Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy 2010!

I hope all of you are ringing in the New Year with those close to you—namely Mo, Jack, Jim, Cris, Bud, or even that cute little Pauli girl. New Year’s Eve is an On the Rocks kind of night, and as you can imagine TJ and I will be doing it up tonight with our reality TV worthy crew of friends.

Here’s to everyone having a safe and blurry start to the next decade. Pop the cork, watch the ball drop, and get down with the get down. Cheers!

The One-Night Stand Flowchart

I would advise that all of you print out a copy of this and keep it in your wallet, but it would be pointless since you'd be too drunk to read when the time came to use it. This is a great find by Chappy, though.

(From 9GAG)

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Terrible Twos

Happy 2nd birthday to On the Rocks! Founded December 18th, 2007, our little plot of internet real estate has hopefully become a "favorite" or "bookmark" in everyone's browser. I'm sure I'll be tipping back a glass or twelve tonight, so wherever you are out there, join me in celebrating another year of boozing, debauchery, and shenanigans. Salud.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Hangover on DVD

Just released today, this standout ode to morning afters is fully "On the Rocks"-approved. I ordered a Blu-ray copy over a month ago; TJ used his connections to secure a copy of the DVD last week, and some of our crew had a small Friday night viewing at Chappy and Toe's.

If you haven't seen it yet...then I'm just glad you're out of the coma you had to have been in for the last eight months. If you have seen it, then you know that this is a "must-have" for any true boozehound's collection. Go get you some.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Bitch in the Matrix

“A déjà vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix.”

This past Friday saw an unusual uptick in the level of bitchy behavior exhibited by female bar-goers in Shadyside. In my “vast” experience of boozing in my neighborhood, the people you meet while barhopping around The ‘Side—girls in particular—tend to be a little more laidback and friendly than those who you encounter in other areas of the city. And I really can’t offer up either a scientific explanation or a witty joke to back up this theory. It is what it is.

Early in the night I escorted my mother to the yearly Christmas party thrown by the department with whom she used to work. It has become an annual tradition for us: I’m the DD, and she’s tossing back glasses of scotch, wine, etc. It’s one of those rare moments when I’m the responsible, sober one, and she’s the can’t-stand-up-without-holding-onto-the-valet-attendants’-podium one. The comedy of watching my mother struggle to keep her balance on the perfectly-level ground floor of Lidia’s (a very nice downtown Italian restaurant) alone is worth the sacrifice of sobriety. Plus I get free drinks (limited as I was in my consumption, I did get to enjoy a glass of 18 year old Glenlivet) and a free dinner. That’s a tough deal to beat.

After dinner I dropped off my thoroughly-soused mom at her home several miles outside of Pittsburgh and then headed back to my place in town. On the way I spoke with Pakistanimal, who along with TJ was at Chappy and Toe’s house pregaming. Pak’s girlfriend had given him—as he himself put it—“a hall pass for the night,” and he was therefore eager to get his drink on. The problem, however, laid in the terms and conditions of the partying contracts that our fellow crew members were willing to sign that night. Dupa was in the South Side, and wanted all of us to meet up with him. But TJ vetoed this idea out of respect to his own girlfriend: Dupa was hanging with a jumpoff whose girl has chased after TJ since the summertime; and, now that he’s involved with a girl of sound mind and body, TJ has done his best to shake this slutty pursuer. As for Chappy, he didn’t want to come out unless Yum was going to be in attendance, which wasn’t likely to happen. Apparently the concept of “bros before ho's” is lost on the guy (not that Yum is a ho; but “sweet girl you have a kindergarten crush on” doesn’t have the same rhythmic nature to it…). By the time I got home, I was disenchanted with my friends’ antics, and decided I was staying on my couch the rest of the night. I even tried to ignore a phone call from Pak, but he quickly followed it up with a text message telling me that he and TJ were already on their way to my place. “Son of a…

We walked to Shady Grove, but found that it was packed both downstairs and up. We tried William Penn Tavern instead, and again found a bar teeming with people. We maneuvered our way to the back patio, and luckily found a few seats at the bar. As TJ and I watched Kobe school the Heat, Pak struck up a conversation with a guy next to him. Eventually we saw them do some shots, and joked with each other about the guy putting the moves on Pak—who happens to be one of the most homophobic people we know. After the stranger walked away and Pak returned his attention to us, I asked if he was waiting two minutes before following his new friend to the parking lot to “make things look less suspicious.” In a poor attempt to wave off our jokes, Pak responded, “Nah—he’s married.” I think he realized the error in his phrasing about three seconds into the uncontrollable laughter that followed. Or maybe it was after the various texts he received from Dupa and other friends of ours to whom we told the story over the next 48 hours.

After an hour or so of drinks and shots, the three of us found ourselves at Doc’s. As we secured spots at the bar, we noticed that a coworker of Pak’s happened to be directly across the bar from us with her posse. This was the second time that night that we’d happened upon her by chance. The first time was as we walked up Walnut Street from my apartment. Lost in our own conversation, we suddenly heard someone blurt, “Is that [Pakistanimal]?” from a porch that was obscured by trees and bushes. It speaks volumes about my friends that someone can randomly hear a boisterous voice and instantly recognize one of them.

Pak ordered up three shots (as I’ve mentioned before, he orders rounds of shots almost more frequently than he orders rounds of regular drinks), but TJ emphatically declined the one offered to him because he didn’t want to get too sauced that night. I pointed it out to TJ that he was the very same person who had blatantly ignored my wishes only one week prior, when I wanted to avoid getting wrecked. That night he had responded by buying multiple rounds of shots and calling me hurtful names—similar to what Pak and I were now doing. TJ’s frustrated response: “…I-I don’t care…kiss my ASS, son!”

Little did we know it, but the estrogen level at Doc’s was boiling like magma deep inside of Mt. St. Helen’s. With an extra shot now available, Pak offered it to a small Asian girl standing next to us. She gave him a strange look and walked away. Okaaayyy… He offered it to two other girls at the bar, who each reacted as if he’d asked them to make out while he took pictures. Ironically, this helped feed Pak’s suspicions that they were, in fact, lesbians. He and I decided to split the shot, and move on with our night. Pak also had a speculative theory about the Asian girl: she probably didn’t speak English, which led to her rejecting his offer. But then ten minutes later, with “Cupid Shuffle” booming from the juke box, we spotted her amongst a small crowd of girls who were doing the line dance. And she wasn’t just dancing; she was rocking it like a little Asian J-Lo. (“A-Lo”? …nevermind.)

Pak soon decided to buy another round of three shots; this time, he had the 3rd sent to Coworker. She happily toasted with us from across the bar and then downed the gift. I noticed, however, that she had a cute redheaded friend sitting next to her at the bar. And while Coworker was surrounded by about four guys who I would have to assume are “fans” of Abercrombie & Fitch’s Facebook page, the petite redhead was sitting off to the side, seemingly unnoticed. “Look at the poor little ginger girl,” I said, calling TJ and Pak’s attention to her. “She looks so bored and lonely.”

I decided, then, that I should take it upon myself to help cheer her up. I ordered a round of Washington Apples, which are strong enough to knock you backwards but still sweet enough for girls to like them, and had the third sent to Ginger. Expecting an appreciative smile and a toast, such as Coworker had given, Pak and I lifted our glasses to her as the bartender sat the shot in front of her. But to my bewilderment, Ginger looked down at it, and with a look of disgust pushed it away while shaking her head. She didn’t so much as look over to us and say a polite, “Thanks but no thanks.” Coworker, who was obviously the fun one, swooped in like a vulture. She quickly grabbed the blocked shot [*sigh*…Puns are like the literary version of the token slut at the bar: cheap and easy, and you know should stay away…but sometimes you just can’t help yourself. And you’re always left feeling dirty about it the next day] and slammed it, and thanked me while toasting the empty glass.

The miserable attitudes of all these women, however, paled in comparison to the night’s final encounter. We stopped by Shady Grove, which by now had seen the crowd die down, to get the last few drinks of the night. When we walked up to the bar, though, we quickly found ourselves in the line of fire from a blonde girl seated to my left. As I talked with Pak, who by then had succumbed to the night’s excesses, Bitchy McBitcherson began running her mouth. I tried to politely ignore her, though Pak was incapable of doing the same. When he responded to one of her I’m-funny-because-the-losers-that-are-trying-to-have-sex-with-me-laugh-when-I-say-things insults, I advised her to “do you.” Her witty retort was, “One of you has bad breath!” I shook my head and brushed it off. As I debated with Pak over getting a drink or just leaving to get pizza—TJ, who since the argument over shots had easily become the night’s “kid brother,” wanted pizza and was on the verge of throwing a temper tantrum—Bitchy McB. spoke up again. [It’s worth noting that, while I easily remember her petulant manner and the snide style of her comments, I cannot remember most of the specific things that she said. I think this is due to my brain’s “Annoying-Bitch Blathering Filter” kicking on early and preventing most of her from intruding upon my consciousness. “ABBF”—don’t leave home without it.] After I again advised her to search for someone who cared, she looked at me and said, “It’s you. Your breath smells!” Tired of her nonsense, I inhaled deeply and then blew in her face. I then explained one last time, for clarification purposes, “I. Don’t. Give. A. Fuck. About it, or about YOU.” Pak, eager to come to my aid, began slurring something at her as well. Trying to return his attention to the beer/pizza decision again, I reminded him, “Please stop talking to her. Nothing she has to say matters…about anything. Focus.” I think Bitchy McB. was still talking at that point, but I had turned my back to her and turned up my ABBF so high that she no longer existed. Figuring it was a good idea to remove Pak before he Jersey Shore’d her, though, we headed off into the night, in search of food.

We never did find any food, though. I should’ve just stayed on my couch.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fort Days 2009: Fantasy vs. Reality

Stop me if you’ve heard it before:

A guy is standing at the bar in a posh nightclub, when the bartender hands him a drink that he didn’t order. Before he can even express his confusion, the barkeep explains that a woman on the other side of the bar has sent it to him. Scanning the crowded establishment, the man spots a stunningly gorgeous woman whose eyes are doing things to him that would make Roxy Jezel blush. He smiles, and graciously lifts the glass in the air to show his appreciation. The smoldering vixen seizes the opportunity and glides over to him. Charismatic small talk ensues, and when the sun rises the next morning the two lovebirds are laying on a hotel bed, wearing nothing but perfectly-placed sheets and a smile.

Centuries of artistic license by authors, playwrights, and screenwriters has trained us to believe that this scenario actually happens to some lucky schmuck out there. The people in the story are always beautiful, their charms are always intoxicating. And the result is almost always the same: giggity.

But that’s a fantasy; the fodder of Hollywood movies, letters to Penthouse, and teenage daydreams. The reality? Well, that’s the fodder of this blog.

On the second Saturday of October I met up with Dupa and TJ at Joe’s Bar in Ligonier to celebrate Fort Ligonier Days. Sadly, the turnout this year was nowhere near the standing-room-only crowd that packed the place last year. TJ was taking in his inaugural Fort Days, though, and the experience of French and Indian War reenactors in full costume mingling with “civilians” in a smoky bar was more than enough to satisfy his recipe for a party. By the time I joined them, he and Dupa were a good three hours into pounding back drinks prepared by Prince of Ligonier and little could dampen their spirits. As for me: I was handed a Jack and Coke within mere seconds of entering the bar, so the night was instantly placed in the “win” column.

The four of us—plus Prince’s mother, his wife, and her parents; not to mention various old friends of both he and Dupa’s—drank, joked, laughed, drank, took pictures with “soldiers”, drank, and generally kept things lively. Dupa and an old high school friend left the bar to sneak into the Fort itself and drink with reenactors (roughly 5 minutes after getting in, however, some hardcore reenactor played the role of bouncer and bullied them out the doors). TJ fruitlessly cheered on his Michigan Wolverines as they were dismantled by Iowa; eventually, he resigned himself to boozing away the pain. And then, about halfway through the night… I was about to order a fresh Jack & Coke from the bartender; but when I turned to do so, I found her already standing there with a drink in hand. With a little grin she said, “This is from the woman at the end of the bar.”

Now, you can probably imagine the thoughts racing through my mind when I heard those words. As someone who grew up in front of TV and movie screens filled with the aforementioned fantastical fictional images, all I could envision was looking down to the end of the bar and seeing Rashida Jones. Or January Jones. Hell, at least Catherine Zeta-Jones. Instead I saw Bridget Jones.

Don’t get me wrong; I know I’m no Zac Efron. [Side note: I would never have used him as a random example of the Hollywood male ideal before seeing his cameo on Entourage earlier this year. Prior to that episode, his name brought on nausea in the same way that watching someone pour ketchup on a steak does. But in a mere 5 minutes of screen time, he won me over by actually showing a sense of humor about his status in the world. Zac Efron’s not a total douche—who would’ve figured?] And I would later discover that the lass—or whatever the mid-to-late-30s version of “lass” would be—was a very down-to-earth and nice woman. But I’m a guy, and therefore I’m as shallow as a kiddie pool when it comes to being hit on by strange women in a bar. And even though I was standing in a bar in Ligonier, PA, I was fully expecting to see a Playboy bunny on the other side of the room. Instead, reality bitch-slapped me.

Nice guy that I am, I tried to acknowledge the gift and thank her with the textbook raise-of-the-glass-and-nod-of-the-head. Curiously, though, she wouldn’t look my way. As it turns out, she was bold enough to send the drink, but much too shy to engage in any resulting eye contact. I asked the bartender to communicate my thanks for me, then, and went back to my friends (who were, of course, full of new stand-up material centering on this episode). After 15 minutes or so, a cougarish blonde woman approached me. She was a friend of “Bridget,” and was now pulling the high school tactic of intervening for her shy compatriot. The first full question out of her mouth? “Do you want to do a body shot off of her?”


I’ve done body shots before, and if I’ve learned anything it’s how awkward they can be—physically, that is, not socially. Place the shot glass in cleavage, and it’s likely to tip and spill, no matter how deep the cup holder. The same happens with shots done from the booty cleavage (yes, I’ve seen this happen). The best body shots are taken from a navel; but, obviously, the size of the area around the navel is crucial. It may sound somewhat narrow-minded, but it’s a fact. How many of you ladies have looked at a guy who looks like Kevin James and have thought about drinking anything off of any part of him? Exactly.

[Another side note: What are the chances that—in the same night—you could (1.) have a strange woman hit on you by sending you a drink, and (2.) be propositioned to do a body shot off a woman…and that neither offer would be the least bit appealing to you? If I could go back in time and put money down on the Vegas odds of that night’s strange string of events, I’d be reclined in the Cote d’Azur right now.]

By this time Dupa had returned from the Fort and a stop by his friend’s apartment nearby. TJ and Prince immediately informed him of the happenings going on, which prompted Dupa to dancingly announce, “Ain’t no shot like a body shot!” TJ and Prince missed about the next 20 minutes or so of action, both having retreated to the bar’s kitchen, where they each crumpled on the floor in uncontrollable laughter.

My Polish brethren’s reappearance gave me an idea, though. I struck a deal with Bridget’s friend: I’d do a body shot off of Bridget, if the friend did one off of Dupa. She quickly agreed, and went back to retrieve her girl. I found Dave, one of Dupa’s friends, and told him about the deal. He and I then conspired to grab Dupa, throw him on the bar, and hold him down while the party started (think “The Accused,” only with less sympathy for the victim). But when the two ladies came back for the fun, Dupa caught wind of his unplanned involvement in the activities. Instead of running, he portrayed true Dupa form by suggesting that he lay on the pool table while she did the shot out of his navel. Touché.

