Thursday, February 21, 2008

Partying at Paddock

I need to find myself a job that allows me to hit the bar on weeknights. Going from Saturday to Friday with a BAC of less than .5 is just excruciating. They say, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”; I say, “Abstinence makes the liver grow overconfident.”

It’s story-time again. Here’s another quick one from the 2003 Ocean City Trip:

On the fifth night of the vacation, ten of us saddled up and headed to a nightclub called “Paddock,” which is part of a larger complex called “The Party Block.” I’ve had dreams similar to the scene we walked into: It was dark, with loud music pumping over the speakers; all of the waitresses and bartenders were hot and dressed in black lingerie; there may have been a fog machine making it hazy—but, in all honesty, the fog could have just been in my alcohol-addled mind by that point in the week. One tall, brunette waitress walked up to us with a tray of colored liquids and said, “Shots are $4 each; bodyshots are $7.” My buddy, “Uncle Paulie,” and I walked up to the bar. It was $3.75 for a beer, but $5 for a mixed drink. Call me a mathematician, but… As we were having our Jack & Cokes mixed, I pointed out one bartender who was rather unique. She seemed to be of rubenesque proportions, yet the bra, panty, garter, and thigh-high arrangement she had on was still working for her.

U.P.: “That’s the hottest fat chick I’ve ever seen!”
Me: “Yeah, if she wasn’t half-naked she’d be TERRIBLE.”

We took over a section of the dancefloor with our intoxicated movements. At one point, U.P. spotted a hot blonde in the crowd. He tried to dance with her, but she quickly shot him down. She and her chubby friend danced away laughing, and went up onto the stage, which was being used as an extension of the dancefloor. Dupa and "BlahBlahBlah" (BBB) decided to avenge their friend’s humiliation. They went up to the stage, and approached the two girls. Standard logic would lead one to say, “Here are two young ladies, and here are two young men. They will pair up, each young man accompanying a young lady in a friendly dance.” There’s nothing “standard” about the drunken machinations of my friends, though. Dupa got behind Chubby Friend, and BBB jumped between her and Hot Blonde—facing Chubby Friend. He then boxed out Hot Blonde, so that suddenly Chubby Friend was alone on a sweaty island, being double-teamed by the two guys who probably smelled like beer, gyros, and chicken wings. The look of “What the f…” on Hot Blonde’s face was priceless.

We partied at the club all night, thanks largely to a bikini contest being covered by E!’s “Wild On”. After close, our entire crew was waiting at the bus stop when U.P. decided that we were a couple of blocks away from a 7-Eleven that we had visited a few nights earlier, and that he needed pizza sticks. Dupa, BBB, and I bravely joined him in the quest. We were 5 minutes down the street before we realized that, in actuality, we were about 21 blocks away from where U.P. thought we were. In the span of about the next 10 seconds, five things happened: (1) we managed to stop U.P., who was willing to walk to Georgia if he had to; (2) collectively, we decided to get on a bus and go home; (3) we noticed that the next stop was two city blocks away; (4) we began walking towards said stop; and (5) we turned to look back up the street, just as a bus blew past us towards the stop. “Motherf…

We took off running for the bus stop, each of us a very large individual who had been drinking for the last 15 hours. Luckily there was a crowd of people waiting at the bus stop, and the bus was stationary while we caught up to it. When we got near the stop, it was U.P. in the lead, followed closely by me. BBB was a little further behind, with Dupa trailing. Near the back of the bus, however, BBB tripped. An object of his size, put into a high rate of speed, carries a lot of momentum (thank you, 12th grade physics). That momentum caused him to roll his ankle and briefly fly forward through the air; but, he tucked into a roll as he hit the ground. He came out of the roll near the rear doors of the bus, where a girl was exiting. Still in motion, he rose to his feet, grabbed her by the arm, and yanked her off the bus steps. This gave him leverage, and propelled him up the bus steps and right into a seat. When U.P. walked up the front steps and onto the bus, he stopped in his tracks, astonished to see BBB sitting in a seat up ahead of him, cold chillin’.

