Yes, last week's Worst Winter Story was pretty gross. This installment shifts the tone to a little scary. Find out what happens when a pair of couples get wasted on New Year's Eve only to have someone disappear on the taxi ride home.
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At one point in my life, I was making so many bad decisions that it shouldn't be a surprise that the night ended badly. However, the trajectory had nothing to do with me. I've changed the names to protect the guilty. I was living with my boyfriend, Chet, in a cute four-plex in Uptown. We weren't really getting along, so we felt it necessary to hang out with other couples. My bestie Dean had a new boyfriend, Paco. We all loved him. Paco and Chet were from the same area in Armpit, Wisconsin. I kept imagining a world where Chet would be as motivated in arts, crafts, and employment as Paco, but that never happened. It was New Year's Eve and my friend Gwen knew a DJ or a promoter or something people in their twenties think is important. The DJ list looked cool, but what sold Chet was the unlimited drinks and free buffet included in the $70 ticket. I handed over the cash and convinced Dean to buy tickets promising to pick up the cab fare for the night.Chet couldn't contain his excitement. Free drinks all night! This called for dressing up. We were still under condition "orange" which meant that if we didn't shop, the terrorists would win. So, we bought a bunch of clothes. In the first of my poor decisions that night, I agreed to wear a "cute" coat instead of a warm coat that would protect me from temperatures well below zero. The four of us made it downtown, walked in the bar, and checked our coats. They weren't kidding about the free drinks, but they had totally talked up the free buffet. The free food consisted of a couple of deli trays and cheese sticks. There was nothing to soak up what was going to be a hell of a lot of booze.We drank, and drank, and drank, and fought, and drank, and made up, and drank, and fought some more, and then drank and made up. Being sober enough to know that if we fought again it would end in jail time, I called the night. The four of us jumped into a cab, and sped toward Uptown. Paco, a real slim fellow, was drunk. Real drunk. The kind of drunk that would later be known as "white girl wasted." We came to a red light at Fourth and Portland. Paco opened the door and jumped out. Dean said he had to puke. We waited. The light turned green, then back to red. No Paco. Chet jumped out of the car and screamed for him. No response. "We have to find Paco!" Chet screamed at us through the window."Wait for us, we'll be right back," I said to the cab driver as we all got out of cab. I closed my door and the cab took off. If you don't know what Fourth and Portland looks like at 1:30 a.m. on New Year's Eve, it is a barren wasteland of parking lots next to the Star Tribune building. We couldn't see Paco anywhere."This is one of those nights where people pass out and die if their friends don't find them," said Chet, holding back tears. Three 'mos in windbreakers on New Year's Eve had lost their friend in a parking lot in -30 windchill. Lucky for us, the Star Tribune building had an open, heated entryway. We took turns warming there while one of us would scout a parking lot, looking over each snow mound for a slim built Midwesterner in fabulous shoes. Actually, we were all wearing fabulous shoes. But whatever makes shoes fabulous also makes them impossible on ice. On Dean's second scouting trip, he fell face first into fourth street, knocking out his two front teeth. After this happened, he turned around and waved, signaling that he was fine. Chet and I had a quick debate on whether or not we should tell him his teeth were gone. He came back, and we told him. Dean said as long as Paco paid for them to be replaced he'd be fine. (To this day, I have never seen Dean that wasted and we've been to Vegas twice.)This went on for about an hour before I suggested we call the police and get a cab before we died. At this point, the scout got to wear the other two's coats in addition to his own. We were fading fast. Looking down from heaven, God saw fit to bless us with a cab the very minute we decided to give up the search. In the warmth of the cab, I called 911 and reported our lost friend. Chet cried a lot on the way home. I started to plan my aside for the 48 Hours/20/20 recreation.We dropped Dean off at his apartment, and then drove the two blocks to our fourplex. Dean called the minute we walked in the door to report that Paco was there waiting for Dean, and was mad that we had been gone for so long. It turned out he had jumped out of the cab, threw up, walked another block and found himself inside of HCMC. Paco, who makes friends easily, talked a cop into driving him to Dean's apartment. He arrived at the same time that the super was getting home, and talked him into letting him into Dean's apartment. Once there, he made himself a party pizza, another cocktail, and alphabetized Dean's CD collection. After hearing this, Chet flew into a rage. Not because Paco was an asshole who almost killed all of us, but because we didn't have any party pizza.