Shots were ordered up, Dupa hopped on the table and pulled back his shirt, and Bridget’s friend went to town (it had probably been a solid 15 years since her lips had touched 28 year old flesh). I looked at Bridget with a grin and said, “My turn!” We had decided, understandably, that I would do the shot from her cleavage (which was ample, as you might expect). She deftly placed the shot, and I went in after it. Like I said earlier, though, body shots done from there can be (physically) awkward. And, sure enough, I spilled about a quarter of it down her shirt. Eager as I was to do the shot and get things over with, I had fumbled with the glass. Bridget feigned displeasure at the alcohol going down her shirt, although I’m sure she was only doing so in the hopes that I was going to personally clean up the mess. Best believe, I was not. TJ, loving every moment of what the night had become, attempted to laugh at me for fulfilling Bridget’s body shot order.

Me: “Hey, I got to do a shot and nuzzle some boobs. I’m failing to see the downside.”

Bridget tried her best to convince me to join her and her friends, as they would be moving onto another bar. I kept my feet firmly planted as far away from the edge of that proverbial cliff as possible, fully aware that Dupa and TJ would kick me over the side if they had a chance. Bridget and her blonde friend went back to the other side of the bar and collected the rest of their crew, which included an attractive brunette who my friends and I had not noticed until just then. As they packed up and left, TJ suddenly felt cheated. “Damn it,” he said, realizing that Dupa and I would likely have been handcuffed to Bridget and her friend, leaving the attractive one unclaimed. “She would’ve been mine!”

Prince’s Mom quickly countered that notion, however. “No, dear. [D.e.f.i.] was taking two.”

Friday, October 16, 2009

You Can Get It...

It's Friday, so here's to everyone out there getting the can.

How Do You Know When You've Had Too Much?

When you're so drunk you can't even handle a simple trip to the store to buy another case. Hilarious clip here. And take note: it's still daylight outside while this is happening.

(the security cam footage freezes early on, but stick with it)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hooters Girl Rodeo

Love. Her.

A good woman is hard to find. A good one who is beautiful is even rarer. And a beautiful one who can ride a bar stool in a circle while perfectly pouring a beer? The only word coming to mind is "wifey".

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Dolphin Choking

I have wanted to write this story for…well, for about 6 years now. And the blog has only been around for about 20 months, so that should tell you something. It’s a Dupa classic, and considering how insane some of his more mundane exploits are, that should tell you something too.

Really, the only thing that has been keeping it under wraps thus far was my “No Snitching” clause. At the time of the story Dupa was over a year into what would eventually be a six year relationship. We were part of an epic group vacation in Ocean City, MD, and his beloved girlfriend was not with us…

…I think you see where this is going.

The relationship finally wheezed its last raspy breath last year. But, out of respect for the dead, I was still determined not to air my boy’s dirty laundry. Then, back in June, I was writing the story of MoFo’s wedding, and asked Dupa what level of discretion should be used when telling his piece of the action (wait, did I just pun?...sorry, happens without me even trying sometimes). “After all,” I reminded him, “that took place while you were still with [her].” His response was a measured and resolute “fuck her.” Very well then…

I’ve told a few of the tales from that beach trip in past blog posts. Those eight days in August 2003 were a smorgasbord of booze, quotes, and hilarity. In addition to Dupa’s status as a taken man, BlahBlahBlah (BBB) found himself in a relatively new relationship with the woman who would eventually become his wife (“Mrs. BBB”). Although she had not come along with us at the trip’s outset, Mrs. BBB and four or five of her friends later decided to drive down and join us for the last few days of the vacation.

On the next to last night, our crew split into two groups. BBB, his girlfriend, her friends, and a couple of others went out to dinner at a buffet. Dupa, seven of our friends, and I went to Scandals, where I soon made the first of many blunders with Juli. After a couple of hours of $1 glasses of Hulk, our faction caught the bus from Scandals over to Club 24 to meet up with BBB’s group. While the Hulk had ruined my ability to talk, it’d had quite the opposite effect on Dupa. On the back of the crowded bus, with no warning, he began channeling his ancestors by speaking (loudly) in an exaggerated Eastern European accent. He had turned into Borat, long before there even was a Borat. While our friends and I laughed, and numerous confused strangers watched, Dupa began rattling off praise and amazement over the modern wonderments of America, such as the “motorized wagon” on which we sat.

In joining the party already in progress at Club 24, we found most of BBB’s squad stationed at a large table just off of the dance floor. Exploring the premises, Dupa and I found ourselves a special shot bar, featuring tubes of blue and red elixirs that looked liked something from “The Matrix”. It only took a few words of Polish-accented suggestion for me to join my friend in downing a tube of each color. By that point in the trip, I’d drank so much that I had lost all concern for my own personal well-being; putting away new and untested alcohols and concoctions was merely standard operating procedure.

On our way back to our friends' table, we happened upon our boy, “Erin Go Bragh” (EGB), dancing with one of Mrs. BBB’s friends (“Wagon”, because of the one she was draggin’). Dupa, charmed by Wagon’s physical talents, decided to undercut EGB. Tapping him on the shoulder, he said, “BBB wants you.” EGB obligingly went over to the table to see what was up; Dupa then grabbed Wagon and started freaking her. There’s simply no honor amongst thieves.

I went to the bar for a drink, and soon found myself inches away from a “Wild On!” segment being filmed for E!. After watching a random vacationing slore do a shot from a bottle nozzle stuck through the dickhole of the bartender’s boxer briefs—all for the cameras, I stopped past the dance floor again to check on my compatriot. There I found him with his tongue in Wagon’s mouth, and his hand down the back of her pants. Chuckling, I returned to the table where everyone else was.

Me: “Dupa and Wagon are making out on the dance floor.”
Mrs. BBB: *surprised, and genuinely bummed out* “She was supposed to be for EGB!”

I sat down and drank with the rest of the gang. About 10 minutes after I’d left them on the dance floor, Dupa and Wagon appeared back at the table. Sitting down next to me and leaning over to my ear, he said, “D.E.F.I. pleaaassse tell me you have a condom! Please, please, please, PLEASE tell me you have one!” When I produced one from my pocket and deftly slid it to him under the table, he thanked me more appreciatively than a drowning man whose been thrown a life preserver. When everyone left Club 24 at close, I managed to get separated. And when I finally returned home after an adventure of my own, I was none-too-surprised to find that Dupa hadn’t been seen since.

An hour or so later, a couple of guys returned to the condo with a pizza, and the two or three of us who were sitting around talking hungrily joined them in the feast. As we were doing so, however, the door flung open, and in charged a visibly-agitated Dupa. Throwing the unopened Lifestyles down on the kitchen counter, he mumbled in disgust, “Here’s your fucking condom.”

All of us were shocked, and instantly began pressing him for details. He responded, “I don’t want to talk about it right now” and walked off to his bedroom. A minute or two later he returned, grabbed a slice of pizza, devoured it, and quickly calmed down (marinara and mozzarella can be remarkably soothing). He then, at last, revealed to us the events that took place after he left Club 24:
    Eager to find some alone time, he and Wagon headed back to her hotel room. Unfortunately, she was sharing it with married friends of hers, who either didn’t know that they were cockblocking, or maybe just didn’t care (I know the couple in question; and, really, either option would be believable). Wagon suggested to Dupa that they go back to his place, but he knew all of us were there and…well, that was an obvious “no.” They decided, then, to take a walk on the beach.

[Note: After being a part of two group vacations in Ocean City, and hearing countless stories from other trips, I find it simply amazing that the city is so accommodating to all of the afterhours beach sex that goes on every summer night. Stroll down the boardwalk at about 4 a.m. with some night vision goggles, and you’ll probably need both hands to count how many hookups you spot. They have large machines which come through and clean the sand every night, and guessing how many used condoms it picks up everyday has to be something like the fundraisers where you guess how many jellybeans are in a fishbowl. Of course, I’ve never engaged in this tawdry vacation ritual myself, so…maybe I’m just hating a little. But I digress…]

When they got to the beach, they soon returned to the progress that they had been making at the club. Finding a spot of uninhabited (but not in any way hidden to people less than 100 feet away) sand, they laid down and got closer to the end game. And then…
Wagon: “We…can’t. I’m on my period.”
Dupa: “Hey, I don’t care. We’re here on the beach. Let’s just do it.”
Wagon: “Okay.” *reaches into her shorts and pulls out a large maxi pad, and sails it Frisbee-style into the ocean*

From reading my tales about Dupa’s craziness, you have probably surmised just how hard it is to floor him. You pretty much either have to be a pair of 40 year old swingers or…toss your used maxi pad into the ocean.

