Published on August 31st, 2013 | by Trapper A. Collins

On the PAX Trail: TWDT

So there I was, sitting in a dimly-lit bar. The air was abuzz with jubilant conversation and laughter, something that I was enjoying immensely.  I was surrounded by con-goers dressed in dark robes and school garb reflecting the standard Hogwarts uniforms.  The specific colours chosen were that of Ravenclaw house, which consisted of various blues and silvers, although they were a bit hard to see under the shitty lighting.  I, too, was dressed in a dark robe and school uniform. Originally, when I signed up for this, I wasn’t planning on dressing up. However,  a PAXer volunteered to craft up this very robe that I was wearing in exchange  for whiskey shots and a commission fee. I had signed up for Ravenclaw house as it was the favored house for most of the PAX crew that I knew. It was a no-brainer.

The object of the crawl was simple: Hit four bars in four hours, spending an hour in each bar before moving on. It wasn’t a race or a game to see how fast one gets drunk, but the multiple bars would keep things fresh and exciting.

Tonight’s drinking consisted mostly of whiskey shots, and given the spirit of the tournament, they were all doubles, however a friend convinced me to try this bright pink concoction called Unicorn Jizz. The name was slightly off-putting, but I figured what the hell, enjoy the ride as it happens.  After tasting it, I decided that I needed more of it in my life.  I had just put down my glass when the sound of an air horn blasted from outside of the bar. There were many hoots and hollers as  people finished off their drinks and made their way out onto the sidewalk in front of the bar. When everybody made their way out, the head girl spoke into the megaphone, welcoming everybody to the tournament and parlaying instructions as to which bar we were going to next.

There were more hoots, hollers, and various ca-caws from the crowd as banners rose into the warm Seattle night, and, with a blast of an air horn, we were off!  The same buzz of conversation and laughter that filled the bar earlier had attached itself to this gaggle of pub crawlers and followed us to the next bar. Along the way we had gotten both supportive cheers and strange looks from nighttime Seattle denizens. The group met these calls by responding with caw-caws and their own cheers.

We arrived at the second bar in the trip, meeting another house, which I believe was Gryffindor. Everybody shuffled jovially into the bar, instantly filling it to near capacity. A few people stayed outside to  smoke and mingle in smaller groups. I, myself, had just realized that I hadn’t eaten anything in twenty-four hours, which is something one must do before he cuts loose and celebrates Dionysus.

It took me a few blocks, but I managed to find a hotdog vendor, and ordered a soda and a foot-long cheese dog.  I had always found that late-night greasy food and drinking was a fantastic and rare pleasure which often accented the shenanigans that you and your party were up to that night. It is often a memorable experience. Plus the cheese on the foot-long was fantastic.  The vendor, along with several passers-by, had asked if I was Harry Potter due to my flowing robes and hacked-together school uniform.  I informed them the best I could before I had to make it back to the bar.

The front of the bar was packed with more minglers and smokers. The faint smell of cigarette smoke hung in the buzzing air.  I got the feeling that we were about to head to bar number three so I quickly made my way in, wormed myself between the densely packed bodies and ordered a whiskey shot from the bar.  I took my shot and an air horn went off, signaling that it was time to gather up and move out.

Everybody made their way out to the front. However before we would leave, there would be an auction for various clothing items, with all the proceeds going to the Childs Play Charity. I felt bad as my meager budget didn’t allow for such bidding, but this feeling went away when each item fetched three-times it’s starting price. Following the auction, we made our way to the next bar.  At this point, I felt I was nursing a nice buzz.  I figured now would be a good point to cut myself off from drinking, but I figured what the hell. I was having a fantastic time and I felt great.  Plus I feel that I didn’t drink enough so I had to fix that.

When we made it to the third bar and met up with Slytherin house, I bee-lined it to the bar, buying shots for myself and other patrons who would accept them, and a few gin and tonics.  I mingled as I drank and started giving and receiving random hugs.  Fun times were had.

I suddenly found myself outside of the bar sucking on a lit cigarette. Funny, I don’t remember moving outside. I took a long drag and thought about it. Oh no. At this point, I could feel the liquor in my stomach sit uneasily. Everything around me started becoming wavy. Moving felt like I was underwater. My body had reached maximum alcohol capacity and I had to now be careful, lest I start hurling during the crawl. And I didn’t want that.  The air horn went off and I lurched myself in the general direction of the traveling group.  I blinked and seemingly teleported to the fourth bar, sitting and drinking water. Good. It would seem that I was running on drunk instinct at this point. While my instincts meant well, my stomach was full and could no longer take liquids, including hangover-preventing water.

A few sips later, I sighed and accepted my fate of the impending hangover. I let the drunk take over and started laughing and hugging fellow Ravenclaws and other bar patrons.  I even hugged members of Hufflepuff house, who had, I presumed, met us before entering the bar.

Blink. I find myself outside, shambling with the rest of the thoroughly-pickled Ravenclaw house.  I was being carried/half-dragged by a fellow Ravenclaw member. Bless her heart, for without her, I probably would have passed out in a ditch, something that I wasn’t keen on doing in downtown Seattle. We made it back safely to our starting bar.  I sat down and pondered. While I wanted to keep partying, I felt that prolonged exposure would only take me to the land of vomit and neutralize what good feelings I had built up.

Deciding to end on a high note, I stood up and said goodnight to my fellow house mates. Final hugs and jokes were exchanged as I left the bar and hailed a cab.  Blink. I’m at the hotel, paying the cabbie and exiting the car. I composed myself as much as I could and made my way up to my room.  It took awhile to get the keycard into the slot but I finally managed, giggling to myself.  I stumbled into the dark room, fondled my way to my bed, promptly falling into sleep.

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About the Author

Trapper A. Collins

Writer, Field Journalist, Whiskey Connoisseur, Professional Fornicator

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