For as long as I can remember, I can’t say I ever felt overly patriotic. Nor had I ever experienced 4th of July the red blooded “American” way. I’m talking the BBQ, Fireworks, American flag napkins, Budweiser and debauchery. So about two years ago I decided to give it a go and see what all the fuzz was about.
I started off the day by going to Franklin’s BBQ, anyone from Austin will tell you that it’s the best in the city. So much so that they sell out of everyday and the lines wrap around the building. After reading a little about Franklin’s online I showed up at 6 AM hoping to be the first in line. 6 AM may sound ridiculously early but when I arrived there was already five people ahead of me in line.
The restaurant didn’t open until 10 AM so I spent the first two hours napping in a lawn chair I brought with me for the wait. When I woke up I noticed that the line of ten people had grew to about fifty. An employee finally came out and thanked everybody for our patience and told us that drinking was allowed while waiting in line. Even though it was just nine AM I decided what the hell and walked a block to the pharmacy to pick up some beer. I had to work later on so I figured I might as well try to cease the day as much as I could and by cease the day I meant drink heavily. Maybe because he was bored or maybe because he was friendly, the dad next to me started chatting me up lightly about classic rock, my favorite subject until finally the doors opened! I ordered some brisket and a bit of sausage and much to my surprise the food surpassed all the hype, best BBQ ever!!!
I picked up a piece of pie and made my way back to the apartment to change and go float the Greenbelt at Zilker Park. Normally this particular part of the park isn’t deep enough to float it in a tube but it had recently rained a lot so the timing couldn’t have been better. The security company where I was working as a security officer was next door to Zilker. I decided to park my car there and walked over to the Green Belt to save myself the ridiculous $20 parking fee. I finally found a good place to start floating and just in time too because I was getting tired of hauling my huge tube and twelve pack of beer on a hike. About 7 beers later I had reach the end of my float along with hundreds of others. After drunken-ling wrestling for control of my float I managed to grab a branch and find a spot to rest under the shade where i chatted up some construction workers. Things started fading out a little bit and I knew I had to work in about 30 mins. So I grabbed my stuff and headed back to my work site.
Me floating on the green belt in Zilker Park
I quickly stopped at my car and changed into my security uniform which was risky considering a tenant could’ve seen me not only naked but drunk. Luckily no one did and I went to check in with my coworker. I tried avoid talking in effort to give away that I was drunk as hell. My coworker seemed oblivious and handed me the golf cart keys along with the company cellphone.
I spent the first few hours of my shift napping on the floor on the security office. Once I spent about 15% of the drunkness off, I decided to hop in the golf cart and go up to the parking garage of building #4. That particular has one of the best views of the Austin skyline in the city with the sun going down I thought it would be the perfect spot to be. On my way to the garage I made a pit stop to my car to pick up the last 2 beers I had left from earlier. The beer by now had become lukewarm fuck it, it got the job done. Once I finally reached my destination, I popped the tops of those beers and turned on the music on my cellphone as I stared at the city from the top floor. The fun was short lived as I ran out of beer. I was already at about 6 out of 10 on the drunk scale but I decided to go get more beer anyway.
actual view from Garage #4 photo by Rob Greebon
Technically, I wasn’t supposed to leave my post but working security on a holiday had it’s perks; one of the perks being that you had little to no supervision on shift. So I threw on a jacket to cover my uniform up and drove about a mile to a convenient store. I stumbled out of my car and bought two tall boys of Lone Star beer. I wasn’t even a block down the street when opened the first can up and started drinking with one hand and driving with the other. It’s not that far, no harm done I assured myself.
Once I got back to my job site, looking for a change in scenery I headed to the top of the garage of building #2. I continued to get inappropriately get drunk on company time.
If I have to work, I may as well have fun
I have time to sober up before I have to go home…it’s fine.
Next thing I know I am urinating in the stairway of the parking garage at 6 pm. I decided it would be best to get out of the heat and back to the security office to sleep. Those two beers that were intended to keep my good buzz going had took me over the top and straight to drunkness, classic me. Always wanting one more, always thinking I won’t get THAT drunk. I stumbled back into the golf cart and drive down the garage and onto a traffic circle in route to the security office. On the last turn to park the golf cart,I accidentally side swiped the golf cart against some concrete railing.The impact sounded a lot worse than the damage what am I supposed to tell my boss on Monday?
I really couldn’t careless at the moment all I wanted was so sleep in effort to go down on the drunkness scale before I had to drive through traffic to go home at 10pm. “POOM, POOM, POOM!” I was awaken from my 4 hour nap by the sound of my coworker banging at the security office door trying to get me to open the door. Startled, I jumped up off the floor, flattened my shirt and gave my hair a quick adjustment. I was completely caught of guard.
” I tried calling your [company] phone but you didn’t answer and I couldn’t get into the building,” he said. “You did?” trying to sound surprised, ” I didn’t hear it ring”. I reached down to my pocket to retrieve the phone only to find that it was missing. Now not only was I hungover but now I found lost a piece of vital company equipment. The phone was how we communicated with the site supervisor on the status of our work post. I spent an hour along with my coworker Josh retracing my steps but couldn’t find the phone and it didn’t help that it was night time either. Finally Josh said he would just call our supervisor and let him know about it mostly in an attempt to finally let me go home.
My 4th of July ended with pecan pie and a viewing of American Sniper.
On Monday my supervisor Ross told me that they had found the phone on Sunday in the traffic circle; it had been ran over by the car. I lied my way out of repercussions by claiming the phone must’ve fell out of my pocket while on patrol. He half ass believed me. I had been on my boss’s shit list for awhile now and he was itching to get rid of me.
I got to keep my job but after the headache of the liability I had become at work drunk: I vowed never to drink on the job again.