Uncle Sean’s Story Time… Have London, Will Travel

Gather ’round, gather ’round, kiddies… it’s time for another one of Uncle Sean’s drunk stories… this one is about how following a whim can leave you feeling dim…

There was a time in my life when I was a trip-hijacker.  No, hijacker sounds too malicious.  Tag-along?  Too Girl Scout Cookie-y.  Leech?  Too blood-curdling.  No matter what, I was a follower.  That works.

When your Aunt Becky was going to Hawaii for her friend’s friend’s wedding, who followed along?  One guess – me.  When your Uncle Rich lived in Japan, and your Uncle Tom was going to pay him a visit, who dropped everything to make a payment too?  You know who.  (If you see my Regret Sheet at the top, you’ll find I missed out on a big chance to follow.)

So when your Uncle Marsh had the opportunity to take a class in London, where he would sleep in the university dorms for free (well, it was included in his price), who asked if he could crash on the floor?  *gestures to self with thumbs*

But this wasn’t going to be an ordinary sojourn for me.  No sirree.  I had a plan and a purpose.  I wanted to find this place:

What are you looking at, they seem to say with their faces.

"What are you looking at?" they seem to say with their faces.

I had read about it in Real Detroit, a free news mag we get around town.  And I needed to see it myself.  Plus, since I live in the city it’s named after, I wondered what kind of perks (if any) I met get.

So Marsh agreed and off I went.  While there, he and a couple other people from his group would hit different pubs at night.  I, of course, would tag along (not as Girl Scout Cookie-y anymore).  Most of the places close at 11pm, and I find this to be a brilliant idea. 

Here’s why I think that: people hit the bar right after work, drink to their heart’s content, taxi home at a decent hour, and wake up at a decent hour so they can do it all over again.  It’s basically what I do in my life now, except I stay out until 2am and get to work at 10am, and the time between work and party is a killer.

As a student, this arrangement worked just as well.  For me, it worked even better.  (I could sleep as late as I liked.)

One day, we made it out to the club scene which stays open longer than the pubs.  I had my smaller backpack on from travelling.  Oddly, it seemed to make me more popular with the locals.  Perhaps they confused me for a druggie or pusher, or worse – a douchebag American.  At another place, I was able to talk a little bit more with one of the women in Marsh’s class.  We started telling drunk stories to one another, and a flash of an idea occurred to me (that’s probably not the slightest bit true).

The drunk stories guys I know usually tell involve some act of boorish stupidity: where they threw up, who they drank up with, where they woke up…

The drunk stories girls I know usually tell involve some sex act: where they hooked up, who they hooked up with, where they woke up… (okay maybe it’s not all that different…)

Place screams Detroit... Screams it!

Place screams Detroit... Screams it!

The last day the class was all together, the teacher decided he too would like to see the Detroit Bar.  I had studied the city in my travelling around, so I had a sense of where everything was in relation to each other, but I followed as usual.

As the group ambled about, it became clear to me that the prof essor had no idea where he was going.  Armed with my little drug dealer backpack, I hijacked the collective (with his blessing) and less us to the promised land. 

The inside reminded me of the Flintstones meets the Jetsons (not the movie – the stylings).  Its walls were made to look like stone caves, but the remainder of the decor had a futuristic atmosphere to it.  I approached the bartender and told him where I was from and showed my passport.  I wondered if I could maybe get a drink on the house for bringing everyone.  His eyes darted around the bar area, and he told me to walk back up in a minute or so.  I did, and I got my free drink.  Otherwise, the placed sucked.  Like a leech.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Don’t judge a book by its cover, particularly when the book is a bar, and its cover is a blurb in an article from a free magazine in a different country!

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