Actually, there are one or two folks who have heard this story. But, by and large, it has not been told. In fact, I probably should not be telling it now. But, it happened long ago. I've recovered from it. And, importantly, I learned from it. Pete Peters is not the same person anymore. So, with that . . . here it goes . . .
Back in the day, Pete Peters was a National's season ticket holder. I was a mid-level associate at a big law firm at the time. I split a full season package with some colleagues at work. Generally, I'd end up with 20 to 25 games a year. We had four seats, and I attended games with a fellow associate, a paralegal and his friend. We'll call them Ross, Mike and Patrick, respectively . . . because, like, those were their names.
This particular story took place during the National's first season in the new ballpark. The team was not very good. The games were often boring. And as a result, we tended to drink. A lot. Like, a lot. This included a tradition we began our first year, back at the old RFK stadium -- the Seventh Inning Tequila Shot. It was exactly as it sounds. During the seventh inning, while people sang Take Me Out To The Ballgame, we'd make haste for the nearest full bar in the stadium and partake in shots of Tequila just before the alcohol cut off. Ross would do the ordering: "Four shots of your cheapest, warmest tequila for me and my three friends . . ." We'd invariably leave the stadium a mess. And, far too often, doubling down on our poor discretion, we'd continue the evening at some downtown bar before calling it a night. This occasionally led to me stumbling back to the office in near blackout conditions, and sleeping it off on my office floor . . . or some random partner's couch.
One evening, I awoke in the middle of the night. I was on a telecom partner's sofa. I hardly knew the guy. I was litigation; he was regulatory. Our worlds rarely collided. But, from what little I did know, he seemed like a dick. Anyway . . . I wake up . . . confused . . . pretty much blind. After a minute or so, I realize the problem -- I'm missing my glasses. They are not on the couch. Or on the floor. Shit. I stumble around the office for nearly an hour before I find them on top of a refrigerator in a pantry. Not a good evening.
Yet, the next morning is worse. After heading home to shower, I return to the office around 10:00am . . . hung over as hell . . . when I realize I'm missing my phone. I soon discover its location when I hear my old friend, Mr. Telecom partner, yelling at his secretary from around the corner: "WHO'SE GODDAMN PHONE IS THIS RINGING IN MY OFFICE!?!?!?!" Turns out, the phone had fallen from my pocket during the night and was lodged between the couch cushions. Oddly, Sir Telecom was somewhat aggrieved by the sweet, sweet sounds of my Magnum P.I. theme song ringtone blaring from between the cushions during his morning conference call . . . (I told you he was a dick . . .). Fortunately, sometime later, when he left his office, his assistant kindly retrieved the phone for me and I avoided additional embarrassment.
But, this is not the story I sat down to write. It's a mere tangent. And it pales in comparison to the tale at hand . . .
The night in issue went down like so many nights before . . . pregame beers . . . in-game beers . . . Seventh-Inning-Stretch warm tequila . . . and post game beverages. It was Friday night, so we probably went even harder than usual. At some point, likely around 11:30, Ross and I decide we want food. Both dressed in disheveled jeans and t-shirts, we opt for the fanciest restaurant on the block. We enter and bully our way to a table. A waiter runs over and promptly tells us the kitchen just closed. Undeterred, we still insist on food. Further raising the ire of the waiter, we are insisting on pancakes . . . A manager comes over. He too is less than pleased. Apparently, aside from Ross and I, no one else at this upscale joint is amused by our request for a late-night Rudy-Tooty-Fresh-N-Fruity . . . We are swiftly removed from the premises [***the day after, neither of us have any recollection of these events. The only reason we are aware of it today is that Ross was on the phone with his wife the entire time].
After our banishing, Ross jumps in a taxi. This would be standard. Except for the fact that the taxi was already occupied. Nevertheless, somehow, Ross being Ross, he convinces the fellow passenger to not only share the cab, but also to continue the quest for flap jacks (true story, I swear . . .). They both decide on a diner in Arlington, Virginia. They enter, sit down, and order. Sometime shortly thereafter, Ross heads to the bathroom. While there, he apparently sobers up enough to realize that he is currently at a diner . . . at 1:00 in the morning . . . sitting in a booth with a complete stranger . . . waiting on pancakes. Ross does the only reasonable thing. He makes a run for it . . .
Meanwhile, I arrive back at my office. I'm tanked and obviously not going anywhere for the evening. I settle down behind my computer and attempt to check up on my fantasy baseball team. Only, I'm too drunk to correctly type my password. My fingers refuse to follow my head's instructions. Eventually, I get it right. But, once the internet pops up, I find the screen is just a blur. Seeing double would be an understatement. It's then that I realize I'm going to be sick. Like, really sick.
I retreat to the men's room and unleash hell. A violent fury of vomit and diarrhea, leaving the entire area in disarray. The assault likely lasts an hour. I hardly recall any of it. And, while I try to clean up afterwards, my drunken efforts are amateur at best.
Eventually, I find my way back to my office. Minutes later, there is a knock on my door. It's the middle of the night. It's the female security guard from the lobby. Apparently, she must have been watching me wander the hallways of the office on video from her station. So, there I am . . . in my office, still drunk as she starts speaking to me . . . trying to comprehend . . . entirely unable to formulate words in response . . . and sitting completely naked behind my desk . . .
Saturday morning I awake around 11:00 . . . at home, in my own bed. It takes only seconds before shear panic sets in. OOOHHHH FUUUUCCCKKKK!!!!! I have no phone . . . no wallet. Both lost. But this is the least of my concerns. These items can be replaced. The same can not be said of the job I worked so hard to get . . . Suffice it to say, it's a long weekend . . .
I return to work Monday totally unsure of what's to transpire. For most of the day . . . nothing. Then, early afternoon, the managing partner of the DC office stops by. He enters, closes the door, and sits down in front of my desk. Unlike the visit Friday night, I am wearing pants . . . Silence for a good 30 seconds. Then he speaks: "I heard you had quite an evening Friday night. Actually, I SAW that you had quite an evening . . ."
More silence. Then, finally: "Don't make me have to come down here to see you under these circumstances ever again . . ."
And with that, he left. I had survived. I guess the firm valued my legal skills more than I had suspected. I couldn't imagine how I did not get fired.
Later that evening, I run into the Partner-in-Charge of Associates in the hallway. She is female. Late 40's. She smiles and comments, "so, I hope you've recovered from last weekend . . . " Apparently, while I received a second chance at the firm, my actions had not gone unpunished. No. Turns out, my punishment was not knowing who, or how many people at the firm, had had the privilege of seeing the video of me stumbling around the 8th floor late that Friday night, drunk . . . and naked . . .
And the punishment was effective. Not once since has Pete Peters indulged in warm tequila at the ballpark. Nor has he ever returned to the office after a night of drinking. Indeed, fortunately, Pete has never been that drunk since . . . Some mistakes we are doomed to repeat. Others . . . not so much . . .