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Yeah, so I woke up Saturday morning and I was more dehydrated than I’d ever been after playing a summer game of lacrosse in the South (more to come in this department as we go along). I told some of my co-workers this afternoon that I’d broken my liver.

That’s a) not possible and b) not true because all I had was moonshine in my apartment and a White Russian (insert your own “Why not a Black Russian? Racist.” joke here. My response to all is, “Not Funny. Heard it already.”) at a bar. While we’re talking about that, the bartender was a dude dressed as a girl who danced only when Madonna played, giggled at me for ordering a White Russian, asked for an ID even though you have to present an ID to get into just about any bar in NYC–particularly on a Friday night Halloween–, put a cherry in it and charged me $11 dollars for it. Never before has my favorite cocktail been so gay. To be fair, it was half Kahlua, half vodka and a dash of milk. Well played, man-girl (Madonna?).

Anyway, I think the reason my night was so good was because of how terrible my day was. I was sick, full of coffee, Sudafed and not nearly enough sleep. That was actually the situation that had been compounding for the whole week. The office is incredibly business-oriented, so no one wore a costume except me. My costume was basically my business-attire, so it’s kind of cheating, but I still felt like the odd man out. When I was leaving, I told someone to have a Happy Halloween and she looked at me like I had just threatened to hide ratoncide in the deli-style buns of her ham’n’swiss. It’s a hard way to experience your favorite day of the year.

At my retail job, the dress code is just as strict and the costumes were just as disappointing. When I walked in and asked one of my friends what her costume was, she said, “I’m you.” We laughed a little and I said, “Well, you’ve definitely got to work on your 5 O’Clock shadow, but other than that, it’s pretty good.”

But back to that morning–at one point, I was attempting to remove a staple from a incorrectly-stapled collection of papers and, since I don’t have a staple remover, the staple dug itself into the tip of the pointer finger on my right hand. About 4 hours later while retailing it up, I was sorting through those tags that set off the alarms when you steal everything I’ve been working on for the last two hours, when the pin dug itself under the fingernail on the same finger. The good news is, no arteries appear to have been severed, but the bad news is, I now understand why the Vietnamese used to stick bamboo shoots under fingernails as a form of torture back in the ’70s. Typing, the least difficult exercise known to man, is now very, very difficult. Fuck you, “Y!”

Beyond physical damage, I sustained a fair amount of mental damage while at the office. I finished everything on my “To Do List” (more to come in this department as we go along) and went to update my boss. She told me she was looking forward to it, but that she was busy at the moment. When I asked if I should start some more tasks that could easily be inferred from the indications of the “To Do List,” she told me not to start them. She assured me she’d be ready in 10 minutes and, when she got back to me an hour and a half later, I’d sent an email to my dad detailing how I felt “like a fourth grader; Nap! Now you can’t because you don’t have your mat…but don’t go get it!”

We had a meeting where everyone was pissed off the entire time and our boss basically just scolded us for not listening to her, even though every time she gives us directions, she comes back an hour later to tell us that what we have done is wrong because she’s just changed the directions. She gets pissed we didn’t know these directions would change. So, she basically told us to anticipate that, on every project, she would change her mind and that we should be able to read it. When I got out of the meeting to head off to the world of retail, panties and jokes about regional managers (“She’s a fucking bitch.”), I sent an email to the researcher who was working remotely with a subject line that read, “that meeting.” The body consisted solely of, “was like watching a porn without sex scenes; terrible dialogue and everybody involved already knew where it was leading (in this case, next week, not the bedroom).”

So I left, deposited the check (“Yeah, sure! Can’t wait to see you next week!”) and got on the subway again.

Alright, that about does it, let’s skip all the retail and beyond the third subway trip. Got home, made coffee and ate dinner: Mac’n’Cheese Spirals. Too good. This must be the beginning of a good night, but also a stretch in cognitive abilities in retrospect. It turns out the roommate has gotten a bottle of Moonshine for free at work, but we have ice and no idea what something that tastes like bubblegum could mix with. We christen her, “The Bazooka Joe.” (The recipe’s pretty labor intensive, be careful: 1. Catdaddy, 2. Ice.)

