Despite the overall comical tone of this post, I do take this series of events very serious. This experience has been an absolute wakeup call for me – I do value my life and people’s perception of me, however, I feel this story needs to be told – just do yourself a favor and NOT do as I did.
It all started out great. I wanted to have a night out with my roommate Megan and a friend so I put on my red dress and headed over to XL Gallery/Stardust Lounge off Lake Eola – low key and simple. It was early enough so we thought we would start off with a shot of Cafe Patrón, followed by a PBR. We went outside to chat with some regulars and I heard music coming from the underground lounge (Stardust) I was pretty positive I knew who the DJ was – so I went downstairs to say hello. I was correct, It was in fact DJwhat. I hung out with him behind the DJ table, and he was kind enough to put my drinks on his tab. I had two dirty gin martinis, but in between those two martinis, my friend John handed me a SoCo and Lime shot…. first mistake. 2nd mistake was finishing that second martini, and my third mistake was convincing my roommate that I was ok to stay behind – when she and John came to tell me they were leaving. Apparently I’m a very convincing drunk, and must have seemed sober enough at that point.
Eight or nine hours later I woke up in a strange place (fully clothed and unharmed – if anything had been otherwise you would not be reading this) with a strange person, who I had no recollection of meeting. I flipped out – asked him where the hell I was, who he was, and where was my purse. He said we were in Kissimmee, he met me at Metro Espresso, I ate his pizza, that he was with friends after attending the white party at Tier, and that he and his friends got a cab and tried to take me to my apartment, but I zonked out in the cab and that I wasn’t giving him the right address – so we rode around in the cab aimlessly – 40 min and $50 later he gave up, had the cabby take us to his car and he took me home with him because I was out like a light. Oh – that and I didn’t have a purse with me. [That part of the story is pretty bad - it makes me sick to my stomach - and I really am lucky he was a normal and not a serial killer - bullet dodged... barely.] I immediately demanded he take me back downtown – I needed to find my purse and most importantly get away from the situation I was currently in. He didn’t hesitate at all and within 2 minutes we were in the car and he was taking me back. That 20 min commute felt like an eternity and of course it turned into 20 questions as I tried to piece together the evening. While he was trying to explain the Metro Pizza encounter I felt something itchy on my rib cage, it was two popcorn kernels – I thought when did I eat popcorn, what the hell? It seemed weird but insignificant – because I just wanted to get the hell out of his car.
Getting back to the apartment was the least of my worries – I needed that which contained my life – my purse. As soon as I got in the apartment I used Megan’s phone to call my phone – no answer but it was ringing, which was a very good sign. I changed clothes, grabbed sunglasses and walked to Metro Espresso. It was just after 11:00am and they had just opened. I asked the staff if they had my purse and even looked around the tables to see if it was on the floor. It wasn’t. I asked if I could use their phone and I called my cell. A man answered, “Hello? Is this Britt? I’ve been trying to figure out how to get your purse to you.” HALLELUJAH!!!!! It was Greg, the cab driver – apparently I did have my purse, but it got left behind in the cab. I asked him how soon he could get it to me – and he said probably by 12:30 because he was doing pickups on Disney property. I said fine, no problem, that I would be waiting at Metro Espresso and that I would pay him the fare cost from Disney to downtown. So I sat patiently inside, ate some lunch, and made conversation with the friendly staff and Carson my server. Of course I told Carson about my shenanigans and how lucky I was that I was alive and my purse and it’s contents were on the way – I also told him I should blog about it. He asked the title of my blog and I told him “Daley Downtown – cause my last name is Daley” and he said, “Wait – your Britt Daley the singer? I saw you perform at Firestone Live’s Indie Fall. You kept losing power or something. My friends and I always talk about that.” LOLZ yep that’s me, my live shows are always full of fun technical difficulty surprises.
It was weird feeling stuck in that little cafe for so long – but I didn’t want to walk back to the apartment so I people watched mostly and the variety of people who came in and walked by were pretty interesting to say the least. I watched two older men with live parrots on their shoulders as they ate outside, the reactions they evoked from people passing by were pretty funny. We are such easily amused creatures. I nearly missed it, but thanks to Carson I witnessed a man walk by with a baby alligator/crocodile in his arms – wtf? I also caught my friend Dustin walking by and ran out to give him a massive HUG – it was good to see a familiar face. I told him the abridged version of what happened to me and followed it with, “I think I should seriously give up drinking.” His response was, “Shhhh – stop talking crazy talk.” :\
It was now 1:00pm and there was no sign of Greg ‘The Cabby’ – I called him again, and this time he had the nerve to haggle me for more money in order for him to get out to me faster. I was getting pissed – I was like “Fine, $65 – but not a penny more – and get here NOW”! At 2:15 my highly anticipated Taxi finally arrived. I got my purse – hit the Publix ATM - while he drove around the block with my phone (I thought he seemed a little dumb – but not dumb enough to give me all of my belongings) and I ran to the curb with cash in hand. I paid him, thanked him, and headed back to Metro – to pay for my lunch.
I began the walk back to the apartment and bumped into my friend the Artist/Writer Thomas Thorspecken. I hadn’t seen Thor in about 6 months. I told him the story and he encouraged me to blog it – and said he envied my “bender” experience and was glad I lived to tell it. As I approached Washington my phone rang. It was Megan and she had some information.
At or around 3:00am she received a call from James, the security guard at Stardust. He was asking her how she knew me because apparently I was a drunken nut job. She told him I was her roommate and he was like, “Oh she’s cool.” Not sure if he was trying to be nice at that point because the story she was about to tell me – makes me the exact opposite of “cool”. Apparently they have popcorn at Stardust where I was hanging out after hours since I was a friend of the DJ, and I got a little over zealous about eating the popcorn… ok A LOT over zealous. This is where the story becomes unclear (remember I was blacked out – so I have no memories of anything that happened between the hours of 2:00am and 9:00am) but according to James, I was told to stop taking popcorn and I wasn’t about to stop.
Oh it gets worse. I was so ‘enchanted’ with the popcorn that I grabbed a handful of it and stuffed it down the front of my dress, dodged the owner and the security guard, ran through the back, jumping over all kinds of objects on the way, and hid in the storage closet with the lights off. James found me in the storage closet in the fetal position eating the popcorn I had shoved down my dress while laughing hysterically.
OMG. FML. Really? Really?!??! I did that? $*%! &***%$@*^^$!!!!! As Megan told me this I couldn’t help but laugh – to the point of tears. I got to the apartment and she told me some of her own embarrassing stories that involved being at Stardust after hours, including the time one of the bartenders said, “Megan Hinkle GO HOME” over the intercom. I thought maybe DJwhat could fill in some of the missing pieces for me so I pulled up is Facebook profile and to my horror was the following: ”The popcorn bandit strikes again…. lol she ran from Lambert”. On another note, I am officially retiring that red dress.