Giving her a quick “I can’t do this,” he zipped up, walked a confused Wagon back to her hotel, and then bolted without so much as a goodnight kiss. As we laughed hysterically at this news, someone asked him to confirm just where the pad had landed.

Dupa: “In the ocean! Some dolphin’s probably choking on it!”
Me: “She’s killed Flipper!”

Friday, September 18, 2009

What I Learned This Summer

If you’re a fan of this blog, then you know the standard rote of my stories is anything but somber. Bawdy, and at times both self-depreciative and full-on arrogant, I try to focus on the lighter side of things when presenting you glimpses of my life. More “Welcome to the party,” less Sylvia Plath. But after seeing me use “rote,” “somber,” “bawdy,” and “self-depreciative” in the first two dozen or so words, you probably already know that this post is going to be a little different.

To be cliché, the summer of ’09 was an emotional rollercoaster for yours truly. It started on the high that comes with true and devoted love, and the implicit freedom of spirit that summer brings. It ended…well, south of there. But not before going through loops and twists, screeching dives and nerve-melting climbs.

My less-than-prolific writing for the page in the last couple of months has had everything to do with my relationship with Girlfriend dying a valiant but painful death. I’ve never written a country song, so heartache and beers don’t go together well for me. My time spent at watering holes and social events dropped to about an eighth of what it normally was, including a solid month where I stayed away from nightlife all together. I missed a raucous celebration at Barroom for Baby Joey’s birthday, a drunken “Jam on Walnut” concert in July, South Side shenanigans, guys’ nights at strip clubs, and much more, all while alternating between trying to piece together my love life and trying to piece together my sanity.

When I finally did manage to put the woes of my personal life aside for a night here and there, my friends did their utmost to make sure that I—and by extension, On the Rocks—was provided with quality happenings and material. The catch is that the next day I was always right back in reality; nursing a hangover in both my heart and my head, and uninterested in scribing about the sights, sounds, and laughs that had been had.

