Drunken Recollection… New York: The Saga Continues…

Okay, so where was I?  Ah yes.  On Wall Street, which was under construction.  We were looking for the giant bull statue for the hell of it, even though we (Steve and I) were unsure if there was a giant bull statue in New York.  (There is… but we couldn’t find it.)

Around this time, I finally got to hear the voice of a fellow blogger (we’d eventually meet up later during my trek through East Village).  Our phones were running lower on energy than we were, so we decided in order to make it through whatever the night held in store for us, functioning electronics seemed important, and we returned to home base.

At the hotel, we plugged in our cells and due to the lack of sleep (this will be explained in the prequels), the Snuggies (this will be explained in the sequel) and bed were mighty tempting.  Yes, I typed “bed” with no “s.”  They only had a queen available (which I should probably specify is a bed size, seeing as how people might have preconceived notions about NYC).  Apparently, a four-star hotel according to Hotwire consists of this criteria: if they don’t have a pair of twins available (again – bed size), they’ll give you each a cookie.  A cookie that was prepared earlier in the day.  Possibly for the continental breakfast’s dessert?

But I digress, and as such, our digestive systems had processed those cookies long ago, so dinner sounded like a plan.  We asked the concierge to recommend a pizzeria (one that served booze was our only criteria).  He recommended one nearby – Angelo’s, on 55th and 2nd.  (Don’t I sound all local-y?  My confidence in understanding the map of the city ultimately proved to be a bit too confident.  Sequel…)

We ordered the flat-bread pizza and $6 beers.  Steve quickly learned that when the choices for $6 beers are Bud, Bud Light, and Bass Ale, you choose Bass Ale.  As we ate, we eyed the happy hour going on across the street ($3 beers!), and as soon as we finished, we headed over there for a few more (choices: Miller Lite, MGD, Sam Adams?  Sam Adams, of course!) and then back to the hotel to retrieve our banes of existence means of communication.

We headed toward Central Park to await our first fellow bar hopper – another Steve.  As we wandered the streets, we passed the bridge that Spider-Man battled on with the cable cars (I’m soooo cultured), and I missed the entirety of the quiet beauty that was the sunset that night.

As we began slinking in and out of a plethora of East Village bars, our group’s number grew to four with Tim, and five with Evan.  Eventually my fellow blogger met up with us after a lot of phone- and text-tagging, which was cool.  The hookah joint we were waiting to get into was taking too long, so we headed to another bar that carded people for some reason (nowhere else did).  In the sorta dark, sorta empty, martini-ish bar (what would be the opposite of a hole-in-the-wall?) we ended up at, I brought up Lost, I investigated something weird on the table with my fingertip (thankfully it was Guinness foam), and I think I even mentioned Twilight (the movie – not the book, as if that makes a difference).  Oh yeah… wonderful, wonderful Guinness was ordered around.  One guy selected a bottle of wine “with one glass.”  And mussels somehow ended up on the table.

Members of our group started parsing off at that point.  I recall a sliver of a diner that was stopped at by the solo wine drinker and that it amazingly carried no smell whatsoever, good or bad.  And somehow Steve and I made it back to home base.  (Taxi?  Subway?  Feet?)

I’m beginning to feel like this may be Uncle Sean’s Drunk Story Time all over again… So much more to go!

Uncle Sean’s Story Time… When Red Wings Attack At The Bar!

Gather ’round, gather ’round, kiddies… it’s time for another one of Uncle Sean’s drunk stories… this is a tale about how to go out with a bang… or not to, depending on how you look at it…

After moving back to Michigan from Los Angeles, I was out of work but willing.  Your Aunt Becky worked at a night club in Royal Oak that I had frequented prior to leaving and during my return visits home.  They needed someone to run the pair of dance floor servant stations (and by run, I mean run back and forth and get ice and replenish other supplies).  I was their man.  This story isn’t so much about my first day (which happened to be an *NSync concert before they blew up… see SIDENOTE at bottom of post).  It’s about my last day working there (well, my first last day… I went back a couple more times to help or when I needed money).

