Sunday, June 23, 2013

Spring Cleaning

I believe it was Henry David Thoreau who first said, “The more time I spend being drunk and awesome, the less time I have to write about being drunk and awesome.”

March and April were so full of shenanigans that I skipped out on writing about most of them. It tends to happen every year, since you get three significant drinking holidays—St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th, my birthday on March 29th, and the Pirates’ Home Opener in the first week of April—packed together in a three-week window on the calendar. Add in TJ’s birthday, Penguins playoff games, and Brewski Fest tying a nice bow on it all at April’s end, and you get a whole lot of “Wait, whose couch is this?” mornings. In past years, when I worked at my old job, I would’ve devoted some of my daily free time during workdays to retell the details of those events. But, with my current occupation, there is no such thing as “free time”; consequently, it’s you the viewing public who suffer. ‘Tis a cruel, cruel world, I know.

Let’s see if I can give a quick rundown of the blurry-visioned fun that has taken place through the first half of spring.

St. Patty’s Angels (Saturday, 3/16)
  • Our standard squadron of drinkers assembled on Mt. Washington, with TJ, Specs, and I starting our morning at Jay Swag and Mitch Canada’s house. Making a special appearance was Affliction, who quickly explained his recent M.I.A. status: He’s (reluctantly) going to be a father.

    Yes, he accidentally impregnated the hot, mentally-unstable Jesus freak that he had been casually bodyrockin’ for a few months. This chick is so crazy that he once caught her reading the bible aloud…to her dog. Seriously.

    Always wear a condom, kids.

  • For weeks, Shannon had been teasing that she would have a surprise waiting for me when I arrived at her annual party. Given my various bedroom entanglements with her and her sister’s friends over the years…well, I didn’t expect good things.

    My god was I proven wrong. When we walked into her apartment, she pointed me towards her kitchen table, on which sat a pyramid of Irish Car Bomb cupcakes. Whether she knows it or not, we’re getting married. And we’re consummating the marriage on a mountain of those cupcakes.

  • I did quick, swift damage on St. Patty’s. True, it was to myself; but…whatevs. Before I knew it I was sitting at the bar in Redbeard’s, using chicken tenders to ward off a full-on blackout.

  • By the end of the night I was air-humping a passed-out-on-the-couch JL at Swag’s, while everyone else played drinking games. About seven of us passed out in that living room, and that eventually turned to eight when Tony showed up out of nowhere at 2:30 a.m. and began drunkenly groping his way through the room with a goofy smile that beamed through the darkness.

Meet the Parent (Friday, 3/22)
  • Alex’s parents were in town for her Mom’s birthday. To celebrate, Alex took her to a local place where you can do amateur painting while sipping wine. Her dad, however, is like the rest of us normal people, and therefore chose sitting at a bar over sitting in an art studio. So Tony, TD, and I caught up with him at Shady Grove.

    In about 30 minutes of hang time, TD fell in love with him and I gave up Alex’s secret about the parties she threw at his house when she was a kid. This is why we shouldn’t be allowed around parents.

  • We offered to buy him a shot, but he wouldn’t hear of it, saying firmly that he wasn’t up for anything crazy like us “kids”. Curious, though, he asked TD what kind of shot she would normally buy.

    TD: “I don’t know, probably some kind of bomb…”
    Alex’s Dad: “No, I don’t want one of those. *to me* How ‘bout you?”
    Me: “I’d probably just do a shot of Jack.”
    Alex’s Dad: “Now that sounds good.”
    Me: “Bartender!”

  • The night ended with TD, Tony, and I back at my place, obliterated and suffering from drunk munchies (or “drunchies”—copyrighted). Tony found out Dominos was still open, and ordered up two pizzas. Three minutes after he hung up, TD accused him of not ordering pizza. She called Dominos herself, and was told by their staff that the order had been placed, as Tony and I laughed.

    That wasn’t enough confirmation for her, though. She called back several more times, to the point where the people at Dominos asked her to please stop calling them.

Treat Yoself! (Thursday, 3/28)
  • My birthday weekend kicked off with Aziz Ansari’s “Buried Alive” tour stop in Pittsburgh. After work I caught up with Alex, TJ, and Armo at Olive or Twist, and swilled Manhattans while taking in Pittsburgh’s young professional set (shocker: I wasn’t impressed). We moved from there to the show (much love to all three of them for covering the cost of my ticket for my birthday—a truly fantastic gift), and Aziz brought the heat throughout his performance.

Birth Dazed (Friday, 3/29)
  • The day’s fun started that afternoon. TD picked me up at my office building and took me to lunch at Fatheads, handing me a gift when I hopped into the car. My present? A bottle of Bulleit bourbon. Love. My. LSFAM (Little Sister From Another Mother).

  • We met up with Boy Toy and Special K for beer and fantastic sandwiches. I ate until I couldn’t move, washed it down with drafts of good beer, and then ate some more. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried to work half of a Friday while simultaneously fighting off a Fatheads coma and a coronary.

  • That evening we gathered troops in Shadyside. TD, Special K, Special K’s husband, Tony, and Pakistanimal, all met up at my place for some pregaming, and then headed to Shady Grove for dinner and drinks. Hollywood, too, would eventually make an appearance.

  • Pak, in particular, was anxious to start ordering me shots (#shocking). But even TJ—who couldn’t make it out that night—was in on the assault, ordering the modified Liquid Cocaine shot that has by now become our traditional birthday napalm. I texted him something anti-Semitic and threw it back.

  • At William Penn Tavern later in the night, Tony was utterly dumbfounded to find out that the lyrics are “Highway to the Danger Zone,” and not “I went to the Danger Zone.” Yes, I’m serious. Yes, we made fun of him.