Go hard or go home, that’s what I always say.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Coming Back from Injury

I don’t often get sick (as in “miss-a-day-of-work” sick, not “shotgunned- three- jack- &- cokes- at- the- tail- end- of- the- night- and- then- deposited- my- stomach- into- a- diner- toilet” sick; the latter happens slightly more frequently). But when I do come down with a cold or the flu, it seems to linger on, in some capacity, for an extended period of time. For example: I’m still getting over my most recent affliction, a full two weeks after originally falling ill. The fever, sneezing, congestion, and most of the coughing are gone. The fatigue, however, is still plaguing me. Unfortunately, this past weekend made that painfully evident to me.

Friday started as I had planned. Tony and I got to our friend’s grandfather’s bar at about 7 to watch her Wheel of Fortune debut. We started drinking beers, but I decided to pace myself, since we were supposed to leave around an hour later to catch up with Haze downtown, and I was the driver. After he started drinking, though, Tony decided that he wanted to go to McKeesport instead. I knew I wasn’t up for that; my immune system had just been through a hellacious battle, and the comedy that typically results from a night of hanging in The Port just wasn’t worth the risk of catching mullet-itus. I chose to stick with the script and meet up with Haze.

But I was caught off-guard by a sudden realization: As I stood there sober, I didn’t have the normal aching desire to pound away more beer; instead, all I felt was…tired. It was all of 8:30 p.m., and I was beginning to feel worn out. Apparently, after sitting out a few contests during the past couple of weeks, I now wasn’t quite up to game-speed. It’s hard for an athlete to accept it when his body isn’t capable of performing at the level to which he is accustomed. My friends were looking at me in bewilderment, like they were watching Kobe Bryant go 1-12 from the field during a first half: something just wasn’t quite right. I skipped out on heading downtown, and found myself in bed at about 12:30. I even managed to sleep through a 1:57 a.m. text message from TJ (luckily for him) about stripper cousins.

The next night was a little better, but I still wasn’t quite 100%. I went out on the town with my friend Shannon and a group of her friends from high school. But nothing very eventful happened. Does that even sound right? Me…out partying with a big group of people, most of who are female…and nothing remarkable takes place. Cue the Rod Serling voiceover.

I got drunk—a little too easily—and mingled, but no interesting stories took place. It was strangely boring. I’m sure that this was mostly on my part, though, as the others seemed to be having a great time. But I didn’t feel that normal spark that usually fuels my (mis)steps towards adventure and/or hilarity when drinking. We went back to Shannon's apartment after the bar, and I made it to about 2:30 before succumbing to my condition. I left the chit-chatting crowd upstairs to go into the basement and fall asleep under a blanket on the floor. I was awakened by some of her friends at 5:30, when they finally decided to go to bed and found a strange mass in one corner of the room. They thought that I had gone home, and I was jarred out of my slumber by the covers being ripped from over my face and three girls cackling. For a split second I thought I might be in “Macbeth.”

So, in essence, my weekend was unblogworthy (despite the fact that I am now blogging about it). Fear not, though, dear reader: I am showing signs of recovery, and the coming weeks look promising (a trip to Moutaineer Casino, a possible trip to visit a friend out of town, and St. Patty’s Day weekend—god help us all). I’m still an All-Star of this boozing game, and I’ll be playing at an All-Star’s level again soon enough.

Losing The Fastball

I was all primed to pop up here this week with stories of drunken debauchery, I promise. My best friend Cap was in town - my first Tampa visitor - and we was gonna do the damn thang. However, fate did not cooperate.

Don't get me wrong. Alcohol was consumed in copious amounts for three days. It's just that nothing all that story-worthy happened, which is exceedingly rare for us. I mean, we headed straight out Friday night after he got into town, and after a delicious meal at Five Guys, met up with a ladyfriend of mine at an upscale bar and restaurant and dove right into some rum.

However, things were getting a little pricy there so we dipped out on our own and ended up at my spot ... of course. Then the booze started flowing and we ended up macking a pair of Puerto Rican dancers who happened to be cousins.

