November 5th, 2010 - 309/365
It has been 1 whole year since I stepped off the plane from LA after visiting my cousin Audrey and completing the inaugural 40/40 challenge.
I had arrived in LA on a muggy Saturday afternoon only to find that there was noone to pick me up. I had no phone, and there are no public phones to speak of at the LA International terminal.
So after I borrow a kind ladies cell phone, I make a few desperate phone calls to the receiving parties. No answer. I began to slump down and face a cold fact that I had flown all this way, only to find out that I had no way of getting out of the airport.
I thank the lady for her kindness and begin to walk away when her cell phone rings and it is my cousin Audrey, apparently they arrived at the airport and because they were used to picking up domestic passengers thought that because I wasn't at the gates half an hour after landing that I had somehow missed my flight or even worse, chosen not to come!
So I get in a cab and head to the address that had been given to me. After a rather abusive cab driver who was shocked to find out that because I had my iPhone that has inbuilt GPS, but because I had not turned on international roaming was reduced to nothing more than an expensive music player, the cabbie yelled at me telling me that I was 'holding out on him" and that if he was in Australia his phone would work with out any troubles. I tried telling him it was a network thing, but this guy wanted nothing to do with my "kangaroo excuses".
He even went on to say that because my phone didn't work in the states that it was a piece of shit and wondered what other backward technology we were putting up with "down south".
$85 dollars later, we arrive at the street I had been given and he said… "That's it… I can't take you any further".
I walk with my camera bag, and my suitcase up and down this long road looking for any signs of house numbering. In the dark, this was not easy and was beginning to become exceptionally frustrating. 40 minutes pass and I come to the correct address. On the intercom there is a little note saying "Hi Ryan, our intercom is not connected, just yell to the first floor and Audrey will come let you in".
I yelled and I yelled.
Another 40 minutes pass and I am literally hoarse from all the yelling and I am a little over the passing joggers condemning stares.
I yell one last time, at this point I was going to hail a cab and go beck to the airport and jump the next flight back.
I then see another friend, Baxter, opening the door and inviting me in… he says "We heard some noise outside but Audrey and I were in the back room painting with the radio on… we didn't think anything of it".
I get to their apartment, throw my bags down and demand to know where the nearest liquor store is. I needed a beer, stat.
I pick up 3 40 ounce bottles of beer and take them back to the apartment.
I sit on the porch and demand to be left in silence as I drink the 3 very large, very tasteless, very watery american beer.
This is where this story starts.
The next day Audrey, Baxter and myself were having breakfast and Audrey asks me… "How many 40's do you think you could drink while you are here?".
My immediate answer was "100".
We both decide that over the period of 10 days that 100 40 ounce bottles was asking a little to much. So we set the challenge down to 40 40 ounces in 10 days.
I was already 3 in from the night before so I thought… surely 37 more would be easy… that was like 5 a day.
So I accept the challenge and Audrey promises me that if I finish she will buy me a t-shirt. The one that I am wearing in this shot.
Can I say, that if I wasn't a stubborn mule, I would of turned it down, but the thing is… as soon as I am faced with a challenge of any difficulty it is like a ringing in my ear, It niggles away at me until it is complete.
It's like this 365 project, there are times that I wish I could of just given up and walked away, but there was no way that I could of done that and still looked at myself in the mirror.
So this 40/40 challenge went on and I remember waking up in the middle of the night in cold beer sweats but knowing that if I went to the fridge and drank another 40 that would make it one less in the morning. Considering I had to do a minimum of 5 per day in order to stay on target.
The shit load of debauchery that occurred in those 10 days led me to defiling Justin Timberlakes sushi bar, urinate on a cop car, have Dave Navarro follow me on twitter after I handed him a condom at 3 am, shout my cousin and her friends to a Halloween night at Disney land and basically put me on the preferred customer list at the "Liquor Stop" on Franklin Ave… it also led me ride a white stuffed tiger for 3 blocks while listening to 2 Pacs "Californian Love", conduct an awesome photo shoot in Saltam City and basically yell my whole life story at midnight from the peak of Laurel Cannon.
Many people have asked, "You drank 40/ 40's or 56 Litres of beer over 10 days… how did you function? and more importantly how did you even enjoy your trip?"
I just say, "It was part of the trip and really I just did what ever I wanted in the land of people who do just that".
Would I have done it all differently if I had the chance?
Because if I had of.. I never would be the only person on this planet with a "I survived the 40/40 challenge!" tshirt!
I guess I am stupid like that.