack ho. No, that's not true. But it could be.

That was twenty five years ago this month. I still can't look at a bottle of Boones Farm wine without feeling sick. Then again, most people can't. I just have a whole story to go along with it.

[And for those of you who remember the grudge post from a few weeks ago, Tina and that person are one and the same]


I don't want to rub salt in a wound, (yeah, right) but which of these incidents happened first? After it did, why did you put yorself in a position for the second one to happen?

Twenty-five years is not long enough to hold this grude.

Damn, meant grudge.

The yearbook incident happened second. I had no control over that, though. It was just coincidental that we were both editors.

I'm not much for resentments, okay, I'm not much for resentments these days, but I gotta say if you're going to hold one, the bitch who fed you 'ludes on top of wine and liquor, that's worthy if nothing else is.

That's why I didn't have any friends in high school. It was SAFER that way.

Actually, almost the exact opposite happened to me once: I took a few drags too much and was TOTALLY stoned, unable to communicate, and desperate to tell my friends "No, no, don't call a fuckin ambulance, i'll be allright in a minute", which, it turned out, happened to be the case.

Ah wild Kissimmee nights. I know them well.

What is the point of life if you don't get to hold a grudge and dance on someone's grave while speaking ill of them?

and now we have a new character in the ASV world, Ladies and Gentelmen, give a warm ASV welcome to Tina the Crack Whore. Feel free to use her any way you see fit.

You have the best stories--even if, or maybe because, they were obtained at personal risk.

I'm looking forward to a book.

I have to admire your restraint - she deserves to have both knees broken for that little stunt. Even after 25 years. It's never too late to get payback for that kind of near-lethal "friendship".

Wow. Just - wow.

Tell us again how you didn't become the Unabomber after all this? Or at least send Tina to sleep in the Hudson?

See, now, this is a reason to hold a grudge.

Reminds me of the story Rep Mark Souder (R - Outer Space) tells in a WashTimes editorial.
Last year, 14-year-old Irma Perez was laid to rest in California after dying from an ecstasy overdose at a party. Her friends, having recognized that Irma felt unwell after taking the MDMA pill, attempted to give her marijuana because they believed "that drug is sometimes used to treat cancer patients." Had she received early and real treatment, Irma likely would have survived the overdose.
Only an idiot would buy that bullshit: "we thought the pot would like, ya know... help her."

Like Tina "just wanted to see what would happen!"

After reading that saga I'd have to compliment you on the good care you've taken of your twelve remaining brain cells. :)

I'm starting to see a bit of your perspective when it comes to "religion." When stuff like that happens, it is hard not to equate it to the religious portion of "Catholic School."

And that, my friends, is why I'm never allowing my children to go on Spring Break.

I love how the grudge post has some comments with "relevant links to r******e sites". Maybe that's where Crack Whore Tina is working now. In between bouts with Crack, that is.

Classy girl, that. I can't help but wonder how many times she's had the shit knocked out of her since then. Sounds like she has a real talent for making people angry.

So when you all did acid...she was the fucker who kept making beeping noises when no one was looking and feigned innocence right? And did the "Feeling all boxed in and all drawwwwrrn out*" thing with her hands to freak you out?

In our crowd her name was Laurie. Let me guess, Tina refused to read "Lord of the Rings" because it might influence her own messianic fantasy novel? Was part of her ho-bag act to do two guys, best friends, in the same weekend to see if it would start a fight?

*Take your hands and make the top and bottom of the box and move toward your friend's face, "Feeling", do it again making the sides of the box with your hands, "all boxed in." Move one open hand to your friend's face and close all your fingers right in front of their nose and pull back slowly, "and all drawwwwrn out."

Good old 714s...could never understand why people ate them biscuits, when I could get just as stupid smoking joints and drinking beer, and never have to worry about, you know, DIEING!

I took a Dale Carnegie seminar with a lady who related a rather harrowing tale about her heart stopping after some a--hole slipped a drug into her drink at some club. I'd suggest a brick to the face would not be an inappropriate response. I wouldn't live long enough to forgive something like that.

I'll get ripped into tiny l'il pieces for this, but...

Did you ever think maybe this incident was partly your own fault, too? I mean, were you kidnapped, taken to a motel room and forced to drink wine and smoke dope?

Tina's actions are indefensible, of course. But if you're not in that room that night, none of this would've happened...right?

Remember, kids...getting wasted isn't automatically a good idea just because your parents are against it.

RMc -

Worlds of difference there. Yes, Michele went to a hotel room with enough booze to get the job done. Yes, she had some booze. She then got a headache.

She was given potentially lethal drugs, and told they were tylenol.

There is a difference between the two. Michele holds all moral responsibility up to getting drunk, and getting a headache off cheap wine. End of moral responsibility.

Tina holds moral responsibility for drugging a "friend" without her knowledge, and then denying what she had done when it was clear medical help was needed (when the phrase "I gave her a couple ludes" would have been useful to the folks looking at Michele.)

Do you see the difference?

Dr Mike already made my point.

Glad you survived.

Nobody's defending Tina here, but Michelle was not exactly an innocent bystander, either.

Why does everyone treat near-fatal drug/alcohol binges as if they were a rite of passage or something? I mean, I went to high school in the early 80s, and never did any of that; neither did any of my friends. (Of course, I grew up in the Midwest...is this a Long Island thing?)

The point is, the pot and wine alone were not enough to make it a "near fatal" experience. I would never have taken the ludes on my own.

Did it occur to anyone how easily Michele could have been raped by her alleged friends or a teacher?

One little adage my father taught me is relevant here: "If you play with shit, you get covered with it." You mess around doing stupid things like getting wildly drunk and high, taking random pills from people, etc., nothing good is likely to happen.

No kid of mine will go on a school trip.

taking random pills from people

You mean taking what I thought was aspirin from a FRIEND.

Yea, I got high and drunk. I was a stupid teenager. And guess what? Kids don't need a school trip to engage in this kind of behavior.