FLASHBACK: April 2007
My friends are quite dear to me. There are few people who will rally as a group and join into something senseless and silly with me. My friends though…
Saturday night, around 7:30, I’m unloading the last of the groceries. I start pondering over dinner. I don’t feel like organizing a real meal. What to eat… what to eat… Ah-ha.
I text Chip, “Beer for dinner?”
I wait patiently. I get online and Piet is there. Together, the Beer For Dinner campaign grows. Who needs nutrition, when we’ve got beer. Piet is trying to gather a slue of pictures of his friends drinking. This is perfect photo opportunity. Chip calls back. “Where the hell were you?”
“I was in the shower. I don’t take the phone with me everywhere, Mel. Like the shower.”
“Dammit, Piet and I have something important to say. We want to go out and have beer for dinner.”
The plan grows. Chip comes to get me. Piet hits the road. We go rampage Marcus’ house.
“I can’t just have beer for dinner.” Marcus whips out a bowl of turkey salad. “I have to have turkey salad sandwich. Have a sandwich.”
“We are not having sandwiches, we are having beer for dinner.”
“Mmm, turkey.” Chip picks out a piece of turkey.
“Have a sandwich, Mel.”
“No, I’m staying strong. Plus I know how you are, how long has that turkey been around?”
Piet enters Front Door. “Are you having sandwiches?”
“Marcus and Chip are cheating.” I spy something on the kitchen shelf. “Do you really cook pudding. ‘Cook and Serve Jell-O?”
Piet inspects the box. “I think you can just add cold water.”
“You know, that’s from the old apartment.”
I inspect further for an expiration date.
Chip starts heading for the door, “Well, I’m ready for beer. Mel, get in the car.”
We are loading when Piet notifies us that Marcus may not being going.
“Of course he’s going. Make sure he gets in your car.” Chip waves at Marcus, “Great turkey salad.” He speeds off.
As always in our lives, things can never goes as planned. We pull up to a packed parking lot at the Trawler. “The Rotary Auction?”
We get some pitchers of beer and sit at the table by the door. We announce to all winners of the auction as they exit what their score is from 1-10.
Piet: That is the ugliest chair ever. I give it a 0.1.
Marcus: It’s green, and I like green. So I’ll give it a 1.
Meldawg: Not feeling it. The way the seat is made, if you spilled your drink, it would all puddle down to your ass.
Chip: God Dammit! That at least deserves a 3.
Piet: No it doesn’t. It’s awful.
Someone walks by with a dead plant. We can’t even judge that.
Enters Paul at Bar Door.
A weak moment around us, we call Porkchop. Life truly isn’t the same without him. We improvise. We pass around the phone chatting his ear off, just like he was there with us.
We all organize at the jukebox to play 24 credits (not an easy feat when the bartenders tell you that they are kicking you out in fifteen minutes.) The songs were all over the scale. Including … Crash Test Dummies’ “Mmm mmm mmm.”
Paul: This song defines our teenage years.
Marcus: No way, man. A song about humming does not define our years as teenagers.
Paul: Yes it does. This is a great song.
Chip and Mel: Once there was kid who… got into an accident and couldn’t go to school.
Marcus: This song is retarded.
Piet breaks out singing Boys II Men Motown Philly for the fifth time to compete with CTD’s.
So we are on our own, the Trawler locks its doors.
Chip: I don’t care where we go, but we are not taking my car.
Everyone loads into Chip’s car, who’s backseat collection contains ladders, boxes, clothes and other assorted goodies. I get the joys of the center console for a seat. That’s sure comfy on the ass.
We plot out to go to Rockin’ Robin’s. It’s about a thirty mile drive into the desperation of beer, but we hear other friends are there. We are half way to our destination, singing as loud as we could to the radio when Chip swerves right.
Mel: Where the hell are you going?
Chip: To Yuk Yuk’s.
Paul: I thought we were going to Rocking Robin’s?
We file into the small bar. I order everyone a round on Ying Ling. We get our beer and set up to play pool.
Mel: I really wish I could play some music. (Eyes at Paul.)
Paul: Dammit Mel! Here take my last dollars.
Paul and Marcus start playing pool as Chip, Piet and I goof off with the camera.
