Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I disagree, to some extent, with the false bravado of those who claim certain drinks are "manlier" than others, especially in cases like this, where everything has been broken down, more-or-less, into ingredients. (How, for example, can you claim Angostura bitters are less manly than scotch? They're not made for drinking straight, only for being a flavor enhancement. That's like saying a guy who uses salt is less manly than one who eats steak.)

Nevertheless, the graph does offer a fairly humorous look at machismo in the world of professional drinking. Look it over, have a laugh, then ignore it the next time you're at the bar. Salud.


Monday, June 25, 2012

R.I.P. Shaun a.k.a. Manboy

Anyone who's spent time boozing in Pittsburgh has heard of "Midget Mondays" at Casey's Draft House. Shaun, a loveable "little person", would dance around on the bar, pouring drinks and shots and generally getting buck nutty. The promotional idea was born of schlock and buffoonery, but gradually surpassed the offensive overtones and became a local tradition. Without a doubt, this was due entirely to the large personality contained within Shaun's small body.

I attended a few "Midget Mondays" throughout the years, most recently last September (when the picture above was taken). That night Shaun was as lively as ever, keeping everyone full of shots and laughter. I typically chafe at these types of events, where the object seems to be to laugh at someone, rather than with him. As I watched him stand on the bar and shoot the breeze with everyone who came up to him, though, it occurred to me that he truly loved these weekly appearances, and all of his fans. Shaun laughed as hard as, if not harder than, any other person in there; you never had an opportunity to laugh at him, only to laugh with him.

News of Shaun's passing this weekend has quickly spread throughout the area. It saddens me to know that such a brilliant personality and generous soul has left us. Shaun knew how to party, and how to light up a room. His energy was always on "high", and it was always positive.

From Isaac at Faded Industry:
Watch this video and remember Shaun like I do, happy, drunk and always chasing that ass!! RIP my friend. “Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” ― Ernest Hemingway

Respect and love, Shaun.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wifey Material: Jenny Mollen

We all know I'm a sucker for a Maker's-Mark-drinking-gal with a firm grasp on life.
Jenny's that rare mix of beautiful, destructive, and hilarious that every guy covets. Unfortunately for the rest of us, Jason Biggs got to her first. ...Well, definitely not first. But he was the one who finally tamed her, and to the victor go the spoils.

Following her on Twitter is like looking through the shower peephole in Porky's—but instead of seeing girls' naked bodies, you get an unadulterated view of girls' naked thoughts. Which is no less sexy, but a whole hell of a lot scarier.

The best glimpses into Jenny's in-a-still-socially-acceptable-way insanity are found in the blog she writes for The Smoking Jacket. Any woman who can, in one moment, write about soaking the expensive white couch in an A-list Hollywood producer's office with period blood; in another, methodically act out a twisted revenge plot against a star-fucker who dissed her for her husband; and, in yet another, tell the tale of trying to find a Vegas hooker for a threesome with Biggs... Well, that's a special lady.

Jenny, since Biggs has already won your heart and I have no shot in that department, I have an alternative request: Can you interview each new girl in my life before I date her? I think you'll know just what level of crazy is good for me. And any applicants that score over that level can go onto a list of potential menage candidates for you and Jason. Two birds, one stone.

*thinking* And if you use that last line as the title of your next threesome tale, I want royalties.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sharing is Caring

Excuse me, but might you assist me in the procurement of some brewed hops?

Spotted on Sex, Cigars and Booze's Twitter feed.

Optimus Primed

The realms of wine-connoisseur-sophistication and world-destruction-blood-thirst haven't come together this brilliantly since Dick Cheney's last dinner party. From Craigslist:
For the discerning individual who appreciates artwork and wine - you now have a great opportunity to meld those together into one piece of artwork that will display your bottle collection like no other wine rack. This will make you the talk of your wine club, HOA, alcoholics anonymous support group, etc...

There are only several times in one's life when one has the opportunity to purchase something that is RIDICULOUSLY COOL. This is one of those moments.


6 feet
Weight: Approx 1,000lbs
Material contents: Used transmission parts from automobiles and motorcycles. There are even parts on the statue that are stamped with the "Ford" logo
Bottle capacity: 32 bottles depending on size of bottle.

All parts used to artistically weld together this stunning piece of artwork have been dipped into a solution to neutralize and remove any oil, grime, or chemicals to ensure there are no corrosive chemicals left. The entire piece was then painted gun metal grey and then clear coated.
I have to imagine this is a great purchase for a bachelor who's into hot nerds. And for someone with a place slightly larger than my two bedroom apartment. Damn it...

TJ with the assist.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Viva Las Vegas: What Had Happened in Vegas Was...

[When we left our band of blottos, they were at the Fremont Casino on the final night of the three-day birthday bacchanalia, merrily filling plastic footballs and themselves with booze.]

We sat at the bar talking for a while (during which time Dupa and T.C. each put away a couple more drinks, and B Rush and I each drank about another three quarters of a football), and then moved on to the Golden Nugget. One of the oldest and most legendary of Las Vegas’ casinos, the Nugget was surprisingly modern inside, including a large, exotic pool area located in the center of the complex. Soft red and white lounge chairs take up a field of poolside real estate, and special waterproof, minimalist lounge chairs sit wading in about one foot of water on another side of the lavish urban lagoon. Those chairs face a glimmering wall of glass, which separates thousands of fish—including sharks—in an aquarium tank from the tourists swimming outside. The aquarium is part of a large structure in the middle of the pool; this structure, with streaming waterfalls shooting out near the top and pouring down into the pool below, encases the Nugget’s pièce de résistance: A waterslide that twists through the aquarium on its way down to the pool.


The far corner of the expansive courtyard is a cabana lounge, and is home to hot tubs, couches, and a bar. Having dusted off my second football of beer, I felt it time to find an alternative fuel. Hello, frozen margaritas. I braved the pain of brain freeze—while, ironically, numbing up the rest of my body—as we took a few minutes to collect ourselves and relax in this oasis.

When we finally strolled out of the Nugget, our eyes wandered down Fremont Street to the left, and landed on a pink, blinking neon sign that beckoned to us: “Glitter Gulch”. We asked the bouncer what the cover charge was. “No cover. There’s a two drink minimum, though.” Well now… The four of us strolled through the doors, and walked right into a feeding frenzy. Consider the following factors:
  • There may have been 10 other customers in the establishment that night.
  • There were approximately 40 dancers working.
  • Dupa, T.C., and I smelled of alcohol and tourist money.
  • B’s neck and wrist were frozen.
If you’ve ever seen a nature show where a doomed cow tries to cross a piranha-filled river, then you have a good idea of the scene that ensued. A hostess sat us at the edge of the stage, and a waitress took our drink orders (two Miller Lites for me). And before either of them had left, the horde was on top of us. Dancers in lacy lingerie came at us in schools of three or more, each rubbing shoulders and caressing necks, trying to seduce rent money out of our pockets.

Now, I consider myself a strip club Jedi; I was trained by TJ, the Obi Wan Kenobi of spending a night in a club without becoming a mark. I looked at my traveling party: Two seats to my right was the Vegas resident, jaded to women who are out to make a buck; between he and I sat the faithfully-married man, who probably hadn’t smelled another woman’s perfume in ten years; and to my left was a wildcard drunk, in Vegas to celebrate his 30th birthday. It seemed pretty obvious who was going to be the one to crack and buy a private dance.

Me *juggling swigs from each Miller Lite bottle and pulls from the straw in my frozen margarita*: “You know all these girls just want you to buy a dance. Fuck if I’m spending any money on that.”
Dupa: “Yeah, me neither. I’m staying right here.”

Feeling secure that none of us were going to get suckered into a $15,000 night, I turned back to my right…to find two empty chairs. “Son of a…

T.C., as it turned out, had only gone off to the restroom. B, however, had fallen into the trap. Seven years in Vegas, it seems, is no match for a pretty face and a thick ass. I returned my attention to the ladies working the stage. As a cute dancer with sandy blonde hair leaned over and slapped the sides of my face with her D cups, I heard a girl’s voice behind Dupa and me. “Hey, are you [Dupa]? Your friend needs you in the back.” He followed a beautiful brunette dancer back to the private rooms, where T.C. was standing with a smile. “Get in there,” he said to the birthday boy as he pointed to a curtained-off room. “I bought you a dance.”

T.C. returned and sat in Dupa’s seat; after having spent the previous ten minutes fighting off about 30 half-naked, cash-hungry zombies, I could only react to news of his generosity with jealous bemusement. “Wait, why didn’t you tell ME you were buying dances?” My covetousness, however, was quickly trumped by another of the seven deadly sins: lust.

