Sunday, September 26, 2010
Grump's Bachelor Party: Just Like The Tom Hanks Movie, But With More Vomit
I've mentioned on here a few times that I'm preparing to make the big leap into marriage, and as of today I've only got a little more than two weeks until the big day. To celebrate, my co best men (I'm too much of a wimp to just pick one) put together a little fishing excursion for me along with my dad and soon-to-be brothers-in-law. I was really looking forward to this trip. It had been a long week at work and I was looking forward to kicking back for a little bit of man time with the guys. Little did I know, however, that my worthless fucking stomach was going to make it impossible for me to even pick up a fishing rod that day.
Before we get into that, however, let's take a quick journey back to when I was about 7 or 8 years old. My dad had grown up around the ocean and as a teenager worked on a party boat, which is basically a boat where paying customers pack themselves together for several hours while fishing/drinking themselves into oblivion. Dad must have felt bad that we'd moved to Pennsylvania when I was born and that I never got to enjoy such simple pleasures, so a couple of times a year he'd be sure to take me out to New Jersey for a fishing trip.
The only problem with that is as a child, the simple act of looking down at my feet while in a moving car was enough to make me turn 12 shades of green and puke my Captain Crunch all over the back seat. So, sticking me on a modestly-sized boat in rocky seas for 6 or 7 hours never ended well. If I took Dramamine to counteract the motion sickness, I'd wind up getting drowsy and sleeping for 90% of the trip. If I didn't...well let's just say throwing up when you have nothing left in your stomach is very painful. Fortunately, it only took between ten and twelve such trips for Dad to figure our that I really didn't have the constitution for saltwater fishing.
It wasn't until college that I stepped foot on a boat again, risking my previous day's meals to take a Father's Day blue fishing trip with the old man. Happily for me, however, the Dramamine no longer made me pass out and the seas were calm enough that I didn't have any problems. In fact, I've been going out every Father's Day since then.
So, when my buddies told me that they were taking me out fishing for my bachelor party, sea sickness was the last thing on my mind. That morning, I even treated myself to some bachelor party debauchery in the form of Dunkin' Donuts and Coke for breakfast. And yes, I mean the soda. I'm not exactly the guy you call if you're looking to recreate The Hangover.
My first inkling that I might be in a bit of trouble came before we even left, when my Dad told me for the 19th time that he'd checked the fishing report (he gets a little excited) and it said that there was going to be some heavy wind that would make for some choppy seas. I was a little nervous, but I figured with my reliable buddy Dramamine I'd be fine.
So, we're all loaded up on a very full boat and I'm excited. I figure even if we don't catch a thing, we'll get to eat and shoot the shit all day. I was ready to enjoy the ride out to the planned fishing spot from the back corner of the boat, when Dad suggested that we go into the cabin to avoid getting soaked by that day's rather sizable waves smashing against the side of the boat. I think this is what proved to be my undoing.
It was about 103 degrees in that cabin, and as you can imagine the air inside a party boat isn't what you'd call fresh. So I'm sitting at a table, watching everyone play Uno, when I start to get an unpleasantly familiar feeling. My stomach starts to rise and fall in sync with the waves, which is a problem because the weather has made it so that there is no fucking synchronicity to the waves. So not only is my stomach sloshing around my torso, it's also doing so with no rhyme or eason.
As it dawns on me that I'd felt this way before on a boat , I head outside and watch the land get farther and farther away. For anyone who hasn't gotten seasick, I can't explain to you the feeling of hopelessness that comes with knowing that you are moving in the exact opposite direction of the only thing that can make you feel better.
I'd say it was about 10-15 minutes after I first started getting nauseous that I wound up hanging over the rail, cursing myself for drinking carbonated liquid that morning. And the worst thing is that, unlike most stomach problems, puking won't really make you feel better. You'll have some relief for maybe about 5 minutes, but then you just start the whole thing all over again.
Add on to that the fact that I'm doing this in front of about 100 people and I'm really not looking forward to how the rest of this day is going to pan out. One of the mates came up to me and took me to the back of the boat, both as a way of making sure I didn't get puke all over the boat but also to get me to the part of the boat the rocks the least.
Actually, I was pretty surprised that he seemed so genuinely concerned. I figured that most of the mates on these party boats would actually take pleasure whenever one of the assholes on their boats starts ralphing as long as they don't have to clean it. But this guy game me some ginger ale (which, by the way, is a bullshit remedy for an upset stomach) and gave me some tips for getting my stomach to settle. Granted, none of them worked, but I did appreciate that he tried. As I've said before, if you're looking for a boat to take you on a blue fishing trip, go with the Golden Eagle in Belmar, NJ. It's a good boat.
The rest of the trip was pretty much a nauseous blur as I tried to pass out in my seat so that I didn't have to feel feelings anymore. The problem with that is that if you fall sleep while sitting up on a boat in rocky seas, you'll find yourself pretty quickly woken up as you realize you're about to take a face plant on to the deck.
Of course, it turns out that I missed some great fishing. Everyone caught blue fish, some tuna, and one guy in our group even managed to snag a fucking sea gull. I would have loved to have seen that whole scenario play out, but no, I have to be a fucking pussy and spend the day holding my gut and trying not to cry like a little girl. Eventually, we made it back to shore, and as I stepped foot on that heavenly, non-moving earth, I walked around, got my wits about me again, and one thought popped into my mind: Man, all that puking has made me kind of hungry.