Donald MacInnes: How my 21st went all wrong with non-stop B52s and bubbly

In The Red

I became aware of daylight trying to crowbar open my seemingly fused eyelids and of a distant, quizzical female voice talking (to me?) in Spanish.

I tried to open my eyes, but the stinging sunlight made that impossible. Also, a dustbin lid orchestra was performing inside my skull and I had a sharp pain in my back which wouldn't quit.

As the Spanish became more distinct, I opened one eye and got a sense of my situation.

I was lying outdoors. Well, my upper body was. My legs were in my motel room and the quizzical voice belonged to the cleaning lady, who was leaning over me, nudging my ribs with her foot.

The pain in my back was the metal threshold of the door. I groaned and the woman tutted, before pushing her trolley away.

I stood up, squinting from the sunlight bouncing off the surface of the motel pool. It was the morning of my 21st birthday and an examination of the events of the night before was overdue.

I dropped into the pool and sank to the bottom, looking up at the world like Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate.

The last 12 hours shimmered into focus.

My mother, sister and brother-in-law (he of the table dancing) and I had gone out in Key West the night before.

We started out with dinner, before at 9pm heading for Sloppy Joe's, the bar in which Ernest Hemingway used to sit, being hairy.

But even though I was just three hours shy of being 21, I was refused entry.

We even went back to the motel and got my passport to prove my imminent adulthood, but the bouncer was immovable.

Striding away indignantly, we took our frustration out at the bar of the Holiday Inn, sinking B52s and champagne like it was the law.

Actually, being plastered in Key West pretty much is the law. The city crest features a martini glass with crossed straws and a barman juggling olives.

As midnight passed, we were all in a state of slurring semi-eloquence, so began the walk back to the motel, which took us past Sloppy Joe's.

As we passed, the bouncer recognised me and burst into Happy Birthday, unclipping the velvet rope for us.

My Glaswegian belligerence suitably emboldened with booze, I gave him the finger and the four of us strode away laughing, arm-in-arm.

Next thing I know, I have a cleaning lady passing judgment on my life choices. So be warned: if a bouncer ever refuses you entry to a bar, take the hint: go home.

Twitter.com/DonaldAMacInnes

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

PROMOTED VIDEO
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Finance Assistant - Part time - 9 month FTC

    £20000 - £23250 Per Annum pro rata: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pro rata ...

    Marketing Manager

    £40 - 48k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Manager to join...

    Market Risk Manager - Investment Banking - Mandarin Speaker

    £45,000 - £65,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is a well-known APAC Corporate and...

    Compensation and Benefits Manager - Brentwood - Circa £60,000

    £60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

    A Syrian general speaks

    A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
    How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

    Turn your mobile phone into easy money

    There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
    Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

    Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

    "I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
    Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

    11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

    Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
    Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

    Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

    The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
    Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

    The school that means business

    Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
    10 best tablets

    The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

    They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
    Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

    Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

    The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
    Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

    Pete Jenson's a Different League

    Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
    John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

    Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

    The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
    The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

    The killer instinct

    Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
    Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

    Clothing the gap

    A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

    The Fall of the Berlin Wall

    Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain