Thursday, June 26, 2008

Alcohol = Game Killer

I’ve never considered myself to have an abundance of that magical thing called “game.” True, on more than one occasion I’ve charmed myself into favorable circumstances. When I was younger and running wild with my boys Chris and E., it seemed like we were pulling off some sort of “How to Be a Player”-like craziness just about every other week. And even in the much more recent past, I’d like to think that I’ve handled myself somewhat admirably in close encounters of the pimping kind. Nevertheless, I often view my “game” as being hit-or-miss; given the right moment, the right chemistry, the right atmosphere, and the right mood, I’ll either charm a girl’s pants off or push her towards a lifetime of chastity.

This past weekend, I realized another factor in the equation: booze. That’s not to say that I suddenly have game when I’m drunk; it also doesn’t mean drinking guarantees that I’ll be a blathering idiot (9 out of 10 times isn’t a guarantee). In fact, it doesn’t even have to be my own drinking that derails me.

Friday night, Pakistanimal, our friend Chappy, and I went to Carson City Saloon. CCS was celebrating their second anniversary with drink specials, including one on Jager Bombs (try not to get ahead of me here). Ten minutes after we walked through the door, we were doing our first round of J-Bombs. A half hour later we were doing our second. Before long, we were doing our third. Then came a round of something mixed with Gatorade (Pakistanimal’s doing, not mine). Then more J-Bombs. Then Washington Apples. Then…? I lost count very quickly, because after the third round, just about every shot that we drank was coming from Pakistanimal, who was passing them out like a street team handing out fliers. Luckily, none of them were hard shots (like straight Jack, straight Crown, straight Jager, etc.), or I probably would have gone blind. Thankfully, Pakistanimal took a break for an hour or so while he and I ran a beer pong table in the basement (5-0, we retired to the jeers of guys who wanted to dethrone the champs, and the swoons of beautiful women held breathless by our pong mastery—okay, I may be exaggerating there).

We returned to the upstairs action with a guy we had met in the basement. He was a cool cat who had cracked jokes with us, and he offered to buy us shots. Shots, you say? Never heard of them. You have intrigued me, sir, and I shall try one.

Here’s where the fun starts. Cool Cat was out with two good looking girls. One was his cousin, and the other was her best friend. Cool informed me on the low that I was clear to holla at either of them, but forewarned that he had a bit of history with the friend. And it appeared he had a future with her, too, because after his round of shots she was hanging off him like Jesus piece. I began to work my mojo with his cousin, who seemed receptive. But I was quickly called away by Pakistanimal, who was back at the bar handing off cups. More Gatorade shots, more Jager Bombs. Handing them out two-rounds-at-a-time, he had become a human double-barreled shot-gun.

[Let it sink in…there you go. Yes, I punned. And I apologize.]

While I was working on Cool’s cousin, Pakistanimal had found two girls near the bar, and began talking them up. He wasn’t looking to bed them, though; he has had a great (and patient) girlfriend for a couple of years now, and therefore his pimping has transitioned from “getting them naked” to “proving that they would get naked, if I let them.” Typical of men and women in committed relationships, when he flirts, he’s only looking to get his ego stroked.

I took up the conversation with them as he departed for the bathroom. Five minutes later, a female friend of Chappy’s came upstairs to alert me that Pakistanimal was getting kicked out for throwing up on the steps. So long ladies, my wingman just shot me out of the sky. On the way out I saw Chappy, who had entertained himself with his friend from the time that Pakistanimal and I first began playing beer pong. I nodded at him, expecting him to be on the way out the door with us; he gave a drunken half-shrug, and took a sip of beer. I guess he saw my game going down in a ball of flames, and decided that wasn’t going to be his fate, too.

The next night found me back in Buckhead Saloon, for the first time since my now legendary (among my friends, at least) birthday performance two and a half months ago. Pakistanimal was having a birthday party of his own, and all week I had remained reluctant to attend. But on Saturday afternoon we were talking on the phone, and he said, “Now I understand why you didn’t want to go to Buckhead. It’s going to be a llooonnnggg time before I go back to Carson City.”

Expecting to be met by harsh stares when I walked in, I was instead hit by sweltering heat. The club’s air conditioning had malfunctioned, and they were now relying on 6 or 7 ceiling fans to cool a space the size of a football field, which was filled with people, some of whom were moving around at a rapid rate (I’m no Usher, but I hesitate to call much of what was going on “dancing”). And the temperature, when mixed with an increased level of alcohol in my bloodstream, caused this spectacular display:

Standing apart from my friends for a moment, I caught the attention of a stunning, tall blonde girl. I said, “Hi,” and then wowed her with, “You’re really tall.” I think we both knew right then and there that this wasn’t going to go well. I pressed on for another 30 seconds or so, though. After a brief pause, and at a loss for anything else to offer her, I reminded her again that she was really tall. Another pause ensued, and I sealed the deal with, “I bet you get tired of people telling you that you’re really tall.” She smiled, said “Yep,” and then gave me the standard “Well, I’ve got to go catch up with my friends.”

Picking up the pieces of my face from the floor, I walked back over to Pakistanimal and company.

“YO, she was HOT! What’s up?”
“I’ve got nothing for her.”

Thursday, June 19, 2008

San Diego Nights 3: The Conclusion

For the second straight day, I awoke to the sound of a cell phone; only this time it was T.C.’s. It was about 10 a.m., and GTB was on the other end, barking at him. He ordered the three of us to get up and get ourselves to the Marriott to start the day.

It took a few minutes to get my head straightened out, though; while I did, Hurley’s phone number mishap from the night before was recounted. Nothing softens a hangover like laughing uncontrollably at a friend’s misfortunes (I couldn’t—and still don’t—remember him telling the story to me the night before; in fact, it took him reminding me about our latenight internet exploration for me to even remember the two of us sitting in front of computers). He was the first of us to get ready that morning, and while T.C. and I finished up, Hurley went down to the internet café to continue his MySpace stalk—errr…search—for his dreamgirl. By the time T.C. and I reached the lobby, he had found her profile and shot off a last-ditch message to try to get into contact before our last night in town.

The three of us cabbed it over to the Marriott and, after a quick trip across the street to Subway, met up with GTB and his people. Some of the guys, including GTB’s father and brother, wanted to spend the day at Sea World. Hurley, T.C., and I looked at each other, and undoubtedly all shared the same unspoken thought: “So, we’re surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery—both natural and plastic surgeon-made—on earth, not to mention an endless supply of alcohol, and you want to watch a whale splash around in a tank?”

Luckily, an alternative plan was offered. A female friend of GTB’s lives in Carlsbad, CA, where she works as a grade school teacher. Carlsbad is a beautiful beachside community about 35 miles north of San Diego. She called him and suggested we hop on the 2 pm train and come drink by the beach with her and her friends. “Yes, please.”

As it was only around noon, those of us going to Carlsbad decided to kick things off at the Hard Rock’s Moonstone Lounge, a rooftop pool bar more luxurious than I’d ever been to before. The pool itself was surprisingly small (or maybe it just seemed that way, since it was crowded with hot chicks and guys of questionable substance who were trying to impress—or to merely keep—them), which was accentuated by the fact that a large portion of the deck had been sectioned off. A stage had been erected at one end for the Goo Goo Dolls, who were playing that night for some kid’s bar mitzvah. The bar lounge was expansive, though, consisting of lots of plush couches and a great view of the bay and city.

There were also great views to be had behind the bar and carrying trays throughout the area. The Hard Rock manager in charge of hiring bartenders and waitresses must wake up every morning feeling like Scrooge after the Ghost of Christmas Future’s visit. All waitresses and female bartenders are at least an 8, and their uniform consists of a bikini and short shorts. For a moment I considered the possibility that I had been hit by a bus while walking around the city drunk the night before, and was actually now in heaven. It was one of the few times in my life when I haven’t feared death.

We drank and charmed for an hour or so, and then made our way to the train station. On the way there, our cabbie told T.C., Hurley, and me that a train to Carlsbad would cost us about $60, the same price that he would charge to take us there himself. We decided to risk the train, and when we got to the platform, we found out that a ticket only cost $5.50. The lesson here: never trust a cabbie who smells the scent of tourist on you (which, when combined with the scent of the alcohol coming out of our pores, probably smelled just like fresh money).

The train ride was agonizing—well, agonizing for an alcoholic separated from his cherished nectar. For an average person, it is probably a great way to spend 45 minutes, since you ride along the Pacific coastline past dozens of scenic towns that I would love to call home. Once in Carlsbad, we met up with Hot Teacher at Dini’s by the Sea. She was by herself, unfortunately, as her equally hot friends had flaked on her. She’s good people, though, and for the next few hours we threw back drinks and watched Big Brown choke in the Belmont. Hot Teacher pointed out to us that we were by the beach on a beautiful day, yet were all sitting inside drinking. I countered that no matter where you are, if there’s a cold drink in your hand, it’s a beautiful day. Her logic won out, though, and we all moved to the patio. Watching the waves crash in while tossing back vodka felt damn-near Zen-like (or maybe I’m just a more spiritually in-tune being than most).

We moved to another restaurant/bar, Coyote Bar & Grill, where our revelry continued for another couple of hours [I’m suddenly having flashbacks of Hurley and me picking out a bottle to do shots from…that may help explain what happens later]. From there we went to a nearby pizza house/microbrewery for a round. Along the way, Hurley informed me that he would be taking a taxi back to San Diego that evening. “Are you crazy? It’ll be at least $60, and you could hit traffic.” “I don’t care,” he said. “I can’t do the train. I’m NOT getting back on that train.” Meanwhile, one of GTB’s boys and I noticed a beer shack next to the microbrewery, where rows upon rows of 22 oz. bottles stood at attention behind cooler doors like soldiers preparing to storm the beachhead. He and I looked at each other and said, “Train.” So when we left the microbrewery, we stopped at the shack and picked up 7 or 8 bottles and some plastic cups. And when we got on the train, I eventually noticed that Hurley was sitting in the seat in front of me, clutching a plastic cup. I guess beer does make everything better. We all soaked in the riveting stories that GTB’s friend “B Legit” (not his real nickname, but I’m not going to put the kid on blast here—I just don’t know him well enough to embarrass him like that) told. I should get him to guest blog here at “On the Rocks,” because he has stories that need a much wider audience than 15 drunk guys on a SoCal commuter train. Anytime you can combine a stripper, a bottle of wine, a body part, and an Austin Powers catchphrase all into one narrative, you my friend have lived.

By the time we pulled into the San Diego station, things began getting choppy for me. I don’t remember the end of the train ride, or getting a cab to the hotel. From that point on, I remember:

  • Getting freshened up and changed in our hotel room.
  • Hurley, T.C. and I meeting a group of 5 or 6 attractive girls on the elevator. And though they were drunk and in high spirits, they didn’t seem to be the slightest bit interested in us. Either they were lesbians, or they possess self-respect. Either way, they’re not my type.
  • Taking the elevator to Altitude Sky Bar, the Marriott’s rooftop bar, which was rocking with people.
  • Looking down on the lights of Petco Park, which is across the street from the hotel. A lit-up stadium is a surprisingly nice backdrop for partying like a rock star at the bar.
  • Waking up in my bed Sunday morning.
In between all of that, the following happened:
  • T.C. started a tab at Altitude that would end up being $170. I may or may not have contributed to it (more than likely I did), but I’m going to kick him some cash just in case.
  • T.C. became an eyes-half-open-stumbling mess. A bouncer approached “Lawyer,” one of GTB’s friends, to tell him that they had “their eyes on” his buddy. The bouncer then pointed at B Legit, who was probably the least drunk out of all of us, and who was calmly standing nearby, talking to someone. Lawyer's eyes then scanned off to a corner, were T.C. was (barely) standing by himself, wobbling and sloppy. Pointing to him, Lawyer said, “Are you sure you don’t mean that guy?”
  • Approximately 200 times, I informed approximately 20 people that Cali is my home state.
  • Hurley and I decided to bounce to another bar. We went into a few different places, but left soon after because of the small crowds. We eventually got to a pretty large club, with a long line in front of it. And who did Hurley spot in line? None other than Dreamgirl. He offered to pay the cover charge for her and all of her friends if they let us cut into the line ahead of them. They did, and we jumped in, to the protests of people behind us. After waiting a little while longer, we reached the front. Hurley paid everyone’s cover, and walked in about 10 feet, expecting me to be not far behind him. When he turned back towards the door, however, he saw 3 unhappy bouncers standing around me. He walked back over, and one of them said, “We don’t think your buddy should come in—he’s too drunk.” Once again fate stepped in to keep Hurley from spending quality time with Dreamgirl.
  • Shortly after we left Altitude, GTB and his boys had to load T.C. into a cab and send him back to our hotel. When we came back, he was in bed knocked out, and there was regurgitation all over the toilet.
  • Hurley found a pizza place that delivered after midnight, and ordered himself 8 slices of nightcap.
The next day was a long, nauseating mixture of cross country air travel and detox. Walking towards baggage claim in Pittsburgh, Hurley answered his cell. His first few words served as a perfect summary.

“Yeah? Yeah. Uh…it’s over. It’s all over.”

Thursday, June 12, 2008

San Diego Nights 2: The Booze Tide

Ever wake up in the morning and have that panicky “Where the f**k am I?” moment? When it happens that you’re on the opposite side of the country, it makes it a little trippier.

I woke up to my cell phone screaming at me Friday morning (literally; my message ringtone is the same as Scotty’s e-mail alert in “Eurotrip”). It was a message from Baby Joey announcing that the girl who owned our boy read my blog about the story. My dazed, autopilot response: “How badly does she want me?” (and you thought I had to work at being a jackass).

Cut to a month or so prior: T.C. sent an e-mail to Hurley and me to brighten our lives and properly prepare us for the trip. While she was walking through Wal-Mart picking up items for their upcoming trip to Las Vegas, T.C.’s wife found something called a “Bubba Keg.” This marvel of engineering is a 52 oz. insulated mug that keeps liquids cold for 8 hours. The spill-proof lid has a flip-open hatch for pouring/drinking; the handle has a comfort grip and a bottle opener built into the bottom. Instantly, I knew I had to have one. Hurley felt the same way, and when we arrived in San Diego each of us produced one from our luggage. (Coincidentally, none of us were with each other when we bought our Bubba Kegs, and yet we each managed to end up with a different color; we looked like some kind of alcoholic Power Rangers.)

Cut back to last Friday: After cleaning up and getting some food, we hit a Rite Aid for handles of Finlandia and Captain. Back at the hotel, we filled our Bubba Kegs with delicious nectar (vodka & Sprite for Hurley and I, and Captain & Coke for T.C.). Then we hit Ocean Beach.

Now, granted, it’s been about three years since I’ve been to the beach, and probably about thirteen since I’ve been to a California beach; but, …wow. There’s nothing quite like tanned flesh put on display, and Ocean Beach has plenty. A few feet away from us lay two girls from Montreal, and they did a wonderful job of representing their city. At one point, a clueless surfer-jock just happened to stop near them to peel off the top of his wetsuit and apply some suntan lotion to himself. Striking up a conversation and finding out where they were from, he asked them, “So you girls big hockey fans?” When they said “yes,” he proceeded to own himself by (a.) asking them who they thought would win the Stanley Cup, which Detroit had won a day and a half earlier; (b.) referring to the “Montreal Canucks”; and (c.) mentioning that Mark Messier “used to play” for Montreal [if you’re not a hockey fan: Montreal’s team name is the “Canadiens,” and—trust me—Messier never played for them]. I wonder what it’s like to make a fool out of yourself hitting on two uninterested chicks while three hairy out-of-shape guys laugh at you.

We met up with GTB and his friends for dinner at Bondi, an Australian restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter. After eating, we all had drinks on the patio, where T.C., Hurley, and I saw the poor, tortured soul of our rickshaw driver ride past. GTB’s dad was in attendance, and he was fantastic. He looks like Papa Smurf, and has the jovial charisma to match. He skillfully talked up females left and right, inviting them over to hang out with our crew (he also rolled out the quote of the night: “When you’re married, you’re not looking for a commitment.”). Eventually, a group of about 15 beautiful women walked into the restaurant, led by an absolutely gorgeous bride-to-be on her bachelorette party. He grabbed his son, and two minutes later we looked in and saw them amidst the flock of honeys, doing shots and taking pictures. When the two of them returned, they informed us that the bachelorette was marrying a San Diego Charger, and that most of her friends were also married to Chargers. Playing in the NFL never looked so appealing.

Shortly after that, we noticed an attractive blonde girl who was sitting at the bar all by herself. GTB’s dad was on it in a heartbeat, and a minute later we were being introduced to Krista. She had recently moved to San Diego for her job, and was looking to make friends (insert random crude sex joke here). We must have been “friendly” enough, because she accompanied us to our next drinking hole: Maloney’s, an Irish pub several blocks away. Once there, Krista did some quick math and decided that she was better off with one drunken guy instead of 16; she found a new man at the bar, and that was the last we talked to her all night.

Maloney’s has a unique feature to their atmosphere: They play regular top-40/juke music, but occasionally the music will stop, and a popular movie scene comes on over the speakers and on TV screens throughout the bar. For example: Nicholson’s “Here’s Johnny!” scene from “The Shining”; the scene in “Caddyshack” where Chevy Chase displays golf course Zen; and, our personal favorite, the Baby Jesus scene from “Talladega Nights.” If you’re like my friends and I, and randomly spout off funny quotes from movies when you’re hammered, this is an ingenious idea. If a beer pong table with 12 cups set up on it had slid out of the wall, I might have applied for a barback job.

I was approaching blackout-drunk, and pulled one of my, “F**k it, I’m leaving” moves. Amazingly, I actually paid my tab and got my credit card back before stumbling out the door and down the street. I was probably 6 or 7 blocks into the stroll before, “You’re not in Pittsburgh, jackass—you have no idea where you’re going!” came echoing from somewhere in my head. For the next 45 minutes to an hour (I’m estimating, because none of us have a clue just how long it was), I walked up and down the streets of San Diego, looking for my hotel. When I found it, I decided that it was of the utmost importance that I check my e-mail then and there, so I hopped on a computer in the lobby's internet café. Why? Hell if I know. I was determined, but I was also WAY too drunk to remember my password, or…see.

After a long time of me repeatedly failing at passwords with my face two inches from the screen, Hurley appeared and sat down at the computer next to me. His story? He had met a cute girl from San Francisco at the bar who was into him. While macking her, a random guy came out of nowhere, pointed at Hurley with his index finger inches from his face, and said to the girl, “You can do better than THIS guy!” Hurley fired back, “Yeah, but you and I can walk outside.” The jerk made a hasty retreat, unprepared to finish what he was about to start. The girl later gave Hurley her number, and he promised to call her the next day. But a few minutes afterwards, he accidentally deleted her number as he walked down the street. Refusing to accept defeat at the cruel hands of fate, he was now scouring MySpace in an attempt to find her (we drunkenly stalk because we love, ladies).

I have no idea how or when T.C. got home, and neither does he. All we know is that he and GTB were standing outside of the Marriott front doors heckling passersby. Some married guys, when off on their own, revert to their college days and chase tail; some revert to their college days and act like idiots. I’m sure for all T.C.’s wife and GTB’s fiancée have to put up with, sometimes they are just relieved that they each have the lesser of the two evils.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

San Diego Nights 1: The Beginning

Where do I start?

Four days of planes, booze, trains, booze, women, booze, food, booze, beaches, booze, and general craziness…

…and booze. I think I kissed my late 70s goodbye this weekend. And along with it went quite a lot of money. It’s tough to party in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter when you live on a Pittsburgh budget, but somehow we made it happen. There was way too much to cover in one installment, so for right now I’m just going to give you Thursday night.

We landed in Cali at around a quarter to 11 p.m., after a long eight hours of air travel. On our first flight, T.C. sat next to an elderly Russian woman who routinely produced containers of chicken and various other cooked foods from her carry-on (I guess those little bags of peanuts weren’t hearty enough for her) while listening to opera music at full-blast on her headphones (I could hear it from my window seat on the other side of the plane). By the time beverage service started on the second flight, I was ready for the getdown. Vodka-tonics, here we go. Two helped ease me through the next four hours of flight time. And while there were several good looking women onboard, it was the married man among us who found himself being talked-up by one. It says a lot about T.C.’s character that he didn’t discretely slide off his wedding ring; it probably says even more about mine that I would’ve.

The groom-to-be (GTB) called as we were getting into our room, and gave us two words: “Hard Rock.” We found him and his crew at Sweetwater Saloon, a bar on the ground floor of the Hard Rock Hotel. Beautiful women were everywhere, and most of them short on clothing—my type of place. Hurley and T.C. each opened a tab, and the three of us began pounding back the Red Bull & Vodkas and assorted shots. Those two tabs weren’t pretty by time the bar closed, and I still owe each of them money on them.

After about an hour, we were admiring some of the female forms on display when a young guy came hopping into the bar, charged up (on more than just alcohol, it seemed). Jumping up and down, dropkicking imaginary foes, he told us he had graduated from WVU and was the owner of a financial website. The startup business had taken off for him, he claimed, making him well over 200K in the past year. He then hopped up on a couch and began humping the back of the seat, while bouncers looked on (only slightly amused). After ten minutes or so (and a couple more dropkicks), he ran over to the other side of the bar to catch up with his buddy. Jokingly, Hurley turned to T.C. and I and said, “He’s probably going to start humping the bar.” No sooner had the words left his lips, than the Karate Kid did just that, throwing one foot onto the bar and thrusting at the cocktail condiments. Before closing time, he’d bought us shots of tequila (Hurley wussed out, walking out of sight and pouring his out) and offered me a $2000 a week job. If I had thought there was any truth to it, I would’ve typed up a resume on the spot.

Leaving the bar at the end of the night, we discovered that they have rickshaws in the Gaslamp, and the comedy of our three large persons being pulled in one was just too great to pass up. We stuffed ourselves into the back of a rickshaw piloted by a girl in her early 20s, who was about to get the workout of her life. GTB gave us a good shove to get her going, and off we went. She made it halfway up the long hill up to our hotel (with Hurley snapping pictures of her exposed thong) before we finally felt pity for her and hopped out.

The next night we saw her riding down the street and called out to her from a restaurant patio. She waved at us and forced a smile, but there was some cringe in there, too (which I took to mean, “I nearly tore a tendon, you sons-of-bitches; come near my rickshaw and I’m calling the police”). I was happy to see her still going, though. I was convinced that the poor girl would be in the hospital.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

"You Stay Classy, San Diego"

I’m off to the land of milk and honey. Well, not exactly; the land of Coronas and Coppertone, maybe? Tomorrow I leave for a weekend vacay in San Diego, CA with T.C. and Hurley (loyal readers may remember him as the friend who announced and then began the shot barrage that destroyed me on my birthday—roughly the equivalent to putting me in the paddle-less canoe and shoving it into Sh*t Creek). T.C. was invited to a coworker’s bachelor party, and in turn invited Hurley and me to come along, since he doesn’t know any of the coworker’s friends. I’ve always loved San Diego (I’m still just a SoCal boy at heart), and have been known to enjoy a good party now and then; receiving an “economic stimulus check” made the trip a no-brainer. Thank you, Dubya.

It figures that Kev (The Hero) is in Vegas the same weekend that I’m in Cali; I would’ve enjoyed kicking his ass at cards and then hitting the S.D. clubs with him afterwards. Another time, I guess.

There is a part of me that’s sad about leaving Pittsburgh this weekend, though; the Pens pulled out Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals in Detroit Monday night, and are two wins away from a miracle comeback. If they win the Cup, it will be on Saturday and I’ll be 2500 miles away from the biggest party this city has seen since 1992.** The feeling would be bittersweet if the Pens shocked the world but I wasn’t able to do the Bell Biv Devoe dance from “Poison” in the middle of Carson Street while drunken Yinzer chicks around me ripped off their tops, made out, and sprayed IC Light all over each other.


[**Some readers might point to the Steelers’ alleged win in Super Bowl XL as a more recent triumph by a local team. But as an honest—albeit biased—sports fan, I refuse to recognize that debacle as a legitimate game; for similar reasons, I maintain that Barret Robbins’ insane actions nullified the results of Super Bowl XXXVII. Factor in all we’ve learned since Spygate first broke, and history shall now show the last five Super Bowl champions as follows:

2008 – New York Giants
2007 – Indianapolis Colts
2001 – Baltimore Ravens
2000 – St. Louis Rams
1999 – Denver Broncos

I have spoken.]

Monday, June 2, 2008

You Can't Make This Up

Imagine, for a moment, the following scenario:

You’re a guy hanging out at a jumping Memorial Day cookout. And while there are lots of attractive young women at this party, you have been informed by the hostess that only one or two of them are available. Of these two girls, one is a beautiful blonde, who has a personality to match her looks. Unfortunately, the odds are against you in this scenario; because, while there’s one of her, there are 5 or 6 of you—that is, a young, single man with interest in winning her affections. Never one to back down from a challenge, though, you toss your hat into the ring. You find a moment to grab her attention, and then manage to hold it with interesting conversation, foregoing games of beer pong and exchanging drunken stories with your friends, devoting your sole attention to this angel. She leaves early that night, but not before suggesting that you visit her on the following Friday night at the place where she bartends.

Now, to say you’re excited would be an understatement. Not only is she a great girl who seems to have shown some genuine interest in you, but you have just outmaneuvered every other single guy at the cookout. You’re the winner, the undisputed champ of the party; you have bragging rights over a field of competitors. And over the next few days, your mind occasionally drifts off, daydreaming about the fun you and she can have together, and the looks of jealousy you will be collecting from your boys when they find out that you’re involved with her. You gather some of your friends on the appointed Friday—including her friend “T-Dizzle,” the party hostess who introduced you to each other—and venture out to the object of your desire’s bar. You enter, and see her standing there with a smile, looking every bit as fine as you remembered. You stand behind T-Dizzle as she greets her friend, and await the friendly-yet-encouraging hug that a brand new romantic interest brings. And as T-Dizzle turns to acknowledge you, with anticipation and nerves building in your head, the beautiful blonde vixen looks straight into your eyes and says…

“Nice to meet you.”

Now imagine how many shots and frosty mugs of beer you have to wash down the throats of your boys (one of whom has an internet blog, and is just enough of an a**hole to post your story) just to get them to stop laughing. …And—if there’s any mercy in this world—to forget.