I had announced to all it was my last day, and everyone was sad to see me go.  One of the order loaders arranged it so that I would get a bottled water filled with vodka so I could make drinks for myself through the night.  And partake of it, I did.

The funny thing about drinking while working in a night club is that people tip better when you’re on the same playing field as them.  I would help out the bartenders from time to time when I was slow and they were swamped.  This night was no exception.

A patron came up and ordered a shot called Red Wings.  “What’s that?” I asked.

“Cranberry juice and Jaeger,” she responded.  She ordered three shots.  I asked if one was for me, and she said to make it four.

Did I ever tell you Jaeger is my death nail?  Each of the liquors have a varying result in my actions, but they are consistent.  Jaeger is the anomaly.  Jaeger answers the next morning’s question – “Why did I do that?”

The woman came up shortly after that, and ordered another round.  Coupled with the screwdrivers I’d been downing, this is the last thing I recall.

Later, your Uncle Jay (who also worked there) and Becky would recount to me what followed.  As the night winds down, it’s my job to count out what items were left, to dump the ice trays, and do general cleaning.  I don’t know what time I disappeared, but Jay took care of my bars as well as his.

After the place closed up, my manager had a brainstorming session with Jay and Becky that went something like this:

“Perhaps he got in a fight, and the bouncers didn’t recognize him, and they threw him out?”

Jay and Becky shook their heads.

“Well maybe he met a girl and ditched this place with her?”

A pair of negatives again.  “That’s not the type of person he is,” Becky explained.

Jay piped in, “Check all the toilets.  He’s hugging one of them.”

Surely I was.  Upstairs, in the employee stalls.  Becky knocked on my door.  I remember that her voice sounded like an angel.

I pulled myself together and made my back to the main floor.  It turned out there was a concert the next day, and we had to set up all the chairs.  That was my penance.  If only that was the type of person I was…

MORAL OF THE STORY: Red Wings Team = good.  Red Wings Shots = bad.  Unless by “Shots” you mean “Scoring Attempts” then = good, again.

(SIDENOTE: Justin Timberlake and crew came out dressed in spaced suits to the Imperial Death Marchfrom “Star Wars.”  Their costumes made them look like the guys in colored hazmat suits in those old Intel commercials.  Girls had to be pulled out of the crowd from passing out.  Insane!  Who passes out at a night club anyway… never mind.)

Picture this, only worse.

Picture this, only worse.

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!

Uncle Sean’s Story Time… Quitters Never Wine

Gather ’round, gather ’round, kiddies… it’s time for another one of Uncle Sean’s drunk stories… this one is about how determination isn’t always the key…

After testing my vertigo at the Eiffel Tower, your Uncle Steve had the bright (two-days-late) idea of finding cheap wine.  We were in Paris, France, after all, and so far at the local restaurants, les verres de bière were not proportionate in regard to their size and cost.  During his stay in London, he had heard a rumor from someone that there were bottles that cost three Euros – and it tasted good.

As we rounded the corner to approach our hotel, I wondered aloud where we might find some of this mysterious vin bon marché that tasted bon.  I mean, we hadn’t noticed any place up to that point that carried any such thing.

Then there it was, right smack dab on our route.  We had passed it more than several times the past two days, and we had no idea.  It had an inviting chalkboard out front and everything.  We were probably too busy paying attention and trying to figure out these bikes:

Are they community bikes? Do they charge by the minute? Do you have some kind of pass key or can you use your credit card? Aaah!

Are they community bikes? Do they charge by the minute? Do you have some kind of pass key or can you use your credit card? Aaah!

Quoi qu’il en soit (I’ll give you this one – anyway), we entered the shop, meager and apprehensive.  “Bon soir!” the attendant proclaimed.  “Bon soir!” I replied.  As my eyes scanned one half of the store, Steve scanned the other.  I spotted nothing but produce and weird imports before settling upon a 6-pack of Heineken cans.  I began to convince myself this was good enough, and I readied to convince Steve when the old man came out from behind the register to interact with us. 

