What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor?

I wouldn’t be surprised if 95% of adult Americans have, at some point in their lives, been walking in a metropolitan or suburban or perhaps even rural area; minding their own business, talking to a friend, walking the dog; and they have encountered a drunk. The drunk could be a well-heeled souse attempting not to lurch after one too many Manhattans;

One of my most favorite drunks

a down and out boozer reeling down the sidewalk shouting gibberish to no one listening, the drunkard could be right in your own kitchen shrieking nonsense and eating dinner with his hands. One rule remains the same when dealing with these people: try not to make eye contact. Pretend you can’t hear the boisterous shouts of the over-served or in the case of my kitchen last night, the overtired 4-year-old.

Perhaps you have been in a bar when a drunk falls off a bar stool; you jump in alarm, should I help him/her (don’t want to discriminate) up off the floor?! In the case of the punch drunk four-year-old, perched precariously at the edge of a tall kitchen stool eating his dinner and sloppily drinking chocolate milk from a sippy cup; I tried to focus on my conversation with the tiny drunk’s mother. “You’re going with hardwoods for the stairs? ohhh.” Whoa! Buddy, you gotta scootch back, you don’t want to tip over and bonk your head, right?

Just as I don’t want to stare at a grizzled old wino going through a garbage can looking for dinner or an empty, I avert my eyes from the toddler with his head lolling on his hand, waving around a baby carrot dipped in salad dressing and singing a song only he knows. Hold the eyes of another adult, continue to talk despite the ramblings and occasional inebriated guffaws coming from the little drunken sailor. Last night, although I thought I was paying attention to Stevie’s actions without him knowing I was watching; it took me a few minutes to realize he was slowly, overcarefully (as drunks are wont to do)  sliding a tube of macaroni and cheese on to each tine of his fork before studiously steering the fork into his slack jawed mouth. Once the mac n cheese was in his mouth, he nodded vigorously and chewed and looked around to see if he had an audience. The singing gets louder, you know how it goes, you’ve seen these troubled souls.

Don’t look right at him.

Just as it always does after a good bender, the party came to a crashing halt. Stevie’s mother wiped his face and told him it was time for a bath and jammies. I watched her haul the protesting little man down the hall, as he flailed and shouted, “No! I want to stay up! I’m not tired!”

So sad, that’s what they all say.

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18 thoughts on “What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor?

  1. katieoc says:

    Reminds me of last summer, walking back from the store in Gearhart with Matt, he was exhausted, he stopped in the middle of north ocean, spread his legs, leaned over, looked behind him with his head on the ground and started yelling “PEOPLE ARE COMING!! THERE ARE PEOPLE COMING” and giggling. like herding cats.

  2. Denise Haenel says:

    remember, he “only likes cupcakes”……Matt is the BOMB!!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    One of my favorites to date, Mags…and that’s saying something!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Oh, that was from me. Lisa. Lisa R. Smith.

  5. WheresYourMom says:

    I am thoroughly enjoying these posts!

  6. […] and whether one should talk or not talk in a public restroom.  She talks about how to deal with a drunken sailor/ toddler and I say, who couldn’t use more advice like that?  Maggie writes well.  Her humor is spot […]

  7. Maggie O'C says:

    Reblogged this on Someone Fat Happened and commented:

    I was reminded of this blog after my Colgate weekend. I need a break from writing today so I can read other blogs, you thought I was going to say “work” didn’t you? hahahah yeah no. Enjoy!

  8. Andrew says:

    I still fall asleep when I eat at certain buffets.

  9. […] lived with me for four months and recently moved out and into her beautiful new house. I told some funny stories about us living together, stories that usually had to do with my nephew who is a real character. I […]

  10. […] his mom lived with me for a couple of months while their house was being finished. Read here and here. My nephew, Matt and I had a date to do Halloween crafts and have a sleepover so his parents could […]

  11. […] nephew, Matt, who you may have read about (here, here, here and here) is crazy-ass smart. Not like, oh he can write his name and read “cat, […]

  12. […] nephew, Matt, spent the night last night. As some of you may recall, Matt and his mom, my sister Molly, lived with me for a few months while their house was being finished when they […]

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