“Oh this thing is so fucking retired!” I snarled as I ripped the tight fitting, “Fresco Pollo” shirt over my head. I had been awoken by a call, “We are all waiting in the bus” and found myself, naked, aside from the bright yellow with the cartoon drawing of a chicken t-shirt and my bra twisted around my wrist like a bracelet. Perfect. Did the wriggle dance of the fantastically late and truly hungover; brush ripped through my bed-headed hair as I stuffed my doughy bits into whatever clothes were within reach while somewhat gently running a toothbrush over my teeth, trying to convince myself that I was not going to barf.
Exactly seven minutes later I was on the bus, compact in hand, fingers feverishly picking at the crusty bits of eyeliner that had gathered in the corners of my eyes. I was there, not the last on the bus but feeling like life had just caught me in bed with its husband and was hell bent on punishing me. “Samantha, Nick is still not here and he’s not answering his phone…would you go up and get him?” one of the trip organizers asking me to run up and fetch another missing member of our crew. Fuck, why me?
The four of us had met up in the Madrid airport. Me, an ex-rep of mine, a semi-retired retailer and a California wine specialist from a competing wine shop. All Southern California retailers on our way to Cadiz to learn about Sherry. We had a massive layover and as any self respecting wine specialist would, we ate and drank ourselves into oblivion while trying to kill the five hours as we waited for our flight. There must have been others there waiting, others about to embark on our same eleven day excursion, but we were huddled up; Guillaume, (a French dude that used to sell me wine but was now a retailer himself) Nick, (shop owner looking to retire) and Michael, (California wine specialist for a competitor) in our own little play group and starting the trip off on the very wrong foot. Loaded with whatever salty bits of pig we could find and Pastis in volumes that would make mere mortals quiver in our wake. Um, yeah….who’s quivering now?
“Goddamn it Nick, open the door!” me and my day old makeup, hair pulled back as to not alert everyone that I had not showered, mix-matched outfit…head pounding in rhythm with my knocking on his hotel room door. Now unless you have ever seen a Thai dude, in his sixties, with a massive hangover, in his underpants while glaring at you with the, “How fucking dare you?!” face, you cannot possibly understand the nightmare that had befallen me. “No. No Sam, I’m not coming” Nick’s protest as I muscled my way into his room. Without thought or reason I began grabbing whatever clothes I could find while nodding my head in a, “Yeah it sucks but we gotta go” fashion. He was cursing me and pitching a royal bitch fit but I was not about to be the only crusty, unwashed, suffering mother fucker on that bus. He had been my partner in sucking back the local…flavor, the night before and I was taking his cranky, still drunk, ass with me for the next leg of our journey. Like it or not. His option was not but he begrudgingly followed me downstairs and, gave me shit the whole fucking way.
“No it was a bad mussel” he reported to everyone that had been waiting, not so patiently might I just add, on the bus. Here this cat that I had watched the night before drink Brandy from a glass the size of a salad spinner, was now telling everyone that he was not hungover but had a ticky tummy from one of the mussels in the batch of paella that was cooked for us. After picturing the giant pan, about the size of my dining room table, overflowing with yellow rice, chicken thighs, bits of sausage, shrimp and, the offensive to Nick, mussels and trying not to reproduce it right there in the isle of the bus, I gave him a sharp elbow in the side and narked his sunglass clad ass out. “His cup ran way the hell over” I quipped while giving him the, “don’t make me tell everyone I saw you in your undies” face.
“I really liked that shirt on you” the reptilian Russian guy on our trip who just so happened to be sitting in the bank of seats behind Nick and I. I was already feeling vomit was in my very near future and now, with this slippery voice, full of lust and saliva, purring his slimy compliments at me I could feel the bile rising in the back of my throat. I considered burping and then blowing him a stomach acid and Brandy scented kiss but thought better of it, knowing that if I allowed the burp my queasy tummy would view that as an “it’s on” and I would have far more than being late and crusty eye boogers to be embarrassed about. “Yeah well, that thing will never see the light of day again” I snarled back at him and as the “day” part of the sentence fell off my tight bottom lip there it was again, the click and flash as the fucker took my picture….again. Ugh.
The “baby chicken shirt” a novelty t-shirt I picked up who knows where but hugged my bits in such a way that not only did it get everyone’s attention, it made me feel like a sexy beast and caused me to behave in a manor rather unfitting of the classy bitch that I am. I can still remember the first time I wore it; dark washed jeans, the tight tee, a man’s sport coat in chocolate brown…sleeves dangling to just above my fingertips, my favorite scuffed up brown shoes, pigtails, gold rimmed Elis glasses, (from my wedding in An Elvis Chapel) and dark red lips. The day began with a wine tasting but denigrated into me with my hands on a dear friend’s knees, pulling his legs apart….slowly and while not breaking the “Fuck I want you” stare we were locked in, asking him to smell my neck and tell me if he could tell what kind of soap I used. Poor fucker, wasn’t me…it was the shirt. And now I found myself suffering, once again, this time on a bus full of people, hangover the worst I had ever had, longing for ice water and sleep but….
“Okay guys we’re here!” one of the organizers alerting us that we had made it to our first stop of the day, Sandeman where I was to taste about twenty Sherries….whimper. “That shirt is so fucking retired” my grumble as I lumbered my booze soaked body off the bus and made my way to the….tasting room.
To be continued