“Are you lookeeng for zum affordeeble wine for thees evening?”  We nodded and he madehis suggestion.  (It was a choice red wine, fresh from the countryside.)  We completed our purchase and continued on our way, one bottle each

As we neared our home base of operations, a thought occurred to Steve (again it was late, but to his credit, it didn’t occur to me at all).  He was reminded of the fact that we didn’t possess a means to open our grape beverages.  Quite frankly, I didn’t feel like turning back.  And even though we could clearly see the bottles had those newfangled rubber stoppers buried deep in their necks, somewhere in my mind I knew we could open them.  Again, upon entering the hotel lobby, he wondered if he should ask the concierge for a corkscrew.  I didn’t know what the on-site drinking policy was, and I didn’t want to find out.

In our room, I scrambled through my belongings, surveyed the room.  Steve rummaged through his stuff for any options.  As I opened the drawer below le télévision, I turned instantly into MacGyver.  I unscrewed the knob off the drawer, and even though the screw was flat, I started twisting it into the cork.

Steve readied to do the same, but my effort proved fruitless.  He excused himself to run downstairs and ask.  I decided to start pushing the cork in.

I retreated to the bathroom in preparation for any chance of spillage.  I had to use my other hand to shove my finger into the bottle.  As I made more headway, the more difficult the shoving in became due to the mounting pressure.  I was pot-committed now – there was no turning back since no cork could reach it.  Almost there, I kept telling myself.  Almost there… There!

Purple juice exploded out the top past my finger.  It sprayed like a aerosol can, hitting everything.  The mirrors, the tile, the walls, the towels… me.  It looked like a murder scene.  As I promptly began cleaning to prevent staining (it discolored everything instantly), Steve returned, corkscrew in hand.  We eventually plowed through those bottles, and took to the streets to seek out two more. 

Our shop had closed, but a restaurant we stumbled upon sold us some of their stock.  A customer/regular in that place recognized us as Americans and asked where we were from.  We answered: Michigan, and he asked: Detroit?  He had visited our home town often, and was fairly knowledgeable about the region.  We soon parted ways after getting our second doses, and we almost missed the train to Belgium the next morning. 

The rough ride coupled with my hangover caused me to do an impersonation of my first bottle.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Find out what kind of drinking deals a foreign city/country has way before you get there.

Uncle Sean’s Story Time… Neither Optimal, Nor Primal

Gather ’round, gather ’round, kiddies… it’s time for another one of Uncle Sean’s drunk stories… this one is about a Halloween party where I learned a hard life lesson…

I consider myself a cardboard specialist.  Sort of a masterboarder, if you will.  Two examples:

I helped them forge Duck-Duck-Goose

Get it? Duck-Duck-Goose! Ah, go duck yourself.

I ain't afraid of no... OMG! Is that orb a ghost?!

I ain't afraid of no--OMG! Is that orb a ghost?!

Your Aunt Tammie and Uncle Will wanted something simple, cheap, and quick a few Halloween’s back.  She came up with the concept; I came up with the design.

A Halloween or two prior to that, I studied my “Ghostbusters” accessories, and mocked up a poor man’s version (a.k.a. child’s version) of their Proton Pack to go along with my tan jumpsuit and patches.

My talent first revealed itself to me a Halloween or two prior to that one.  (There was one party in the middle where I grew out my beard and hair and went as Tom Hanks in “Cast Away.”  I was going to follow-up as Robert Duvall in “THX 1138” the next year by shaving my head, but I went on vacation instead.  As if you cared.)

The event that birthed my boardery occurred at a private gathering in the basement of a hall.  Upstairs, a wedding reception was held, and upon walking through the front doors of the hall, the groom exclaimed, “Optimus Prime!”

Michael Bay, eat your heart out.

Michael Bay, eat your heart out.

 He didn’t yell to Uncle Jay, “Starscream!”  He yelled the character I was playing.  (Although he did also shout “Dogma!” when he saw Uncle Chris dressed as Matt Damon in the film – he was a wingless angel in armor.  Nerd!)

