Friday, December 31, 2010

Holiday Spirits

The holidays. What is it about this time of year that just makes you say, “I want to lose all consciousness as quickly as possible”?


Wednesday, Dec. 22nd

I went to an S&M shaming at the Consol Energy Center, otherwise known as the Penguins’ 5-2 manhandling of the Florida Panthers. As I sipped on my beer (at $7.75 per 12 ounce draught, I savor every drop of Miller Lite at Pens games like it was a snifter full of Remy Martin's Louis XIII), my friend—and Crooked Straight fan—Maria asked what “D.E.F.I.” stood for. I explained that it really doesn’t stand for anything, and was just me being cute with my former stage name, “Defi” (or “Defiance”).


Maria: “Oh. We should come up with something that it can stand for.”
Me: “Ha. *sip*”
Maria: *after a full 2.69 seconds of thought* “I’ve got it! ‘Drunk Enough For Intercourse’!”

Early in the night I received a text from Mo-Fo, who was back in town with his lovely wife for the holidays. He informed me that they would be drinking with others at Shady Grove, where our boy Jed bartends, so I decided to stop by on my way home from the game. About 90 seconds after I walked in, Jed had a Long Island Iced Tea in my hand that could degrease an engine. I snapped a picture of it and sent it to Dupa, who responded, “*like*.” Jed was full of his quotable effervescence, the bar was packed with a solid crowd of people, and I got to catch up with Abbie and GG (neither whom I had seen since this summer); all in all, a cool little night with old friends.

The event’s highlight, though, came from our buddy “Trip”. A friend of ours for some years now, Trip is a boozing jokester who sees more rear than a car mirror—if you know what I mean. His goofy charm is reminiscent of Jack Tripper from “Three’s Company”; little did we know that he was capable of Jon Ritter-esque slapstick, too. He attempted to smack the ass of a female acquaintance, but timed it just as she was about to lean forward towards the bar. He whiffed, and injury was then added to the insult when his hand’s momentum carried it through a crushing blow to his own junk. Trip doubled over in pain as the rest of us cracked up at him for hitting himself in the balls.


Thursday, Dec. 23rd

The third annual Xmas Eve Eve, a night of boozing in Shadyside, had been anticipated by all for weeks. TJ, Pakistanimal, and Dupa all pregamed at my apartment with Belvedere, Captain Morgan, Woodford Reserve, the Penguins/Capitals game, and various innuendo involving each other’s sisters, mothers, and loved ones. TJ had to work the next morning, and therefore cut out early; the rest of us moved the fun to Shady Grove, where Tony soon met up with us. I began with another of Jed’s vicious LI Iced Teas, but halfway through it—and after rounds of Jager Shakes and Batman shots—I had the realization that I was heading up Shit Creek sans paddle. If there was any hope for my survival, the next round had to be beer. Unfortunately, I found a brand new LI Iced Tea sitting in front of me before I could form the word “beer” with my lips. Uh oh.

We left the bar around 1 a.m. (Tony says it’s because I had begun to pass out at our table; I don’t remember that, therefore he’s a dirty, dirty liar) and headed back towards my place. Along the way we passed a drunken Indian guy who was babbling about random topics. Pak decided, though, that this guy had insulted his heritage; thus began an India vs. Pakistan tribal showdown. The centuries-old border war in Asia was reignited by two sloshed idiots screaming at each other on a sidewalk in the middle of Shadyside.

We dragged Pak away and avoided any escalation to the conflict. From there on, though, my night is sketchy to say the least. I remember lying on my apartment floor for a while, laughing at myself and nothing all at once, but not much more than that. The following morning I awoke and shuffled to the bathroom. While washing my hands I noticed that the sink seemed to have specks of some foreign substance on it. “Ugh,” I thought to myself, “One of those assholes threw up in here last night.” I had just climbed back into bed when a memory came to me of my own face being buried in that sink. “Wait…did I throw up last night?”


Friday, Dec. 24th

When I finally got out of bed for good that day (around 1:30 p.m.), I found nothing but chaos. A snack mix that had been in my cupboard was raided, and pieces of peanuts, raisins, and chocolate were scattered about my living room. No more than five people had been in my place the night before, yet somehow 11 or so dirty glasses and cups littered my coffee table and kitchen counter. A skillet with the residue of scrambled eggs sat on my stove. The air smelled of stale bourbon and flat cola, and a bottle of sorely-needed Gatorade was missing from my fridge. I dashed off a text message to all those responsible: “I hate you guys.”

Christmas Eve, mercifully, was a toned down affair. TJ and I had dinner at my mom’s house with my cousin Jump, his fiancée, and her son. Various bottles of wine were uncorked and poured, but I was more partial to the bottles of PowerAde that my mother keeps handy for me. Who knows you better than your own mom, after all? Shortly after dinner TJ and I received a text from Dupa that included a picture from the night before; in the picture, Pak was taking a joyride on the tricycle belonging to the seven year old daughter of the family living in the apartment next to mine. The only words that I could muster were sent back to Dupa in a text: “My neighbors hate me.”

When I got home around 11 p.m., I poured a glass of Woodford and tried out my Christmas gift from TJ: whiskey stones. The little cubes of genius worked beautifully, as the chilled fine bourbon massaged my consciousness. At 12:30 a.m., I figured it was time for me to begin wrapping gifts (why do two weeks ahead of time what you can put off until the very last minute?). At 12:31 a.m. I realized, though, that I didn’t have any wrapping paper (oh, that’s why…).


Saturday, Dec. 25th

As has become our tradition, my mom and I unwrapped gifts—well, I unwrapped gifts; she merely had to pull hers out of their bags and boxes—Christmas Day while sipping from glasses of Pennsylvania Dutch Egg Nog. If you’ve never had it, I suggest picking up a bottle during the holidays. It’s real egg nog that has been pimped out with rum, brandy, and blended whiskey. In other words, it’s egg nog that comes out of the bottle spiked. Merry New Year!

Some of my gifts this year: A Chivas Regal gift set (a fifth of Chivas Regal 12 Year Old and two tumblers) and an airplane bottle of Grey Goose from mi madre; a fifth of Crown Royal from Jump; and a liquor store gift card from my aunt. Add those to the whiskey stones from TJ and the 375 ML bottle of Goose that my manager bought me, and there seems to be a theme here…


Sunday Dec. 26th

If you play fantasy football, then you know what the 16th Sunday of the NFL calendar means: championship. By the 1 p.m. kickoff, TJ and I had glasses of Captain & Coke and Belve & cranberry, respectively, in our hands and NFL Red Zone in HD on the screen. Tony (my opponent in one of my championship matchups this year) and LRG eventually joined us as we drank, ate pizza, and screamed at Reggie Wayne, Josh Freeman, and others.

After the afternoon’s last NFL games, we went to Cappy’s Cafe on Walnut to watch the Pens and continue laughing in the face of sobriety. Eventually some fool (*raises hand*) had the bright idea to order Jager Shakes. Before long LRG, Tony, and I found ourselves at Grove yet again (TJ had to be at work early the next day); more beers, more shots, more delusions of grandeur. The last thing I remember clearly that night is asking Tony to call my phone around 2 a.m. as we stood in my apartment, because in the ten minutes that we’d been back there I had managed to lose it. As you might imagine, I had a long, uninterrupted sleep that night. And to all, a good night.