But nothing outrageous happened. No police, no physical damage, no crazy women, nothing. We kicked it hard, had some laugh, smacked some asses and passed out when we got home. I woke up the next day and was a bit disappointed. Are we getting old? Maybe.

The next couple days were much more laidback: drinks by the pool, drinks by the beach, etc.

I'm not complaining. We definitely had fun, but it was a much more lowkey fun than usual. Financials had a bit to do with it - we dropped damn near $300 combined in his first six hours in town - but I make no excuses. I failed the On The Rocks Faithful.

Guess this means me and Defi really have to crank it up in a couple weeks. Until then, I await his stories from Saturday night. Defi?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lost Weekend (and the Ocean City Fumble)

Things didn’t quite go according to plan.

Last Friday I was supposed to travel to Washington, D.C. to take part in the annual brain-marinating that is otherwise known as “Chief’s birthday.” A rogue pack of viruses had different designs, however, and instead I spent most of the week on my couch half-dead, coughing and wheezing. My friends set sail on Friday without me, and my only taste of the fun was a slurred, rambling, incoherent 12:30 a.m. voicemail, which started with Kim (Chief’s fiancée) saying, “Remembrur when you came down here lash year, and you sthrew up in that cab? *pause* That was classy!” This was followed by Chief and my friend Finn getting on the phone to say that Kim wanted to have phone sex with me, then calling me an impolite name, and hanging up. My friends are gems, ain’t they?

As a result, cash that had been earmarked for the trip is still sitting in my bank account, and my need to make a grandiose fool of myself has not been properly satiated. These wrongs must be righted immediately, lest someone mistake me for being responsible. Or mature. *shivers*

Friday looks like it could be promising. A friend of mine will be appearing on Wheel of Fortune, and has invited some of us to watch the episode at her father’s bar. Start my Friday night by going to a bar at 7 p.m.? Yes, please. I only hope that I remember that her parents are in attendance, and don’t shout anything like “Gee, your breasts look great on TV!” My friend Bill has said that he intends to be around this weekend as well, and he’s always handy at tracking down a good time. So hopefully Saturday I’ll have a hangover and a new great story for On the Rocks.

In the meanwhile, I’ll open up my archives once more to leave you with a quick example of what I am capable of when incapable of much:

In 2003, some friends and I took a weeklong trip to Ocean City, MD, that has become a treasured piece of our sacred lore. That vacation was to our legacy in the pantheons of booze what Tootie was to “The Facts of Life”: the show would’ve gone on without her, but it just wouldn’t have had the same flavor. So many stories came out of those 8 days that I did a special write-up/chronicle of the adventures, and a year later I gave copies to all those who partook.

The first night that we were there, we visited a fantastic bar called “Scandals.” [Note: Scandals is no longer there, having gone under sometime in 2004 or 2005; I light prayer candles in remembrance every August.] Shortly after arriving, I was introduced to two things of wonder: (1.) a beautiful, brunette bartender named Juli, and (2.) shots of Incredible Hulk. Apparently, when you mix Hennessey and Hypnotiq, the shot appears green under a black light. And when you drink it, you feel like your body itself is a black light. You get really warm, your eyes flicker a little, and everyone around you looks really weird.

To say that this shot damaged me would be putting it mildly. Nevertheless, when we returned to Scandals a few days later, on “Dollar Anything” night, my friend Dupa and I had a brainstorm: “Let’s order Hulks by the glassful.” Yes, let’s.

Two hours later we decided (and by “we,” I mean the other nine people in our group—Dupa and I were no longer qualified to make any decisions that night) to head to another bar. We had spent our entire Scandals visit at the bar in the back; on our way out, we passed the bar near the front, where Juli worked. When she saw me, she waved me over to her and the following conversation took place:

Juli: [frowning] “Are you leaving already?”
Me: “Yeah.”
Juli: “How come you didn’t come over here to see me?”
Me: “Well, we all went to the bar back there & shnid sdd fpp.”
Juli: [laughing] “Okay, just go.”

