Alright here's a little story about travel. I'm not going to pull any punches here. I'm going to get on the level with you and have you know that this story involves no exotic location, fast-paced frivolity or foriegn cultural experience. This is more of a story of two wayward sojourners on a listless, protracted stumble around their own backyard. This isn't a romance, it isn't a mystery--although some details remain unclear--this is a record of what happened last Friday.
It all started with a few of us heading out for a tasty lunchtime meal of wings and a day marg. We settled down at a Buffalo Wild Wings, our hunger for wings trumping our love of cheap margs that usally leads us to Danny's. This may or may not have been a mistake. We were seated and immediately met our waitress. Her name? LT. Her business? Being the worst waitress in the history of wings and waitressing. She arrived, resplendent in her glory, and took our drink orders. Then we waited. We would soon learn that we were going to do a lot of waiting this lunch. The drinks arrived. LT disappeared. We waited. When we were halfway done with our beverages, LT came back. We ordered. We waited. By the time our chow arrived we were done with our margs, afraid to order another for fear of wait, and debating the concept of a negative tip. We chowed in silence, then got the hell out of there. I usually feel bad ragging of various waitpersons and those who deliver things to me, but, wow, LT was really bad. Hopefully she was just having an off day and she picked her game up before the dinner rush.
The one plus side of our waiting was the opportunity to formulate a plan for the coming evening. Some nice gals we associate with were having a cookout at their house (BYOB, BYOMeat) so it was for certain that we would stop by. It wasn't until later, in a backyard game of bags (Beechnut and KMart roundly destroying myself and Incrediboy) that we hatched a brilliant scheme centered on a brilliant concoction. Tonight, we declared, we will drink Witche's Brew (note: beer, vodka, lemonade) and we will make it with EverClear. The motto of the day soon became 'Don't fear the 'Clear' as we rushed around the neighborhood gathering the necessities: kites, coozies, hot dogs, cups and booze. Quick digression here: we are the apogee of liquor store economics. We have devised the formulas for price to alcohol content. If a case of Keystone Light costs the same as a case of Natty Ice, you have to buy the Natty Ice because there's more alcohol in it. It's like a science. The practice of our craft held us up a bit on this day though as we fervently debated what to purchase. We could get two handles of McCormick's for $22, whereas a fifth of EverClear was $15. Howver, by forgoing the 'Clear, we would be abandoning our day's motto. A reasonable solution was reached, and we got a handle of vodka and a fifth of EverClear, along with a cool 30 rack of Natty Ice, two bags of ice, four cans of pink lemonade concentrate, and two 2-liter bottles of diet Sierra Mist, to both tamp down the booziness and keep the sugar content low. With this shopping spree we were on our way.
We pulled up to the cookout prepared to, in the word's of Beechnut, "get totally butt-housed," as we proceeded to dump our ingredients into a RubberMaid cooler named 'Chazz.' Then, we got loaded. Oh, boy, did we get loaded. I'm not going to go into specifics because you don't have that kind of time, but when a fire is built and Incrediboy starts singing LFO songs, you know you've been hitting the sauce. We were "butt-housed." Somehow, we made it back to Incrediboy and Beechnut's house, but I'm not sure how.
Here was the fork in the road. Do we collapse in on ourselves or do we forge ahead? KMart and Beechnut crashed, blackout on the floor and a couch, respectively. Incrediboy and I decided to keep going, abandoning 'don't fear the 'Clear'--because there was obviously something to fear--for a new motto: how many times do you live? We headed downtown, and here is where things get fuzzy again. We made it back downtown and there began the long march. We went to Whiskey Tango, and the bouncer made me comb my hair before I could come in. Whiskey Tango sucked on the inside. Too crowded, not enough cool people, we decided to hit the town and ramble to every bar we could find, as long as it didn't have a cover charge. And ramble we did. Keep in mind, it is around 10:30 but we were so drunk it might as well have been closing time. This gave us a leg up on the competition.
The details of this adventure are hazy, as by this point of the night I was extremely near blackout. What little record of the night that could be collected comes from various text messages sent to myself commenting on what ever tavern we had wondered into. Listed below are the collected messages. I'll try to elaborate when I can, but some of this was new information to me when I looked at it the next morning, so don't get too excited.
10:44 p.m. The foundation. 2 floors. Pool. Metallica crowd. 25 beers on tap.