When I dragged myself out of bed the next morning, I found a pair of sneakers sitting on my living room floor. They looked like Tony’s, but he had already left. I texted him about the shoes, eagerly anticipating a story about him leaving my place in his socks. About five minutes later, though, he responded in confusion, saying that he had his shoes with him. I looked again at the pair in my living room; they were small, probably a woman’s size. I realized that they probably belonged to the mother of the family next door. But that opened a new round of questions. How, exactly, did her shoes end up in my apartment? Unfortunately, that question still has yet to be answered. But one thing’s for sure: that family hates me.

I can’t wait for New Years Eve.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Birthday Number 3

Your favorite blog o'drunken tales turned three years old this past Saturday. I had planned on posting something about it that day, but got sidetracked by a hangover.

Sometimes life is pure poetry.

Friday night featured a surprise 30th birthday party for Prince of Ligonier. Somewhere along the way Dupa introduced us all to the "Jager Shake" (and no, it's not a new German dance craze, like I first thought), and our bartender introduced us to the "Mini Beer". And then karaoke at the bar introduced some people to the reality that they won't be the next American Idol.

After waking up the next morning on Prince's couch, I went into his bathroom to take a piss. Halfway through it I thought I was going to pass out. After flushing the toilet I had to put the lid down, take a seat, and splash some cold tap water on my face.

Hopefully some of you will be doing the same tomorrow morning after celebrating our little piece of the net's 3rd birthday tonight. Salud.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Organized Chaos

I have a lot of friends. And not just in the Facebook sense of “I once shared an elevator with this person, found out that we both play Farmville, and now we’re ‘friends’-slash-‘neighbors’.” No, I actually know a lot of people. And a lot of the people I know also know a lot of people. This means that I meet a lot of the people that they know. And that means I end up knowing a lot more people.

And with all of that, you would think I’d have a much more exciting dating life. But that’s neither here nor…anywhere, frankly.

I say none of this to brag, of course (especially not that last part). Instead, I bring it up as evidence that I’ve been exposed to many types of people. And I think most can be narrowed down into one of two styles of friendship:
  1. There are those who refuse to leave a man behind. If they walked into the club with six other people, you better damn well believe they’re leaving with those same six (or they will at least have a reasonable amount of confidence that any buddy left to go his own way is going to end up someplace safe and/or advantageous…and/or disease-free). 
  2. On the other side of the coin you have those guys who don’t really give a fizzle where or how anyone gets anywhere at the end of the night. This doesn’t mean that they’re less of friends; if they feel you’re in any real danger, then they’re in the saddle, guns blazing. But short of seeing you blacked out and walking down the middle of a busy freeway, they’re going to leave you to your survival instincts after a long night of boozing—typically because they, themselves, are relying on their own survival instincts.
I’m tempted to say that there’s a third group, one comprised of people who straddle the line dividing the first two. People who, on some days, will fight for the good of the team; and who, on other days, will do for self, and worry about sorting out the details of everyone else’s well-being in the morning. People like…me. But the more I think about it, the harder I find it to put myself anywhere but in that second category above. The truth of the matter is, 95% of the time I’ve got only my survival in mind. I love my real friends, and will fight for them against any adversary. But I’m also what they call a “grown ass man”; all things being equal, if I associate with you on a friendship level, then I expect you to handle yourself as competently as I do. If you’re in true peril I’ll assist; but if you’re just acting a fool, I’ll catch you on the next one.

If you’re wondering where all of this is coming from, let me get to the point: Tank’s bachelor party took place last month.

Ahhhh…all starting to make sense now, isn’t it?

Ladies, you may not quite be up to speed, but I know that the fellas reading this are already with me. [Feel free to skip ahead a couple of paragraphs to get to the action, guys; I’m going to take a moment to assist the women.] I think most of the fairer sex is somewhat misinformed as to what goes on when guys get together for bachelor parties. In telling the tale of GG’s stag party last year, I explained how the party’s traditional involvement with exotic dancers isn’t quite as scandalous as you might have pictured. But with or without ladies of the pole-spinning arts, there’s a fundamental rule about bachelor parties that guys tend to accept as unspoken law: Coordination is a fool’s errand.

Sure, you can expertly lay out plans for the night’s start; but the levels of booze and testosterone are each steadily building in everyone’s bloodstreams throughout the event. Each is strong enough on its own; when mixed together, you have an incredibly powerful hallucinogenic. 15+ deranged guys are not going to stick to an itinerary. No, they’re like a rack of billiard balls. And anything—be it woman, whim, or other distraction—can come rocketing in like a cue ball at any moment.

Tank’s little brother, BAL, was in charge of putting the party together. Around 20 or so of us gathered at Tank’s house in Dormont that afternoon for beer, food, and college football. Tank’s kitchen and dining room were overrun by snacks and hors d'oeuvres, as well as burgers and hot dogs fresh off the grill; his game room was equipped with two large flatscreen TVs and fine Cuban cigars; his laundry room was converted into a beer pong arena and stocked with Irish Car Bomb ingredients; and his patio, where the kegs were located, became a beer garden/smoker’s shelter. A table for beer pong—complete with pong balls, cups, and pitchers—had also been set up on the patio; but with temperatures in the upper 40s, it remained dormant. The man of honor drank from his very own black chalice with the word “PIMP” spelled out in glittering (albeit fake) diamonds. A DD limo would be coming after 8 pm to take people to Station Square. With that, a loose framework was created for the day’s shenanigans.

Breitling arrived in a new, all-black International MXT. As he parked on the street in front of Tank’s house, he blew the horn; the blast that resulted boomed through the quiet neighborhood and rattled windows up and down the street. An elderly woman came out of her house yelling “fucking asshole!”, and was intercepted by Chief.

Chief: “I’m sorry about that, ma’am! He was just having a little fun.”
Woman: “Well tell him he’s an asshole! What is that thing?”
Chief: “I think it’s a train!”

While every guy in my alcoholic family adds a distinctive and pleasing flavor to a gathering, it’s my W&J brothers that always deliver the best return on my drinking investment. This is true down to the smallest of interactions. For instance: As I stood on the patio with Chief and Finn trading all of the familiar insults, degradations, and aspersions that are by now customary and as warm as a brotherly embrace, a pause eventually came to our banter. Chief, never to leave a moment free of mischief, reached over and picked up a pong ball from the table. He then sized up Finn’s cup—sitting on the table less than two feet away—and fired a shot directly into it with a playful chuckle. Finn, unfazed, picked the ball out of his beer, shook it off, and began taking the measure on the cup in Chief’s hand, again less than two feet away. Cocking back his hand, he snapped off a shot with everything he could muster—directly at Chief’s forehead.

That was likely the last time that day that a pong ball was thrown in jest, though. The games inside quickly took on more and more importance, as the competitiveness in the air was ratcheted up by the sudden (but not unexpected) introduction of cash to the table. Ten, twenty, fifty, and even one hundred dollar bills were soon being tossed on the table by gladiators and spectators alike (which for me quickly brought to mind my experience at the W&J frat party several years ago). Being low on funds, I only made one bet, putting $20 on Esq and Baby Joey to beat Chief and our buddy, “Sloku” [for those of you curious about the genesis of that alias: his spiked hair reminds me of the DragonBall Z character, Goku—he even dressed as him one Halloween—and he speaks with a slow, deliberate tone]. When I lost that to Butters, I thought better of risking anything further. At its peak, the day’s wagering featured a battle in which each of the four men on the table put up $100 of his own money—small change for a Vegas craps table, but nearly unheard of in middle class Pittsburgh beer pong. Baby Joey has long maintained a much more modest income than his older brother Esq, a young hotshot lawyer. But having recently found a lucrative new career path, Joey was unexpectedly covering his sibling with the laundry room’s impromptu beer sportsbook. “I’m into Joey for $150,” Esq said incredulously. “The world’s coming to an end.”

