7% ABV from a bomber
“So first of all, I picked her up without saying even a single word…”
I was launching into another epic tale, my friend Wes’s very favorite tale of mine, one he insisted I write up for the Vice Blog. We sat around his luxury highrise apartment playing NHL 2008 on XBox, surely the best sports video game ever, and I say that as a guy who hasn’t watched a single hockey game since Chris Chelios was still in the league. Huh? He’s still in the league NOW?!
We drank a semi-rare score, a bottle of Pangaea, from one of my favorite breweries in the country, Dogfish Head. I’m excited to try all new Dogfish Head offerings but especially this one as the beer is made with ingredients from all seven continents including most prominently crystallized ginger from Australia, moscavado sugar from Africa, basmati rice from Asia, and a bit of a “cheat” in using water from the McMurdo Science Station in Antarctica. An interesting idea no doubt and a splendid name and label, yes, but ultimately, I found this beer to be a bit of a gimmick, it essentially just tasting like liquid ginger.
And, again, as I’ve been saying with a lot of DFH’s “weirder” offerings lately, I was glad to try it, but really don’t want to ever try it again. I don’t know why DFH puts their oddball beers in bombers. Even splitting it with a friend it becomes a bit of a chore to drink and you just end up resenting the beer even though it’s not actually half bad. Perhaps they need to sell it in larger, more expensive quantities in order to give them the ability to actually make the inventive beers, something I completely understand. I will admit that by bomber’s end I actually started warming up to the beer, thinking it might be most interesting with a meal of spicy Asian food.
“So first of all, I picked her up without saying a single word…”
This was back three years ago, I was a single man visiting the folks in Oklahoma City. That city is burgeoning I suppose, but there’s still not tons for a young single man to do. Even going out to drink can be a major pain in the ass, trying to find drivers to escort you and locations that actually have people in them. Having said that, though, when a New Yorker like me finds a “happening” or even “kinda happening” or even “35% full” bar in Oklahoma City, it can make for a great time for reasons twofold:
A. Shit is so fucking cheap. I don’t know how many times I’ve been running a tab for an entire group of friends in Oklahoma City and after a full night of drinking–though remember, bars close at 2:00, at 1:00 the house lights go up, and at 1:30 hick bouncers start yelling at you, the patron who has spending good money for the past several hours, to “Get the FUCK outta my bar!!!!”–went to tab out and seen the bill and begun laugh. Laughing like I’d heard the funniest joke of all time. Countless beers, top-shelf cocktails, shots, greasy sampler platters for a party of five? Let’s say $45. “How much I owe you?” a friend says. “On me!” I say! Which is an expression any one will tell you the Vice Blogger has never said once in New York City. But in Oklahoma City, a visiting New York instantly becomes a millionaire.
B. And this is true for all American cities that aren’t Los Angeles and maybe Miami…women irrationally love a guy from New York City. You don’t have to be handsome, rich, thin, interesting, straight, or even showered, you simply have to live in one of the five boroughs of the city of New York. Not that a girl from Oklahoma City even knows what a borough is.
I found myself at some hell-hole of a bar in my former hometown. It was packed, indeed, but that doesn’t matter as most people in OKC are still smoking and it’s actually legal to still puff indoors there. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m adamantly against nanny stateism and for debauchery and think humans should be allowed to smoke inside bars–if that is what the owner wishes–but I still can bitch about the stink. Also, people in Oklahoma City don’t like to inter-group mingle, just finding their own booths or tables to smoke and chit-chat and I guess play quarters or something.
So I suppose I was a little grumpy at not finding any ugly local girls to talk to but I was nevertheless excited that I was drinking bourbon neats for $3.25. You know you’re in a non-major metropolis if drinks cost something “…and a quarter.” It was Christmas day and surprisingly the bar was packed. I hadn’t showered or tried to style my hair in any way because I don’t really care what I look like when I’m outside of New York. I wore a dirty white Hanes undershirt with simply a pea coat over top of it. I looked miserable. I was talking to only my sister. We were probably mocking former classmates of ours.
My friend Matthew–now a proud father and in a semi-common-law marriage–had been working a girl hard all night. Like all night. I wasn’t sure if he was making ground or not and I didn’t really care. All I knew was that it was 1:30, the lights had just gone on, and I wanted to drink for the next one, two, seven hours.
“Hey Matthew, any fucking place we go get a drink now?”
Matthew turned to me for the first time in an hour or so. The girl he was flirting with turned toward me as well. A gentleman, he introduced us.
“Allison, this is my friend, Aaron.”
She stuck out her hand aloofly.
“He’s from New York.”
Her eyes bulged out of her head, if she had a dick she would have got a boner, and “NEW. YORK. CITY?” she exclaimed and pulled me in for a hug. “It is so great to meet you.”
She all but pushed Matt out of the way to get to me. I still hadn’t said a word to her. Do I feel bad that when I–or any of the other 4.1 million-ish New York men–go to other measly cities we get treated like George Clooney simply because we pay ungodly amounts of rent and know how to read a subway map? Well…yeah, actually I kinda do. But, in the same way I feel a bit embarrassed if I have to use a bridge to hit a shot in billiards. I’m still gonna take credit for the sunk ball and I’ll still hook up with the girl.
Matthew’s a smart guy and he already had seen the folly of his ways. The folly of telling “his” girl I was from New York.
“So, do you know any place to drink, Aaron?” said “my” girl.
