stories >> 1997 - 08 - 04
So I slug around all day on Saturday. Check
email, listen to some right wing fanatics on the radio, and generally don't
do a damn thing. About 4:00 or 6:00, knock at the door, and Jim and Jamie have
shown up. Cool, cool. Jim's excited because he got his bike all fixed up and
ready to go, and Jamie says "Anybody want to get a beer?" Jamie drives, Jim
and I bike, and we zip over to Trudys. We get ignored by a waitress for about
twenty minutes, Jim gets pissed, and we decided to go over to Texas Chili Parlor
instead. Jamie's pretty sure that Jim won't be able to make the trip, but he's
a trooper and still wants to bike over. We toodle through campus, and Jim says
"Hmmm, this biking seems to be a lot of coasting." I tell him, "Well, yeah,
this is generally the speed that Mahoney and I go... but you don't have to go
coast..." Later, Jim describes this part to Jamie as "you know in Star Trek
when the Enterprise goes into warp speed and zooms off into space?"
At TCP, I pull the seat of the bike, since I'd rather look like a dork carrying around my saddle instead of coming out to a seat-less bike. Jamie's there and is impressed that we made it all, let alone quickly. Our waitress Genevieve comes up and we tell her we want some Magnums, which are double rum and cokes. Someone says that we're planning on having six each, and she laughs: "That's like 12 drinks!" I tell her not to worry, because I have a frequent drinker's card :)
Suck down some nachos, start working the magnums. Jim and Jamie are buying heavy appliances for the new house, and it turns out the good old G. is selling her washer and dryer. Jim unfortunately descends immediately into scumbag sales man, "So, how much? Hmmm, we'll have to take a look. What's my price range? Sorry, can't tell you!" Genevieve quickly figures this out and laughs saying, "I'm not talking to you, I'm only talking to your wife about this one!" The loudly engage in the time honored female-bonding ritual of male bashing. I smile and order another magnum... when G. comes back, she writes down her number for Jim and Jamie so they can call her about the dryer. As she puts it down, Jim asks "Are you going to have it delivered?"
Surprisingly, we do end up drinking six magnums apiece, or at least Jim and I do :) Jamie, having good sense that I lost years ago and a premonition that something really ugly is going to happen, opts to go home about now. I tip Genevieve outrageously.
Zoom, down to 6th street on the bikes. We lock up next to Ivory Cats' and head to the Ritz. Son Yuma is playing and I get Jim to cough up the cover. We make it upstairs and immediately experience the complete lack of service that generally defines the Ritz experience. I keep looking for the waitress that I over tipped the last time I was here, but Claire is no where to be seen. Eventually, Cypress, who looks like Linda Hamilton from T2, shows up to take our drink order lackadasically. Sinner that I am, I figured out a long time ago at the Ritz that you have to order your next drink immediately upon receipt of your first if you have any hope of approaching some semblance of booze homeostasis. Water and gin & tonic start flowing in a reasonable imitation of regularity up to our table. I love Son Yuma, but I still don't know how to dance salsa, and am too drunk and weak to ask somebody to fake their way through the cha cha with me. I bounce around on the floor for a few songs, and I come back up to endure some more heckling from Jim. Cypress is unaffected by promises of a giant tip, and when we finally do pay her, she's completely unimpressed with the 50% tip and the $50 tab. I have a real simple formula: if you look happy when I give you a gift, you'll probably get it again. I like seeing other people happy, and if you're not happy, then (WARNING: PG-13 DICTION) "Get Happy Mother Fucker," as the man used to say. Cypress's gotten knocked off the list of 15%+ earners.
Zoom, back out to our bikes, and time to go to Kerby Lane for some late night queso. We turn up 30th street and are passing by some apartments and hear a party going on. I looked at Jim, he smiled at me, we pull over, I nearly kill myself jumping over the 11 foot gate, and we're heading for the keg. Turns out that there are two parties, and the one on the second floor is somewhat antagonistic. My man Caleb is worried about the old boys upstairs, and I start telling him "Don't worry, I've brought the Enforcer with me." The keg is nice and cold, and thankfully doesn't leak like the last keg I was drinking from (hmmm....). Jim and I start talking loudly and laying down a bullshit line about being in business school and thank God classes are out and blah blah blah. Ryan the surfer comes over, straight back from Port A, and the molehill becomes of mountain of bull after he reveals that he also dives and Jim start telling him about the "Setones, off the coast of Mexico, man oh man, you've gotta go, that's right SUH TONE AYS." By this time the guys from the 2nd floor are jumping off of their balcony into the pool. Our chosen party's getting thin, so we grab a last beer, go over to the pool, give these guys the old "Man, cool man, sometimes you've just gotta swim my brother, totally, totally." We bond with the frat guys for a minute or two and go out the bikes.
No zoom. Thwock thwock thwock. Jim's got a flat.
God's getting pissed about now, so he enrolls us both in the School of Bad Ideas:
Bad Idea #1: We've got some sort of dim plan that involves waking up someone,
bogarting a drink off of them, and getting a ride home.
Bad Idea #2: Let's go see Nancy. She's right around the coner. Thank the Lord, Nancy's not home.
Bad Idea #3: Hmmm, let's go see Priscilla. For the uninitiated, Priscilla (maybe) lives on 22nd street. I live on 38th. We're currently on 30th. You see where it's going.
Bad Idea #4: We've got a long dry walk. We have to entertain ourselves. I hear Jim say "Hey, I've got a stick!" I pray we don't get arrested.
Bad Idea #5: Jim doesn't exactly remember where Priscilla lives. 22nd street. Up and down. Twice. Three times. Back to 24th so that we can retrace the exact way he came the time before. Up and down 22nd.
Slowly, I realize that Jim has no clue as to
where Priscilla lives and that we're going to have to get back to 38th street
somehow. I'm starting to think that this "wake up, bogart, get a ride" deal
was a pretty stupid plan. Jim sits down on the sidewalk and says, unhelpfully,
"Wow, I'm tired." Ugh. The walk back is interminable. I'm so bored and tired
that I can't stand it and I'm trying to get Jim to jog back so that at least
it's not so dang boring. My shirt's so soaked it feels like sandpaper, it's
darker than sin, and there aren't any straight roads back. I keep doing the
math of "38th street minus 22nd street is 16 blocks, 38th street minus 30th
street is only 8 blocks." We can see the lights of my complex for like 30 minutes
before we actually get there, and I about cry because I'm so frustrated watching
those lights bob up and down and realizing that *you're* *not* *getting* *that*
*much* *closer*. We finally ooze back into the complex, what feels like years
later, and the security guard who needs a buddy wants to shoot the breeze awhile.
"Yeah yeah, dude, we got flats, it's alway tough like that, yeah man." Ugh.
We make it back, I make something to eat, Jim calls Jamie who tells him "I'm
actually kind of jealous that you guys got so much exercise." God Bless her.
Jim crashes out on the "surprisingly comfortable" Therm A Rest, I crash out on the futon, and we don't wake up until the very next day. Jim calls Jamie, and like a sweet seraphim she shows up with bagels and three cups of coffee for our worthless selves. I tell her, "Good Lord, we don't deserve this!" and she answers succintly "I know." We get the bikes, I get back home, fall asleep in the shower, and nap until 6:00.
And there it is! With my wallet lighter, my head heavier, and my legs sorer, I'm ready for the new week. See y'all tomorrow.