Thursday, August 26, 2004
My First Prairie Fire
One summer when I was 20. I went to work for a pipeline contractor, in purchasing on a job in Northwestern, CO. Well , I arrive. The project has been started for two weeks. I fall into my part of the project.

One night the Project Manager decided that he knew the people in the local bar well enough that if I were with him I would get served. We formulate a plan for Friday evening. So Friday rolls around and we head down to the bar.

We arrive, go in and get served. We were having a good time, drinking, laughing, cutting up, etc. They then ask me if I want to have a "prairie fire." I agree and thinking nothing of it. Now at the time I had no idea what a prairie fire was ( tequila and tabasco) let alone how bad it was. So the bartender brings over my tequila shot with a slight orange tint to it. I take it, throw it back, no problem. Then they ask me if I want to go for the record. In my drunken stupor I agree.

The record for the bar was thirteen drops of tabasco. I said "lets do fourteen." So they drop 14 drops in my shot. I take it throw it back no problem. I am now beginning to get stupidly brave. I now want to double my own record. At this point the whole bar is gathered around watching. I take the drink in my hand throw it back, and oh no, my head is spinning. My stomach is churning. I DO NOT KNOW WHICH TO TAKE CARE OF FIRST. I just know that I need to go to the bathroom. I am running cold water all over my face. I literally have my head underneath the faucet.

I am feeling better. I tell the Project Manager that I am going to walk back to my hotel. He says "OK." I start off on the mile or so walk, careful to avoid the mainstreet. I do not want to be run over, or seen swaying by the police. I am walking down this alley, doing my thing making good time. I finally make it back to my hotel. I spent the rest of my night, with a trash can in one hand pepto bismol in the other and sitting on the toilet. My advise to you, do not attempt to set any records with tequila and tabasco. They are not worth it.

P.S. - The next day I went to breakfast with my girlfriend at the times father, whom I worked with. Unknowingly I put tabasco on my eggs, mostly out of habit. Before I get take a bite, I was reminded by the putrid smell of tabasco about the night before. Since then I have not eaten much tabasco or drunk much tequila. Somethings a person just can not forget.

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