Though two limos were supposed to move the party to Station Square at 8, it was after 10 by the time we were ready to be moved. I had intended to only attend the first half of the day’s events, and to therefore go easy on my bank account by skipping the club-hopping. By this point in the night, however, Chief and others were well lubricated by the high of beer pong glories and the…beer…of beer pong defeats (not to mention by a few rounds of Irish Car Bombs done in toast to the groom-to-be), and I was told that I would be insulting them by not staying out at their cost.

So my choices are (1.) go home and fall asleep on my couch watching Chappelle Show reruns, or (2.) smoke cigars in a limo ride to Station Square and party with my boys…for free? Well, I guess I could stay out a little longer—for Tank’s sake.

We hit Steel House a mangled, slow-moving, low-laying cloud of 15 or so drunks, speaking loudly in coarse terms, ordering rounds of shots and apologizing to anyone nearby who wasn’t as inebriated as us—which was everyone. I’m quite certain that by this point I was no longer standing and/or walking, but instead floating; I was being carried along by my own piece of the cloud, a cushy haze that enveloped my comprehension and speech patterns. Soon we had spread into Barroom, onto the dance floor and throughout the surrounding lounge areas. Then there were kielbasa sandwiches from the vendor on Barroom’s deck, and then…well, somehow I was walking through the front doors of Rivers Casino with Butters, our friend Dirty, and Joey.

I really don’t remember how we got there, though I think it was via limo. We found Breitling and another guy from the party at a Pai Gow table. After some further searching we found Esq alone at a blackjack table. And after talking to other various party refugees found strewn around the casino floor, we learned that Tank and BAL were in the poker room. Chief was first said to be somewhere at a craps table, but subsequent reports placed him heading for the doors and—hopefully—a cab to Tank’s house.

Rivers being a PA casino, last call for alcohol comes around 1:30 am. Great; dry and broke in a casino. Now that’s living. The next few hours were spent touring the floor with Butters and Joey, watching our scattered crew play their chosen games of chance.
  • Blackjack: Esq was losing badly, but stubbornly kept throwing more money on the table, against our advice. 
  • Pai Gow: Breitling spoke in loud, obnoxious streams of profanity and bravado (standard) as he built up a $5000 stack of chips in front of him. While walking past this vivid display of the rich getting richer, Butters paused, looked at me, and said, “I hate him.”
  • Poker: On our second stop to the poker room, we found a Tank-less BAL. The groom-to-be had, it was theorized, headed home. The younger of the two brothers was committed to staying on the table for the long haul, having just invested another $200 buy-in. The early end to drink service didn’t seem to have hindered his inebriation much, as he looked as though he could pass out in his chair at any moment. Sometimes you simply leave a man to die the death that his dignity desires.
We found Dirty and, all four of us being sober and exhausted, grabbed a cab back to Tank’s house at 4:30 am. His drained fiancée, Katie (a saint of a woman, really), opened the door for us. She assured us that Tank had, indeed, found his way home, and was sleeping it off in their bedroom.

Just like we’d planned.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Four Loko: A Culinary Experience

This just sounds cool. My girl Sarah Hoye at CNN (@SarahHoyeCNN) was actually present for this event. Although, that makes me a little heated that she didn't send me the cross-state invite.

Where's the love, homie?



This has to be the most civilized dinner you could ever crawl away from.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Some of This + Some of That = Sum of Zero

It’s Monday afternoon, and I just took two aspirin to help quiet my hangover. This just feels…wrong.

So I was drunk on a Sunday afternoon, and it’s all Carson Palmer’s fault. His inability to throw the football to players in Bengal uniforms helped lead to a blistering defeat at the hands of BlahBlahBlah in fantasy football. And my subsequent need to erase all memory of Troy Polamalu posing like a Vegas showgirl while flying across the goal line led me to assault my new bottle of 1792. Maybe I was wrong for doing it, but let’s be real: Look at it in that picture. You can’t tell me that sexy bitch wasn’t asking for it.

Nevertheless, I awoke drooling on my couch at 12:30 a.m., instantly knowing I was going to regret everything the next morning. And when my alarm blared at me at 7 a.m., I did. What makes it all the stranger is that I didn’t drink myself Palin on either Friday or Saturday. And Friday was…eventful.

It started with the annual Christmas party thrown by my mother’s former coworkers. Once again I was her DD, and this time the venue was the Lexus Club inside the Consol Energy Center. When we reached the doors of the club, my mother—who hadn’t even had a hint of alcohol to that point—clarified to one of the CEC hostesses working the party, “I’m not a cougar; this is my son.” (For the record: No, the girl hadn’t asked.) I polished off Michelob Amber Bock draughts and an after-dinner glass of Glenlivet while listening to my mom’s friends bitch about their boss. Throughout the party I was receiving text messages from TJ and Jay Swag about how much they were drinking (I believe they started with personal pitchers of mixed drinks at 1311 Tavern). So after I finally dropped off my mother—who was feeling no pain—at her place, I went home, changed, and headed down to the South Side to catch up.

As I approached Rumshakers I found Swag; or, rather, I found a super drunk interpretation of Swag. With a fuzzy red beard (that, we later realized, makes him look like Treebeard from Lord of the Rings) and speaking 10 decibels too high on the phone while slumped in a doorway on Carson St., he was just a little brazen hubris away from being in Swag Montana mode. He was also the only member of the crew still in the South Side, as TJ had gone home and Mitch Canada had left for a house party in McKees Rocks. As I talked to Canada on the phone to get directions to the party, Swag stumbled off to another doorway, where he found a dark corner and unburdened his bladder. I chuckled as I watched a guy and a few girls walk past and one of the girls, curious about the source, began to follow the stream trickling from out of the doorway. Her shriek and fast retreat from the doorway was priceless.

After some time spent driving around the West End and McKees Rocks while Canada and others tried to give us directions, Swag and I finally arrived at the party. The first two things I noticed upon entering the house: (1.) It was a Christmas sweater party; (2.) there was a little person in a Christmas sweater on the couch. There weren’t very many people in attendance, but there was plenty of cold beer, so I was more than happy to work with it. And I was glad I had when Canada said, “You know, that midget’s my cousin. Or so I’ve been told.” And I was even more glad when a Backstreet Boys song came on the stereo and she and several others started a dance party in the living room.

When Canada introduced me to a girl of plus-sized proportions and she immediately looked at me as though I was a 6’6” 5 Guys double burger, though, I knew getting drunk was not a course of action that would end with me being in any way proud of myself. A little later, as I stood talking to one of Canada’s boys, I overheard him say to Double Burger, “I’d love for you to see my place!” The look on his face when he turned around and saw our grins proved that he clearly didn’t expect anyone else to be listening.

Alcohol is evil. Even on a Monday afternoon. I think I’ll buy some Gatorade on the way home from work.

