Meltdown In The Tampa La Quinta

Posted on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 by Ron Whaley

Meltdown In The Tampa La Quinta
By Ron Whaley

Life is a constant struggle. One day things seem to be looking up and you appreciate that you're lucky enough to be alive. The next day I'm losing my $h!t and wondering, "What happened?"

I skated for a couple of hours on Thursday, schmoozed with the pros, and had fun. Everyone was like, "Dude, you got to enter!" I was like, "Yeah, see you there." I went back to the lodging to get some chow. I had a room to myself and that may have been my downfall.

The night before qualifying runs I didn't drink, tried not to whack it, and went to bed early. I awoke at 8:15 the next morning, had some Cheerios, ibuprofen, and a Red Bull. I skated down to practice and checked in with Ryan Clements, a hell of a nice guy. He asked me if I was going to enter. I thought about it for like four seconds and said, “No.” He gave me a wristband and said not to skate the street course while people were trying to practice. I went to watch and the course was empty except for a bunch of team managers. I watched people skate for about three minutes, checked out a hottie, then skated back to the hotel.

I got back to the hotel at 9:20am. I had brought my flask from home, so I cracked that baby and concocted some Tanqueray and Red Bulls. It was 6:20am at home. Halfway through the first drink, a form of euphoria washed over me and I giggled excitedly. Two Red Bulls and a flask of Tanq by 10:15am? I was flying high and blind, ready to crash and burn.

There was a knock at my door. Amongst a few people, I saw my homie Ronnie Goodnow – Evos and Origin team manager, and opened the door. Folks filed in and I decided not to open the door anymore. They said they were off to the Contest. I said I'd been there already and I'd meet them down there. They looked at me a little weird and hesitated before they left. I think they smelled the gin on me.

By 11:14am I was blown out. I decided I was too faded to go to the Contest. I didn't want to be the guy who shows up faded in the morning. I know that guy, and people look at you differently when you are that guy. I was gacked-out from multiple Bulls and Tanq on top of a light breakfast, so I mixed a Red Bull and Thera-Flu and smoked some weed.

I kept the lights off and the 'Do Not Disturb' sign on my door. Whenever I heard voices or someone skating down the hall, I'd turn the TV down and stay still. I began to contemplate my madness. Sac got beat by the Suns by like 30 points the night before and I had been writing myself notes to explain to my girlfriend about why she shouldn't go out with me anymore. A meltdown was inevitable.

I never made it to the Contest that day. In fact, I barely left the room at all for the rest of the weekend. I ordered all my meals delivery and had stocked my fridge. I find cabin fever to be not only frustrating but also addictive, so after that I only left twice to checkout the Finals and all the little girls creeping around. The Contest was so packed that I could tell anyone who asked that I was there, in the crowd, when I was really back in the hotel masturbating to the new Bewitched.

La Quinta TV/movie log four days:
  • Alan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold
  • Cujo
  • Ace Ventura
  • Boys in the Hood
  • Contact
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Saving Silverman
  • Soldier
  • Maximum Overdrive
  • Real Genius
  • Curdled
  • Ghosts of Mars
  • Making of Ghosts of Mars (twice)
  • Thriller (with Farrah Fawcett and Jeff Bridges)
  • Movie with Eric Stoltz as an air traffic controller
  • Movie with “chick-munk lesbian” from Chasing Amy and James Caan
  • Movie where Sandra Bullock loses her identity
  • Millennium
  • HBO sex show that was like America's Funniest Home Videos with naked people
  • Sacramento loses to Dallas (damned Nash…that guy's good)
  • Blacks in Basketball
  • Making of the Pyramids
  • Mysteries of the Pyramids
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the movie)

I forgot to write the rest down or was afraid to turn on the light.

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