Break out the Booze and Have a Ball

Theblivion/Ballard/Sat Nov 5/11:30 pm: At around 9 pm, a Ballard woman went out with her friends for a fun night on the town. They began with dinner and an entire bottle of red wine. After the excellent meal, she and her mates proceeded to a local tavern, where she consumed five margaritas (this is according to her friends; the bartender claims he only served her four). Each margarita contained a minimum of three shots of tequila. Sozzled to the nose, she left the bar and plodded over to another drinking establishment, where she consumed three more shots of tequila. At this point the woman was reduced to just a single straw of consciousness. With the bit of coordination that remained between brain and legs she made an incredible journey up a flight of wobbly stairs, at the summit of which she finally passed out. Two hours later, the staff at Ballard's Swedish Hospital drew a blood sample from her sodden form, and determined her blood alcohol content to be .193.

Fawkes in my Backyard/Wallingford/Sun Nov 7/12:55 am: A married couple snapped when a party that had been raging next door spilled into their backyard. The couple were ready to give the trespassers an earful when a most demonic thing happened. As if out of some primal scene in the Deep South, the drunken revelers began burning a cross and chanting in a sinister manner. Though the couple is neither black nor Jewish nor Mexican nor gay nor lesbian nor Asian nor Arab nor Native American, they were mortified and called the cops. After all, it's possible the Ku Klux Klan has added more groups to its bloated hate list: white people with small feet, white people who seem Canadian, white people who appear to bathe regularly. They had to be sure.

When Officer Loren Street arrived, she listened to the spooked couple's disturbing tale and then bravely walked over to the party, where she made contact with the host. When asked about the burning cross, the host calmly explained that it wasn't a cross at all, but that some of his English friends were celebrating Guy Fawkes Day, and so were burning an effigy of "Guy." Officer Street had no idea what this meant. The party host elaborated: Guy Fawkes was a soldier who was executed in 1606 for attempting to blow up the House of Lords. Now, every November 5, Englishmen the world over celebrate Guy's demise by getting drunk and burning a small effigy of him. This short but illuminating history lesson impressed Officer Street; she was now certain that no criminal activity was taking place, except for your basic noise and burning violations.

The officer returned to the frightened couple, who were still convinced a racial motive lay at the heart of the burning. They even showed Officer Street a videotape they made of the burning cross. After viewing the video, Officer Street saw "no signs of racial motives," and carefully explained to the couple the meaning of Guy Fawkes Day. Officer Street noted that the couple was "pleased" by this explanation, and she left their home feeling proud that she had not only picked up a little knowledge, but had enlightened others as well.

The Drunks/First Hill/Mon Nov 8/2:00 am: At around 10 pm, Officer Ortiz responded to a report that a man had drunk a half-gallon of whiskey and passed out on his living room floor. When Ortiz arrived, medics were treating the drunk, whose face was "red and flushed," and whose pupils were constricted. Officer Ortiz transported the drunk to Harborview Medical Center for treatment. Four hours later, Officer Green responded to a report of a passed-out drunk in West Seattle. This person had been drinking nonstop for the better part of a week, and was barely coherent when Officer Green transported him to Harborview Medical Center. Though they didn't know each other, and they came from different parts of the city, the two drunks slept under the same roof as the graveyard nurses endured their obnoxious snoring.

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