And another bottle of 1792.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Social Drinking Excellence: Adam Klimek

Yes, Virginia, there is an Adam Klimek, and he's our latest Rummy Award winner. Public drunkeness is often outrageous, but rarely is it so festive.

From The Huffington Post:
Adam Klimek, who entered the Brown Elephant shop in a Santa hat and fake fur coat, was reportedly "using profanity to the customers and appeared intoxicated," according to WLS AM. So a store employee politely escorted the drunk and swearing Klimek to the door.

As he was leaving, he allegedly shoved a store employee to the ground, then took off running south on Halsted Street.
After being caught and arrested, Klimek then "spit at and kicked an officer in the shin, causing her to suffer bruises and swelling."

Some thoughts:

(1.) The "fake fur coat"—I wish they were clearer about the role it played in Mr. Klimek's ensemble. Was it red with white trim? If it was just a standard brown coat, why didn't he wear a Santa coat to match the hat? Was he too broke, or just too fabulous? Maybe it was white, and he was hoping a random animal rights activist would mistake it for real fur and throw red paint on him, thereby creating a Santa coat.

(2.) I've got to say, though, that this is all making me rethink the traditional Santa garb. Maybe St. Nick needs a fresh 2010 retooling? I think a fur coat-wearing "pimp" Santa with a dollar-sign earring and some Now and Later gators could be something for future generations to cherish.

(3.) Kicking any cop during an arrest is, quite obviously, stupid. Kicking a female officer so hard that you injure her? I guarantee there's an hour or two of his booking that won't be appearing on the official police report. I'd be shocked if Klimek didn't look like Louis Winthorpe III the next day.

Adam, for being such a good example of a bad drunk, you'll be finding a Rummy in your stocking this year.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Moment with Diddy

Mr. Combs would like to take a couple of minutes of your time to let you know that he's truly sorry.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Social Drinking Excellence: Rick Elhert

Typically when I post these, I offer them to make a what-not-to-do example of the drunk winning the award. In this case, though, there's a lesson to be learned by both the Rummy winner and the crew operating the MS Ryndam.

From LA Weekly:
So while we're busy getting our privates scanned and junk groped at LAX, one man could have taken down an entire cruise ship -- apparently and/or allegedly because the anchor was similar to the one on his own 50-foot boat, according to KTLA News.

Of course, the device on his boat doesn't weight 28,000 to 50,000 pounds, as they do on massive cruise ships.

KTLA identified the...suspect as 44-year-old Rick Ehlert. Authorities said he dropped anchor as the Holland America's MS Ryndam cruised from Mexico to Florida early Saturday.

According to the FBI his alleged action could have sunk the ship.
To be honest, I'm really struggling with this one.

Obviously, anyone stupid enough to try and drop the anchor of a moving cruise ship needs to have every sip of alcohol turn to into cat piss the second it hits his lips. This isn't a yokel tooling through the woods on an ATV while blacked out on moonshine (believe it or not, I'm referring to a relative of mine...smh), who can only harm himself; this is someone nearly sinking a giant ship full of people. "Party foul" isn't a strong enough term to properly describe Elhert's actions.

It's a cruise, not a frat party. I've never been on one, but what I hear from my friends who have is that all you do during a cruise is drink, eat, and relax. So why is Mr. Elhert even wandering around, fooling with anchors and mechanisms in the first place? Grab a deck chair, tip your waitress, spit game to cougars, and "chillax". At what point is a person's lapse of judgment so extreme that his or her BAC is no longer a plausible excuse? I'm guessing it's somewhere around the point when endangering yourself and thousands of other people in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico is a more intriguing option than enjoying free drinks and free "strange" in the sunshine and ocean air.

But, with all of that being said, I'm just as baffled by the fact that this guy could drop the anchor. How was he even allowed near the controls? What, did the captain give him a tour and turn his back for a few seconds, only to turn back as the button was being pushed? [Note: You know, the more I think about this story, it sounds like the actions of a 4 year old, not a 44 year old. Will his lawyer be using an insanity plea? I don't know how any judge or jury wouldn't set him free. "What is your evidence that Mr. Elhert isn't sane?" "Uhh, your honor, he DROPPED THE ANCHOR OF A MOVING CRUISE SHIP. The defense rests."] How does the concept of "this guy's slurring his breathing; maybe I shouldn't let him near the anchor controls" gets past those people given the responsibility of managing an ocean liner?

Rick Elhert, your Rummy Award's in the mail. Please try to avoid doing harm to yourself with it.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Help in Your Time of Need

This, my friends, is brilliance in its truest form. A new service in Boulder, CO is offering help with University of Colorado party hosts' hellacious morning afters.

From Time.com:
They can pay the Hangover Helpers, a pair of entrepreneurial University of Colorado graduates who really know their audience.

For the small sum of $15 per roommate, the Helpers will come to your home bearing breakfast burritos and Gatorade and clean up the mess the party left behind.
I'm a little jealous that I never thought of this idea. Though I'm not sure how I ever would have gotten it off the ground, since when I was in school I was typically the guest on the couch into whose hand these Hangover Helper gents would've been shoving a breakfast burrito. This idea has the potential to expand beyond the college market—fertile as that landscape may be—and into the young professional sector.

And if they can hire some nubile ladies of exceptional physical characteristics as the cleaning teams? Well, let's just say I'm buying stock when Hangover Helpers goes public.

(TJ with another assist. Can you imagine what it would be like if the guy still wrote?)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Perspective

A year and a half ago, when Allegheny County implemented a "drink tax" that pushed the price of a Miller Lite at most downtown watering holes to $4 or higher, I voiced disappointed acceptance. Sure, this was around a 33% increase, but I also understood what a lot of the dissenters around Pittsburgh didn't: We still have it a lot easier than people in other parts of the country. I've barhopped on the West Coast and the East Coast; in the Midwest and the Southeast; deep in Texas and just outside of D.C. My liver and I have gotten around. And, with only a few notable exceptions, the average price of boozing in Pittsburgh is dwarfed by the price in most other towns.

For example, buying one of these in Chicago will set you back about 80% of your nightly Pittsburgh boozing budget:
Go ahead and get the double take out of the way: The beer that Goose Island is releasing Friday costs nearly $45 a bottle. Yes, you read right. Good thing it's a 22-ounce bottle.

Eagerly anticipated by beer geeks for months, Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout will be available at 9 a.m. at Binny's Lincoln Park location in bottles and on draft at 10 a.m. at the Goose Island Brewpub on Clybourn Avenue. Those are the only two places you'll find it through the weekend; next Monday it will be in many liquor stores that carry Goose Island's higher-end labels.
Since TJ's back in his hometown this week, I'm counting on him to make his city's forefathers proud by smuggling a crate or two of this stuff back east. After all, how else is a guy supposed to wet his whistle around here when it costs a whole $4 per bottle?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Four Times Loko

My Facebook status, as of about 10:30 this morning: “I’m in love. And her name is Four Loko…”

Rewind to yesterday afternoon. My friend Steph was coming back into town late that night, and her first order of business would be chilling at Soba in the ‘Side. Pakistanimal and I decided, therefore, that it would be prudent of us to be there. And if we were to do some pregaming at my place before heading over, well then all the better. And then close to 5:30 pm, Pak called me with a wicked thought.

