Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Public Service Announcement

I have debated posting about this but I really think that the situation warrants it. So, here goes...

One of the local towns has a Girls Night Out every Thursday during the summer, usually starting early June. I found out about this a couple years ago and have made it a point of getting together with friends at least once/summer. The first GNO happened to coincide with the "retirement" from working full time of one friend so we were also celebrating her "liberation". AND this was also the first time that all 4 of us had gone there together. It was a beautiful night. OH, and they were also handing out free tiaras which we made a point of acquiring.

So, our first stop (after tiaras) was for a Cosmo, which we each had. While waiting for a table, we were told that there was free wine tasting in the cellar if we were interested. We got our table outside and ordered appetizers. Our one (granted it was strong) cosmo gone, we each ordered a beer with the tenderloin sliders, crab cakes, lamb chops and french fries. We ate leisurely and decided to do a quick stop in the cellar and give the wine a try. We went down and were a little surprised that there was NO ONE (save the bartender) there, yet the table with the wine was out in the open. After a short (maybe a minute) someone asked us what we wanted to taste: I chose the Chardonnay, the other three, Merlot. Now...this was NOT a glass of wine but maybe 1/2 in at the bottom of a full sized wine glass. The wine was declared delicious and we left to walk the maybe 1/2 mile to our last destination: the place with the Pear Martinis. We sat on the deck (this was probably close to 9-10pm) and it was starting to be a bit cooler with the sun having set but I was the only one with a jacket. Before the martinis were gone, one of the girls was GONE. I quickly got her to the restroom, then sat her down at the door saying I was going back for the other 2. They arrived as I was headed back to the table, but I still had to go pay the bill. I told them to wait there. By time I got back to the door, it was obvious, all 3 were in the same state; incapable of walking the 1/2 mile back to the car, so I left on my own to bring the car to them.

I made it back, got everyone loaded into the car and had to pull into a spot before even leaving the parking lot as someone was sick. Violently. I had to make 2 more stops before I got everyone home. Everyone delivered safe and sound, I headed home and to bed, even though it was till relatively early. My husband asked how it was and I told him, surprising him that not one or two but all 3 had become ill.

After thinking on this the next day, I had to think that the wine they had was tainted. I mean...3 separate women, having had the SAME thing all folded within 15 minutes of each other and were violently ill through the next day. On what was really 3 drinks over 5 hours. And a sip of wine.

I was going to let this go until last Saturday, while out with the same friends, one pulled up an article from a news report that had been on Friday night, about a man who had gone to a local bar (not where we were) for 2 drinks and had ended up VIOLENTLY ill. He believes he was drugged and the report asked that people who had a similar experience call the police.

So, Sunday morning, I called the establishment that had the wine tasting and explained why I was calling (NOT to cause trouble) and suggesting that IF they had future wine tastings, they should make sure the wine is NEVER compromised. Yesterday, I called the police in the town and walked through our evening with a police officer. Since I was the only one of the 4 of us who was coherent through the night and could review the timeline and could be as accurate as possible about what we had, where were were, had we been in the sun...all the details which might have shed some light on the situation. While it isn't anything we can prove, I honestly think that someone saw GNO as an opportunity.

My purpose in writing about this is to suggest due vigilance to anyone who will listen. These aren't the days when I used to go out with my girlfriends without a care in the world. Don't ever leave your drink alone or with someone you aren't positive you can trust. I seriously doubt we were the would be target, rather, we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time (for us). So, I'm gonna channel a little "Hill Street Blues" and say..."Let's be careful out there".

This ends your Public Service Announcement.

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