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“At 23:56 on 23rd October 1963, Zambians rose in reverence of the Union Jack, the de facto national flag of the United Kingdom, for the last time as it lowered, signifying the end of British rule in Zambia.”

― Precious Mwansa-Chisa

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By the time you would read this article I would have been to Beirut, Lebanon and would have attended the wedding of my best friend. He is someone very close to me and I am very happy for him and his wife, they make a fantastic couple. I have been married for over 2 years now and there are hardly any bachelors left in my social circle. I take with me countless memories and every time when I sit over a drink with friends we can drool over the past for hours. None of us today will be able to repeat some of the things we have done even if it is in a controlled environment.

Now coming back to this best friend of mine, back in 2011, my birthday happened to be on a Friday. It was just as any other day and I was at work in the morning. I informed my boss that it is my birthday in a very fleeting manner. He wished me happy birthday and asked me to take the day off. I remember fleeing and suddenly having a long weekend feeling. This friend of mine works for himself and hence doesn’t need to seek permission. So, at around 11 in the morning I called and told him that I had the rest of the day off. We decided to meet at our usual watering hole at 12.

This was going to be a disaster from the beginning. Before 1 in the afternoon we had already moved on from beer to whiskey and it was a really nice bottle which he got me as a gift. He was pacing himself – nibbling on some food. But somehow, I was losing focus, merrily downing whiskey, one after the other. This being a Friday afternoon we had more friends join in and the quiet lunch with a couple of beers was turning into Hangover 6 now.

After a few more drinks and with it close to sunset we all decided to head to our individual homes and meet up at a hotel later for dinner. Everyone else went home, freshened up, had time to relax, catch a bite and then leave. Unfortunately, my sister and brother-in-law had come in from Kitwe to Lusaka. They weren’t going to stop me from the party and even I was looking forward to spending an hour or so with them. My sister had a home baked cake for me and it was an Amarula and Kahlua base with Blue Label infused icing. I had a couple of drinks with them and ate some cake. Mind you this is the only thing in the food category that was entering my stomach.

Later I took my leave and took the amazing cake along to dinner with. We were supposed to have dinner and then maybe hit a casino to make sure whatever money left on us was also gone. But we were having a great time at dinner, people were loving the alcohol cake and were all having a great social with my nearest and dearest. All this was happening while I was still helping myself to many different mood spirits. We had such a good time that no one realised it was almost midnight. A friend decided to have a round of shooters as there was only 10 minutes of my birthday left.

The shooters were at the table in no time and we all said cheers. I thanked everyone and gulped down the funny green liquid. That is where my memory ends. Everything from there is what I have learnt after going through countless photos and videos with all my idiot friends playing Oscar worthy comedy roles in them. I was on the floor trying to hug it like a fuzzy blanket and get some sleep. My friends (including of the opposite sex) were all giving body building poses for the camera with me face down on the floor.

Then I was on the concierge luggage trolley being wheeled away to the parking lot as I was too heavy for them to carry. Then I am in the back of a Jeep and my drunk friends are banging the door closed with my head hanging out of the edge of the seat. Then I am in front of the hospital entrance door still in the backseat with a friend of mine panicking and screaming, thinking I was dead. Her husband slapping my face to see if I will react. The first two slaps were of concern, after that it was just him playing ping pong with a knocked-out dude.

All this is being recorded by the only friend of mine who was sober as she was 7 months pregnant at the time and not drinking. The next scene I am on a hospital and my best friend pulls out the defibrillator (luckily not connected) and starts shouting ‘clear’ and then pounding it against my chest and shaking me to revive me. Seeing that I didn’t react to that he decided that maybe the light was bright in the room and put his sunglasses on my face. This was at 1:30am inside a hospital.

In all the panic and the comically drunk friends being around, the probation nurse panics and puts the needle wrongly and suddenly a trickle of blood is oozing out of my veins, to which all my friends volunteered to become doctors. Thank god the duty doctor finally took control of the situation and asked everyone to leave and wait outside. Otherwise that night my friends would have felt confident enough to operate on me as well. I remember waking up and being only in my boxers and 1 sock. Everything else was taken away by my friends and I was on many drips and a lot of medication.

Finally, they returned with my stuff in the morning and it took me a couple more days at home to fully recover from the nonsense. They had shown photos and videos of the entire night to every single soul in the hospital so when I was discharged and walking out, there was thunderous laughter resonating throughout the hospital. It was embarrassing but I had bigger things to worry about.

My company pays for my medical bills and I tried to convince my boss on Monday that I had severe allergy to sea food while having dinner. While leaving his office he stopped me and said “Grow up, drink less next time”.

Dooderonomy will resume later, until then goodbye.

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