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Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
As three of us shared an Uber to what was supposed to be a low key bar where we could get some food and watch the game, I felt like mid-nineties Tupac when he was rocking Red Wings jerseys to court and throwing up the double birds at every person that walked by. I was living in an alternate universe where scaries, anxiety, and consequences did not exist.
I don’t condone fighting, especially when you’re technically in the wrong and you have to be in an office with normal humans in less than 48 hours. But I’ll be honest: I felt alive. I felt it in my plums. My juices were flowing, and I was raging with confidence. My shirt was still unbuttoned from the scrum, and there was no chance I was going to change that.
Twenty minutes had passed since she texted me wondering where I was going. While one part of me wanted to let her know, the other part of me was leaning more towards “go to hell.” I settled on ghosting, because ghosting is just a next level way of telling someone to fuck off, and I didn’t care enough about this girl to get into a text fight over a jealous boyfriend with a bloody nose.
As I rode my testosterone high into the bar, I realized that I was, by all definitions, sober. All that chest beating and cock measuring had killed the buzz, which is truly hard to believe considering I was flirting with max-out levels of intoxication. Well, that needed to change quickly, and it did. As our splinter group waited for the others to arrive, we assumed our positions at the bar and made the executive decision to fire up a round of Wild Turkey shots. Just typing that sentence made me cringe.
The bartender was a classic looking brunette with tattoos adorning her wrist. A total babe that had edge. She was like an attractive version of that blonde chick in Friday Night Lights that gave Street his tattoo. I could tell she hated us by her refusal to respond to my well meaning pleasantries, so naturally, I kept pressing. It didn’t work. She didn’t think I was funny, but I sure as hell did. I asked her about her tattoos, a subject she was way too guarded about for a person flaunting them to the masses.
Then I noticed one of those Touchtunes jukeboxes on the wall. For whatever reason, this bar didn’t have the game sound on, so the opportunity to reach peak asshole was there for the taking. I went all in. I somehow still had the mobile app on my phone even though I hadn’t used it in years. It was time to load up.
Huey Lewis, Talking Heads, old ass Nelly, and basically every thing Bad Boy Records put out in the late-nineties. I played it all.
I even spent extra to make sure they played consecutively. I was the DJ, and this was officially my bar. As soon as “Heart and Soul” dropped, my new bartender friend asked, “Did you just come here to make everyone hate you?” “You know the answer to that question,” I retorted. By that time, all 8 of us crowded around the bar taking full advantage of the dangerously cheap booze drinks. We were handing out drinks to every coed that walked by. We didn’t even care that the game was on, we were far more worried about emptying our bank accounts on the off chance of finding a group of girls to party with.
Then they walked through the door. From the moment I made eye contact with the sassiest member of the crew, I knew we had ourselves a bachelorette party. All the classics were there: An obnoxious sash straight from Etsy, remarkably short skirts, drunk, cringeworthy screams for no reason, and groans and eye rolls from all of the other bar patrons. It was fate. There were at least 10 of them, and only 8 of us. They gravitated toward us. We were the Death Star, and they were the Millennium Falcon. If everyone else in that bar didn’t hate us before, they definitely hated us now.
Shots were handed out with reckless abandon. These girls wanted to be the center of attention, and we complied. I somehow lost my shirt at one point, which was met with swift disapproval from the staff. We had ourselves a full blown shit show developing, and there was no end in sight. I stumbled to the bathroom for the first time in hours. When I caught a glimpse of myself, I just started laughing. I was running on hormones, and I was fading fast. If I didn’t get ahold of some performance enhancers, I wouldn’t make it out that night. No way I was going to miss out on that.
As I walked back from the bathroom, bumping into tables and tossing out half-hearted apologies, our edgy bartender approached me with devastating news. “My shift is about to end. I need to close you out and switch you over to another bartender,” she said in her matter-of-fact way. I felt betrayed. Sure, we got off on the wrong foot, but I could’ve sworn she was warming up to me. I told decided to take a shot.
“What’s your plan later?”
Yeah, I said it, but you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. She looked confused. “Umm, I’m going home and letting my dogs out, why?” The look on her face was priceless. All signs pointed to “stand down,” but I refused. “What kind of dogs?” I asked. I’m a dog guy, so I was genuinely curious. “A boxer and a weimaraner.” After hearing that she was the proud owner of two dogs of wild as fuck pedigree, I scrambled out of the pocket, spun away from a defender, and threw the hail mary.
“Can I join you? Dogs love me.”
It was lame, but it was spontaneous. I think that she respected my confidence.
Without closing my tab or telling anyone where I was going, we left the bar. My phone was near death, but I’d worry about that later. .
Image via YouTube