Now, after two months, I’ve decided to gather those random anecdotes that have been sitting dormant in my memory banks while I’ve let my wounds heal. And, given the change of the season and the self-reflection that comes with saying goodbye to another summer—not to mention, that which comes with saying goodbye to someone incredibly special to me—I’ve put it all into a list of lessons that the summer of 2009 has taught me. I’m not abandoning humor altogether, of course. Nothing helps cure pain better than laughter; but forgive me for expressing a bit more sentiment than one might come to expect from a typical “On the Rocks” writing. So, in no particular order…
  • Tequila is a bitch–and I’m not talking about Tila. Although I’m sure Shawne Merriman wouldn’t disagree if I were. Shots of Patron were inexplicably made a key part of Chappy’s birthday celebration one Saturday in late August. The next day sunlight felt like lasers being beamed through my retinas. A week later, at TK’s birthday party, I was guilted into doing two shots of Cuervo. I ended the night relatively sober, but still felt like I was going to die the following morning. Maybe it’s just a sign of my age—I used to drink the stuff (ironically) on the rocks. But now it’s liquid H1N1 to me.
  • Chappy’s a clever little rascal. The morning after his birthday partying, I awoke to a voicemail from him on my phone. “Hey buddy. I hid a bottle of Gatorade in your kitchen so [LRG] and Toe wouldn’t drink it, but I forgot about it. If you want it, it’s in the cupboard above your fridge.” I went to the cabinet and, sure enough, there was a delicious blue “morning after pill” (a 32 oz. bottle of Gatorade) tucked away next to the microwaveable popcorn. I was thoroughly impressed—I didn’t even think the diminutive guy could reach all the way up there.
  • Cleverness, however, does not translate into fashion sense. After making his final wardrobe preparations for a birthday spent hitting the Shadyside bars, Chappy emerged from the bedroom of my apartment wearing a tight, military gray button down shirt with straps on the shoulders.
  • Me: “Hey look, it’s Pat Benatar!” TJ: “Dawg, Fidel Castro is in Shadyside!” Me: *everyone’s laughing* “Don’t listen to them, Chappy. Love is a battlefield.”
  • 60 percent of the time, it works EVERY time. LRG made a faux pas of his own: too much cologne. When he walked into the living room after getting ready, a Chernobyl cloud of musk engulfed all of us.
  • TJ: “Go easy on the ‘Sex Panther,’ son!”
  • There may never be another icon in music as big as Michael Jackson. In these fast-paced, bottom line-driven days of Twittering-induced media frenzies, stress-induced burnouts, and substance abuse-induced rehab stints, no one man or woman is capable of standing as a polarizing pop idol. The global scale of the mourning, and the number of impromptu public memorials that took place within 24 hours of Michael’s passing were mind-blowing. And this was after the last 20 years of his life, which were fraught with accusations, oddities, and controversy that tainted many people’s perceptions of him. Love him or hate him, each and every one of you ultimately knew his name and his songs. What other human being has ever been that famous? There are foreign countries where you can say “Elvis Pressley” and be met with a blank stare; or mention Jay-Z’s name, and no one even notices. But all of them—every last one of them—knew who Michael Jackson was.
  • Beer pong has come to the hood. Not that you’ll be seeing Game and Kanye playing in a video anytime soon. But when I went to Baltimore for my cousin’s wedding in May, I found myself playing the sport of frat boys on the front porch of another cousin’s row house, while a world that the majority of my fellow W&J alumni have only seen on The Wire buzzed on the streets and alleys all around me.
  • Tigers love pepper. But they hate cinnamon.
  • Streets were made for dancing, not driving. About 15 to 20 of my friends and I were at Carson City Saloon for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals to watch our Penguins win it all. Watching the game itself—a packed bar; live news coverage with one of the local sports anchors on the scene; beers, shots, and food with friends; and nothing but black and gold Pens shirts and jerseys as far as the eye could see—was exciting, but the moments after the game clock ticked “00:00” were sheer mayhem. Beer sprayed in every which direction inside of the bar, and a deafening roar felt like it would blow out the windows. In an instant I was standing in the middle of Carson Street, still screaming my lungs out. People, almost all of whom were complete strangers, were shouting with me, high-fiving, dapping, hugging. Looking back at the doors of CC Saloon, I saw Pakistanimal standing on the steps, screaming and pointing back at me. Dupa and Shock B. joined six or seven other people in climbing atop a Dodge Durango that had the misfortune of being at the stoplight as revelers poured from every doorway and collided in a wash of jerseys, mock Stanley Cups, and uncontrollable exhilaration. Even Sheldon Ingram, the WTAE sports anchor who had been filming live on location, sat on the roof of the Durango, reporting the bedlam to a rolling camera.
  • It’s never too early for a good frozen margarita. Pakistanimal and I went downtown for the Penguins’ victory parade the following Monday morning. While we waited for Chappy to meet up with us, we each decided to order a drink at Easy Street to pass the time. I soon had a new favorite breakfast food.
  • Even though two people love each other, that doesn’t mean that they should be together. We often overlook the wrongs that our significant others do, focusing instead on the good. But sometimes it’s the person you care about the most that can cut you the deepest, and everyone has a limit.
  • Experience can trump youth. At TK’s party, Tony and I stepped up to the beer pong table expecting a battle, as we were two of the oldest people in attendance. Some of our opponents would be less than a year removed from college. In the end we went 6-0, though, only facing one serious challenge where the game was taken into overtime.
  • Alcohol can trump experience. The quote of the day on Chappy’s birthday belonged to LRG, as he tried to persuade Toe to approach two plus-sized girls with him. “They’re fat, but we’re drunk. That equals…happiness.”
  • You can get drunk off of meat. Brazilian grills—such as Green Forest Cafe in Penn Hills, PA—are godsends. Girlfriend, Sherif, Dupa, and I made a trip to Green Forest one Saturday in early July, and I wobbled away three hours later feeling woozy.
  • There’s a fanboy (or girl) inside all of us. Dupa, TJ, and I caught the midnight release of Transformers II: Revenge of the Fallen in June (after dinner and drinks with Pakistanimal at Bar Louie) in a packed-to-the-exits, under-air-conditioned theater. While waiting for the lights to dim, I updated my Facebook status to one that confessed my inner geek. Quickly friends of mine from all around the country chimed in to say they were either at multiplexes too, or planned to be in the next several hours. One female friend and her husband were even at the same Loews, a couple of theaters down the hall.
  • If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was.
  • Germans know how to party. Hofbrauhaus, a new German restaurant and microbrewery in the South Side Works, has quickly gained accolades from the area’s professional drinkers. They serve their “biers”—all of which are delicious—in litre glass steins. And, on a good night, the place is packed with people, loud music, and singing. Prince of Ligonier held a birthday party for his wife there one night in June, giving Dupa, TJ, and I our first experiences with this new arena. At one point I turned to our group and said, “I just saw an Asian girl standing on a table in a German restaurant, singing Neil Diamond. I don’t know what the hell is going on, but I like it!” That night we also had our first experience with a shotski
  • Shotskis are like your friend’s little sister: tempting and fun, but dangerous. TJ’s friend “Yum” recently moved into the region, and came to a cookout at Chappy’s equipped with a shotski from the bar where she works. A few rounds of those had our collection of scoundrels woozy; and, it being my first night of drinking following the aforementioned month on the sidelines, I sped towards a blackout.
  • There’s a reason he’s called “Pakistanimal”. As bad as I was, he was worse. By 11 pm he was vomiting in the middle of the street in front of Chappy’s house, which sits in a very quiet, respectable suburban neighborhood. Not long after that he was shirtless—prominent brown belly glistening under the streetlights—and challenging all comers. Thankfully his girlfriend was on hand to take him home before he could even try to accompany the rest of us to the bar.
  • Misery loves company. When my friend Sales Machine invited me to his house for some poker this past weekend, I accepted. My prime motivation was hanging out with Machine, who lives a pretty fair distance from Pittsburgh and has a family—and, thus, rarely comes out on weekends. On top of that, it was a chance to play cards. But also, beyond all, was my desire to once again put my personal trials out of my head for at least a few hours. Unfortunately, I soon learned that night that Machine and his wife are going through an increasingly worse rough patch of their own, and that it had spurred his interest in my breakup all the more. I wanted to concentrate on how to play my wired 7s from middle position, and he wanted to drink cognac and talk about why I wasn’t able to work things out with my ex.
  • If you’re throwing a party and want it to be classy, have girls plan it; if you want anarchy, let boys plan it. Over three and a half years ago, a group of our female friends (Mrs. T.C., Heather, and Abbie being prominent among them) threw a “Black and White Party” in the pool house/ event center in Heather’s apartment complex. The center is elegantly decorated, with a large flat screen TV in the living room section, a kitchen with sinks, a dishwasher, refrigerator, dishes, and anything else one would need. And the girls made sure that they had the place perfectly prepared for a “formal” party, with rows upon rows of liquor bottles ready to go in the kitchen, beer pong on a folding table set up in the linoleum-floored hallway, and a plentiful menu of party foods and appetizers. Dupa and TK now live in the same apartment plan, and chose to use this same event center for TK’s birthday. The result? Beer pong set up on the two expensive tables (which had been pushed together) in the carpeted dining room area. Kegs sitting on the finely-tiled kitchen floors, sans tubs, with ice melting into water puddles that flooded the kitchen and created footing so treacherous that you were guaranteed to slip when walking across it. No food on hand, leaving guests to fend for themselves, some of us ordering pizza while others made Mickey D’s runs. And the tequila to which I referred earlier was the only bottle of liquor on hand.
  • Jealousy is toxic. It can poison and destroy even the strongest of loves. It may seem like a minor glitch, an insignificant speck on an otherwise spotless bond. But when deep insecurities are feeding into that jealousy, the situation will only get worse, regardless of what you try to do to fight it.
  • Caipirinhas are magical. Unfortunately, living in Pittsburgh significantly decreases their availability to me. But from now on, when I can find one, I will seize the opportunity.
  • There is a special deal going on with travel agencies booking trips to Las Vegas. And, apparently, only girls know about it: Groups of four or more get a discount on rooms and flights if they take pictures at the hotel pool, and someone from the group then posts them on Facebook. Now admittedly, this is just a theory of mine. But no less than six of my female friends—all from different circles of friends—went on “girls’ trips” to Vegas with their various gal pals this summer. And every single one of them has produced a series of group pictures taken at the extravagant Vegas hotel pools. Most of the photos look as though they were captured at the same pool, even in the same exact spot. It’s almost as if the hotel has a prom photographer set up in a designated poolside location taking a never-ending series of the prerequisite “girlfriends” pictures. [Not that I’m complaining, ladies. Now that I’m a single man again, it’s a welcome distraction during my workday. Keep ‘em coming.]
  • Jay Swag may be the funniest drunk I know. August was the month of birthdays, and we celebrated his with a South Side bar crawl that never crawled anywhere. TJ, a friend of his from out of town, and I met up with Swag and his party posse at Rumshakers around 7 pm, and none of us left there before 12:30 am. Resigned to being a drunken mess that night, he refused to hold his tongue. Handing a female friend a fine cigar he’d been given that day, he told her, “Put it where you want me to goo later.” Smiling, she deftly slid it into her cleavage. And at various other times throughout the night, we would cast a glance in his direction and catch sight of him standing behind the very same girl, mock-humping her like a terrier on a leg.
  • My friends can drink. Not that I didn’t necessarily already know this; hell, I’ve made repeated boastings of it throughout the history of this page. But on a few occasions this summer, this point was convincingly reaffirmed for me. And not only my friends, but also their wives and husbands, in-laws, and assorted acquaintances. When we’re gathered in a crowd, it’s impressive to look around and realize that no one is slacking.
  • Loving someone more than you love yourself is frightening. You feel at once invincible and precarious; standing high above the rest of the world, yet one slip and you’re going to crash back to earth.
  • Life never stops; no matter what you may be going through, the world keeps spinning. In the past 4 days alone, both T.C. and Finn have become fathers. Finn and Genoa welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world on Monday evening, and just yesterday Mrs. T.C. gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Congratulations go out to all of them, and here’s to their new families enjoying long, prosperous lives. May there always be better days ahead. Cheers.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Tucker Trailer

In keeping with the new trend of releasing special R-rated movie trailers online only, here is an unrestricted preview of the upcoming release "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell". The "King of England" line is a new favorite of mine; hopefully I'll get some usage out of it someday.

EMBED-I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell Uncensored Red Band Trailer - Watch more free videos

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tucker Max: A Way of Life, and Now a Movie

If you've had access to the internet since 2005, you likely have heard of Tucker Max by now. His stories of alcohol, girls, and outlandish debauchery are legendary—as you can imagine, he's somewhat of an idol of mine. Reading an abundance of his tales during one summer a few years ago even led to a Tuckeresque moment of my own (I'll get to this in a moment). His bestselling book, "I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell" has finally been turned into a movie, which has been promised for quite some time.

As you can see, Tucker is unapologetically brash, especially when talking to girls. Which leads me to my story…

About three years ago, Dr. Kelly hit me up on a Friday night and convinced me to go out with her to a bar in the South Side. I say “convinced” because, though I’m normally eager to go out drinking with her on a Friday night (I’ve
given small examples in the past of the kind of fun Dr. brings to a party), I knew on this night she would be with her friend, “Sloppy Drunk” (SD). SD and I had a bit of a history; on several occasions we had gotten drunk and done the damn thing. But, all too often, when SD got drunk, it didn’t end well. Either she was starting a fight, getting kicked out of a bar for screaming at a bartender, or being a splash of Grey Goose away from passing out. One morning, after a night of heavy boozing and “god’s work,” I awoke in her bed to the sound of water on wood. I looked around the room; still buzzed, she was sitting in her dresser drawer, urinating. Classy with a capital “K,” this one was.

