Now Playing: Gimme Shelter, by the Rolling Stones. “Oh, a storm is threat’ning, My very life today. If I don’t get some shelter, Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away. War, children, it’s just a shot away, It’s just a shot away. War, children, it’s just a shot away. It’s just a shot away.”
Editor’s Note: When I wrote this blog this a.m., Karen hated it because it was backwards. So I’m flipping it. If you want to see the original, click here.
I’ve written often about how much I love my subdivision and my neighbors. We all live within walking distance and get together a lot and cook out or have appetizers or just talk. And drink. It’s usually at Bill and Deb’s house. Bill’s got a bar upstairs. It’s a good place to go and relax and tell yarns and listen to music and have fun. But’s also a dangerous place. We’ve all been Billed. By that I mean become so drunk that we’ve embarrassed ourselves.
The first one I can recall has been dubbed, by Karen, as the Great Crapper Caper. The names are being withheld to protect the guilty, but it happened, as I remember, at a St. Patrick’s Day gathering. One neighbor, I’ll call him Marv, got into the Irish whiskey, among other liquors, as I remember it. He started singing Irish jigs and telling great stories. Meanwhile his wife Daisy is fuming. Marv wasn’t allowed to come play with us for awhile after that.
Daisy finally sent Marv home. She followed a little later. But that didn’t end it. Turns out Marv had to use the bathroom (a common occurrence after being Billed, as it turns out). We’re not sure how the next step happened. But somehow Marv fell off the toilet and broke it while he was falling. Daisy called Bill, who, as is his nature, came over to help get Marv to bed and stem the toilet from gushing water.
What makes Bill so insidious is that he does his evil with a smile on his face. You never realize what has happened until it has happened. Or the next day, when you’re suffering for it.
Here’s a typical way he does it. We’ll be at his house, upstairs in the bar, watching the Super Bowl or the Panthers (and that one time, both) on the big screen TV. He starts out by pouring shots for touchdowns. Then for first downs. Then for commercials. Then for breathing. Before you know it, you’re out of control.
That’s how our friend Trevor, a 20-something guy that used to live in the neighborhood and for some reason liked to hang out with us old folks, got his.
I’d gotten drunk or tight several times at Bill’s, but I’d kept it under control for the most part. Until my turn came. The only good thing about this situation was, Karen got Billed, too. I won’t go into too many details, but she fell upstairs. (She wasn’t hurt.)
We’d been invited over for Frogmore stew, a tasty boil containing shrimp, crab legs, clams, mussels, smoke sausage, corn on the cob and redskin potatoes. There was plenty of food and the beer was flowing.
I didn’t want to be a pig, so I didn’t eat much – for me, anyway. Which didn’t serve me well when the party moved upstairs to Bill’s Bar. Where, as usual, Bill served exotic shot after normal shot after exotic shot. While having one himself only occasionally, then just sitting back and watching the havoc he had wreaked. Needless to say, I got trashed, as did my neighbor and amigo, David.
Because David is Puerto Rican, I started channeling West Side Story (always has been a favorite musical of mine). Which is to say I started singing. Not Officer Krupke or When You’re a Jet or America. I started singing I Feel Pretty. And doing the backup parts, too. The neighbors have never let me forget it.
To make it worse, David and I left the party to go play pool at his house. I remember leaving and taking a few shots but not much else. Neither does he. I think we’re both glad of that.
I ended up at my house, passed out in the bathroom, with Karen poking me with her foot to try to wake me up. It took me a few minutes, but I finally made it out in time to see her rubbing her head.
So there you have it, another instance of my life being a song. (There’s still at least one more instance, but I’m not sure I’ll ever reveal that one. Think Lynyrd Skynyrd.)
We’ve all learned by now. Bill’s the greatest guy in the world, but he will leave you passed out on a broken toilet, or just in the bathroom, or on your steps. Or who knows where?
Saturday, he and Deb are going with Karen and I to a party at our friends Betty and Bob’s house, way out in Union County. I’ll be driving, so I won’t be partaking much, if any, and so I’ll be in control for this one. I’ve got a feeling Bill won’t be able to pass up the Shot Block. Betty and Bob always have this giant block of ice, with paths carved down it. The idea is to pour the shot down it, the recipient has to drink or get drenched.
This time, Bill might get Billed.
Shalom. Have a great weekend, and I promise I’ll see you next week.
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” _ Soren Kierkegaard