Later in the night, prior to the police arriving to break up the Halloweed festivities, a group of us would eventually make our way back up to the reception to seek out more alcohol.  There’s video somewhere out there of Optimus Prime and Starscream dancing with the bride and bridesmaids.  But that’s not what this tale’s about.

Despite the fact that Jay and I won Best Couple (again, before that whole cop crackdown thing), there was a bitter Energon cube I was forced to swallow.  While talking to a pair of G.I. Janes, my good old buddy was getting all the attention.  I blew up.  “I’m the leader of the Autobots,” I began.  “Starscream doesn’t lead anything.  In fact all he does is whine to Megatron.  It’s his wingspan, isn’t it?  It’s always about the wingspan.  Don’t lie and tell me differently.”

Thank Cybertron the boys in blue cancelled the show.

MORAL OF THE STORY: No matter what you do, no matter how much you accomplish in life, girls always love the bad boys.

Uncle Sean’s Story Time… Long Shots, Free Shots, And Snapshots

Gather ’round, gather ’round, kiddies… it’s time for another one of Uncle Sean’s drunk stories… this tale is includes everything – intrigue, comedy, romance, adventure, tragedy… at least the way I remember it does…

Saint Patrick’s Day is one for the textbooks, here in Detroit, and over in Chicago…  maybe some places in New York City, and definitely over in Ireland (or wherever in the world an Irishman may own a pub).  But this story doesn’t take place on St. P Day.  It happens a few days before, but in the spirit of the inebriated hullabaloo, it may have well been.

It was the first trivia tournament my team and I partook in.  It was hosted in the day by a night club I had not previously visited, and we were all pretty nervous going in.  We drove in one car and had the intention of letting Uncle Chris worry about getting us home since he is wont to be a teetotaler.  A few drink specials and missed trivia questions later, we were many sheets to the wind, and came the closest we ever will to winning the grand prize of $1000.  (More importantly, we were thisclose to each getting a mini-fridge.)  All we would have had to do was bet zero points, but I digress.

As per usual on any trivia night, all the other teams up and left, except for the first place team, and another team we befriended through the season.  All the TJ’s (trivia jockeys) were still there, and soon enough, the owner of the trivia company was buying everyone shots.

Flashes of highlights:

  • Intrigue!  We played trivia…  We could have won…  Mini-fridges!
  • Comedy!  A team of Miller Lite marketers descended upon the place, adorned in their green belly shirts and skirts.  The day was turning to night, so the night club atmosphere was developing.  A thought popped in my head and I lead a friend from the other team over to the gathering of emerald ladies.  “Excuse me,” I began, “my friend Richie would like to take a picture with you all.”  He was embarrassed, but he stood there like a champ as the bevy of beauties surrounded him on the short staircase.  I backed up, and took another step back, sizing the photo op up.  I raised my fingers and mimicked a camera.  “Click,” I said as I pantomimed pressing a button.  The liquor squad did not like that one bit and they scattered from his side.  His jaw dropped.  One of those departing chimed, “Did you get a good mental picture?”  No, but I got a good laugh.  (I wish I said something about having a photographic memory.)
  • Romance!  I know the Cupid Shuffle, and I did not know that I knew it.
  • Adventure!  I got sick and managed to stop myself twice, but one time I couldn’t, and it ended up under the table.  I proceeded to leave, and got sick again immediately upon reaching the cold air, a few more times.  I found Uncle Chris waiting outdoors as well.  He was equally as sick as I.  We tried to head to the sports bar next door to get some food, but it was too hot in there.  So we walked to Aunt Venessa and Jess’ home.  About 4 to 5 miles away.  In about 4º to 5º weather (it probably wasn’t that cold, but for literary purposes, it works).
  • Tragedy!  Chris is a drunk klepto (did I not mention the drink specials and free shots?), but he doesn’t take anything other than glasses from bars.  He had one in each of his cargo pants’ side pockets – one from the night club and one from the sports bar.  On the long walk, we passed a taxicab company and knocked on the window.  They told us to call, but neither of us had our phone.  During the trek, he stumbled and fell a few times, and didn’t break the glasses somehow.  Yet upon reaching the park next to the final destination of home, he removed the glasses to look at them, and somehow dropped and broke them.