Pak: “What are we drinking on tonight?”
Me: “Well I was going to pick up some vodka."
Pak: “What about Four Loko?"
Me: *speechless for a few moments*

By now you’ve probably heard the horror stories. The unfortunate deaths of a few college students who were drinking the energy drink with a 12% alcohol content have sent the media into a tizzy. In a few short weeks Four Loko has become the modern day absinthe, with tales of hallucination, danger, and destruction surrounding it at every turn. All of which has led states to start enacting bans on the demon drink. The FDA has even now gone so far as to outlaw any product that combines caffeine and alcohol, and the makers of Four Loko have vowed to change the formula to comply with the new regulations.

All of this, though, didn’t truly make me worry about the effects of the drink. A teenager chugging 24 ounces of Diet Dr. Pepper is going to do harm to himself, and talking heads on news channels love nothing more than to create drama where none is necessary. No, what caused my anxiety was something much more impressive. Dupa and Armo had tested Four Loko out themselves the previous Friday night, and both gave it a harrowing review. “I had two and a few beers,” Armo reported. “I had trouble with thought, vision, taste, and shapes.” When Pak sought Dupa’s advice on Loko, his response was, “One can, and you’ll be nice. Two, and you’ll die.”

A chance to test something this lethal was just too good to pass up. “Let’s do it.”

My buddy Bearcat suggested I do a running diary throughout the night—yet another idea that was just too good to pass up. When I got home from work I fired up my computer, opened a Word document, and began recording history. The following is (most of) my dance with destiny, as transcribed last night, as well as pieces that were pulled from my Twitter feed and text messages.

6:45 – I’m cleaning up my apartment with the fervor of a college freshman cleaning his dorm room before the hot girl from his PoliSci class comes over to study. “Everything must be just right when Miss Loko gets here!

7:45 – The Loko sisters have arrived. First dinner, then we’ll get cozy. Chick-Fil-A—nothing but the best for our girls.

7:55 – (via Twitter) “Eating some Chick-Fil-A. [Pak]: ‘This could be my last meal.’”

8:06 – Pak cracks open his first one while I’m still shaving. His first words: “Woooooo!”

8:22 – Cracked it open, and smell groped my nose before I could get it to my lips.

8:48 – (via Twitter) “I find it more worrying than reassuring that it says 'We ID' directly on the can.”

8:53 – Pak’s still less than half of the way through his can, and he’s miles ahead of me. I’m drinking with the same level of fear that an old woman drives with. Interesting.

9:29 – Text convo with Steph:

Me: “I’m almost one can in, so that’s probably the last witty thing I’ll be saying tonight.”
Steph: “Can?”
Me: “Four Loko.”
Steph: “Oh good lord.”

9:40 – Each of us finishes his 1st can, and each of us crushes it in triumph. And then…each of us agrees to a slight break before cracking our second. This might be what they mean by the phrase “laughing at the Devil.”

9:47 – Pak: “I’m fucked up! And I don’t even know why I’m fucked up; I just drank an Arizona Iced Tea.”
Me: *laughing* “An Ari-…What is that, mind over matter?”
Pak: *pause* “Exactly.”

9:58 – Broke the seal. Going to be a long night.

10:02 – Cracked second can. Tell TJ in phone call “At the funeral next week, tell my mother I loved her.”

10:31 – Less than a quarter through this can. I’m a pussy.

10:41 – Pak: “I’m not between the ‘L’ and the ‘O’ yet [on the can]. F, my L.”

10:58 – Pak: “Tell ‘em, ‘We didn’t land on Four Loko, Four…Lanko…landed on us…’” *breaks into uncontrollable laughter* God have mercy on our souls.

11:07 – (via Twitter) Pak: “This might be the funnest night I’ve ever had! This might be the last night I’ve ever had!”

11:12 – (via Twitter) “Maybe it’s just me, but…I love Four Loko. This stuff…why would you ever ban this stuff? It’s…it’s just great.”

11:14 – Me: “That was fackin…wait, did I just say ‘fackin’?” Oh my god.

11:15 – Pak: “I’m a little scared what this might do.” Kind of late for that, don’t you think? We still have to make it to the bar to meet up with Steph and Biff. Not very optimistic.

11:18 – Pak [on the phone with Dupa]: “You’ve never even been to Poland!”

11:20 – I crush my 2nd can, Pak, pours the final tenth of his out. I win.

11:25 – My mother calls. Not entirely sure of the full conversation, but I do remember (1.) her laughingly saying to Pak “Fuck you” on speakerphone, and (2.) me making certain to tell her that I love her, just in case TJ forgot.


The rest of the night was, predictably, chaos. Loko treats you like a sadistic torturer: The caffeine keeps you up and on your feet while the alcohol relentlessly pummels you. We stumbled our way to Soba feeling invincible. We found Steph, Bill, Biff, and everyone else in good spirits (it felt somewhat similar to the final scene of Ocean’s Twelve, when everyone is meeting up in the private room for the poker party); they found us reduced to shambles. As I stood talking to Bill, I accidentally touched the head of a woman seated to my right. And then I did it again. And then I brushed the arm of someone else with my left hand. “It’s like I’m on ecstasy. I can’t stop touching strangers.” A round or two of shots were done, and Pak was soon sneaking off to the bathroom to vomit. At about 1 am he and I audibled, heading over to Shady Grove. Along the way I fired off a series of drunk texts, all to the confusion—and, in the end, entertainment—of my friend Maria. I don’t remember much about our time at Grove, but I know I sent a tweet saying “Just toasted to drunkenness. It gets no better, it gets no worse.” We had satisfactorily browned out.

I awoke this morning in my bed, not remembering how I had gotten there. Pak shuffled past my bedroom on his way to the bathroom and casually said, “I hate you.” I reached around the bed for my phone and instead found a nearly-full bottle of Gatorade snuggled next to me.

Me: “Have you seen my phone?”
Pak: “I was just about to ask you to call MINE.”

Eventually I e-mailed TJ and asked him to call our phones. Mine was under my bed, for no discernible reason; Pak’s was dead and still MIA. A thorough search of my living room and phone calls to Grove and Soba didn’t reveal anything, and to this very moment it has not been found.

I guess this Four Loko stuff is deadly after all.

Love of the Chase

Chappy with the assist on this one.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Patron Challenge

A few thoughts:

1. This is an incredibly reckless waste of Patron. Any true drinker (especially one on a budget) will be as disappointed as I was to see such a delicious nectar tossed aside so casually.
2. How dedicated of a friend/girlfriend/relative does this chick have to be to sign up for her role? If she's a little sister, she's either repaying a favor or banking on cashing this in for one in the future; if she's a friend, she's trying to become his girlfriend; and if she's his girlfriend, she's trying to become his wife. No other scenarios add up. None.
3. If the fact that they're filming this in a parking garage doesn't register as an omen to you (and there's a special irony in him standing in a handicapped parking spot)...
4. Not sure whether to dub his last words a "Captain Obvious" moment, or an "Understatement of the Year" contender. Almost seems like something can't qualify for both of those at once; but, trust, this definitely does.



Kev with the assist.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Booze Tube

I'm not sure if the typical "On the Rocks" reader spends much time watching the Discovery Channel, but that's all going to change now. This Sunday (Nov. 21st) marks the premiere of the cable channel's new show, "Brew Masters", at 10 pm. The series will showcase the founder of Dogfish Head, Sam Calagione, as he and a team of beer aficionados travel the globe in the name of all things hops.

