4.4 Stranger danger – and the time I got into a taxi with a cowboy and a chicken.

“But I just paid $20 to get in here – I don’t want to leave yet!” I was waving my glass of tequila-glad-I-don’t-drink-those-anymore-sunrise as I whinged at my friend Michelle. Ok, so maybe we really had been there two hours already but the night was just beginning, my tequila sunrise was just setting and guys were falling for drunk girls like shooting stars. Fine, that’s an odd exaggeration. But you know when everyone wants to go home and you don’t? That’s called “being Lorenza”.

“Ok,” Michelle finally agreed, and then waved towards the smoking area. “But I’m going to get one of my guy friends out there to keep an eye on you.”

I spoke to my smoking-man chaperone, danced like I really didn’t know anyone there – that being the truth – and told loads of people I was a dolphin trainer or lawyer because really when you’re out, wearing black and drunk you’re never going to see these people again.

A few hours later I walked out and stared at Golden Arches opposite and thought mRmm-nom-yes. Upon my exit I realised my taxi dilemma, with all the other drunk cheeseburgers out there, this was going to be harder than I thought.

Two guys were standing near me – dress-up party, clearly. One looked like something of a cowboy with tassels and pointy leather shoes and the other I don’t know whether he was a chicken or a cow. He certainly wasn’t vegetarian looking as he pointed at my shoes and asked “Can I try those on?” “Of course you can!” I responded as he tottered back and forth in them whilst ToyStory Woody and I chatted and decided we were all going in the same direction so why not share a cab.

Now 32-year-old me who have scolded 27-year-old me for getting in a cab with complete-costumed-strangers. But if you’ve lived in inner city Melbourne you know you have to lie and tell cab drivers you’re heading to the airport or Maroondarough (I made that place up) if you want a cab any time past nothing good-happens-after- 2-o’clock. And well I realllllly didn’t want to walk home alone, because that’s unsafe and these guys seemed like way more fun.

Four cheeseburgers and five minutes of drunk bonding later, I’d decided to keep partying on at theirs. Yup. WHAT? Never mind sharing a cab. Look, there was some Diet Coke deliberation and a cab driver asking me silly things like “You’re not worried they’re gong to chop you up into little pieces? CHOP! CHOP!” I guess I’ve trusted my drunken intuition for a Long-Island-iced-tea time by now and haven’t ended up a bloody mary just yet.

The house was HUGE. There were more people to play with (housemates not fellow abductees) and they even made up a sofa bed for me in the lounge. We drank more vodka, cooked McCains chips in the oven (oh the delicate details I remember) and played Pictionary or poker or was it PacMan? Till dawn.

I arrived home the next afternoon roughly 15 hours since I’d last seen Michelle. Calling … “Sorry! My phone died and I just got home.”
“Right” she said and muffled her annoyance “Well, make sure you call your Dad.”

Me: “WHY?” Suddenly very worried she’d called my parents in distress.
“Because it’s Fathers Day!” she said, and hung up.

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