A 5’2”, milk chocolate beauty strutted out onto the stage, her eyes locked on mine. I felt a “damn…” escape my lips. She danced for me, and after accepting my dollar, moved off to another guy. A minute or two later, though, as I talked to B, I suddenly felt her grab my face and my attention—and soon, another dollar. Her dance ended and she walked off the stage, and all of 20 seconds later I found her sitting next to me. She was West Indian, and her casual Rihanna-like accent gently wafted over me. Feeling her hand on my thigh, I quickly threw out the same tried-and-true shield I had used on her coworkers in self-defense: “I’m not buying dances tonight; I know you’re on your hustle, so I don’t want to waste your time...” Her response? With a sly grin, she cooed, “Who sed enehtheeng abou ta dance?”


Though she was petite, my West Indian Princess was a woman of big plans. “I want you to give me baybeez,” she said with twinkling eyes. “You and me could make some beautiful baybeez. We don’t have to git mayred. I doan want money or enehtheeng; I juss want you to give me baybeez. You have to get tested first; then you can give me baybeez.”

I mean… What’s $15,000, really? Who can put a price on happiness?

For maybe the first time in history, someone (…that being me) was saved by someone else’s shameless hating (…that being B). Having not made the same type of deep, spiritual connection with any ladies, the homie wanted to roll out. And he was driving, so me standing up to him in the name of love wasn’t going to happen. Alas, my West Indian Princess and I were torn apart. [Maybe Nancy can pick her up on her way to Pittsburgh?]

We moved on to Binions, intent on finding a blackjack table where we could drown all the hate and heartache in some split aces. A quick stroll through the premises proved fruitless, though, and we decided it was time to move back to the Strip. Remembering our encounter with the off-duty Paris dealer the night before, we chose that as our destination. B decided to call it a night, but dropped us off at the doors with some daps and a “Good luck.”

Being inside Paris is always a little disconcerting [*stifles a “night vision/Rick Salomon” joke*]. The casino’s interior is designed to simulate a sunny Parisian day, 24/7. When a heavy Friday night crowd is bustling around well after 3 a.m., it’s like having your eyelids stapled-open, then being bombarded by the flashing signs from roulette and Pai-gow tables. We searched for the blackjack-dealing cutie from Tommy Rockers, but halfway around the gaming floor T.C. remembered that Friday was her night off. Dupa, undeterred, found a table to play on; T.C. and I considered our options: Spend $15 a hand on blackjack, or $12 a round on draughts. We flipped peace signs at Dupa and headed to a bar just off the floor.

We got ourselves a couple of comfortable barstools and a couple of tall glasses of…some kind of beer [if you can still remember details like the brand of alcohol you’re ingesting by the 67th hour of a Vegas trip, then you’re clearly doing something wrong]. It had been a long time (the previous couple of days excluded) since T.C. and I had gotten to hang out together one-on-one. Marriage, fatherhood, responsibilities—and whatever booze and loose women I happened to be occupying my time with—have a way of limiting your chances to have a beer at a bar with one of your boys. Realizing we were in the waning hours of the voyage, we talked about life, soaked in the fake-Parisian atmosphere, and toasted to one hell of a trip.

Near the bottom of his first draught, T.C. taunted me for being behind. Even in our most reflective, camaraderie-laced moments, guys have to be dicks to each other. ‘Tis the rule. As I chugged the last quarter of my glass, Dupa appeared; his birthday luck was officially no more, the dealers having handed him a small beating at his table. We suggested he pull up a stool next to us, but he chose to call it a night. We wished him safe travels, and ordered another round. And then, as though the Sin City gods had found one last blank box on a “Vegas Experiences” checklist for us, two beautiful blonde cougars stepped up next to us at the bar. Well now…

The more engaging—and hotter—of the two introduced herself as "Terry Jones". “That sounds like a porn name,” I noted, ever-so-suavely. She laughed in agreement, though, which made me all the more certain it was a “Vegas name”. I’m sure to her husband and her fellow PTA members in Oklahoma she’s “Susan Kowalski” or “Rebecca Smith”, etc. But when she’s on the prowl with her BFF at 4 a.m. in Vegas? “Terry Jones”. Sure. Any two names will do.

I certainly wasn’t going to grill her on it. Ms. Jones was stacked; her body and face could have easily appeared between the covers of Playboy 15 years ago, and yet neither would give you the slightest reason to suggest it was past its “prime”. And her personality held up its end of the bargain, as she fell right into bullshitting with the two of us about her night, and about how a creepy older gentleman was following them around and trying to buy his way into her friend’s heart (and failing horribly at it). I considered—this being Las Vegas, after all—that she might be a pro, and trying to get us on the hook. If she and her friend were prostitutes, though, why avoid the guy trying to spend his grandchildren’s inheritance on them? Especially for two younger guys drinking draught beers at the floor bar? And they were definitely trying to get away from the geriatric creeper: Ms. Jones’ friend would disappear with him, reappear without him, and then dejectedly walk off with him again when he’d come back in search of her. No, I concluded, Ms. Jones was just a regular gal out trying to have fun. …Well, a regular gal that looked and sounded like a “MILFs Like It Big” scene, with the fake name to match.