After that morning, I distanced myself from SD, no longer answering her 2 a.m. texts and phone calls. (I mean, what if the next time she didn’t even bother to get out of the bed? Who wants to wake up and find last night’s jumpoff pissing on them? Well, I’m sure some guys would want that to happen, but I damn sure ain't one of them.) But now Dr. Kelly was insisting that I hang out with the two of them; and, booze hound that I am, I finally relented.

For one reason or another, all three of us drove separately to the South Side. And, being that neither I nor Dr. Kelly had ever been to the particular
bar to which we were all headed, we rendezvoused with SD at a gas station so that we could follow her over. When we arrived at the gas station, SD hopped out of her car and ran over to Dr.’s to talk about something. This gave me an opportunity to preview her apparel for the night: a small blue top, tight and low enough to show off her chest (which was quite large; she was a “blessed” girl), and a white jean skirt so short that you could have mistaken it for a tube top. As SD ran back to her car, I shot off a text to Dr. Kelly: “Did they run out of denim when they were making her skirt?” A few moments later a text came back from Dr.: “I love you!”

Once at the bar, we fell into our standard routines: I threw back beers while calculating the douchebag/ redneck/ cool people ratio; Dr. Kelly drank vodka and reveled in the simple joy of being at a bar instead of at a hospital working her internship; and Sloppy Drunk told superficial stories while taking every opportunity to make sure that either I or other guys nearby noticed her.

It quickly occurred to me that this had all the ingredients necessary for me to act like a Tucker Max type of asshole. I’m typically a nice guy, but I had no real reason to hold my tongue when it came to SD. I’d been there and, literally, done that. There was nothing to lose. A guy who hadn’t slept with her before might have tolerated her stories about pop songs and irritating coworkers, in the hopes of getting some tail when the night was over. I, on the other hand, didn’t care. So, as she prattled on about the cute new underwear she had bought that day at Victoria’s Secret, I simply grinned and said, “So is that why you wore that skirt—to show off your panties?”

Dr. Kelly could barely contain her laughter, but SD wasn’t as tickled. Later, she whined about a guy in the bar not coming over to dance with her. “Well,” I offered, “You probably intimidated him; most guys like a challenge.” Time and time again throughout the night, when she’d say something annoying or downright shallow, I’d cut her down. And I was loving every second of it, flashing a grin with every insult. If you’ve read Tucker’s tales, or just have a keen understanding of female behavior, you can probably guess what happened when it came time for SD to head home: she asked me to walk her to her car, which was soon a’rockin.

When I returned to the bar, I found that Dr. Kelly had left, after being abandoned for so long. Unfortunately, she had my cell phone in her purse, which made tracking her down both vital and damn near impossible. [Note: I cannot say with any real certainty anymore just why she was holding it for me. My only guess is that, since I normally carry my phone in my back pocket, before sitting down I asked her to hold it for me so as to avoid trying to cram it into one of my front pockets.]

Taking an educated guess, and knowing Dr. as well as I did, I headed to a nearby after hours club where she was a member. When I reached the doors, a long line stretched down the sidewalk. Many of the people in line were Black, but both the bouncer and Dr. Kelly were white. I asked the doorman if he’d seen Dr. “Yeah, she walked in like five minutes ago. *waiving me in* Go ahead.” Seeing this, some of the people waiting in line began voicing protest. Before walking in I turned to them and said, “Sorry—it pays to know white folk!”

Later that night, I learned that my audaciousness had worn off on Dr. Kelly. While I was down the street fogging the windows in SD’s car, Dr. struck up a conversation with a random guy at the bar. Apparently, as it was late on a Friday night and everyone was feeling their booze, he felt like swinging for the fences after a few seconds of idle chat. Noting her long blonde hair, the lothario asked, “So, does the carpet match the drapes?”

Without blinking, Dr. Kelly responded, “No! If it did I’d be bald!”

There’s a little Tucker in all of us.

Friday, August 14, 2009

See-Ya Week Pt. 1: Cruisin

Hmm…words. On an electronic page. It feels so…strange; but yet, familiar. It’s been…so long.

I’m sure On the Rocks’ legions of followers have noticed how quiet the page has been in recent weeks. It’s been 21 days since anything new has appeared here, and it’s been even longer since a story of drunken revelry has debuted. The answer, quite simply, is that it’s been that long since I have engaged in any revelry. [Or, at least, it had been that long—I was rudely reintroduced to the blackout arts this past weekend. But that’s for another post.] Most of those close to me know the reason for my absence from the World of Pourcraft (*bows*…thank you, thank you), and I won’t be going into it much right now. I’ll just sum it up by quoting something I said to my cousin during a recent conversation about life: “It’s a lot easier to fall in love with someone than it is to fall out of love with them.”

I’ll climb back onto the wagon soon enough; in the meanwhile, I’ve decided to write up a series of quick tales to help soothe the ache that my absence has caused. This being August—with “back to school” sales being pitched from every angle and Ikeas, Walmarts, and Targets all teeming with college students and their parents looking for the right personal touches for this fall’s dorm rooms—lately I’ve been thinking about my college days. This, inevitably, led me to reminisce on our Senior Week.

Senior Week is a spring tradition common among colleges (and even some high schools) across the country. It’s a way for the outgoing class to end their undergrad careers with a bang (or with several of them). Mine, in particular, was well-constructed. Our student council had planned several worthwhile events, including a river cruise around Pittsburgh and a Pirates game at PNC Park (which was brand new at the time). The week was seemingly non-stop—just when you had fallen asleep at 5 a.m. after a long night of post-event partying, you were getting a phone call at 10 a.m. to get ready for either an event or pre-event partying. No rest for the wicked, I suppose. I have long since forgotten at least 40% of the proceedings. The highlights that haven’t been slowly erased, though, will be recounted here in several installments. Starting with the booze cruise.

River Cruise

The inaugural school-sanctioned event of our Senior Week drew a remarkable crowd of W&J’s finest, dressed to impress for a night of dining, drinking, and dancing on the rivers of Pittsburgh. Esq and his roommates hosted a pre-event party at their off-campus apartment, which meant almost all of us were rocked by the time we gathered at the Student Center to board chartered school buses. The ride to Station Square would take about 45 minutes, so most of us brought beer and other drinks onto the bus with us, stashed away in various purses and pockets. In anticipation of the trip—not to mention the high price of mixed drinks on the boats—I brought along a flask-sized bottle of Hennessy. You only graduate once, right?

One of us, however, had gone one step further in his preparations. “Lab Rat” managed to get his hands on a large plastic pickle jar from the snack bar in the Student Center. This was due, in part, to him being ridiculously drunk/high and craving some dill deliciousness. However, he had also understood that this would be a long bus ride for approximately 400 people who were full of beer and liquor; bathroom “facilities” would be a vital need. Lab made use of the pickle jar first, and it quickly became a popular commodity, traded up and down the aisle of the bus for beers and good faith.

Esq then called for his turn. The jar was passed to him, and he made use. However, the container had quickly become nearly filled, and we were only about halfway to our destination. If you’re on a school bus that’s barreling down the freeway, though, where are you going to pour it out? Esq is one of the smartest people I know—you don’t graduate from a top law school and get hired by a top law firm by accident. But the booze had gotten the best of him, and that intelligence was null and void. His thinking had reverted to primitive form: “Jar full. Bad. Need empty.” And the only option he had was the window.

A quick physics lesson: If a bus is moving at a speed greater than 35 mph and you send something out one window, it’s likely returning through one of the windows further back. This is a concept that, if he knew of it at the time, Esq couldn’t quite grasp at the moment. Anyone who rode a bus in grade school could see what was coming next. Unfortunately, the girl sitting two rows back from Esq didn’t.