Actually, I had just thought of one. Before leaving the house that night I’d been searching through my parents’ home for a snack and come across the motherload. My parents are essentially teetotalers nowadays yet I guess they continued receiving bottles of liquor as gifts over the years and kept them in one out-of-the-way cabinet. Earlier that night I’d found that stock, and there was plenty, ranging from the normal (Grey Goose, Johnnie Walker Black, Crown Royal) to the “What-asshole-gave-you-that-as-a-gift?” (Hennessey, Malibu Rum, something that looked like moonshine and had tropical fruits floating in bottle.)
“Actually I do…everyone to my parents’ house.”
My sister stared at me like, “Really?” I was wasted off $3.25 bourbons so I nodded back, “Yes, really.”
A group of about ten of us headed to my parents’ home, my annexed girl giving me a ride. I had the foresight to make everyone park one street over. I was 26 years old, but my parents, especially my mom, is not one for reckless debauchery. I made everyone, save my sister and Matthew, stand around the corner of the front door as I unlocked it. My mom has ears like a hawk and always awakens when I get home from boozing. She came out of her room.
“Hey mom, I invited Matthew over to hang out for a little bit.”
My mom loved Matthew who was maybe my oldest friend, one I had met when we were both three-year-old wunderkinds in the four-year-old preschool class at the Jewish daycare Matthew’s Christian family had inexplicably enrolled him in.
“Oh that’s fine. Hi, Matthew. Good night.”
My mom went back into her room and then me and my sister and friends old, new, and just met got wasted, polishing off literally every drop of booze in the house, though I wouldn’t learn this til later.
A pulsating headache.
I hear my loud family awake and romping around. My dad cooking a late brunch in the kitchen. My mom roughhousing with the dogs in the living room.
Beside me, in my twenty-five-year-old twin bed that still has NFL sheets on it, the naked girl from last night. How many words have I said to her in my life? I don’t even know her name. All I know is that she is fucking naked and my parents are nearby.
Now my parents are the kind of people that have no respect for boundaries. The kind of people that have no problem just opening a door and marching into your bedroom. In fact, every previous morning of this little Christmas vacation my mom and/or father had, without knocking, entered into my room with the wild dogs to wake me up at whatever point they deemed fit. I was certain we were mere seconds from that happening again. My childhood bedroom didn’t have a lock.
I started shaking the girl, trying to wake her ass up. She wouldn’t bulge. It was like she was dead. I stared at the Magic Johnson poster on my wall, what had become of my life? Could I get an assist, Earvin? I shook her some more, which jarred something loose and caused her to begin to loudly snore. I was kinda freaking out, and I wasn’t sure why. I was a fucking grown man, I could do whatever I want. Right?
Even moreso being that both my sisters, both younger than me, each in a bedroom on either side of mine, had their boyfriends in town for the holidays and were sleeping with them every single night, something my conservative parents surprisingly never had a problem with.
I thought, fuck it, I’ll just wake this girl up, march her through the house toward the front door and proudly proclaim,
“Good morning mother and father, this is the one-night stand I had last night.”
And that would be that.
Naw, I couldn’t do that. I didn’t need my parents to know I was the kind of person that got wasted and had promiscuous liaisons with girls I picked up through the most frivolous of reasons. Actually, I laughed to myself, the real reason I didn’t want my parents to see my one-night stand was because she was ugly. Well, not ugly, but kinda just mediocre. A six out of ten. Yeah, which made her a nine out of ten in Oklahoma, but I digress. I would have proudly marched a beauty out of my room, let my parents know that their son had some serious long-ball power, but I couldn’t disappoint them with my previous night’s middling lay.
I went to the bathroom to wash my face and game plan. I ran into my sister in the hall way. She snickered. “So whatever happened to that girl last night after I went to bed?” She really didn’t know.
“She’s still in my room.”
I shrugged. You doubt me, sibling? I opened the door to my room a crack. My sister peaked her head in. The girl’s bare ass was hanging outside the comforter. My sister started cracking up. I saw nothing funny about it.
I went back into my room and shook the girl as hard as possible. She finally awoke. Now I don’t know about you, but if I woke up–as a mid-twenties adult–in the childhood bedroom of a stranger I had just had a one-night stand with, I would be a little disturbed and perturbed with myself. Not this one. Uh uh. She casually smiled. “Mornin.’”
I would have been like, “Where the hell am I? What the fuck happened? Are those your parents I hear???? Is that Walter Payton on this pillow?” Again, not this one. She just yawned, noted she was hungry for an omelet.
I walked over to my bedroom window, the sill covered with all my childhood sports trophies. I began to clear them away.
“What are you doing, Aaron?”
“I really apologize for this, but you have to jump out my window. I don’t want you to deal with my parents. It’s better for both of us.”
I liked this girl, nice, supplicating, and malleable.
She began to casually get dressed, staying naked far longer than a normal person would, slowly, slowly, slowly, putting on each sock and then…
A knock on my door. SHIT!
I nodded at her to get under the covers and hide. The end game was near and my parents weren’t going to be humiliated by their son’s pathetic pick-up. She did as she was told.
I opened the door a crack. It was my sister. She had just remembered–just remembered!–that her bedroom had a rarely-used side door that we could allow Elvis to leave the building through. Perfect.
The girl got dressed, we quickly ushered her through the hallway, into my sister’s bedroom, and then out the door.
Once the girl was outside my sister and I started madly cackling. We ran to the front of the house and its windows, spying on the girl as she walk-of-shamed across several lawns and to her car parked on the next block. Mission accomplished.
We headed to the kitchen for breakfast where my sister continued to make countless thinly-veiled references to my miserable hook-up, my parents somehow never catching on. They were just mad me, my sister, and Matthew had somehow drank fifteen bottles of their booze in one night. “Your father and I were gonna drink that one day!”