Although I understood just what the level of legendary-ness would be if I were to cap off my Vegas trip with an “I boned the hottest 39-year-old you’ve ever seen” tale, I couldn’t deny that I was starting to drag. Ms. Jones’ body made me want to get her into bed, but I was afraid once we got there my body would shut down. T.C. was as ride-or-die as ever, and did his best to keep me in the game. He put in a commendable wingman effort, but it wasn’t to be. By 5 a.m., I waved off Iceman’s suggestion to pull the trigger on another round, deciding instead to head back to base. Ms. Jones, more than likely, could’ve made my legs go numb; but that was of little concern when I already couldn’t feel them beneath me. T.C. and I bid the ladies adieu, and stumbled back to the PH through the haggard streets of 5 a.m. Vegas, hitting our beds without removing so much as the shoes from our feet.

The next morning, still disoriented, all three of us haphazardly packed suitcases, tossing dirty underwear in next to disillusioned realities. We ate breakfast at Planet Dailies, and then hopped into cabs [Dupa, instead of going straight back to Pittsburgh with us, was heading to a work event elsewhere in Nevada] at the curbside pick-up—the very same place where we’d arrived 76 hours earlier, animated and ready for all Las Vegas had to give us. And although Dupa “died” Wednesday, T.C. “died” Thursday, and I “died” Friday, the one thing that Vegas had given to each of us, really, was life. Three days in Vegas tells you who you are and who your friends are. It shows you everything you could ever want, and makes you grateful for everything you’ve ever had. You cherish the present, embrace the past, and toast to the future. It’s not that it makes life greater; no, it simply makes you accept just how great life is.

My cousin has recently suggested I join him for a bachelor party in Vegas this upcoming September. If I go, I’ll be sure to have the results of my latest STD test on the ready in my pocket. A guy’s got to start a family sooner or later, right?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

National Bourbon Day

June 14th is National Bourbon Day (Really? Who decides these things?), which is a "holiday" I observe 260 days of the year. Grab yourself a glass of the good stuff and show your respect to those wonderful backwoods distillers in Kentucky. Salud.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Social Drinking Excellence: Everett Lages

Just go ahead and read this excerpt from The Huffington Post while I continue the blank stare that I've had since reading the headline:
Everett Lages was arrested outside of Emerald City strip club in Murdock, Fla. on Tuesday for repeatedly calling 911 after the owner prohibited him from entering with a kitten, according to a Charlotte County Sheriff's press release.

When Emerald City's owner told the 47-year-old man to leave, he instead sat down outside and called the cops, the release said.

Lages appeared intoxicated when deputies arrived, prompting authorities to call him a taxi, according to the release.

The kitten-carrier refused to tell the cab driver where he lived and instead kept calling 911 -- despite sheriff's deputies still being at the scene -- so police arrested him.

Lages is charged with misuse of the 911 system, disorderly intoxication, trespassing after warning and resisting arrest without violence.
There was a time when Rummy candidates seemed to only come around once every so often. Now it's like they pop up everyday. Not only that, but more and more of them involve animals in some way, shape, or form. These are strange times, folks. I've got so many questions that it's hard to choose where to start. Let's go with this:
  • Why the hell did he have a kitten? Was it his kitten, or did he find it or steal it from somewhere on his way to the strip club?
  • ...Was he out drinking when he saw the kitten and—by process of word association—got the idea to go to the strip club?
  • Why, exactly, does the strip club have an anti-kitten policy? What, are they worried about health and cleanliness standards? Because...
  • Was the kitten his designated driver?
  • I've got to crazy as this tale reads, taking a kitten into a strip club actually sounds like a brilliant idea. There may be no better way to woo a dancer into some extras in the champagne room.
  • This may be a whole new level of drunkenness; who has ever been so hammered that they didn't realize they were in the presence of the police? No matter how blacked-out blotto people are, the one thing that usually brings about some sense of awareness is a cop showing up. But Mr. Lages was so destroyed that he continued to call 9-1-1 despite the fact that the police were standing right in front of him. He seems to have discovered a black hole of inebriation.
  • Considering how many crazy news stories come out of Florida these days (naked, face-eating man, anyone?), just how jaded do you think 9-1-1 operators in that state are? I can't help but wonder if the operator(s) taking Lages' calls even blinked when he explained he needed assistance because a strip club wasn't letting him into their establishment with his pet cat. These folks might be the closest thing America has to the Royal Guards in England.
Mr. Lages, your Rummy is in the mail. It can also be used as a cat carrier, and there's a compartment for storing your dollar bills.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Social Drinking Excellence: Michael Mitchko