Okay, it’s not an altogether classic story, but it left me with some good mental pictures!

MORAL OF THE STORY: Always carry a spare roll of film for your brain.

Uncle Sean’s Story Time… Blaze Of Glory

Gather ’round, gather ’round, kiddies… it’s time for another one of Uncle Sean’s drunk stories… this time it’s about what makes this country so great…  especially Detroit…

Independence Day (the holiday, not the movie) is a time for celebrating our right to blow things up and be American!  One particular Fourth of July, we showed our dedication the best way we could… by buying illegal fireworks from Ohio.

Now, you youngsters might be wondering, “Isn’t that illegal to buy things that are illegal, Uncle Sean?”

And that’s my point – it’s American to do just that very thing!

As we sat on my front porch which is on a main road in Detroit, cars drove by while mortars and missiles and fountains rained down colored flames.  No one paid a mind, and a great time was had by all… especially because we had a couple of 24 packs inside that dwindled down faster than a sparkler.

SIDENOTE: I used to have three lawn chairs.  They were the old aluminum frame ones with cross-hatched plastic strips.  They were pretty crappy, but still comfortable.  One by one they were eventually stolen off my porch, but on this day I still had all three.  Viva America!

One of my friends slash your uncles either didn’t know how to sit in these chairs, or he was the straw that broke the camels back, so to speak, but the cross-hatching gave way under his weight and he fell and bent the frame.  We all had a good laugh (he may not have), and I pushed it further by tossing it over the bushes onto my front lawn as the show continued, courtesy of Uncle Rich.

Some neighborhood kids came down to see if they could buy some fireworks off us.  We weren’t selling, so they stole some.  Viva America!

Your Uncle Jay and Uncle Rob decided to pretend they were in G.I. Joe, so they each grabbed a Roman candle and had a battle in the front yard, roadway, and across the street shooting at each other.  I suggested that Jay use the downed chair as a shield (Rob was the one who broke it).  Viva America!

SIDENOTE: The people across the street from me were evicted.  A big dumpster full of their belongings was parked out front.  There were boxes, furniture, mattresses.  You’ll need to know about this later.

After the battle used up all the ammo, I thought it would be funny to suggest that Uncle Rob throw a mortar into the dumpster to see what would happen.  As if he was in Mission Impossible, he scurried to the trash heaps steel base.  With his back pressed to it, he lit the firework and chucked it in.  He ran back across the street to us.  And we waited.  And we waited.  No flurry of sparks.  No explosion.  We deduced that it must have need its launch tube.

As the supply of fireworks winded down (the beverage supply was getting low too), your Aunt Sue readied to put the last mortar into the launch tube.  She stood over it as she prepared to light it.  This was her first for the night.  We shouted at her to stop… pointed out how dangerous that was.  On cue, a tiny flame flickered out of the dumpster.

Everyone leaped into action.  Sue and Rob scrambled to pick up all the debris littering the front yard.  Rich, Jay, and I hurried inside to grab bowls to fill with water to put the fire out.  From my kitchen, through the front door, I could see that the flames were out of control.  Jay pulled out a colander.

“We need a hose and some trash cans,” Rich said.

Outside, we filled and carried trash can after trash can and ran across the road.  A pair of women walking down the street laughed at our efforts.  Viva America!

The fire truck eventually arrived.  I carried the last dose of water.  I nodded as they took over.  We all hid inside as they finished the job, which took quite awhile.  They even had to pull out the charred remains to make sure it was extinguished.  That’s when we realized the cases were empty.

MORAL OF THE STORY: We should have ran to the store well before the Roman candle fight.

