My friends and I have a code language when we text. I won’t delve too deep, but the one that gets my motor running the most is “OOT.” It means simply “Out Of Town,” or more extensively, “My wife/girlfriend/fiancee is out of town. See you boys at the bar around 3 p.m., I’ve already stopped for a solo beer at Red Robin on the way back from dropping her off at the airport.”
It’s just special.
Once word starts going around the group chat that someone’s boo is OOT, the monkeys start hooting and hollering. A slight twinge of anxiety starts rising in my chest and I quickly formulate a plan on jetting out of work early.
This poor guy has been under lock and key for far too long. Now that his main piece is out of the area code, he is free to roam and embrace his wild nature as was ingrained in his DNA by thousands of years of evolution. Not that he’s gonna cheat, that’s scumbag shit. Secondly, this guy has been out of the game so long he doesn’t know how to string together a sentence to any woman who isn’t his wife or mother-in-law. He’s uncaged and wants one thing: to get absolutely shithoused and chill with his dudes.
Once you have secured an early departure from work, you’re meeting up with this guy at a bar you and your pals used to frequent a few years back. Shit, he might have even met his wife at this very bar. Regardless, he’s two to three drinks ahead of you and is ready to mix it up. It’s not like this guy can’t drink anymore. The two of them are putting down a handful of Kim Crawford bottles each week. He’s just free from the tether now. Like a dog that’s been on a leash for too long, he’s ready to run free. He also might get hit by a car. We’ll see.
He wants it all. He’s ready to take on the night at full speed. Shooters, snooters and Hooters. We’re full bore. Take her to sea, Mr. Murdoch. Party like it’s the mid-2010s. If you’re not careful, he’s gonna be off the rails before dinner. It’s okay, though. He’s been housebroken by a good woman. His manners are impeccable.
For dinner, it’s gonna be either a high-end steakhouse with a heavy buzz or a bar & grille with some sort of bottomless appetizer special. Dinner’s gonna go one of two ways: He’s gonna get absolutely wrecked on martinis after foolishly ordering a salad at the steakhouse or eat too much to get drunk at the bar and grille. But honestly, if you haven’t been carried out of a steakhouse before, you’re living a C+ life. At best.
Alright, so he’s shitfaced. You knew this was going to happen and you’re honestly happy for him. Almost as happy for him on his wedding day. He married a great girl, but you miss your buddy. You miss the big guy. And here he is. Full pads, full contact. He’s gone into rarified air and everyone’s flying high. Literally, you’re all fucking high.
Post-dinner, it’s a cigarette. Several of them, in fact. My man grabbed that emergency pack of P-Funks out of the garage and is huffing them down like he knows how fucked he is if bae finds them while looking for her ski boots.
Then it’s back to the bar where he will begin a slow fade into a mute as he reaches levels of drunk he hasn’t seen this side of 2015. So, he’ll go home and drunk dial his lover while eating an entire bag of Pirate’s Booty (gonna pay for that one later, bud) and she’ll call him a “fucking dumbass” and ask him what the hell he’s trying to say. He’ll end the call with a slurred “I luh yeu s’much, beb.”
And that’ll be it. He’ll be back in the confines of his happy relationship, and that’s okay. For all boys must become men. But every once in awhile, the boy escapes. He runs, he runs as fast as he can, chasing fleeting youth just one more time.
That’s a feeling we all chase. That feeling you get when you see those three magical letters: “OOT.” .
Image via Netflix