The CDC defines binge drinking as a man consuming more than five drinks, and a woman four, in a span of two hours. Well, this past Saturday at Fort Lauderdale Bus Loop's third event of the year, some attendees boasted eight drinks in that time. But don't worry, the proceeds went to charity. This is one hangover everyone can feel good about.
It began early on Saturday night with well-mannered 30-something professionals at Blue Martini, but as the trolley continued its wayward path, the crowd got younger, drunker, and more libidinous.
With Bud Lights and vodka cranberries the drink of choice, the bus loop was not so much about trying signature concoctions as it was a circus, where bartenders and trolley drivers were left serving entitled drunks who forgot to tip. Stumbling across A1A, Las Olas, and Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard in search of the next
booze trolley stop, the drunk led the even more drunk for a night of bibulous debauchery.
Fort Lauderdale's bus loop began in August 2007 and most riders on Saturday had already attended one before. However, it was this reporter's first. Seeing the daunting list of nine venues and the included drink on arrival, I parked opposite the commotion at the mall --there was an estimated 1,800 attending-- at a parking meter and pre-gamed with espresso shots at Starbucks. I was inducted into the charitable bar crawl with a fluorescent orange wristband and drink card at the entrance of the Galleria Mall.
8:05 p.m.: Blue Martini
Approximately 17 footsteps from the check-in table, Blue Martini was almost at capacity as a live band performed Top 40 favorites behind the neon-lit bar. No rowdy drunks yet, the crowd preferred to sing along with Shakira's Hips Don't Lie instead of dancing --it was after all only the first spot and no one wanted to risk spilling drinks on their outfits this early in the night. Service was quick as a bartender whipped up my vodka tonic without looking. Another drink card for after 11 p.m. was handed out on exit to lure bus loop riders back at the night's end.