I Was an 11 Year Old Reprobate


An Embarrassingly True Story

It was my first New Year’s Eve party. Sort of. It would be at least two more years before I was old enough to attend a Real Party. The moment we stepped into Aunt Fran’s suburban shoebox I was exiled to the Kid Ghetto: “Go in the other room and play with your cousins, honey. Have fun!”

Yeah, right.

All of the cousins who were my age were MIA, and the older cousins were at Real Parties doing Inappropriate Things. So it came down to me, two 8 year old girls who were drinking imaginary tea from tiny pink cups, and four kids under 5, not one of which was interested in discussing anything remotely intellectually stimulating. On the other hand, “the other room” was full of challenging games: stacking rings, six-piece puzzles, a smiley-faced telephone. Oh, yeah, and a spring-mounted rocking horse.


In short, “play with your cousins” meant babysit. But at least there was punch. The punch in the bowl on the low table was syrupy and disgusting. The stuff in the bowl on the tall table looked better. But the adults were busy talking, so I helped myself. It was citrusy and fizzy and not half-bad. I drifted back into The Other Room and ended up reading picture books to a hqdefaultcouple of tow-haired toddlers between trips to refill my cup. Strangely, the more I drank the thirstier I got.

Then I climbed onto the rocking horse. It was absurdly small. Which made me laugh. In fact, everything made me laugh. The more I rode, the funnier everything got. I kept laughing, refilling my cup, and riding the rocking horse, laughing, refilling my cup, and riding the rocking horse…

At some point the room began to spin.

And then I threw up.

My parents were disappointed at having to leave so early. But when your kid is sick… “Do you think he has the flu?” Five minutes from Aunt Fran’s, we stopped at a gas station bathroom so I could throw-up again.

Eight gas station bathrooms later we finally made it home. Dad plopped me down onto my bed while Mom called the doctor. I was giggling between dry heaves. “Wait,” Dad said, “what punch bowl did you drink from?”

“The fizzy one.”

“Cancel the doctor!”

The next morning I felt like I’d swallowed the Gobi Desert. With a chaser of death.

new-years-eve-party-drunk-hats-new-yorkMoral? Have a great time on New Year’s Eve. But put caution tape around the punch bowl.

And not just for the kids.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir, Popular Culture & Entertainment and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to I Was an 11 Year Old Reprobate

  1. This was hilarious!!! Most interesting way to enter new year for a 11 year old definitely.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sashiengland says:

    I enjoyed this story so much. I was in my 40’s before I gave wine a taste at a Christmas workparty. My friend advised me to take the white wine for a starter instead of the red or the beer. At first sip, oh, my goodness! It tasted like I imagined turpentine would taste. This was another upteenth time I felt out of step with mankind. I couldn’t imagine people liking the stuff and even using it to celebrate with. I told my friend, “I guess it kind’a grows on you like when I first tried coffee.” She nodded yes. I suspect she was working hard to hold back laughter. It didn’t grow on me. Neither did red wine. Liqueors I do like but all in all, as far as alcohol, I can take it or leave it. Mostly the latter.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Mitch that was very entertaining!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Candice says:

    I’m glad I don’t need alcohol to enjoy socializing. When I see how silly some people act when over-indulging, I never regret my choice to abstain.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great story. This made me laugh and feel less like a terrible parent…that happened at a birthday party for a friend. The kids ran out of punch, so they naturally began drinking ours. That explained the sudden behavior change…yep…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. anitashope says:

    That brings back funny memories of my 1st New years party but I was at least in high school. But still funny.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. …thank you for the laughs Mitch…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I just wanted to thank you for the belly laughs, as I sit here trying to catch my breath…
    I’m glad that in spite of all that transpired, you were able to remember (or fill in?) enough details to tel a great story.
    Happy New Year – and take it easy! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Susan Taylor Brand says:

    Great story, Mitch. I wonder what your parents thought when they finally found out. All’s well that ends well, I suppose? Ah, childhood. It’s an experiment that can only be performed once.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jennie says:

    Hilarious, Mitch! Happy New Year to you. 🎊

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My niece drank from the wrong punch bowl one Christmas Eve when she was just old enough to dish out the punch for herself. The next year, nobody spiked the punch.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Too funny, Mitch. My cousin got into homemade gooseberry wine, which was very sweet and he thought it was juice, when he was a wee lad. My aunt heard him singing and found him staggering down the hallway.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. gregoryjoel says:

    I love it! I was about the same age when I discovered the champagne fountain at a wedding! I always said I was a late-bloomer top the alcohol thing, but your story brought up fond memories. Thank you and Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. gpavants says:

    Hi Mitch,

    Ah, lessons learned hopefully. Enjoy your wiser New Year. Hope parents are a little more aware.


    Liked by 1 person

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