He extended the jar out of the window, and turned it over, with an instant wash of briny, yellowish-green fluid spraying out of it…and in through the window of our ill-fated friend, “M.C.” Sitting by the window, she was treated to a faceful of horror. She was doused by the pickle juice/urine mixture in an impromptu golden shower.

You know, if one of the pickles left in there had come in and smacked her across the face too, it probably would’ve been strangely poetic.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Anyone Else Thirsty?

The fellas over at SloshSpot have put together a photo gallery that is perfect for a Friday—especially if your week has been anywhere near as fucked as mine has. Pour yourself a glass of something strong, sit back, and enjoy (below I've provided a few of my favorites from their collection).

[click here for SloshSpot's "Ridiculously Sexy Alcohol Ads" gallery]

Saturday, July 18, 2009

God Bless America: Part 2


I woke up with an impressive hangover—and let’s be honest: if you wake up the day after partying with furries, and you don’t have a massive hangover, then you’ve made a major mistake somewhere along the way. Girlfriend insisted that she hadn’t been that drunk the previous night, and that all of her silliness had been a direct result of hanging with TD. I reminded her that TD wasn’t around when she did the Thriller dance. The subject was quickly dropped.

Though all of us laid low that night, I did have the following text exchange with TJ:

TJ: Anything going down?
Me: Not sure. [Dupa] wants to go to the South Side and hunt furries.
TJ: Oh Christ.


If you’re a loyal “On the Rocks” reader—or if you’ve ever walked past one of us on a Saturday or Sunday morning as booze leaked from our pores—you know that we are enthusiastic about alcohol and the game of “drink”. But TJ and I look like devout Mormons compared to the blessed souls behind the 4th of July cookout that we attended on Saturday afternoon. My friend Jed and his family played host, and the text messaged invite that he sent a couple of days prior read as follows:

“Big things my place the 4th; 5 barrels, 30 cases, 5 malt cases, Jager fountain, ice luge, and 2k worth of booze. No charge, just be in it to win it. Right on the T line.”

If your lip just quivered as you read that, don’t worry. Mine did too, as the words leapt from the little LCD screen of my cell phone, through my eyes, and into my heart on that Thursday afternoon. In addition to those wonders listed in the invite, the party was equipped with:
  • a large cooler filled with punch that was affectionately referred to as “rape juice”. It was mixed with grain alcohol, and was so perfectly blended that it tasted like pure punch.
  • a jar of maraschino cherries that had soaked in vodka for about a week. These cherries came with a rule, though: Whoever ate the very last cherry had to then drink the entire jar of vodka juice left behind. I had a couple of cherries early on, but I wasn’t going near them later in the day. I’m not sure who eventually ate the last cherry, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he or she were still in a coma today.
  • lots and lots of food. I made two trips to the buffet line, but that was only in the interest of being polite. I could easily have feasted all day long.
I partook of the ice luge early, to the utter delight (read: contemptuous disdain) of Girlfriend. Aside from that and some cups of rape juice, though, the day was more relaxed than one might expect. The weather was not your typical Pittsburgh July steam room, and instead a mild day in the low 70s. This seemed to put some of us in a lackadaisical mood (or maybe our party thresholds were just too high after watching a grown man in a puppy costume lay on his back and kick his legs in the air as Sherif rubbed his tummy). T.C. stopped by with Mrs. T.C. and their golden lab, Tank and Katie eventually made an appearance in time to catch the large fireworks display set off from the neighborhood park nearby, Dupa kept his pants on…all very subdued, grown-up, coupley stuff. With one very notable exception.

Jed, or one of his family members hosting the party, struck upon a brilliant idea in the form of a piñata. Now, the Fourth of July doesn’t exactly scream piñatas; nor does a party composed almost entirely of people over the age of 12. But piñatas are always a good source of audience participation, and the comedy of arming a blindfolded drunk with a wiffle ball bat and a “seek and destroy” mission is too good to pass up. To make it all more adult-relevant, therefore, the piñata was filled with:
  • scratch-off lotto tickets;
  • cans of Skoal;
  • Mardi Gras beads;
  • airplane bottles of various liquors; and
  • condoms
As contestants swung away at glory, a girl would yank on a rope, lifting the target out of harm’s way. Finally, on the (ironically) 4th go at it, a young woman connected with the neck of the beast before it could make its vertical retreat. The body of it fell to the ground, and a scramble ensued. Because it was still mostly intact, not much of the contents had spilled out. “Rip that bastard open!” came ringing across the yard, and soon someone had done just that. Prophylactics, alcohol, and beads went flying everywhere. I made it out with a bottle of Jose Cuervo, a bottle of Seagrams 7, and a bottle of Bailey’s (I obviously had a single-minded purpose amid the scrum). The whole thing was caught on video by yours truly; I had been recording each challenger’s turn with the bat, but completely forgot that I was holding a running camera when the piñata broke. Click here for your viewing pleasure.


My boy (“Sales Machine”) and his wife hosted a cookout at their house, and Girlfriend and I made the trek out to Freedom, PA to check it out. It was another relaxed day, with lots of food and drink. BlahBlahBlah was on hand—sans wife, which meant we got the regular BBB, not BBB Light. He was already playing beer pong when we walked into the backyard, giggling and tossing cups of beer down his throat. He and I would win a cornhole tournament that night, scoring $30 a piece—to the delight of Girlfriend, who had earmarked the loot for a mani-pedi before the first toss of the tourney had even been made.

The highlight of the evening, however, came as Sales Machine was playing cornhole earlier in the day. His brother, “Ad Sales”, was drunker than anyone, and made an innocent mistake in reaching out to hug a departing friend. As Mrs. Machine reported to Sales Machine, “Your brother was trying to hug [sic], and accidentally grabbed my boob!”

Machine wasn’t truly upset—after all, it was a simple mistake. But if you know brothers, then you know what was about to happen. Ad was standing over by the beer pong table, a good 40 ft away, with a guilty but cocky smile on his face. Machine fired one of the cornhole beanbags at the table, nailing the six cups filled with beer that were sitting in front of his little brother. Red Dixie Cups erupted into the air like bowling pins, soaking Ad with beer. I nearly fell out of my chair in laughter.

If you have to waste beer, then at least do it in style.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

God Bless America: Part 1

Only in this fine 50-state union can so many varied forms of drunken cultural revelry blend together in a melting pot of absurdity during the union’s birthday weekend. Similar to last year’s three day cavalcade of shenanigans, this year's 4th of July partying was a multi-staged affair. Maybe it’s a sign of my old age (having reached the ripe ol’ age of 30), though, that this year I used Friday as a buffer between Thursday and Saturday’s events. Still rocked from the previous night, Girlfriend and I used that day to window-shop some office furniture, maybe buy some décor touches, maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond—if we had enough time. A pretty nice little Friday.

[If you read that and actually had to click on the link before you got the movie reference…I feel pity for you.]

Without further ado, I bring you the fireworks [first and last stupid pun of the post, I swear]:


Since most of us would be off of work Friday, Girlfriend planned a trip to Bossa Nova for salsa dancing on Thursday night. She’s an avid salsa enthusiast (she is a spicy Latina, after all—sorry, that pun was unintentional); my boys and I, not so much. But it had been nearly a year since she last got to dance, and she was well deserving of a chance to get back into the act. To accommodate everyone’s tastes, though, Girlfriend’s plan involved a quick and simple compromise: she, TD, and 1L would all go for the dancing; Baby Joey, TJ, Dupa, Chappy, Hollywood, and I could stick to the bar and do what we do best: get drunk. Giggity.