Piet: This table smells like ass.
We get up and move to another table. I take a pee break, as well as Piet. We pee, in our own respective bathrooms, wash our hands and come back out. Chip follows suit. Everything seems fine, until we all go to drink again.
Piet: I smell the ass smell again.
Chip: I didn’t smell it when I was coming out of the bathroom, so I thought it was you two that smelled like ass.
Mel: I don’t smell like ass.
Piet: What the hell smells like ass?
Piet begins sniffing when the investigation ends at his hands.
Piet: My HANDS smell like ass.
Chip: I knew you guys smelled like ass.
Mel: *Sniff, sniff* Dear God, my hands smell like ass!
Chip: Your right! My hands smell like ass!
Further investigation made us realize it was the neck of our bottles that smelled like ass.
Piet: Marcus, Paul! Smell your beers.
They look confused, until they whiff.
Marcus: It’s the beer bottles!
Piet: Dammit, I’m finishing my beer!
Chip: No man, don’t do it! It’s ass beer! Don’t drink the ass beer!
We quickly settle our tab and get out of town. Damn ass beer.
We make our way to Rockin’ Robin’s to be nearly shot down at the door. The doorman stops us in our gallop to beer smelling beer. “Two dollars a head.”
“But it’s midnight.”
“We’ve drove from Accomack County.”
Now sadly, over the past three hours we had spent every piece of paper money on pool or songs. We had not a nickel left to our name and there was no VISA machine at the door.
“Can we put it on a tab? We only have plastic.”
The man eyes us, “Yeah, go on up to the bar and let them know what you are doing.”
Back to the run, climbing the stairs like mad. A pitcher of beer that smelled like beer never smelled so good. We moseyed downstairs, mugs of fresh brew in hand. We danced, we drank, we were merry. Life was good.
Until the hiccups hit.
I can list five thousand ailments I’d rather have before getting the hiccups. When they hit, they hit good. Every five seconds. Hiccup. Hiccup. Hiccup. Hiccup.
Chip: What’s wrong?
Piet: Hold your breath.
Mel: Okay. *Holds breath for five seconds* It’s not working.
Marcus: You have to do it longer than that.
Mel: I’m miserable.
Paul: Why do you have hiccups?
Mel: I get hiccups mainly for one reason. Drunk. I get them when I’m drunk.
The miserable scene continues. Hiccup. Hiccup. Hiccup.
Chip: What did you eat today?
Mel: Beer for dinner.
Mel: Pancakes for breakfast. Two of those little smokies wieners in BBQ sauce.
Chip: That’s it?
Chip escorts me out to the parking lot and we dart in his car across the highway to McDonald’s. Just to realize, they aren’t open. Dammit.
Still determined to cure my disease, Chip wheels his car down the street to CornerMart. Hiccup. Hiccup. Hiccup.
Chip: Pick out something to eat.
Mel: Can I get a Lunchable?
We sit in the parking lot, sharing our Ham and Swiss and our Ham and Cheddar Lunchables. I also ingest about 15 sugar packs just in case the food didn’t solve the hiccups. Low and behold, either the Lunchables or the sugar fixed my hiccups.
Upon returning to the bar, the ugly lights were coming on. It wasn’t much longer we were on the road again. Drunken and tired, it was a silly ride home. We even did a remix of Sesame Street’s theme song to “Can You Tell Me How To Get To Piet’s Street?”
Mel: Here’s to Beer For Dinner!
Everyone: Beer For Dinner!
Silence from the backseat. I glance back.
Mel: Oh dear, Paul is passed out.
Lucky for us, someone left behind a swing set from auction. Swinging as high as it would let us go, even though we were five times the weight limit. Paul climbs on the slide and passes out.
Piet: I’ll take him home.
Paul: I’m fine, I’m fine.
I loop my arm around Paul and start walking towards Piet’s car.
Mel: We’re all going to Marcus’, come on!
Paul loads up in the front seat and thinks he safe, part of another party. Until he realizes that Chip and I are not getting in.
Paul: YOU FUCKING LIARS!
Chip and I wave.
Mel: I love our friends. They show so much appreciation sometimes.
We wave at them pulling away, load up into Chip’s car and make our way home.