From Brand X Daily:
Though the sheer selection of craft-beer options can seem as dizzying as their alcohol content, Calagione hopes “Brew Masters” will serve as a bottle opener for reluctant viewers.

“You don't have to come to this with a hardcore beer geek background to appreciate it,” he said. “It demystifies the brewing process so a total beer neophyte can gain confidence and buy something out of their comfort zone.”

“Brew Masters” will feature more than just hops and yeast, however. Episodes will find Calagione heading around the world for inspiration for his latest offerings, including “Bitches Brew”— a beer in honor of the boundary-pushing Miles Davis album of the same name.
Seeing as how I just bought my ticket to the 2011 Brewski Festival, this show should be a nice little appetizer while I sit in my apartment rocking back & forth until April.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Social Drinking Excellence: Pat McAfee

[Note: I've changed the name and timing of the Rummy Award for a few reasons.

(1.) I was never completely comfortable with the previous title format, "Social Drinker of the Week". It just lacked a little something in my opinion (likely in yours, too).
(2.) This title formatting is more consistent with what we use for regular features on other CS pages.
(3.) Doing one of these per week just wasn't working out well for me. Between my ongoing battle with lethargy
(how's that for an ironic phrasing?) and the increasingly busy schedule at work, I just wasn't getting these posted with the needed regularity for the Rummies to be a weekly feature.
(4.) 'Cause I wanna. Don't judge me...
]

Surely by now (if you're a sports fan) you've heard about Mr. McAfee's little swim earlier this week.





This story is a point of added amusement for me for a couple of reasons. First, he graduated from West Virginia University; as a loyal Pitt fan, I'm filled with childlike glee when news breaks about a WVU alum being a complete moron. It's immature, petty, and spiteful of me... And I don't care. Second, he graduated from the same high school as Esq, Chief, Butters, and Baby Joey. This is just more ammunition against their alma mater that I didn't even need.

So Pat, here's your new and improved Rummy Award. It can be used as a flotation device in the event of a water landing.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Running on Empty

I commented on Twitter several weeks ago that I may be America’s laziest writer. But that’s not entirely accurate. Fairly accurate? Sure. Mostly accurate? Perhaps. About two Nicole Ritchie-sized snacks from being nail-on-the-head, spot-on accurate? Check ya tone, boy…

No matter how reclusive a maestro is, though, he still needs inspiration to guide the pen that writes his masterpieces. And for me, that means bottles pouring adult beverages into glasses almost as quickly as I’m pouring them out of glasses and down my throat. To make this booze distribution system—or, as I like to call it, “fluid sociological dynamics”—sustainable, a steady supply of fuel must be available to trigger the process. The most commonly used accelerant is a flimsy green and white (and sometimes purple) form of paper which is most often mined from computer slots in the external walls of banks. And in my case, well…let’s just say I’d be better off if I had to use plutonium to buy out the bar.

The 2008 economic downturn has finally caught up with me, a full two years later. This means that I’ve had to cease all frivolous spending for the foreseeable future—save for a case of Sam Adams’ Harvest Collection a month ago (I mean, if I’m not going to spoil me, then who is?). And so weekend after drunken weekend has passed without participation by moi. I’m not happy about it, but it’s my reality for the time being. Hell, just last week I was in Las Vegas—the Mecca of loose purse strings and alcohol-induced tales of epic proportions—for a business trip, and through the first five nights I consumed a grand total of ten drinks. That, compared to my standard of inebriated debauchery, is basically an Amish tea party.

The last day of the trip was a little different. I finally had time off, and I decided to do a little mild gambling during the day at the Wynn (which, on the whole, was a fail; but, on the bright side, I was able to put some money in the pockets of Steve Wynn, and we all know that poor pauper could use some financial assistance), where I got free Jack & Cokes. Then that night I got to see my boy B Rush for the first time in years, and we did it up with half yards of beer at the Yard House and then cheap draughts at Ellis Island. But even at the end of my booziest day in town (which still saw me back in my hotel room before midnight), I was still only mildly tipsy. Sad stuff, really.

But for a man with a limited budget, it’s my only hope for climbing out of my current hole. Otherwise I’d have to sell most of my possessions and live under the bar at Shady Grove.

*thinking* Hmmmmmm… No, no, nevermind.

Beware Strangers with Candy


Next time you're partying in Russia and a stranger offers you some cognac, do your best to say "nyet".

From MSNBC:
Three men who allegedly carried out a string of poisonings on commuter trains that left 17 dead are due to face trial in Russia, according to reports.

Investigators suspect the men plied drunk victims with a cocktail of cognac and tranquilizers before robbing them, The Moscow Times reported. In addition to the 17 dead, the attacks sickened an additional 15 victims over a three-year period in the Russian capital.

RT News reported that the trio — two Russians and an Uzbek — picked well-dressed passengers and approached them by saying they wanted to share a drink with them. Investigators told RT the men used neuroplectics, strong tranquilizers used to treat psychosis, to subdue the passengers.
I hope they give these guys capital punishment. Anyone who uses alcohol for evil purposes is an enemy of all that's good and decent in this world.

[What's that? Getting susceptible women drunk enough to do morally-questionable sexual acts could be construed as an "evil purpose"? Really? Uhh...hmmm...]

You know, upon further review, I think these guys are just misunderstood. Sure their crimes were wrong, but I think leniency is really the way to go here...

*cough*

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Social Drinkers of the Week (9/29)

There comes a point where even I can't find anything to add to a story. This week's Rummy Award co-winners have pulled off the feat.

From KnoxNews.com:
Two men allegedly "got to drinking" and ended up running naked through the Tiger Haven sanctuary after they were fired from their jobs there, according to a Roane County Sheriff's Department report.

Tiger Haven is located in East Roane County off Harvey Road and houses more than 250 tigers, lions and other big cats.
Their names? Jake Loftis and—you can't make this up—Samuel Adams.

I understand the desire to get revenge on a company that fired you. I don't, however, understand wanting to do it by running around naked. Or getting naked and running around where you can, as the street nucca in my head would say, "get ate the fuck up". In fact, I can safely say that getting chomped on by a tiger is not on my list of things I'm keen on doing while naked. These two guys probably looked like a Whopper and side of fries to all of the lions and tigers as they ran through Tiger Haven. And I've done some running for my life a few times, but never while drunk. I can't even picture the two coexisting. Running while drunk, all you want to do is stop and laugh. Or vomit. Or both. When there's a big cat on your ass that's looking to Siegfried and Roy you, though, neither of those is really an option.

Jake and Sam, here are your Rummies. Next time you practice your special brand of wind sprints, you might want to use them as athletic cups.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Walk of Pride

After a latenight adventure, late last year, I asked friends (via Facebook status), "Is it still a 'walk of shame' if you're not ashamed?" The replies and answers that I got were surprising. Well, I mean...surprising if you didn't already realize that I run with some crazy ass people. And if you've read any of my stories on this page, then, well...you already realize that I run with some crazy ass people.