Uncle Sean’s Story Time… Being A Boob And Having A Ball

Gather ’round, gather ’round, kiddies… it’s time for another one of Uncle Sean’s drunk stories… this one is about what happened after a bachelor party… and it’s not quite what you think…

I’ve been to more than a few bachelor parties in my time.  Some have occurred on buses that took us to magical places (two of the best adventures, I must admit).  Most times, the magic visits upon us.  One time, and only one time, the bachelor wanted nothing to do with any of the magic, so his uncle enjoyed the sanctioned magic instead.  Another time, we sought out all kinds of magic in a city where magic never sleeps.  But I digress…

On the day of this story, the magic was visiting us.  I had planned on calling it an early night, since I had something to do, early the next morn.  Five beers tops, I promised myself.  But unlike the other shindigs I had been to, this one had kegs rather than cans or bottles (this was early in my bachelor party years), and my plastic cup never ran empty, courtesy of the handled couriers that were passed around.

When the magicians finally arrived (some extras appeared unannounced), the festivities flared.  Cash flashed (amongst other things), and soon the booze was tapped dry.   Due to the inundation of said magic and the awkward payment situations that followed, the party abruptly came to an end.  Phase One, anyway.  My initial hope to cut-and-run was quickly forgotten when Phase Two was announced.

In probably not the safest collected cavalcade, we embarked on a journey to the oldest part of town, where the Big Three Kings once ruled.  We visited an establishment that specialized in, um, magic, and as the night and my buzz winded down, I recalled my plans:  “I have the GRE tomorrow!”

I bid my farewells and ferried off left.  The next morning was to clarity as glass was to stone.

As I say in the lobby of the testing facility, I glanced at the other patrons.  I was the best dressed, I decided, mostly because they were all still in their pajamas, and I wore what I… slept… in.

We had to sign a form beforehand that required us to write a paragraph in cursive.  I failed to recall any of the letters, namely the capital-I which began the paragraph “I agree… blah, blah, blah.”  Looking around the room for any clue, my eyes stumbled upon the heroine of the show.

(I should note that in situations like these, I always daydream that the surrounding players and I are the cast of a TV show.  I’m the hero, of course, and I have to pick my supporting cast.  This daydream involved the rest of the world disappearing outside of the clinic’s walls, and us survivors picking up the pieces of… whatever.)

Somehow, my heroine sensed my selection of her as my co-star, and she looked up from writing.  I asked, “How do you make a cursive capital-I?”

When I was called into the interview room, the nebbish gentleman verifying my identity asked if I had any questions.  I did.  “Do you have any aspirin?”

Without irony or any further prompting, he leaned back and shifted his gaze upon me.  “Do you work for… them?”

“What do you mean?”

“Do you work for… the company?”  (I swear this happened.  It wasn’t hangover induced or a daydream.)

“What are talking about?”

Finally, he relaxed and explained that the parent corporation that hosts the testing will send in dummy clients to test workers.  He told me they were not allowed to give out “medication.”  I reminded him it was only an aspirin that I wanted; he gave me the option of leaving to purchase some prior to hitting the questions.

“I’ll survive.”

The exam was equally grueling and a blur.  The first math section was Headache Incarnate, but it was the essay that I’ll never forget.  I had to write a piece on… well, that part I forget.  All I remember from the whole experience was that I ended up going on and on about Tiger Woods.  About how I feel his naturally talents could have possibly been squandered by being put into golf at such an early age.  On how his mind might have been built to tackle insane astrophysics or abstract geometry – not to hit a little ball in a hole far away.  I don’t believe I ever made my point in the essay, and I remember rushing to even finish a sentence before the clock ran out on the computer.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Drunken ramblings work better as vocal rants than as GRE essays.

Uncle Sean’s Story Time… Hoop There It Is!

Gather ’round, gather ’round, kiddies… it’s time for another one of Uncle Sean’s drunk stories… this one may explain where the “Twilight Zone” got its name… you know, ’cause something weird happened at twilight… well, at about 6pm or so…

The bulk of the friends I have I’ve had for almost all my life.  From grade school on, there’s about a handful of us that keep in close touch contact with each other, and still hang out.  They’re like brothers to me, and hence are like Uncles to you.

Your Uncle Tom and his then fiancée, Aunt Jenny, invited a group of us up to her family’s cabin.  Upon arrival, we spend a good amount of time chatting and partaking of spirits.  We had a late lunch and decided to head off to the lake.

