There’s A Stranger In The Ditch, There’s Blood In The Bed. What Happened Last Friday Night?

Living Journalism

There’s A Stranger In The Ditch, There’s Blood In The Bed. What Happened Last Friday Night?

This story is the portrait of the young generation struggling with alcohol. These stories are real, told by real people. All names are changed, but they are known to the authors.


”A few guys I have never seen in my life brought Tatra tea and urged me to take a shot of it. I didn´t want to, but they persisted. I eventually gave in and said I'd just take a small sip and then stop. I did not stop.”

”We hopped on a bus and when we arrived at the final stop, someone pulled out a bottle of strong rum. We did a few rounds of shots."

”I spotted a half-full bottle of cheap rum. I told myself that I am not a pussy and decided to chug it in one go. It only took me a few seconds."

”I fell into a pit and felt a burning sensation all over my body."

These are the last things they remember from that night.

A study by the OECD in 2015 found that the Czech Republic had one of the worst records in Europe for underage drinking, with just over 40% of 15-year-olds admitting they drink alcohol regularly. The percentage who said they had tried alcohol at least once rose from 70% in 2005 to 94% in 2015, the report found.

It is set to be a massive party, a real rager. Two girls rented a community center for the night and invited everyone they know, instructing everyone to spread the word. The attendance is expected to be upwards of a hundred, but nobody can be certain.

The only rule is 'BYOB' - bring your own booze.


There is no slow start to the party, with some guests even getting drunk on the way there. But the party itself… New friendships are being forged here. New alcohol is being tasted here. New experiences are being made. Not all of them are something to be glad to remember.

John finds himself alone at the party. Although he recognizes many faces, his true friends are unable to attend. For the first few hours, he simply soaks up the ambience and sips his wine.

However, the atmosphere is anything but calm. The whole place is batshit crazy. The entire place is a wild frenzy of dancing, drinking, shouting, and even moshing to pop songs blaring from the speakers. Beer pong is being played at a volume that drowns out the music. At one point, a guy even jumps from the balcony to the ground floor without anyone batting an eye.

The party is too wild for John's taste. Despite planning to stay the night, he considers leaving as he sips his wine. Jimmy approaches him, looking for a beer pong partner. John is hesitant but decides to give it a try. As they make their way to the table, they pass Connor, who is clearly drunk and cannot hide it. His classmates advise him to sleep it off, but he briefly attempts to do so before drinking an unguarded half-full bottle of Božkov in the kitchen.

John and Jimmy lose the beer pong game, and it's difficult to call it "beer" pong considering the unidentified cocktail of hard liquor in the cups. Jimmy needs some fresh air and steps outside, where he bumps into Sabrina and her friends, who are on their way to another party at a club. Jimmy is too out of it to pay much attention and stumbles down a slope, falling on his ass into a ditch filled with stinging nettles. It's also the go-to spot for people to pee and puke, but Jimmy is too drunk to care and ends up falling asleep there.

John knows he's had enough and wants to leave, but the other partygoers have different plans. They offer him Tatra tea, a potent liquor made by our brothers in Slovakia. Despite his reservations, they are insistent, and he eventually gives in and takes a shot.

Sabrina is relieved to have left the chaotic party behind and is on her way to a club with her friends by bus. Once they arrive, they share a bottle of strong rum, and from there, Sabrina's memory is hazy. She only recalls ending up at the club with her friends, but they aren't the only ones there. The police also make an appearance.

According to Forum Pijte s rozumem 15% of underage drinkers try alcohol because they want to “fit in” with their group. 25% of teenagers drink for the first time with friends.


"I was so ashamed. I just wanted to leave as quickly as possible," says Jimmy.

"I have never felt this sick in my entire life. I was puking pure rum for half a day," says Connor.

"A family member had to come and pick me up, and the police gave me a record," says Sabrina.

"I woke up at home in a puddle of my own puke. My hands were cut and bleeding, and my knees were scraped raw. I realized I was missing my wallet," says John.

The party is still going strong, with Connor hunched over a bucket, emptying his stomach into the abyss. His vomit is now pure alcohol, with nothing left to come out. "There was this girl who came in late and took care of me. She was older and seemed like she knew what she was doing," he recalls.

Meanwhile, John is completely wasted and stumbles out of the party. "I climbed over a fence and broke into someone's property. I don't know how it happened. Maybe the others made me do it, I don't know," he says. He wakes up the homeowners, who threaten to call the police. In his attempt to escape, he cuts his hands and knees climbs back over the fence, and passes out in a nearby field.

Sabrina fails a breathalyzer test, and the police take down her and her friends' information and try to contact her parents. "Since they couldn't reach my parents, a friend came to get my grandmother. After that, he drove us to her house," she explains.

A month later, Sabrina receives a summons from social services. "The gentleman there explained why it wasn't appropriate, but said that it was probably some kind of freak incident, since I never had any troubles at school, and my grades were always excellent," she says. However, since she is not yet 18, she has to explain where she obtained the alcohol. "I wasn't the one to blame; I was the victim," she clarifies. In the end, the police did not find anything, and the case was left unresolved.

Back at the party, Jimmy wakes up and realizes where he has slept. He climbs up as fast as he can, but it isn't easy since he's still drunk. After a few minutes, he makes it back to the party with his skin burning and his sweatshirt soaked in piss and vomit. He sits on a bench and begins vomiting between his legs. „I don´t know how long I was doing that, but I felt much better afterward. I wasn´t the only one doing that, two other people I know were sitting next to me and puking on their shoes,“ he says.

A few hundred meters away, someone finds John. "They were friends of my brother. They were shouting at me that I can't sleep there, but I was too drunk to understand. Since they didn't know I was planning to sleep at the party, they took me home," John recounts.

In the end, as the sun rises, the party comes to a close. Broken bottles and people are scattered on the ground, still exhaling fumes of alcohol. Some people want to sleep, fearing the inevitable hangover upon waking up, while others just want to leave, no matter the cost.

Jimmy was one of the first to depart the party. "I knew a guy there who had a car, so I asked him to take me. Halfway there, I realized he was still drunk. He could drive, but when we saw a police car, I almost had a heart attack," he recounts. They are not stopped by the police. Sitting in the car is difficult for him, not only due to the hangover but also because his burns will become increasingly painful as he begins to sober up. He will feel their sting for a few days.

When Connor wakes up, the whole night feels surreal. "I asked others if the girl who was taking care of me was real. I didn't know," Connor explains. In a few months, they will meet each other again and he will thank her. However, for now, he is on a bus on his way home, enduring the worst bus ride of his life.

John is disoriented when he wakes up at home. Underneath him, he sees his vomit. “It looked like a pie,” he describes. His sheets are full of bloodstains. He doesn´t have time to think whose blood it was, he has to run to the toilet.

He swears to stop drinking, but he only lasts about a month. To him, this experience is not life-changing; it is just another party. Parties are fun, which means that alcohol is fun, and sleeping in a puddle of vomit and blood, not knowing if he will wake up, is, therefore, fun. Right?

​​​​​​​Regardless, Connor will be celebrating his birthday next week, and everyone is invited. And don't forget: BYOB!


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