It was in the late 60’s.
I was playing piano 6 nights a week at the Dorado Beach Hotel and had a nice house 5 minutes from the hotel and 3 small children plus an older son who doubled as a resident baby sitter.
The only real friend we had in the neighborhood was Joe. He was a retired army engineer colonel who was supervising some construction at the hotel. Joe would usually drop by on Sunday, my day off with a bottle of scotch and a bunch of choice steaks and we would have a barbecue in the backyard. I remember his favorite saying was “never poke another man’s fire” which was pretty cool.
Joe’s wife had a job stateside but was down for Easter weekend.
Puerto Rico in the 60’s was very Catholic oriented. On Good Friday, the hotels all closed the bars and casinos and gave the musicians the night off with pay. We used to joke about it that some Dude had to hang on a cross for this to happen.
So my wife and I went over to Joe’s pad just down the street. There wasn’t much to do on Good Friday in PR. Everything was closed and the only movies on the tube were the well worn “Religious Movies” we‘d seen many times before and with dub in Spanish besides. So we started out playing cards but soon settled out into gossip & booze.
Around midnight the bottle of Scotch was empty and the wives were passed out and snoring away.
Joe and I had a larger capacity and we got in the car and drove around looking for a bar that was open without any luck. We were driving along this dark narrow country road when a light appeared in the distance. It was a little colmado that was just about to close.
Up on the top shelf was a lonely dusty bottle of Johnny Walker Black. We paid a premium price for it and got in the car and started back having a few swigs and babbling like brooks.
Suddenly something black appeared in the road ahead moving very slowly.
It was a procession with a statue of Jesus on the cross and everyone dressed in black. There was no way to get around it so we just crawled along behind for hours getting drunker & drunker.
We finally arrived home about 3 AM and I fell into a deep stupor.
About 7:30 I got up to pee and noticed a couple of inches of water on the floor. The toilet was stopped up and stuck.
The kids were up and around. Usually the maid arrived at 7 to dress them and give them breakfast and keep them out of trouble, but of course it was Sabado Gloria and she had the day off.
I woke my wife and we cleaned up the mess and I drove into Dorado and fortunately located a plumber who owed me a favor. He brought a snake (pipe unstopper) and we cleaned out the sewage line.
Somebody had dropped half a grapefruit in the bowl and then flushed “just to see what would happen”. No confession was obtained.
I didn’t mention that I had the worlds worst hangover and could still see that sad procession in the corner of my blurry vision.
Well somehow I made it to work Saturday night but the Sabado wasn’t very Gloria.
Now comes the strange part. I had arthritis and red spots in both hands and both feet and a pain in my side where the appendix used to be. I could just barely play piano. The bass player and drummer carried me through the night
It settled out in 3 days. I had never had arthritis before or since.
There maybe some kind of a lesson here.