When I read this article, I was shocked...that I don't know either Mr. Mitchko or Mr. Hopkins. I have no idea how I'm not writing about this story from the perspective of an eyewitness.

From Deadspin*:
You know how this goes: The reception's over and everyone in the wedding party is slowly but surely getting their shit together to get on the hotel shuttle, where the party will likely continue. But Saturday night, just south of Pittsburgh, a couple of Yinzers had other ideas.

According to the Observer-Reporter of Washington (Pa.), the groom, 24-year-old Michael Mitchko, and one of his groomsmen, 27-year-old Ian Hopkins, "decided it would be fun" to swipe a golf cart from the country club hosting the reception and just drive that to the hotel instead. Because, of course.

Hopkins's and Mitchko's commute required getting on a stretch of highway, but that didn't deter them. The Observer-Reporter said they "didn't get very far" before a cop driving in the other direction noticed them puttering along in the shoulder of the road and pulled them over. Hopkins, the driver, somehow passed a field-sobriety test and was cited for disorderly conduct and driving an unregistered vehicle. Mitchko, the groom, was charged with disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. The country club chose not to press theft charges because the golf cart was returned.
*Deadspin has a video—shot by some of the duo's friends—of the two joyriders motoring down the road in the golf cart. Unfortunately they don't provide any embed code or link, so you'll have to go there to view it.

Given my history with wild wedding shenanigans, I feel more-than-slightly qualified to provide some completely unsolicited snark in-depth analysis to this story:
  • First and foremost, how in the HELL did Hopkins pass the field sobriety test? Weddings automatically mean a heavy dosage of alcohol; but when you're actually in the wedding? I served as a groomsman once, and by the end of the reception I couldn't see a foot in front of my face. You're drinking the second you leave the church. I either want to shake this guy's hand for showing impeccable fortitude, or revoke his man card for not doing his brotherly duty of drinking as hard as the groom.
  • Speaking of the groom... You may wonder why I've singled him out for this Rummy. Why not make Hopkins a co-winner? Well, there's a couple of reasons for this. First, this is Mitchko's party (ok, so it's technically his wife's party; but once he's kissed her at the altar, what's his is hers, and what's hers is his...); that means, as host, it's his responsibility and his guests' honor. They get to cut loose, but he's got to exercise some modicum of control. Hopkins has every right—aside from a legal one, I suppose—to get blitzed on Jack Daniels and decide to get his Michael Schumacher on in a golf cart. But the groom has to refrain.
  • ...Which brings me to the second reason why Mitchko has no co-d on this one: It's HIS wedding. If you know me, you know I'm more than a little skeptical of the whole marriage thing. And you also know I love me some drunken stupidity. But not even I would leave my freshly-wed bride behind at our wedding reception to engage in a drunken stunt. If you're a married guest at the wedding and you do that, you've got a long conversation ahead of you when you and your wife are reunited. If it's your wedding? Her wedding ring may already be in a pawn shop display case by the time you get released.
  • Assuming his wife hasn't flushed the ring yet, just how awkward is that first dinner at the in-laws' house going to be?
  • For all of the bad-mouthing of Mitchko that I've done thus far, I'll show him a little love for one thing: He has further reinforced my belief that no one should marry before the age of 28. When you're 24, you're still looking to be wild and crazy, and neither of those words belong anywhere near a married man. Consider this a PSA: If you're a guy age 22-27, and your girlfriend (or boyfriend, in the few non-oppressed states in our union) gives you the "We need to get married now" ultimatum, tell them to hit the bricks. She or he will thank you in your thirties, after she or he has had an opportunity to actually enjoy the precious days of early adulthood.
  • Some quick Facebook research has yielded two fun facts: Mitchko is friends with Specs, and Hopkins is friends with my homie Chappy. We need to get these two to a party this summer to share the tale.
When we do, Mr. Mitchko, I'll hand you your Rummy in person. It weighs 100 lbs and has a heavy chain connecting it to an ankle bracelet; Mrs. Mitchko gets the key.