Sober is the New Black


“I think of shit and then I write it down…”  Crazy Eyes, Orange is the New Black


I have never been to prison, but I watched the entire third season of Orange is the New Black in two sittings. It’s a little weird to watch a prison show when I somehow escaped going myself – even though there were several times in my drinking days I should have been incarcerated for my own good (and for the good of others). I can’t decide if it was luck, or police kindness (or ineptitude), or the hand of God, but somehow I was spared.


I drank and drove a lot. It is not something I am proud of, but I feel the need to tell you about it because I was so dangerous and I am sure there are others on the roads like me. In fact, MADD says, “The average drunk driver, drives under the influence 80 times before the first arrest” and “There is a drunk driving related accident every two minutes” and “Each day 300,000 people drive drunk and only 4,000 are arrested.”


One time I was driving home drunk from a bar in Jacksonville (located Ironically close to the strip mall AA meeting place I go to occasionally). I only have a vague recollection of how it happened, but I bumped into the car in front on me with a policeman watching and then drove away. It’s kind of a long story – there was some road construction, and the policeman who was monitoring it was out of his car, and I thought he waved me ON as in, IT’S OKAY, THE BUMPER IS FINE GO ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS, when what he meant was PULL OVER YOU HAVE HAD AN ACCIDENT.


Any who… A few minutes later there were five police cars chasing me down the highway and when I did pull over (eating TicTacs like it was a contest and breathing like I was giving birth), several of them came at me with guns drawn. I kid you not.


Five cars, ten policemen. I do not have any memory of where this took place, by the way. I only remember we were off a feeder road and I was on gravel. They asked me to get out of the car and like those war movies where they make the prisoner dig their own grave before they shoot them, the police made me stretch my own duct tape straight-line across the rough road. As I think back on this now, I am wondering, do police even do that anymore? Make people walk straight lines? Don’t they have machines to test blood-alcohol content? Were they just messing with me?


I was wearing a pencil skirt and 5 inch stilettos. They wouldn’t let me take my shoes off and they told me to walk the tape with my head looking up, touching my nose with one hand and then the other, reciting the alphabet backwards.


Yup. They were messing with me.


I passed. I can’t even say the alphabet frontwards if you make me start in the middle, but I DID IT. Let me remind you I was drunk enough to not remember where this ghastly event took place and I passed.  The boys in blue went back to the precinct with a story to tell, “Damn. This blond in high heeled shoes, reeking of stale wine…”


I’ll say it again, I never went to jail but I should have.


Please, please do not drink and drive. And to all of you recovering alcoholics, it’s time to give back and serve as a designated driver. After all, sober is legal. Sober is cool. Sober is the new black…


I kind of look like I could be Piper’s auntie…


Today I’m not drinking because I’m driving.

How come you’re not drinking?