Yes, that is all typed correctly; I actually spoke everything as it appears. I suffered, it seems, a momentary lapse in my ability to form words. I stumbled away and caught up with my friends as they headed to the parking lot, my mind distracted by whatever they were saying at the moment. The reality of what had just happened, and of the chance that I had blown, didn’t really sink in until a week or so later, after the trip was only fond memories.

I may not always sweep them off their feet, but at least I leave them with a smile on their face.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Getting Back In The Saddle

I'd like to apologize to the On The Rocks faithful for the scarcity of posts the last week. Defi's been under the weather with some combination of the Ebola virus, the bird flu and a white blood cell count of approximately 3, while I've been hoarding my financial resources because my recent move to Florida has suddenly made me everyone's best friend and half the population of the Midwest is visiting me in the next two months and expecting to go out on the town.

However, I did get suckered into going out for one (read as: many) yesterday afternoon at about 2:30, which naturally means I didn't get home until midnight or so. I think I hit five different bars, and nothing was popping at any of them. Disappointing, actually. Then again, it was Sunday, so expectations shouldn't have been too high.

As a consolation prize, I'll pass on an episode that occurred about two weeks ago at a dive club about 10 minutes from my house. I go there on occasion because it's topless, there's no cover, there's a pool table and capncokes are $4. I mean, what else do you want?

Anyhow, I swung by there after work on a Monday or Tuesday because I had had a bad one and just wanted a couple of drinks to wind down. I was still in my shirt and tie, and fellas, I can't recommend that outfit enough if you're hitting a strip club and trying to get laid. Provided you're not at the ritziest joint in town where such attire is more common, it will get you plenty of positive attention and make you stick out from the crowd. Stick Quasimoto in a well-matched shirt and tie and he'd get to second base with a stripper.

When I sat down, I was one of two customers in the place; the other was a brotha who quite obviously was a hustler. He was geared out in Southpole and had a knot of 20s bigger than my fist. He was also looking for someone to shoot pool with and asked if I played. I said sure, and we started to chat during the game. Come to find out, he's from Gary, Ind. I'm from Chicago and actually lived in Hammond, Ind., for a while, so all of a sudden we're buddies.

Socrates, as I'll call him, was doing double shots of Hennessey chased by cocktails. He could hold his booze, but it quickly affected his pool game. He squeaked a win out in the first game as I worked the rust off, but got merked in the second. Yet we were becoming good pals the whole time, especially when he saw two of the girls eyeballing me pretty hard. His mission then became to get me laid. I know a sucker when I see one, so I rolled with it.

God bless him, he began spending money like water. He's throwing $20 in singles at the girls on stage every song, he's buying rounds for everyone ... dude was like a broken ATM spitting out cash. Naturally, the bartender and the girls root themselves to our corner of the bar. One of the girls was a petite Puerto Rican with natural D's who couldn't have weighed more than 100 pounds and had sexy-ass brown eyes. Another was a native Canadian with a wide smile and a thick ass. And the bartender looked like someone hit her with a bus then beat her in the face with a bag of nickels for half an hour. But she was digging Socrates, so I didn't care.

(By the way, I'm calling him Socrates cuz he was a philosophical drunk, one of my favorite kinds. If I remember correctly, he believes the X-Men comic book series was really about how the American government is trying to eliminate the black population in the U.S. with AIDS. Fun guy.)

At one point, he handed the bartender a $20 for singles, went to the stage before she came back with the money, came back to the bar and then thought he owed her a $20 for them. So basically, he'd handed her $40 for $20 and didn't know any better. He steps away again and looks at me and goes, "Your friend needs to be careful, because a shadier bartender would just take advantage of him and pocket this."

To which I replied, "Want to split it?"

Hey, if the dude's gonna be loose with his cash, I got no problem taking advantage of it. He'd already bought me three or four drinks, and I hadn't spent a dime on him. He was very obviously flush with "Pacman fever," and I'll be damned if the girls were gonna be the only ones making bank on it.

At some point, Socrates starts buying me dances, one each with the Butta Pecan Rican and the Maple Syrup Mami. Now, I don't do dances, and I would have much preferred he just hand me the $40, but he handed the loot directly to them and next thing I know they're grabbing my tie and dragging me to the back.

After about two hours or so, Soc had to roll out, hammered out of his gourd. I think his lady was calling him or something. I figure that he had to have dropped $400 or so, at least $70 of which was on me for booze and the dances. We traded numbers so that he could take me to the "real" clubs, but that crap got deleted out my phone the minute he stepped out. It was cool to shoot some pool and let him play baller for a night, but I don't think he's got friendship potential.

As for the girls, I struck out. The Canadian was leaving to go back to Canada a couple days later and I didn't want to spend the rest of the night in the club working her for some action that night. And I just didn't make any progress with the Puerto Rican. Hey, you can't win'em all.

Moral of the story? If some dumbass drunk at a strip club starts waving money around, huddle up with the bartender and dancers and plan a hustle. Ain't no shame in the game.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

James Thompson: Practice Squad Hero

This past Thursday was payday, and seeing that monthly boost to my bank account nearly brought a tear to my eye. I mentioned before that January is a rough month on finances, and being handed a paystub on the 31st is like crossing the finish line after a marathon. You may not have done as impressively as others around you, but at least you finished the race.

A wise man would consider his upcoming trip to Washington, D.C. and its high drinking expenses, and hold off on spending any of that paycheck until then. If you’re looking for the keyword of that sentence, it’s “wise.” I, therefore, decided to go out on the town with my friend Ashhad and some of his boys on Saturday night.

We met up at Ashhad’s apartment to pregame, and after two glasses of Hennessey and a glass of Smirnoff, I was feeling right. The five of us hopped in a cab and headed to Calico Jack’s, a newer bar/night club. The club’s name is a little misleading, given that it is also the name of a brand of spiced rum that serves as a discounted alternative to Captain Morgan. But there was nothing “discount” about the alcohol in this place. Allegheny County recently instituted a 10% “Drink Tax,” which has pushed the price of a domestic beer to $4 in the downtown nightspots. It’s not a big deal when you’re only buying for yourself; but when you’re buying a round of drinks for you and four other people, it adds up.

Given my state of mental lubrication, however, I quickly came to accept the new world order. This was my first visit to C-Jack’s, and I have to say I was impressed by the level of talent on hand. It’s located near Heinz Field and PNC Park on Pittsburgh’s North Shore, which is an up-and-coming area. And, being that it’s near the ball fields, it is often visited by both professional athletes and young women who dream of adding a famous name to their resume. Translation: the place is a groupie feeding frenzy. Hot girls were everywhere, most of them having chosen to wear the sluttiest outfit in their wardrobes. The bar in the back section of the club is a large rectangle, approximately 50 ft. by 15 ft. And nearly all the way around were girls dancing on top of it while scanning the crowd for any Pirate, Penguin, or Steeler that might be in attendance.

Ashhad and I were standing at the bar admiring these amateur performances (in between rounds of shots, which were being passed around like bullets in a warzone) when I spotted one lovely young lady at the far end. While the other girls were doing their best “look at me—I’m sexy,” baby girl was popping off with the “this p***y could be yours.” She was wearing a short skirt, and was bent over shaking her sincerities in guys’ faces. I called Ashhad’s attention to her, and at nearly the same exact moment he and I both said “She’s gotta be a stripper.” The clues were numerous: other girls were dancing in one spot, but she was working her way around the bar; she had a backless top on, and a large tattoo was etched across her back; and, without much suggestion, she pulled her top down to reveal her breasts, squeezing them to the drunken admiration of the guys below.

When she started dancing for one of Ashhad’s boys, she told him that her name was “Angel;” when she made her way over to me, I asked her the same question and she said “An—Jessica.” Our assessment proved accurate when she leaned over to my ear and said, “Come visit me at Club Erotica,” which is a popular local strip club. A female “friend” of hers then began rubbing Angel’s thigh while she danced, and offered to kiss her for our viewing—if we coughed up $5. I’m sure there were some inexperienced saps who fell for that offer at some point in the night; we, however, were not them. When the two girls figured this out, they began to kiss each other for the sheer love of the game. Bravo.

The best story of the night, though, took place an hour or so later. Some of my friends have this odd desire to pawn me off as a Pittsburgh Steeler when we’re out at bars and clubs. I have the stature, true. But, for some reason, they seem to care more about potentially landing a naïve groupie than they do about my desire to not have to lie to kick it. The only thing I hate more than the seedy, lying aspect of this ploy, are the Pittsburgh Steelers themselves. I hate them with a fiery passion typically reserved for villains in Shakespearean plays. Therefore, when one of my friends attempts to pass me off as one, I usually shoot a hole through the scam by quickly telling the girls that I am not now, and have never been, a professional football player. Usually. There have been a couple of notable exceptions, and the common denominator among these cases is intoxication. If I’m hammered, I’ll play ball. Figuratively. And literally too, I guess.

This was one of those nights. Ashhad found a girl standing by the bar, and quickly announced to her that I was a Steeler. I opened my mouth, about to shoot the lie dead, but he quickly countered with an adjustment to the story: I wasn’t on their travelling roster; I was just a practice squad player. I don’t know if it was this creative twist to a familiar shtick, the vague look of too-drunk-to-know-better twinkling in her eyes, or the six or seven shots coursing through my veins, but I decided I was game. It wasn’t about getting her sex, though. She was cute, but I wasn’t interested in slutting her out; it was just a game to play.

She asked me what my name was. I said, “Bob,” but not very convincingly. She challenged that I had made up the name, and I realized I needed to step up my game. I replied, “Yeah, I was just kidding. It’s James.” She bought it, and asked what my last name was. “Thompson.” Hook, line, and sinker. “What position do you play?” “Linebacker, but they put me at defensive end sometimes, depending on who we’re playing that week.” I’m firing on all cylinders now.

She told me that I was “so nice,” and not like the team’s stars. She had heard a rumor about Troy Polamalu, specifically. Apparently, he has been spotted around town picking up various slores at clubs, while his wife sits at home unawares. I don’t know the guy, and I really don’t doubt the validity of that claim. But I was in character. I was James Thompson, damn it, and no one was going to spread vicious rumors about my teammate. “Nah, don’t believe all of that hype, sweetie. People just like to make up stories. I know Troy—he’s totally committed to his wife" (in my head I suddenly regretted not knowing his wife’s name; using it right there would’ve been picture-perfect).

Now, to know me is to know just how big a deal this is. I told this story to TJ on the phone on Sunday, and he was awestruck by my commitment. Well, his exact words were “You must’ve been HAMMERED.” But I like to believe that what he really meant was, “That is a fantastic dedication to scene and character portrayal.”

Expect nothing less from James Thompson.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Obligatory Post-Super Bowl Entry

Defi and I were on opposite sides of the Super Bowl, so we're not going to delve into the outcome of the contest here unless y'all wanna see the aftermath of a war between a jarhead Jew and a large Czechoslovakian black man.

I hit a couple of low-key parties with Lala, nothing crazy, especially since I was driving. Just some Parrot Bay on the rocks at the first one and an interesting concoction at the second.

I don't know the proportions - I can get them if anyone really wants them - but a friend mixed natural apple juice (the cloudy looking kind), Goldschlager and Captain Morgan into a kind of uber-cider. It tastes pretty much just like regular spiced cider, but packs a decent kick. I had a nice buzz going after about three cups, and Lala reported today that she woke up with a wicked hangover. Since she spent a day drinking vodka and champagne for Gasparilla without getting one, I take that as a sign of the drink's potency.

I didn't get a hangover, but like I said, I was taking it easy. Plus, if apple cider ever gives me a hangover, even spiked apple cider, I might as well shoot myself.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Ohio University Halloween (Pt. 2)

[The conclusion of my Ohio U. Halloween story (read Part 1). When we left our fearless explorers from W&J (T.C., Tony, and yours truly), they were at an off-campus house party, sober and in civilian clothing, when they made the executive decision to forge off on their own, to Court Street.]

