Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hungover Weekend

Sometimes life imitates art. Friday night a few friends and I went to see the hilarious new film “The Hangover”. Sunday morning I was nursing a raging hangover on one of those “how the hell did we get here?” mornings.

“The Hangover” is, to put it simply, brilliant. The concept—a Vegas stag party gone wrong—may sound basic and predictable, but the plot is executed flawlessly, providing enough shock to keep things moving along quickly. And the dialogue between the characters is spectacular. Almost all of my friends—even those who saw the flick with their respective girlfriends or with other groups of friends—have been tossing quotes back and forth since Friday night, nearly jamming up Facebook with rapid-fire wall posts, status updates, and comments. Most enjoyable, at least for me, is the sense of familiarity you feel while watching three guys try to piece together their night. All of us have had those bad, blackout-riddled binges, and there is an instant connection built between the audience and the characters because of this. On the way home that night, Chappy and I started talking about personal “WTF?” mornings that were in some way comparable to the one in the movie (the first thing that came to mind for me was my Sunday morning at Ohio University several years ago).

Saturday Tony, Dupa, Chappy, myself, and others congregated at South Side 86 in the South Side to watch what was supposed to be a definitive Penguins victory in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Unfortunately no one seemed to tell the Pens that there was a game, and we had to endure watching a 5-0 scraping. Maybe we had a premonition of what was going to happen; during the first intermission, most of our large party moved up the street to Rumshakers for $2 shots. The first round was a double round of Grape Bombs (grape vodka and Red Bull). Mitch Canada handed them out two at a time, and no one could pretend any of this was going to turn out well.

As we were arriving earlier, the male bartender was tossing a guy out onto the sidewalk. The tossee, a middle-aged man who seemed to be a live preview of how drunk the rest of us would soon be, had received fifty cents in change after paying for a beer. Feeling generous, he announced to the two bartenders, “THIS one is for you, and THIS one is for you!” while sliding one quarter in each of their directions. Neither of them was amused by this, and moments later he was flying across the sidewalk.

One of our boys, “Jay Swag,” had inexplicably come to the South Side dressed in a white tee. Normally you won’t get through the door at Rumshakers in this attire, but the place was still empty and the bouncers were being lax (hence the bartender removing the aforementioned drunken philanthropist himself). The bartender went into the back and brought out a green Rumshakers t-shirt leftover from St. Patty’s Day, and gave it to Swag to wear. Feeling jealous, I asked if he had any 2XLs in the back. He disappeared into the back room and then came back with one. It was quite possibly the best $10 I spent all night.

LRG eventually joined us, which just meant more rounds of shots being bought and handed out. During one round, he pointed towards the female bartender working that night, and made it known that he was impressed by her…measurements. This is a standard drunken pastime of LRG’s, so I decided to cut through the rigmarole. I called her over:

Me: “Excuse me, but do you have a boyfriend?”
Her: *a little stunned* “Uh, no.”
Me: “Okay, my buddy right here *pointing at LRG* is a little shy, but he thinks you’re really hot, and would like to meet you.”

I then shoved LRG towards the bar, and walked away chuckling as they shook hands.

Soon we were stumbling our way back down the street to Jimmy D’s, and then to the White Eagle Inn. At the Eagle we caught up with our friend “Belle”. About 5’7” with long blonde hair, Belle may look like a girly-girl, but she’s one of the boys. She drinks, parties, and curses as hard as the rest of us; all of which made it that much funnier that she had caught the bouquet at a wedding earlier in the night. But—in true “On the Rocks” style—Belle turned this symbol of trite-tradition into a prop, bringing it with her to the bar for the noble cause of sheer humor. Wearing a sleek black dress and high heels, and armed with a beer bottle in one hand and a wedding bouquet in the other, she rocked out in a dive bar full of cigarette smoke and gruff looking guys with paint and sweat stained blue collars.

“New from Mattel, it’s ‘Pittsburgh Barbie’! Whether squatting behind a car parked off of Carson Street, devouring a ‘Cap with egg’ at Primanti’s, or dancing on the bar at Calico Jack’s in a miniskirt, this girl is all Burgh! ‘Pittsburgh Barbie’ comes complete with her own Steelers jersey, IC Light bottle, and public intoxication citation!”

I have not yet been able to confirm that we took more shots at the White Eagle, but I feel certain that we did, based on the following:
  • The Eagle is renowned amongst the area’s drinkers for selling Rocket Fuel by the pitcher;
  • My memory of the evening has large holes in it, beginning soon after we arrived at the Eagle;
  • No matter how accomplished and intelligent any particular one of us may be while sober, when we drink we replace the thought “I should slow down” with “I’M STILL STANDING! MORE BOOZE!”
  • I don’t remember, but have video evidence of, Dupa and Belle dancing; he would cast out an imaginary fishing line, and she would get “hooked”, cupping her hands on either side of her face and flaring them out to mimic fish gills. He would then reel in the imaginary line as she danced towards him, wriggling like a freshwater bass.
At bar close we walked to Mike & Tony’s for gyros (I choked down two in about the same space of time that it would take most people to eat only one), then caught a cab. For some never-to-be-determined reason, we told the driver to take us back to Dupa’s apartment instead of mine, which was closer. Sunday morning I awoke facedown on one of his couches, without much recollection of anything past the gyros.

I did, however, have a green Rumshakers t-shirt.

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