Last night I went out with the infamous Constantine and my perennial compadre Aaron. This is what happened.
We began our night by splitting a six-pack of Sam Adam’s Summer Ale on our way to a fine eatery. You guessed it, Applebee’s. Applebee’s, long known for its horrifyingly pawn shop-esque décor and median quality fare, actually has a pretty boss happy hour. For 3 bones you can get a Brewtus of any draft beer (FYI, a “Brewtus” is A-bee’s’ probably trademarked name for a 32 oz. glass) and apps are half price. We found ourselves pretty well occupied with Boulevards and wings, after two of the former and a dozen of the latter we left. We made our way to the movies, where we saw The Ugly Truth (don’t judge). This is where the night took a turn for the strange.
We left the theater and headed towards our favorite liquor store, Cheema’s. Cheema’s is in a shadier part of town, but it is worth the potential beatdown and robbery. Cheema’s is in an old gas station and looks super sketchy from the road, but once you step through the door it is a veritable treasure house of alcohol. Wall to wall booze, the like and variety of which seem superfluous. Once, out of curiosity I counted how many different kinds of tequila they had in stock. 23. Who the fuck even makes 23 different kinds of tequila? On the far wall, there are cases of beer six deep stacked to the ceiling. In my daydreams, I take these cases and arrange them into a castle like structure and wile away my days inside my daddy soda fortress. Cheema’s is owned and operated by a dude named Cheema. Cheema is of undetermined Middle Eastern descent, rocks a vicious mustache, and is usually working on some kind of online college course. Cheema is friendly to a fault, as any good liquor store guy should be, however, he holds a special ire for Constantine. This ill will stems from the time Constantine asked Cheema what was the difference between the green label and black label Jack Daniels. Cheema didn’t know/care, yet Constantine persistently pursued the question. Finally, Cheema threw up his hands and exclaimed, “They ran out of black labels, dumbass!” Since then, a mutual distrust has festered between the two. This manifested rather hilariously last night when we walked up to the counter to purchase our 40s of cold Coors Light. When Aaron and I reached for our IDs, Cheem-nasty waved us off nonchalantly in a way that said, I know you guys. However, when Costa plunked down his $2.88, the Cheem-ster piped up with, “ID please!” He then put Constantine through the wringer, demanding birth date, address, and a spelling of Constantine’s last name, as well as inquiring into the nationality of said last name. This was particularly hilarious to me, since I used Constantine’s old license as a fake for most of last year. With 40s in hand—Aaron and mine’s almost half gone at this point—we left Cheema’s, presumably for home.
It was not to be so. About 10 minutes and 3 empty 40s onto the road—where ever we go we are a DUI/open container charge waiting to happen—Constantine got a call from “some girl” saying she was at the Oregon Trail Bar for ladies night. Before I go any farther, I need to define two important terms in that last sentence. The first is “some girl”. For most of his life, Constantine has been in the pursuit of “some girl”. It is never the same girl and his pursuit rarely lasts more than a month, but the pursuit while it lasts is hot-blooded and earnest, albeit always fruitless. The second term worth clarifying is “ladies night”. Ladies night at the OT means that pitchers are 4 dollars, and there are lots of creepy dudes of all ages packing this tacky saddle-barn of a tavern. What ladies night at the OT doesn’t entail is that there will be ladies. The usual unfriendly ratio of 3 guys for every 1 girl plummets to a shudderingly awful 5 to 1 on ladies night, and the ratio of dog to fox is and even more discouraging 4 to 1. I’m no mathemagician, but this means that there is one hot babe for every 25 creepy, lecherous men. We had trouble from the get-go when the Wranglers and ostrich-skin cowboy boot wearing bouncer tried to turn me away, stating that my ID wasn’t mine. Normally I would have gotten pissed and left, but this guy looked like the Nazi Indiana Jones pushes into the plane propeller, so I calmly produced my school ID and my debit card, as well as citing the rarity of glorious nature beards, one of which I sport currently as well as in my ID picture. After some terse negotiation, Stone Cold Steve Austin let me into his shitty bar. As predicted, it was packed with dudes. I don’t want to go into details regarding the clientele, but on the douche bag scale they were somewhere between a Hollister t-shirt and a Kenny Chesney song. So, we are settled into this sausage fest, Aaron and I going after a pitcher of Coors Light with gusto while Constantine tries to charm the flavor of the week. She’s not bad looking, and her friend is even kind of cute. Aaron and I take up the mantle of wingman, engaging this friend in small talk, growing increasingly belligerent. As previously mentioned, attractive girls are at premium in this place so the fact that two of them are sitting with three dudes who are the rough equivalents of Frodo, Grizzly Adams and the guy that drives the Cash Cab is definitely going to draw some negative attention. Eventually, some archetypal douche—Abercrombie, excessive hair gel, the works—walked up, asked both of the girls we were sitting with if they wanted to dance, and was roundly denied by both of them, much to his chagrin. The conversation around our table continued, this guy still standing there, baffled. After a very awkward minute, this guy is still standing there, and he taps Constantine on the shoulder. Their conversation goes as follows.
Douche: Hey, man, are you gay?
Constantine: Uh, no.
Douche: Really, because my friend said you were checking him out.
Constantine: Who’s your friend?
Douche: That dude over there in the hat. (Note: This is a bar in West Nebraska. Everyone has a fucking hat on.)
Constantine: Nope, doesn’t look familiar to me.
Douche: You look kinda gay, are you sure you’re not gay?
Constantine: Pretty sure.
Douche: Hey, if you’ve got a problem we can go out to the parking lot.
At this point, this guy is way over his head. The girls he is trying to impress are ignoring him, and his verbal spars are being met with Constantine surprisingly calm attitude, my look of drunken bewilderment, and Aaron’s unfettered laughter. He turns on Aaron.
Douche: What are you laughing at, faggot?
Now I’m laughing, too.
Douche: You know what, fuck you assholes, you’re lucky I don’t kick your asses. I don’t need that kind of bad publicity.
Aaron: Yeah…(laughter)…fuckin…(laughter)…People magazine…(laughter)…and shit.
Now the girls are laughing. If this guy wasn’t such a prick, I’d feel bad for him.
Douche: (growing increasingly angry) I know people in California! I can end you!
At this, Douche-balls storms off. Turns out he has been an extra on CSI and he’s in the final audition cut for some reality show. If you are from West Nebraska, you think this makes you famous. The rest of the night went on quite uneventfully, with Constantine—to no one’s surprise— failing to close, me rattling off a string of rude comments, and Aaron quietly getting blackout. The night was closed very appropriately. As we dropped Constantine off at his house, he turned back to the car and asked, “Do I really look gay?”
Sometimes ignorance is bliss, homie.