Court Street is effectively the Ohio U. version of New Orleans’ Bourbon Street. It is a straight, wide street lined with bars, and for Halloween they block it off at either end of a mile-long stretch. Oh yeah.

T.C., Tony, and I waded through the inebriated masses of skin and costumes, and I suddenly remembered that I had come armed with a cameraphone. I decided to get some good use out of it, and snapped a few pictures as we walked up the street. After a block or two, we chose the nearest bar. It was a typical, nondescript college pub, with booths along the right wall, a large bar running the length of the left wall, and TV sets in a few different locations. We sat down at the bar, and ordered six shots of Jaeger. It was business time.

Prominent among the revelers in this bar, was a girl wearing a Hooters girl costume. And she was wearing it convincingly (i.e., she was blessed with large “chesticles,” as Tony likes to call them). She and a friend (who was dressed as a female devil) came over to the bar and sat to the left of me. I felt a tap on my left shoulder, and turned around to find the Devil-Woman smiling at me. “Hey!” she slurred. Pointing to her friend, she said, “Put your face in her cleavage and go ‘bbbrrrbbb!’” I was speechless. This girl, without any provocation, had just asked me to motorboat her friend. I looked at Hooters Girl, who seemed uneasy about her friend’s sudden desire to see a complete stranger stick his face between her breasts in a crowded bar. “Do you want me to do that?” I asked. She said, meekly, “Um…not really.” I really am too nice when I’m sober.

They were fun girls, though, and I continued talking to them. Seeing that I had a cameraphone, they decided to give us a mini performance. Devil-Woman grabbed a cherry from the bartenders’ caddy on the bar, and held it in the air between them. From either side of it, they each leaned forward and shared it in a messy kiss as I snapped a picture. God bless modern technology.

We downed a few more drinks, and then made our way back out into the street. The scene was like nothing I had ever experienced before. An endless river of people flowed past, wearing a never-ending variation of costumes. And there were costume teams everywhere. More cheerleaders. More hookers. A powder puff team of girls wearing football jerseys, short shorts, ankle socks, cleats, and eye black danced in the street. Naughty cops. Naughty witches. Naughty nurses. There was even a group of naughty chefs, who were dressed in chef hats, tight white tops, short skirts, and had aprons around their waists. Why don’t girls dress like this the other 364 days of the year?

We decided to start bouncing around to different bars along the street. We entered one, and found a spectacularly-bosomed girl checking IDs at the door while wearing a low cut fairytale princess dress. I had her pose for my cameraphone; as drunk as I was getting, the picture probably looked clear as day to me then. Looking at it now, though, it’s like looking through pond water. I guess modern technology just wasn’t advanced enough for her rackage.

Being that I was drinking—beers and shots were ordered at just about every place we stopped in—my memory starts to fade in and out around this time. I know I’m forgetting more than I’m remembering, but what I remember is vivid. In one bar, I found myself sitting next to two cute, petite chicks dressed as…naughty sluts? I was unconcerned at that point. I mentioned to them the cherry show that had been performed at the first bar, but they were not impressed. “That’s nothing,” the brunette one said, as she grabbed her blonde friend and engaged her in a lingering kiss for my camera. It’s a small miracle that alcohol dulls the senses. Otherwise I might have shown them just how much I enjoyed that photo-op. It really is the ultimate compliment, ladies.

We were walking through another bar, when a random girl grabbed T.C. Being that he had a girlfriend back at W&J, I began formulating different cover stories in my head. But it turned out that she had gone to high school with him, and was now in her junior year at O.U. “Little A.” (this one is for protecting anonymity) took us downstairs to hang with her friends at the basement bar, which was a laid back scene. Dim lighting (or at least I remember it as dim), music, tables and chairs, as well as a bar with stools around it in the far corner. I vaguely remember there being couches, too, but don’t quote me on that. We drank there until last call, at which point Little A. invited us back to her and her friends’ house. This concludes my recollection of that night (save for one memory which I will get to in a moment), but not the night itself. Hello, darkness—we meet again.