It was a beautiful day, so they took us out on the boat.  I dove off the back while we were cruising (the spirits moved me to do it).  It was shallow where we were (I was unaware of that fact), so luckily we were at travelling speeds.  Otherwise, I might have sunk down rather than skim the top.  Nonetheless, I spent the rest of the ride drying off and grinning from ear to ear.

On land, where the towels were actually at, I continued to fill my tummy with carbonated carbs after I changed out of my bathing suit.  The basketball court was empty, so a few of us guys grabbed the orange orb from my car’s trunk and he hit the pavement.

Someone decided it would be a good idea to try to incorporate drinking into the gameplay.  So what we devised was each person had to hold a can in one hand, and dribble/shoot/block with the free hand.  If you spilled your lager – you had to drink.  If you spilled another player’s – you had to slam dunk yours.  We dribbled our way to 21 (ironic) for awhile, when a group of kids showed up.

They were adolescents and their numbers matched those of us playing.  They kept trying to steal the ball and play in our game, but as they did not have beers, we would not let them.

One of them was a little bit obnoxious, and one of your uncle’s wasn’t afraid to be obnoxious back.

One of them had a broken arm; one of your uncle’s broke his arm at that age.

One of them was plain clumsy, as I oft tend to be.

From the sidelines, your Uncle Rodney started laughing as the battle waged on.  The sun was lowering and the rest of the group was packing up to head back to the cabin.  I asked what he found so funny.

“They’re all miniature versions of you!  Even down to the hair color.”  Red for red, brown for brown, and blonde for blonde.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Don’t drink while out too long in the sun or you might cause a dimensional vortex that could threaten the fabric of our universe.

Neener, neener, neener, neener, duh-duh-DUH!

Neener neener, neener neener, duh-duh-DUH!

Uncle Sean’s Story Time… Friends Don’t Let Friends Dance Drunk

Gather ’round, gather ’round, kiddies… it’s time for one of Uncle Sean’s drunk stories… this one is about something that only happens in the movies… or when you’re really drunk…

Once upon a time there was a welcoming place called Cadillac Cafe.  It was called the Alibi before that, and many other names since then, but for a brief period of time, under that moniker it existed.

Sure, it was a ways from home, but it was a straight shot up the Grand River.  Let it be known that in this place, a wonderful and strange event happened, that may or may not have happened the way I remember it.

At this time, I used to be a helper at a local doctors’ office.  I would do menial tasks, such as file forms and file claims.  I was but a boy working amongst mostly older women.  In hindsight, I should have taken a job at the local eatery or merchant with others my age, but such is life.

A few of the women I worked with were closer to my age, and we would make it a point to collect a gathering of folks and visit the Cafe on weekends.  Fun was always had – even if your Uncle Jay may not agree.  Ask him about the time he stepped on a fair maiden’s hand that he liked while they were “freaking.”  She broke a nail.  His spirit broke – it was great.  Also, one of his future ex-mistresses happened to work there, though he didn’t know it at the time.  What a small world!

On the day of the event, I had my share of libations and I took to the dance floor as I was wont to do.  For whatever reason, on this eve, as I was out there “skanking,” another fellow took up the space beside me and did the same.  A crowd slowly formed around us as the songs continued.  People chanted and cheered.  Him and his friends took turns, tapping out on one another’s shoulders.  Each of them had different styles of moves.  (I had three at best.)  But I remained on my own the entire time.  It felt like the glow from a light up above was shining down on me (it was – from a ceiling fan… Cadillac Cafe was a restaurant during normal hours… didn’t I mention that?)

Once the last song ended, my competitors and I parted ways without a word or second glance.  My friends dubbed their leader “Powder” because he resembled this guy:

Same guy in Boondock Saints and Young Indy Jones... different complexion

Same guy that was in Boondock Saints and Young Indy Jones... different complexion... same hat?

And they declared me the winner.  But there were no winners that day…  only losers.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Don’t get into real-life dance-offs.  They’re gay.  (Sorry HilDuff!)

BONUS: A song by another co-worker-at-the-time’s friend’s band – Drunk Uncle by the Miracle Berries.