Monday, May 14, 2012

Four Hundred Caipirinhas Later....

So how do you think you'd feel after drinking four hundred caipirinhas? Actually, make that four hundred caipirinhas in thirteen days - an average of about thirty cocktails per day. You'd probably feel just like Robert Scott Utley, an American tourist in Rio de Janeiro, felt recently as he was being carted away in the paddy wagon after skipping out on his hotel bill. Nauseated, confused and embarrassed - and probably just a little bit relieved that the binge was finally over.

Robert Scott Utley
Mr. Utley, aged 63, who surely deserves a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records for his prodigious caipirinha-drinking capacity, was arrested at Rio de Janeiro's Tom Jobim International Airport on May 10 when he was trying to catch a Delta Airlines flight to the United States. The manager of the hotel in Rio's Copacabana district where Mr. Utley had spent the previous 13 nights became suspicious when the tourist booked an airport car without settling his account. He called the police when Mr. Utley left the hotel without paying his room charges, and they obliged him by arresting Mr. Utley upon his arrival at the airport.

Utley didn't skip on just his bar tab, he left without paying any of his hotel bill, which totalled R$14,488, or about USD $7500. The charge for caipirinhas alone, which cost R$15 each at the hotel, was R$6000, or USD $3000.

According to an article in the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, after being arrested, the tourist was taken before a magistrate who charged him, and then let him go free on bail, as there were no provisions under Brazilian law to detain him until trial. After signing a note promising to appear before a Brazilian court whenever summoned, he was released and taken to the city's American Consulate. His passport was not taken nor was he forbidden to leave Brazil, and the consulate refuses to say if he has left Brazil or not.

The newspaper article says that Mr. Utley's defense for skipping out was that his credit card had been counterfeited and cancelled, and he couldn't pay his bill. So he decided to return to the United States and send payment from there. But, according to Mr. Utley's statement, lack of funds wasn't the only reason for leaving the hotel on the QT. He told police that although he had reserved the hotel for fourteen days, he left on the thirteenth day because he was having heart problems due to his seven bypass grafts and wanted to get back quickly to the US for treatment.

Let's do a little calculating here. Four hundred caipirinhas in thirteen days with seven bypass grafts. That works out to just about four caipirinhas per graft per day. That's a serious thirst and an impressive feat. Too bad it all went south before he got on that plane to the USA. Besides, what was he thinking trying to catch a Delta flight to the US? Delta doesn't even serve caipirinhas as far as we know!


  1. Sounds like the hotel is getting free publicity with this stupid story. Robert isn't going to drink that much... watch your credit cards if you vacation there!

    1. Interesting that this comment was posted anonymously. Since the name of the hotel isn't mentioned in the post above, I'm not sure how this will bring them much publicity.

      Incidentally, further information has come forward in the weeks since we posted this information. It appears that all the caipirinhas weren't intended for Robert's personal consumption, and that he had frequent and various lady visitors to his room during his stay.

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