Joey backed out that evening (he had to work the next morning), though he agreed to drop off and pick up TD. 1L never showed, and I still am not sure what happened to her. Hollywood met up with us at the bar, however he could only stay for an hour or so before he went home (he also had to work on Friday). The rest of us, conversely, were down with the get-down. We pregamed at my apartment, where I put back rum & Cokes before I had even eaten dinner—after skipping lunch earlier in the day. TD, who was also low on nourishment, arrived with a bag and cup from Wendy’s, hoping to brace herself against the impending onslaught of alcohol. Nearly as soon as she was seated on the couch, however, she was pouring Ketel One into her medium Sprite. About 45 minutes later, when our cab pulled up in front of my building, TD raced to refill her now “to go” cup; in went more Ketel One, this time mixed with cranberry and orange juices. Easily the smallest of our crewmembers, TD had consumed seemingly a quarter of her bodyweight in alcohol before we had even reached Bossa Nova’s doors. I silently wondered if Girlfriend had realized just what she had gotten herself into. I’m sure she was weary of the boys’ behavior from the instant she formulated the night’s planning; but, surely she had to have thought TD would be her closest and most composed ally in minimizing the damage done by all of us Y chromosome-rs.

I had slowed down on the drinking at home, not wanting to go big time until after I had some food in my stomach (lest I ruin both my lady’s long-awaited night of dancing and my relationship by passing out at the bar). Girlfriend brought some takeout with her when she came to my place, and it provided a suitable base for the night. So when I bellied-up to Bossa Nova’s bar, it was game on. I started with a mojito, while Dupa started with a caipirinha. The mojito was sweet—even sweeter than mojitos I’d drank at other bars. The caipirinha, however, was 9/10s pure booze. It was so strong, in fact, that even Dupa couldn’t handle it (I think he secretly had a sex change operation that he hasn’t worked up the courage to tell us about yet). He and I quickly swapped our orders for the next round of drinks.

Salsa dancing is a good time—so long as you’re not the one doing the dancing. Of course that’s just my perspective. But watching people with rhythmic coordination spin and step was entertaining, and the lively music will keep your blood pumping. As I watched Girlfriend do her thing, I realized that she really is a fantastic dancer, with a soft step, smooth body movement, and a charismatic smile. She explained that some of the people who flooded the dance floor were naturals who had learned everything they knew simply by watching. Girlfriend, herself, was such a person; TD, on the other hand…

Girlfriend vowed to serve as her instructor, guiding her hand-in-hand, step-by-step. A few factors were working against her, though: (A.) TD was hammered—I’m talking three sheets to the wind and listing to port; (B.) TD, while not hopelessly uncoordinated like moi, isn’t as naturally fluid as, say, Girlfriend; (C.) when TD is drunk, she can be easily distracted—picture a kitten in a yarn factory.

Girlfriend: “Just step like this, but look at me—don’t look down.”
TD: *looking down at her feet* “Like this?”
Girlfriend: *laughing* “That’s good, but don’t look down!”
TD: *glances up at Girlfriend, then back down at her feet* “Like this?”

Despite studying her feet so intently, TD still managed to make the rookie mistake of stepping on her instructor’s feet. Eventually, after a frustrating back-and-forth like the aforementioned, Girlfriend abruptly turned and walked away. TD, calling her back, hopped up and down in smiling, childlike giddiness. As I recorded the entire scene on my phone, TJ chimed in from over my shoulder, “She’s like a goddamn 11-year-old, Dawg!”

She was also the owner of some of the night’s best quotes.
  • On her role that night: “I’m hammered; I’m [Dupa] tonight!”
  • On a particular song being played: “Oh my god! There are Spanish people singing the Beatles—that is, like, my DREAM!”
But when you’re 5’2” and 90 lbs soaking wet, tipping back glasses of vodka quickly catches up to you. I’m not sure what exactly it was she said or did that made me—through my cachaca fog—suddenly begin worrying about her, but I somehow realized that she needed to slow down. Now, if you’ve ever tried to get a still-conscious friend to pump the brakes at a bar, then you know just how difficult it can be. Drunks, more oft than not, are incredibly stubborn, and when they have reached that level of intoxication it becomes that much less likely that they can comprehend just how bad they are. I asked TD if she wanted a glass of water, expecting to be rebuffed with a glare and a dismissive wave. I was shocked to hear, “Yeah…please!” instead.

TJ announced, at about midnight, that he was heading home (maybe he and Dupa caught a two-for-one special on sex change operations?). He said his goodbyes to the guys, and then walked over to bid adieu to Girlfriend and “Sherif”, a friend of Girlfriend’s who had joined us midway through the night. I looked away from where they were standing, and then scanned back over all of 10 seconds later. When I did, I saw that TJ was still there, and Girlfriend was flagging down a bartender. “I offered to buy him a drink, so now he’s staying,” she called over to me, with a gesture towards TJ.

1. That’s a pretty elaborate and risky ploy, all just to scheme a free drink.
2. I’ll have to ask him to teach it to me.

Around 1 a.m., a stroke of genius came from amongst our well-lubricated crew: that weekend, Anthrocon—a.k.a. the world’s largest Furry convention—was being held in Pittsburgh. We all closed our tabs and set off towards the Westin Hotel, where attendees were staying. Along the way, Girlfriend stopped at a row of hedges surrounding a parking lot. She reached in and ripped off a two foot long branch, which she christened her “tail.” As we walked the final three blocks to the hotel, she held the branch behind her, wagging it in excitement; she even paused in the middle of an intersection to wiggle around with her tail (likely to the delight of any straight male nearby).

After stopping at the lobby doors to pose for pictures with a gentleman dressed as a brown and white fox, we headed inside to have some more fun. But, unexpectedly, TD stopped in her tracks—the furries were freaking her out. She called and asked Baby Joey to come pick her up from the parking lot of Esq’s apartment building, which was nearby.

Girlfriend and I walked over with her and kept her company until Joey arrived, and then returned to the furry hunt. Catching up with TJ, Sherif, Chappy, and Dupa at a bar across the street from the Westin, we found a furry couple in matching fox costumes (the lady’s was bright pink, and the man’s was light blue). Girlfriend posed with the lady fox, playfully sticking out her tongue as if she was about to engage in some girl-on-furry-girl action. A nearby group of guys—none of who were in costumes—were thoroughly entertained by our antics. As it turns out, they were part of a convention taking place that weekend for another specialty group: Mensa. Where else but Pittsburgh could 4th of July weekend mean the presence of both world-class geniuses and people who like to dress up as animated woodland creatures?

We walked back to the Westin, and made some new friends:
  • Sherif and Girlfriend posed with an orange and black raccoon who called himself “Foxwell”.
  • Girlfriend: “I love Frosted Flakes.” Foxwell: “Uh, that’s nice—but I’m not Tony the Tiger.”
  • After the girls had their picture taken, I handed over my camera and stood next to Foxwell.
  • Me: “You ready?” Foxwell: “Sure…?” Me: “GANGSTA POSE!” *crosses arms and leans back* Foxwell instantly met my pose by crossing his own arms and leaning back, and we took the G’est civilian – furry pictures ever.
  • A red and gold Chinese dragon walked up the staircase to the second floor. I pointed him out to Dupa, who ran up the stairs after him, with Sherif in hot pursuit. Seeing them run, I followed, and soon Girlfriend did too.
  • Posing with two large dogs, Girlfriend commented, “Babe, this one looks like [Pakistanimal]—look at his belly!”
  • One puppy laid down on his back, and kicked his legs in the air as Sherif rubbed his tummy.
  • Girlfriend found some people eating pizza in the lobby. She quickly sweet talked her way into receiving a slice, and munched on it as she continued to pose for pictures with furries.
  • One of the on-lookers sitting in the lobby was a young blonde guy dressed in a white dress shirt, black hat, black vest, and black pants. Someone suggested that he was dressed like Michael Jackson, and Girlfriend sprung into action. She ran across the room, stopping a few feet away from him to do the Thriller dance. Have I mentioned how much I love her?
  • As we sat on a couch, Girlfriend began asking passing furries where “the afterparty” was, and whether or not they could get us into it.
  • A member of the Westin staff approached us and asked if we were staying at the hotel that night. When he learned that we weren’t, he showed us to the door. “Ain’t that a bitch?,” TJ said. “A lobby full of people in animal costumes, and WE’RE the ones who get kicked out!”

[To be continued...]