This ad is nice spot by the elrock over at Us, Bottles, and Friends.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Social Drinker of the week (9/21)

[Note: I know I didn't hand out a Rummy last week. *shrug* What do you want from me? Shit's crazy. Do you. *looks around, hopes Hero isn't keeping tabs*]

This week's "winner" is Tommy Riser of Blaine, WA, who believes that if at first you don't fail, then try, try again. From the Edmonton Journal:
The Bellingham Herald reports Riser first slammed his pickup and trailer into a utility pole Monday night. Abandoning the wreck for his wife's VW sedan, he next proceeded to crash the latter into a guard rail. Cleverly, he went back home and retrieved the company-owned tow truck he drives for a living.

After he pulled up to his handiwork and was about to hitch one of his damaged vehicles to the tow truck, investigating police saw that Riser was bleeding from his forehead. When they approached, the constables also noticed Riser was reeking of booze and promptly failed every field sobriety test.

He's been arrested, jailed and charged with three counts of driving under the influence, which could well keep him off the road both professionally and privately for some time.

Three drunk driving offenses in one day. It takes most backwoods lottery winners and US Congressmen years to accomplish such a feat. And although Riser lives in the US, he was picked up across the border in Canada, which makes him an international man of drunken stupidity.

Mr. Riser, here's your Rummy. You'll notice that we've built a small breathalyzer into it, just for you.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lanie's Seacrets

2003 was a good year, and an especially good summer. In the spring of ’03 I got my first full-time job. And with my first big boy paychecks rolling in each month, I made two expenditures that would help set the stage for one of the best years of my life: (1.) Along with several friends, I reserved a condo in Ocean City, Maryland for a week in August; and (2.) I bought a camera phone.

The technology was cutting edge at the time. My odd-looking Nokia 3650—and its now-primitive .3 megapixel camera—was downright space age in '03. The clunky cell phone with a dial pad designed to mimic that of a rotary phone was an instant conversation piece. And since MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook had yet to be created, the paranoia that enters the mind of anyone today who sees a cell phone raised in his or her direction was unknown to society. As a result, friends and complete strangers alike were all-too-eager to pose for pictures. I now own a portfolio of photographs that many future politicians and captains of industry are going to be paying me a pretty dollar to keep under wraps.

In July my family had a small reunion at my sister’s house, just outside of Washington, D.C. I would be staying in Baltimore over the weekend with my cousin, Mrs. Blue Moon, and alcohol would be our copilot (this was the same reunion where her father, Uncle Red, displayed his Dos Equis generosity). I hit the road after work on a Friday, and before I was a quarter of the way to Bmore my cousin was hitting me up to get an ETA. She wanted to hit the town, and was itching to start boozing. When I finally arrived at her place, I had barely dropped my bags in the guest room before she was dragging me—albeit willingly—to the Baja Beach Club.

I haven’t really been club hopping in Bmore since that night, so I can only guess as to whether or not Baja is still a preferred destination in town. The odds are against it, considering the typical nightspot only has but so much time in the limelight before another takes its place. But, if you were to tell me that it is still thriving today, I wouldn’t be all that shocked. That’s because they had a simple—yet genius—business model in place: Take a big, sprawling nightclub in the heart of the Inner Harbor district; serve reasonably-priced alcohol, and throw in a dollar-drink special on Fridays; play top-40 dance music; and hire only the most beautiful young women Baltimore has to offer to be waitresses, bartenders, shot girls, and beer tub vendors. Granted, this fits the basic description of just about any moderately successful big city bar or club. But Baja’s secret weapon was this last detail: all of those waitresses, bartenders, shot girls, and beer tub vendors were dressed in the sluttiest role-playing costumes you can find. Bikinis, naughty cop outfits, dirty nurses, you name it. It was like being surrounded by the greatest collection of beautiful women in skanky Halloween costumes I had ever seen—and it was only July. [Note: Later that year, the benchmark that the Baja Club had set for a night of girls in slutty costumes would be obliterated by the Ohio University Halloween Party. But, on that balmy Friday night in July, I thought there would never be anything better. Never. You just couldn’t tell me otherwise.]

We fired back shots and went through a quick succession of dollar drinks, and I felt that warm, fuzzy feeling of my copilot taking the reins. MBM and her girl, Nina, hit the dance floor, but I decided to do some exploration. And I soon found my Northwest Passage. Standing at a large metal tub filled with various brands of beer bottles and ice that was perched on a platform near the center of the club, Lanie was 5’2” of long, curly brown hair, twinkling eyes, and bikini-accentuated oh-my-damn. She smiled at me, and then fate stepped into the DJ booth.

*intro to “Shake Ya Tailfeather” comes screaming over the speakers*

Moments later, the now-infamous beat began thumping, and every female in the building cheerfully obeyed Diddy & Nelly’s command. Lanie gyrated and wiggled like a pro, and I reached for my phone. She saw me snap a picture, and leaned over in curiosity to check it out. Shouting, “Cool!” she returned to her body motion serenade. When I raised my phone for another picture, though, she grinned. She spun around and—just as the song’s chorus chimed in—flipped up the back of her cover up skirt to bare her thong-creased tailfeather for the camera. Click.

The next morning I showed my father my prized picture from the night before. Between his amusement and my stepmother’s disgust, I totaled it as a win.

All of two weeks later, I was in the sun-soaked sands of OCMD with my knuckleheaded friends. For seven days we unleashed ourselves upon a small city built specifically for people in their early 20s to unleash themselves upon it. I’ve spoken of this trip before; in fact, three different posts have each been entirely about respective stories from that week. And other On the Rocks posts have included quotes and mini tales birthed in the trip’s pool bars, Rum Runners, and ocean air. And I’ve really only scratched the surface. I mentioned before that I did a write-up of the event when we got home, and then later gave copies to those who lived it with me. At different times I’ve toyed with the idea of posting that write here on the blog, but have always balked at the idea due to the sheer size of it. And because it would probably cost me money (see future blackmail plans mentioned above). It was just an incredible series of escapades the likes of which you only experience once in lifetime.

The trip culminated in a Friday night at Seacrets. Odds are, if you’ve been to Ocean City for a vacation, you’ve been to Seacrets. It’s a huge, open-air bar that attracts people during the day with its beach activities (like floating on an inner tube in the bay), and during the night with its raucous live music. To get there, some friends and I decided hopping into a taxi van would be faster than the city buses that we’d used all week to get to our drinking destinations. Four of us (the rest were either already at Seacrets or moving a little slower—like our friend Amazon, who had drank herself into a Rocket Fuel coma earlier in the day) squeezed into a van with some strangers all headed towards the same alcohol-fueled madness that had us revved with anticipation. Seated near a cute blonde girl, I struck up a conversation.

Me: “Are you in Ocean City on vacation, too?”
Blonde: “Yeah. I’m from Baltimore.”
Me: “Oh yeah? I have all kinds of family there. I was just there a couple of weeks ago, actually. Ever been to Baja Club?”
Blonde: “Yeah, I used to work there!”
Me: *grin* “Do you know Lanie?”
Blonde: “Yeah! *I show her the picture* Yeah, that’s Lanie’s ass!”

She then dropped a bombshell on me: Lanie was 35. Now, at my current age of thsmmhhfffsha, a gorgeous 35 year old club worker doesn’t sound all that mythical. But when I was 24, telling me this goddess in a lycra thong was 35 was like telling me that the Pope is Buddhist. It was simply inconceivable.

