Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Don't Get Mad, Get Even

Revenge is a shot best served with a “fuck you” chaser.

On the first night of my Dirty-30 celebration two years ago, TJ hit me with a death blow in the form of a somewhat improvised shot. He’d wanted to order me a Liquid Cocaine, but the bar didn’t carry Bacardi 151. In its place, he asked them to mix Goldschlager with the Jager and Rumple Minze that come standard. If I remember correctly, I called upon my Czech ancestors to curse his soul then and there. Or maybe it was my Seminole ancestors. Or was it my Creole ancestors? All I know is that I wanted some supernatural being to make him feel the same pain that I felt for the next 15 minutes, as my night dutifully faded to black.

I now owe one (or all) of those ancestors dearly, because my call was answered on April 15, 2011.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. On that night, TJ, his son’s mother (“Glitter”), and her boyfriend went to dinner and a Tom Green show in the Waterfront. Chappy, Tony, Dupa, Jay Swag and I started the night in the South Side for the Pens’ game; we then traveled to Bar Louie afterwards (minus Swag) to meet up with TJ’s trio, as well as Mr. & Mrs. Prince of Ligonier, to celebrate TJ’s birthday. The birthday boy was already showing signs of being tipsy, though it may have just been a Friday night free from responsibility, and not the alcohol, that tilted him. As for Glitter, it was most certainly alcohol that was putting in work. She greeted me with a hug, but it was less old-acquaintances-seeing-each-other-after-an-extended-time, and more giddy-five-year-old-at-Disney-World-squeezing-the-ever-loving-shit-out-of-Goofy. TJ reported that she had been drunk enough to loudly interject during the comedy show earlier in the evening, even causing Tom Green to pause and acknowledge one of her comments. Glitter was clearly in honey badger mode. She really didn’t give a shit.

Not too long after arriving, I noticed a trespasser in our ranks. A slim, tall guy in a tight shirt and product-heavy blonde hair had driven the lane and was now face-to-face with Glitter. Given her state—and that her boyfriend was standing next to her—I didn’t find this news relaxing. And when I saw her boyfriend put his hand on LFO’s chest (Glitter would later make the hilarious observation that he looked like a member of LFO) and push him backwards, I immediately darted into the fray, stationing myself between Glitter’s man and the self-tanner spokesmodel.

I hadn’t been the only one watching this pot boil. One of LFO’s friends arrived on the scene at the same time that I did, and quickly had his hands on his tight-shirted comrade to pull him away. But it was soon apparent that LFO wasn’t overlooking the potential fight that his actions were provoking; on the contrary, he was openly inviting it. Before I knew it, he was back on our side of the bar, inches away from me. As Prince, TJ, and Glitter’s man barked from behind me, I laughed off LFO and tried to talk some common sense into him by saying, “Get the fuck out of here before someone destroys you.”

Oddly enough, those soothing words didn’t seem to calm him down.

Let’s review the situation here: LFO was the most metrosexual man on Earth. He had two friends with him, neither of whom was overly imposing, and neither of whom had the same hard on for fisticuffs that he did. I had TJ, Tony, Prince, Chappy, Dupa, and Glitter’s BF lined up behind me. Even in a one-on-one tangle, LFO would’ve been a light snack for any one of us (aside from maybe Chappy; but he’s just dirty enough to use a bottle or other foreign object to tip things in his favor). But, beyond all that, we also had an ace in the hole: the bar’s manager, Stefani [not to be confused with Steph] is an old friend of Dupa’s. There was no scenario in which any of this ended well for LFO.

Although his buddy had once again pulled him over to their side of the bar, LFO continued to mouth off at us, while most of us did our best to ignore him (Prince, full of beer and childlike glee, was mouthing provocations towards him from our side, only to turn back to us and giggle, all to the disapproval of Mrs. Prince). Eventually LFO walked over to the front doors, yelling for any one of us to join him outside. As he stood there in auto-erotic gesticulation, he felt a tap on his shoulder. When he turned around, he found himself face-to-face with the police that Stefani had called. Checkmate.

After a 15 minute conversation with the officers, LFO decided—completely by his own accord, I’m sure—to leave for another bar without any further words or glances in the direction of my crew. With things quieted down, the two female bartenders and a couple of the waitresses came over to share their own encounters with LFO that night. “He was telling everyone that he’s the hottest defense attorney in the city,” reported a waitress. When someone mentioned his two-sizes-too-small shirt, Alyssa—a bartender and Maxim Hometown Hotties contestant—shrugged her shoulders and cracked, “Never trust a man with frosted tips and his nipples out.”

When I suggested that Alyssa, at 5’2”, should try fighting me just like LFO had, she quickly jumped up on the bar and flexed in my face. The thought that I might get frog splashed by a tiny amateur model in the middle of a bar gave me enough pause to consider just how likely my boys would be to believe that I let her take me down. Not very likely, I’m sure.

I would eventually triumph over the short people, though. Stefani, herself all of 5’nothing”, asked for my help in getting a bottle of whiskey down from a high shelf. When she had taken the bottle back behind the bar, I stepped up for another Miller Lite draught. Chappy, however, had also decided to order another drink, and flagged her down first. When Stefani came walking back over with his bottle of Bud Light Lime, I voiced my displeasure.

Me: “I can’t believe that, after I just helped you get that bottle down, you’re going to serve him first!”
Chappy: *laughs in victory as he reaches for his bottle*
Stefani: *grins* “You know what? You’re right. *pulls back the bottle, which was only inches from Chappy’s hand; turns, and puts it in a refrigerator beneath the bar*
Chappy: “Wha..? Hey!”
Stefani: *to me* “Miller Lite draught?”

Chappy was left to whine in protest until after I’d been served my beer and had walked off laughing.

It soon occurred to me that, even though it was close to midnight, TJ was in great condition. This was just unacceptable. I stepped up to get my homie a birthday shot, but froze for a moment while trying to figure out just what to order. Then a villainous grin swept across my face. TJ, looking at me with his eyebrow cocked, sensed something bad was afoot. “Don’t worry,” I said. “I know exactly what I’m getting you.” And if there was any internal doubt about the sincerity of my desire for revenge, it was likely erased by this: When I called over Alyssa, the first thing I asked wasn’t if she knew how to make a Liquid Cocaine; no, the first thing I asked was, “Do you guys have Bacardi 151?” When she frowned a “No,” she likely felt I was going to be disappointed by that response. Oh, how wrong she was. Instead, I smiled. “Great!” I may even have cackled.

I ordered the Goldschlager/Rumple Minze/Jager blend of hell, and then heard lines from Nas’ “I Gave You Power” in my head as I called TJ over: “He walked me outside, saw this cat, cocked me back, said ‘Remember me?’

Me: “Remember my birthday a couple of years ago?”
TJ: *ice grills me, knowing he can’t argue his way out of this*

I handed him the shot, and Dupa tapped me on the shoulder.

Dupa: “What did you buy him?”
Me: “The Goldschlager/Rumple Minze/Jager shot he got me for my 30th.”
Dupa: *grinning* “It would be pretty messed up if I bought him the same thing right now, wouldn’t it?”
Me: “Yup. Do it.”
Dupa: “On it.”

TJ, to his credit, tossed back the first shot like a soldier. When he was handed another by Dupa, though, just as the first pains from my shot began working their way through his veins, there was murder in his eyes. He gathered his strength, and after a minute tossed back the second one. When he handed over the empty glass, Chappy handed him a Three Wise Men. I think I heard his soul cry.

Then again, it may just have been his Jewish ancestors being summoned.

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