-I don't know who this bar was geared towards. It seemed very chilled out with the 25 beer taps lined up like bats at a batting cage, but it gave off a state school vibe. I don't think anyone there was actually drinking. Mostly there were just sitting there with their greasy hair wearing black t-shirts. There were four pool tables with no one playing. This place confused me.
10:53 p.m. Dubliner. 3 dollar cover.
-I'm not paying 3 bucks to drink, not now, not never.
11:01- Billy Frogg's. Cheetah. Mean bouncer.
-Ah, the return to Billy Frogg's. In the last six weeks we have been kicked out of Billy Frogg's a couple of times, even being told to never come back last time. Why? That god-damned cheetah. Billy Frogg's is decorated with various knick-knacks and junk, and among this detritus is a small statue of a cheetah. From the first time we saw it, we have tried to swipe it. We get caught everytime, and we get tossed everytime, including one very near physical encounter with the aforementioned 'mean bouncer.' We didn't stay here long. The place was packed with assholes.
11:12- Mr. Toad. Scott. Jamesons
-Mr. Toad is a chilled out place. They have bookshelves and leather chairs and an old guy named Pops sitting in the corner booth. Also, the bartender has the same birthday as me which is usually good for a shot of Jameson's every now and then. So, Incrediboy and I saddled up for a quick shot of Jameson's and continued our journey.
11:20- Old market tavern. Dummies.
-I guess the Old Market Tavern was full of dummies.
11:24- Little king. Peligro.
-We walked into the Little King. We had forgotten, in our stupor, that Little King is, in fact, not a bar but a sandwich shop. At the time, it was a sandwich shop that was preparing to close. We stumbled in, I tripped over a 'Wet Floor' sign, and we ran out shouting the first word that sprang to mind, "Peligro!"
11:32- O'Connors. Not old enough. Not irish enough.
-O'Connor's looked like a combination between a Red Sox game and a Jersey Shore tryout session. Kill me.
11:34- Eat the worm. Still cool.
-We only ducked into Eat the Worm, but it stilled smelled like tequila (aka margs), tacos, and chips. Yep. Still cool.
11:42- Downtown blues. Yikes. Rapist paradise. Get me out of here.
-This was a creepy, almost completely empty jazz club with two bald, fat guys drinking Bud Light and some guy mic checking on the stage. Yikes.
Quick digresson. At this point, Incrediboy and I stumbled out of Downtown Blues headed back to Whiskey Tango. We had caught wind that some of our friends had set up shop there, and were willing to give it a second chance. We started heading in a direction we thought was north--towards Whiskey Tango--but we soon became confused. "We're going the wrong way," I said. "No," said Incrediboy, "Whiskey Tango is north of here. We're walking north." I was puzzled. "Then why," I asked, "is the UP building behind us?" Incrediboy looked. The UP building was, in fact, behind us. Incrediboy shook his head in disbelief, then shook his hands in the air, "How'd we get so discombobulated?!" With that, we turned around and headed north--the real north.
11:53- Whiskey tango. More babes. Crowded.
-Yeah, there were more girls there. But there were also a bunch of douche bags. We lasted anoth ten minutes.
At this point we had had quite enough bars. It seemed like the Old Market had nothing to offer us. We had seen all it had to show, and were left wanting. Then, Incrediboy remembered the Happy Bar. Between Creighton's campus and the Qwest Center there is a godless tract of land that Creghton hasn't decided to build anything on yet. This is an area of empty buildings, a pawn shop, a bakery, and Happy Bar. We had passed it often on our way to basketball games, but had not ventured into it. Tonight was the night. Our trip to Happy Bar was nearly derailed when we wandered into Pioneer Courage Park, where there are like a hundred statues. These statues were so fun to fuck around with that we nearly forgot that closing time was drawing near. We bid our stautue pals good night and hustled under two Interstate bridges (aka hobo hotels) to Happy Bar. This place was not happy. Unless, I guess, your definition of 'happy' equates to 'two female truck drivers playing darts while the surly bartender stares you down and Creedence plays on the jukebox.' However, Happy Bar had a strange allure and we discussed a few strategies to get the bartender to let us drink after hours, but when he shot us the dagger eyes at 1 we booked it.
The walk back to the neighborhood was uneventful aside from the bunch of black kids fighting in a parking lot and a fire in McGloin. Incrediboy and I turned down three offers for rides, preferring to maintain the bilocomotory theme of the night, stumbling home like bums.
What did we learn hear? Not much. Just that a couple of buddies can hit the sidewalk and enjoy a night of carefree joy in each other's easy and jovial company.
Oh, and don't fear the 'Clear.