I awoke around 9 the next morning, still drunk. On a floor. In a room. Alone. I looked around, and was quite certain I had no idea where I was. It seemed to be a girl’s room, complete with pink decorations, various pictures of people I didn’t know, and female clothing strewn about. I could hear male voices on the other side of the door. They seemed to be rehashing the events of the night before; I figured it was just T.C. and Tony. I turned my attention to my phone; I didn’t have my phone. “What the f...?” It wasn’t in my pocket; it wasn’t on the floor. It wasn’t on a desk or a chair. “Man,” I thought. “I hope my boys know where it is.”

I opened the door, and found myself face-to-face with two guys I had never seen before in my life. They were sitting on two couches in a living room, and seeing a 6’6” man emerge from the room caught them a little off guard. Thankfully, though, they were relaxed cats, who understood that I was as confused as they were. I found out that neither of them lived there. They were visiting a friend of theirs who lived in the house. Neither had seen a phone lying around, nor did they know my boys. I decided that I was never drinking again. Ever.

I used the house phone and tried dialing my phone, but heard nothing. No ringing anywhere. The two guys were about to hit the road, and couldn’t offer me much help. They could give me a ride, but to where? Pittsburgh? I had no idea where my peoples were, so it would have been a pointless exercise. I thanked them, and continued to try to remember anything I could about the night before. I walked into the kitchen, and looked out into the backyard. Suddenly, I remembered sitting on the back porch by myself in the dark (yeah, I worry about me sometimes, too). I walked outside, and tried calling my phone again. I heard a Nas song faintly playing nearby, and rescinded my earlier pledge of future sobriety. I called again and tracked the sound, until I found my phone sitting in the middle of the yard, on the other side of some lawn furniture. There were 16 missed calls and 10 text messages, all from the night before.

I tried calling T.C. and Tony, but got nothing from either. I walked back to T.C.’s car in the parking lot on the other side of campus, hoping they had slept there. But it was empty. I didn’t have a key, so I sat on the ground next to it for 20 minutes before my phone rang. T.C. said groggily, “Where the f*ck are you?”

As he and Tony trudged back to the parking lot, he filled me in on the end of their night:
  • When we got back to Little A.’s, there was a raging party. We were drinking, when I suddenly disappeared. T.C. and Tony had no idea where I was, and tried calling me because they were heading back up to campus with some people. But they called and called, and couldn’t find me. How you miss the 6½ foot tall biracial kid in the backyard is beyond me. But it’s not like they were drinking water while I was throwing back the shots, so I cut them some slack on that point.
  • They finally gave up on finding me, and walked up to campus. The people they were with got separated from them, for whatever reason. Tony, being in his “obnoxious drunk” stage of the night, decided to start dropping flying elbows on car hoods. He would run at the car yelling something like, “You think you can destroy me, bitch?” and then leap, slamming down on the hood. I think he said that, at one point, he was even standing on one hood. Fantastic judgment, that one has. He and T.C. then decided to retire to the frat house, where they found two couches in a chapter room and passed out.
  • Tony woke up without a $50 bill in his pocket that he had begun the night with, and decided that one of the frat brothers had pick-pocketed him in his sleep. T.C. had to drag him out of there before he started shit with anyone. It took years before he finally conceded that he likely had just spent it. Crazy drunken Irishman.
  • I found out, when I ran into Little A. months later, that it was her bedroom floor that I had slept on. She had ended up somewhere else, and didn’t even know that I had been in there.
That Sunday was a rough one. I drove half the way home, and then slept the second half while Tony drove. T.C., whose car it was, slept for the entire drive. We vowed to return the following year with more people, but never did. The damage from the night was best summed up in a conversation I had with T.C. a couple of weeks later. I had eventually gone through the pictures of the trip that were on my phone, and came to one of a beautiful blonde girl, wearing a 1920s “flapper” outfit; complete with a tight, low cut top that showed off the ample blessings that nature had bestowed upon her chest. I didn’t recognize her, so I asked him if he did.

Me: “I don't know who she is, but I love her.”
T.C.: “Buddy, that’s Little A.”
Me: “Who?”