  • For the second Friday in a row, it was TD, Tony, and I back at my place to the end the night. And for the second Friday in a row we ordered pizza from Dominos. But this time we kept TD’s phone away from her until the food was delivered.

Cold Open (Monday, 4/1)
  • This year Mother Nature played a cruel April Fools’ joke on Pittsburgh: the high for the Pirates’ Home Opener was a sweltering 47 degrees Fahrenheit, though for most of the morning and afternoon—the prime tailgating time—temps hovered in the low 30s, with frequent snow flurries. Ever get pelted in the face by snowflakes as you grip a can of Miller Lite with a shivering, numb hand, all while trying to watch a guy and five girls do some hip-hop line dance a row of cars over? Mother Nature is a devious bitch.

  • LRG was on hand, along with his crew of young(ish) millionaires. Once we had all migrated indoors to McFadden’s, they quickly set up shop at the bar. And, before long, shots were being passed in every direction. I got hit by a few, and the next thing I remember with 100% certainty, I was sipping a beer on Swag’s porch.

  • Somehow, someway, we found our way to Redbeard’s, where we were joined by Boy Toy, Mitch Canada, and a few of Canada’s boys for dinner and more booze. Lil Mo even made a brief appearance—just enough time for me to drunkenly yell at her for absolutely nothing. We closed the night at Cafe Nikos, and I finally called “No mas” around 2 a.m. Not bad, considering I’d started drinking at 9:45 that morning.

TJ’s Birthday (Sunday, 4/14)
  • The birthday boy waited until that afternoon to decide that he wanted to have drinks at Grove; Alex and I faithfully obliged. A drunker-than-usual Lil Mo made an appearance, the Grove bartenders worked their magic, and we managed to get the homie buzzed-up on his day. It was small ball, but a win is a win.

Brews’ Clues (Saturday, 4/27)
  • Brewski, oh Brewski. 20+ of us swarmed Seven Springs for this year’s event. I sipped beers during pregaming in TD’s room, pounded beers during the event, pounded beers and shots during the after party at Matterhorn, and threw the last shovelful of dirt on my coffin during the after-after party in BlahBlahBlah’s room.

  • The best-kept secret of early 2013: Dupa made a surprise guest appearance at Brewski. The homie, who now lives in Houston, TX, flew into town to ensure that he, like me, extended his attendance streak to eight straight years of beer-tasting, booth-babe-teasing awesomeness.

  • Among this year’s rookies was Jay Swag…who was technically one of last year’s rookies. But last year he spent the entire event sleeping off the hangover he’d incurred the night before; this, therefore, was his first time actually tasting brewskis while at Brewski Fest.

  • When entering the event, you file in past security, ticket takers, etc. Nodding towards the policeman working security detail, I flashed a smirk at a female member of the event staff. “Have you guys ever had to throw someone out for being too drunk before they even got in?” Without a hint of a smile, she looked directly into my eyes and said, “Yes.” I suddenly wished I’d never said anything at all.

  • That night at Matterhorn, I stepped up to the back bar with T.C., and waited while a middle-aged white woman—the only bartender at that post—worked her way clockwise around towards our spot. And when my turn came a good ten minutes later…she passed me over for the guy standing to our left. T.C. and I both instinctively yelled “What the fuck?!” And in my alcohol-sodden state, I added, “That’s racist!”

    Was I entirely serious with the accusation? No, of course not. If anything, it was a reflex, given the humor my crew and I engage in on a daily basis. As you might expect, though, the bartender did not take kindly to my comment. Her claim that I had just then walked up to the bar, however, inspired shock from both T.C. and some of the guys standing around us. Then, when she could have saved herself by selling me booze to erase my memory of the whole situation, the bartender instead waited on a guy who had just walked up to the right of me. I walked off, calling her a “fucking racist”, and listening to T.C. telling her how full of shit she was as I went to the bar on the other side of the room.

  • Once back at BBB’s for the after-after party, we decided to play beer pong. Someone had been smart enough to bring cups, but no one had been smart enough to bring pong balls. W&J boys never falter, though; BBB and I played one-on-one, using bottle caps.

  • …All of that lasted one lengthy game, before the girls took over and started rounds of flip cup.

  • I awoke a few hours later to my boy “Hurley” standing in the room with his new friend, a trashy blonde. Hurley, Dupa, and I were splitting the suite. But Dupa had the girl he’s dating with him, and had weaseled his way into the deckside bedroom, leaving Hurley and I to share the hallside bedroom. And since I’d gotten there first, it seemed like Hurls was all out of options for lovin’ in Room 356.

    He and his gal pal left. I got up to use the bathroom, and as I walked out a few minutes later, they came back. I went back to bed, and realized soon after the light went out that they were now cuddled on the other half of the bed. So I did what any reasonable friend would do: I got my phone and snapped a picture of her laying on top of him.

  • Eventually, I was awakened again, this time by…certain sounds…and a moving bed. I refused to roll over to see something I couldn’t unsee.

  • When I told Dupa the story the next morning—Hurley had left early to catch a flight—and showed him my photographic evidence, he expanded the picture, chortled, and shoved the phone back in my face.

    Dupa: “What do you see?”
    Me: “What?”
    Dupa: “Look at her hand!”

    There, on the second-from-the-left finger on her left hand, were a wedding band and an engagement ring.

  • I realized, as I got dressed to leave that morning, that the lace from my left Timberland was missing. Gone. Nowhere to be found.

    This is now a cold case. R.I.P. Timb lace.

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