I did that?!? Not actually a person from Afghanistan

Back before we knew alcohol could kill you, in multiple ways, I was known to have a tipple or two of an evening. This occasional column, intended strictly for cautionary purposes, is about some of those multiple ways and some of those evenings.

We’re going to see the Tubes on their first-ever tour of the States (yeah, that long ago–you don’t even know who the fuck the Tubes are). And, of course, this being winter in Michigan, we’re wasted.

Not wasted enough, apparently. When the later-to-be-famous out-of-town rock critic offers your humble reporter a Quaalude to top off a 12-pack of Stroh’s, the humble reporter wolfs it, only to report back to the critic 20 minutes later that his motherfuckin’ Quaaludes ain’t working, what the fuck?!?

So he hands me another.

We harass the Tubes onstage–most of the harassing being done by the perma-wasted crazy guy who’s driving us(!) and who actually works at an insane asylum. He’s barking “Fuck you!” over and over in the lead guitarist’s face. Nevertheless, after the show, we follow the band back to their motel and barge in on the after-party, where, luckily, there is fine California weed to augment one’s dual-ludes-and-12-pack high.

Then we hit the road for whatever other lethal perils might be found in the frozen Michigan midnight.

We’re tooling down the highway, madman at the wheel, en route from somewhere up north to Ann Arbor down south when we spot a hitchhiker, and the madman decides to stop. Or decides a little late. So first he has to throw it into reverse on the highway. As the hitchhiker slings his duffle bag in the back seat with me, I–answering the inscrutable logic of the buzz–get out and lay behind the car. Whereupon the madman backs up some more until he’s pinned my arm. Eventually, I yell enough for him to pull forward and set me free and yell some more when I take my seat back in the car next to the (frightened? psychopathic?) hitchhiker.

Then I see her.

Turns out the hitchhiker has a girlfriend. In the dimness, I can just make out her golden tresses, wavy and multi-hued, by the far window on the other side of her man and his hobo luggage. She is gorgeous–or her hair is. And I have no shame.

I snake my arm behind the hitchhiker to tentatively touch Sister Goldenhair. She doesn’t respond. Except, well, she doesn’t respond! Which may be the best response a guy in my condition could ever hope for. She doesn’t recoil. She doesn’t retch. She doesn’t complain to her boyfriend or jump out of the car. Emboldened, I run my fingers more assertively through her mane. Again, no response. No slapping hand. No screaming, ducking, nodding or otherwise shrinking from my advances. Nor, thanks to my cat-like dexterity, does her boyfriend notice.

Now I am full on petting her, or at least her head, transported by that sleek, golden coiffure. But as my hands dance lovingly around the lassie’s noggin, it dawns on me that there is something odd. At first, I deny it. How could there be anything wrong with the most beautiful woman in the world? The most beautiful–and pliable–woman in the world?

I begin to explore. My hand arches to encompass the top of her, admittedly, not very large head, which seems to ultimately form into some kind of bump. No, bigger than a bump–a red-rubber-ball-sized mini-dome. My hand rotates left and right to assess its true circumference, but there’s just no getting around it: the top of this girl’s head comes to a weird, blunt point.

I rouse myself from erotic reveries and lean forward to peer past the hitchhiker. And it is then that I see, finally, that the love of my life, the object of my fondest fantasies, the shining vision of my drunken vision quest, is indeed an Afghan. And not, mind you, a person from Afghanistan.

Yes, dear reader, this Alcohol Enthusiast came on to a dog.

Postscript: Many years later, after I had shared this tale far and wide, a commercial for (I think) BMW came on the TV. It was a typical scene of a couple in a top-down convertible speeding down a scenic highway. The view was from the rear and overhead. The man, who was driving, wore shades. His lady sported gorgeous golden tresses, which blew in the breeze. Then the camera flipped around, and we could see the couple from the front. Of course, she turned out to be an Afghan dog.

My question: can I sue?

—Toots Shor

Stroh’s photo courtesy of prettywar-stl, Flickr.