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The Full Griswold

In the year and a half since I published last, a lot of things have happened in the world. Terrorist attacks, racism, anti-racism that still manages to be racism, a weird orange Muppet getting elected – so many important issues.

Important issues are boring.   Here’s a story about me getting drunk and falling out of my crawlspace instead.


I moved recently. I gave up the joys of apartment living for the burden of house living. Now, keep in mind no bank in their right mind would give me a mortgage – unless we’re talking about Bill and Tony’s Upstairs Hollywood Bank (a tribal company). It’s a rental house, in one of those pre-fab neighborhoods where everything looks the same. It’s also the first place I’ve ever rented that includes a garage. On top of that garage was a mysterious crawlspace.

Me and my son were fascinated/afraid of the crawlspace. We mentioned going up there to check things out more than a few times, the same way people talk about going back to school or getting their finances in order. Like “here’s some big lofty plan that I will talk about but never take action on.”

It likely would have stayed that way for years but for one night after I’d finished a six pack of courage. Instead of doing what I usually do when buzzed – going online and starting internet flame wars – I decided to be proactive. I was going to defeat that crawlspace.

So with a courageous squaring of my shoulders, I announced my intentions to my son. Then, I shit you not, I said the one line that no drunken redneck should ever say.

“Hold my beer. Watch this.”

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a crawlspace before, but here’s what you need to know. You want to avoid the beams entirely and put all your weight on the ceiling tiles. Just really get in there and bear down.

Ok, not really. That’s the opposite of what you want to do.

However, having never been in a crawlspace before, it did not occur to me that those tiles might be made of equal parts tissue paper and talcum powder. I have since learned my lesson and also heard “you know you’re supposed to stand on the beams, right?” about 7 billion times.

I made it about one square in before there was an ominous crackling. It sounded like the tiles were trying to tell me something. I crouched down a little closer and I distinctly heard it whisper “You know you’re supposed to walk on the beams, right?” before I promptly fell through and bounced off the hood of my mom’s Pontiac.

Yes, to add insult to injury, I was hit by a parked car.

As my left arm was rapidly swelling and I’d just dropped twelve feet onto concrete, my mother elected to call 911. I had three problems with that decision;

  1. I am consistently uninsured.  My health insurance plan is simple and free; death.
  2. Medicine is guesswork in a lab coat at best, witchcraft at worst.
  3. I was pretty sure I wasn’t dead

When the ambulance arrived, I was unable to answer the incredibly complicated triage questions such as “what’s your address” and “who’s the president? “I failed this portion of the Q & A because of this crippling disorder I have that makes me incapable of taking anything seriously. Below is a transcript:

Paramedic:  What’s your address?

Me: Shouldn’t you know that? You just drove here. You been drinking?

Paramedic: <visibly repressed sigh> Who’s the president?

Me: Uh, Obama?

Paramedic: No, it’s Trump.

Me: <snort> He ain’t my president.

Paramedic: <not even a chuckle, must be a conservative> How did this happen?

Me: I fell through my crawlspace.

Paramedic: You know you’re supposed to walk on the beams, right?

Anyway, they got me to the hospital where they provided excellent, immediate medical treatment. Just kidding, I laid on a stretcher in a neck brace I didn’t need, with an IV to nowhere in my hand. No joke, it wasn’t attached to anything. They just shoved an IV starter needle in my hand for – reasons. I was visited promptly by one medical person though.

The hospital billing administrator who wanted to know how I’d be paying. He was not satisfied by my answer. Specifically, “I’ll be paying two years from now, after negotiating a significant discount through the collection agency that buys my account.”

So that’s my story about what I did to my crawlspace. Unless you’re my landlord. If you are, it was like that when I moved in.








2 thoughts on “The Full Griswold

  1. Ah, I knew there were others out there like me. Except I tend do these sorts of things sober, giving me absolutely no excuse. I haven’t even been able to begin to tell my kids the things I used to do drunk.

    • I tend to let my kid watch them. It’s my way of combining reverse psychology with lead by example. I lead by saying “this could happen to you.” As my son his hit his teens and has no desire to drink or use drugs, I think I’m nailing it 😊

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