My 3650 had one last beach memory in store for me that night. A couple of hours later my friends and I stood in the overflowing crowd at Seacrets, watching the in-house reggae band. After one of my boys pointed out an attractive brunette dancing down in front of us, I snapped an up-close-and-personal picture of her well-defined booty. It was kind of like with Lanie, only this girl was fully clothed…and unaware of me and my camera [hmm, I don’t remember it seeming quite so creepy back then]. Standing to my left was a middle-aged guy and an attractive woman in her late 30s that appeared to be together. The guy had watched my stealth photography session with curious interest.

Guy: “Did you just take a picture of her ass?”
Me: “Yeah.” *I show him the picture*
Guy: “That’s AWESOME!! *pointing at the woman with him* Take a picture of hers! She’s got the best ass ever!”

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Social Drinker of the Week (9/07)

This week our Rummy Award goes to an inventive man from Memphis, Tennessee.

From My Fox Memphis:
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Memphis Police arrested a man who pretended to be a police officer after he hit another car in a drunk driving accident in the Frayser area.

The accident occurred on Frayser Ave when the suspect hit another woman's car. When the suspect approached the victim, he stated that he was a reserve police officer from Sardis, Mississippi and that the collision was intentional.

Police on the scene report that the suspect, 44-year old Ulysses Tabor, had a strong smell of alcohol on his breath and slurred speech. Tabor also had three children in his vehicle, who were turned over to their mother.

While at first the cover story sounds almost good enough to work, the execution is certainly lacking. What "reserve police officer" would use his own car to ram a suspect? And who would do it with three kids in the backseat?

Mr. Tabor, here's your Rummy. Now you have something to fill the empty space on your mantle that you were saving for a "Father of the Year" trophy.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Social Drinker of the Week (8/31)

Competition for the coveted Rummy was fierce this week. A 20-year-old Rhode Island woman gave our winner a run for his money, having been taken into protective custody after asking her friend for the car keys as her friend was being arrested for shoplifting. Adding to that initial fail, she then attempted to seduce the officers from the backseat of the cruiser on the way to the station, and then used urine and toilet paper to defile the holding cell—for which she was charged with destruction of property. I'm sure her parents are so proud.

But ultimately, I think her age can be blamed for at least some of that drunken goodness. Our winner, however, does not have the same excuse.

From the Boston Herald:
DOVER, N.H. -- A woman and her husband were both arrested for driving while intoxicated after he moved into the driver’s seat of the car and attempted to drive away while she was performing field sobriety tests.

Capt. Michael Raiche said police responded to a minor accident on Central Avenue at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday after Sharon Piatek, 45, of 13 Langilier Court in Somersworth, allegedly rear-ended another vehicle.

Nobody was injured in the accident, however Raiche said the officer suspected that Piatek was under the influence of a drug at the time.

While Piatek was performing field sobriety tests, the passenger of her vehicle -- 37-year-old Brian Piatek -- allegedly moved into the empty driver’s seat, put the Dodge Stratus into drive and began to drive forward, Raiche said.

Simply brilliant, sir. Let's break down the artistry of this tale:
  1. It was only 5:30 PM, yet both he and his wife were already smashed. The couple that boozes together, stays together. Although...
  2. ...This "Clyde" was fully prepared to bail on his "Bonnie" in an attempt to save his own ass. Although...
  3. ...He really wasn't in any trouble until he tried to go Jason Bourne with the daring escape. Had he just remained in the passenger seat—hell, he could've taken a nap and slept off some of the intoxication—his household would only be stuck with a $500 bail payment, instead of a $5500 bail payment. And he would not have had some awkward questions to answer when he and the missus got home.

Brian Piatek, here's your On The Rocks Rummy award. I suggest keeping it out of your wife's reach, though. We're not responsible for the bodily harm she may inflict upon you with it.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Live to Drink = Drink to Live

If you're a prissy non-drinker, a new report suggests that the fun people like moi will outlive you. Of course, if you're a prissy non-drinker, chances are you don't read this blog. But I digress...

The next time you've polished off your third beer, and you have that internal debate over whether to stop the party or do a cannonball into shit creek by ordering a fourth beer, do the responsible thing: Order two beers. And a round of shots.

From Time.com:
The sample of those who were studied included individuals between ages 55 and 65 who had had any kind of outpatient care in the previous three years. The 1,824 participants were followed for 20 years. One drawback of the sample: a disproportionate number, 63%, were men. Just over 69% of the never-drinkers died during the 20 years, 60% of the heavy drinkers died and only 41% of moderate drinkers died.

These are remarkable statistics. Even though heavy drinking is associated with higher risk for cirrhosis and several types of cancer (particularly cancers in the mouth and esophagus), heavy drinkers are less likely to die than people who have never drunk. One important reason is that alcohol lubricates so many social interactions, and social interactions are vital for maintaining mental and physical health. As I pointed out last year, nondrinkers show greater signs of depression than those who allow themselves to join the party.

This past Saturday I worked hard to extend my life expectancy, drinking Long Island Iced Teas at Shady Grove like there was a toy prize at the bottom of each glass. I managed to black out somewhere between wingmanning for Dupa and waking up in my bed yesterday morning.

[And, yes, I'm aware that I just said that blackouts aren't common occurrences for me. Fight me.]

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Social Drinker of the Week

In what will hopefully become a weekly feature, On the Rocks will shine the spotlight on a man or woman who has gone above and beyond the drinkers' call of duty. This week's recipient of the Rummy [award name is a work-in-progress] is Tyler Patrick Thomas.

From The Huffington Post:
CORVALLIS, Ore. — An Oregon State University offensive lineman has been dismissed from the team after police say they found him naked and intoxicated in a stranger's home and had to use stun guns to take him into custody.

That's a good start, but what makes Thomas so special? I mean, aside from having three first names? There's probably at least two cases a month in the US of drunken college kids ending up naked in a stranger's house (or maybe my Washington & Jefferson pedigree just makes me jaded to that sort of thing). So why does he deserve such a prestigious award?
Responding officers ordered 19-year-old Tyler Patrick Thomas of Kalispell, Mont., to get on the ground, Lt. Tim Brewer said.

Thomas refused and instead dropped into a three-point stance like a football player and lunged at the officers, Brewer said. At that point, he said, two officers fired their stun guns.

There are a number of interesting points here:
  1. Breaking into someone's house is one level of drunken stupidity (though I'd like to know the particulars of why he was there—maybe he thought it was his friend's place?); merely resisting arrest is another; but taking the initiative to challenge the cops? Brilliant (you know...in that it was incredibly stupid).

  2. Thomas dropping into a three point stance before making the charge is hilarious. I wish the cop hadn't been armed with anything, just for the mental imagery of him helplessly getting drive-blocked out of the house.

  3. Maybe it's just me, but there's a very limited number of things that I'm comfortable doing when completely naked. The very idea of getting into a three point stance and bursting off the line at anyone—police or civilian, man or woman—while wearing my birthday suit can only result in me giggling like a school girl and abandoning the charge before it's ever started.

  4. There is quite a bit of irony here: This kid's subconscious—and, by logical extension, life—is so ingrained with football, that it's his go-to defense mechanism when cornered. And yet, he uses it amidst an episode of intoxicated madness that has cost him his ability to play the game that is, very likely, the only thing he knows.

  5. Don't ever let anyone try to tell you that alcohol isn't poetic.

Congrats to you, Tyler Patrick Thomas, on becoming the inaugural recipient of the On The Rocks "Rummy Award". You can place it on your mantle and look upon it fondly while you complete your University of Phoenix application.