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.