So our mutual friends are in town and I have college friends that are in town, too. We get off the subway, urinate in the Union Square Starbucks–like half of Lower Manhattan–and attempt to find my friends. On the way, my roommate proceeds to get, approximately, 117 compliments on his costume. I, on the other hand, receive no recognition for my Stay-At-Home-Dad costume (more to come in this department as we go along) and I begin to assume that everyone thinks I’m Rene Magritte. Updates with my friends from college reveal that S_____’s in a bar on 23rd (9 blocks north), Co______’s not going to tell me what her plans are because she hasn’t saved my phone number and thus does not know who this is and Ca____’s in a McDonald’s on 6th and 16th with other friends from college. The police won’t let us go North, so we decide to wait for them to head South. They get caught in the parade and head North. We stand on the corner while my roommate gets more compliments and a discussion from a girl in a dress with a picture of Freud around her neck (Freudian Slip).

Discussion over and abandoned on this suddenly large island, we decide to head South to our favorite cheap bar. On our way, the roommate makes a “your kind” joke that is intended as ironic racism, but is interpreted as racism. It’d been ten minutes of healthy, hilarious conversation until this misstep, at which point we part ways with the young lady who took offense. We are both sad but persevere and get to the bar. Once there, I greet a random friend from college, attempt to order beverages but can’t get to the bar because everyone else in Lower Manhattan knows this place is cheap too so we leave. We stand on the street corner and wonder what we will do for the rest of the night.

Then our mutual friend walks by (easily the most crucial “then” in this essay. But, again, that insight only comes from knowing where this night goes way in advance). I grab her by the shirt sleeve and start yelling. Everyone else is right behind her. It’s E____ (front runner), C____, D____ and her boyfriend G___ and, finally, two new girls. S________ and A__ are Peter Pan and something I’ve forgotten, respectively, as well as crazy sexy. I initially think, “Hey, this S_______ is pretty cute and she’s very funny, but that A__ seems to want nothing to do with me. What a shame; she’s rather cute, too.”

But then, for some reason, A__ decides I’m Todd Palin. I think it was because I told her I was a Stay-At-Home-Dad, but really have no idea why. She and I start waltzing to whatever-the-hell-bar-it-was-we-went-to-that-night, the whole while speaking like we’d just tag-teamed a polar bear with CO2 emissions, hanging chads, shotguns and hunting knives. I later realize she looks like Kristen Wiig and come that much closer to never seeing my heart again. If my memory serves, at one point I decided I loved her so much that I bit the side of her face. Like a nibble, not really like a, “Hey, gotcha face, ya bleedin!” bite. The things you’ll do when you’re dancing in the street. Or in a bar.

We left (and waltzed again. If you saw a guy and a girl being totally and obnoxiously metropolitan by waltzing on a street on a Friday, I’m sorry I ruined your night) and had to split ways (Uptown and Brooklyn are surprisingly far apart; also, N.B my dating habits) but while we were talking and waiting for the subway, I met a man who’d been recruited by and played for Butler and later got drafted by the MLL. He confessed that he’d done my weight in blow, probably two times over. I told him that was just another one of the reasons I’d quit, but that didn’t stop him from giving me his phone number so I could play some lax.

We transferred trains to get back home but–surprise!–had to wait for the other train for a while. So we talked and examined my costume. I had the Enchanted DVD in my pocket, a bag of cough drops and some Sudafed (really for me, but also) just in case the kids get sick, two condoms in case the wife gets frisky (she is extremely powerful and does not tolerate mistakes), keys to the Minivan and a Moleskine with a checklist, schedule and notes in it. The writing got increasingly sloppy as you moved your way towards the end, but I have transcribed it for you below:

  • Friday Night Movie Night (not done)
  • Empty trash (check)
  • Clean toilet (nope)
  • Schedule minivan check-up (check)
  • PTA Meeting Agenda (check)
  • Schedule dinner with the wife (nyet)
  • Pick up Tommy 2:30 Sally 2:45 (check)
  • Burp Jimbo at (no): 10AM (check), 2PM (check), 6PM (check), 10PM (negatory)
  • [chicken scratch] Call the mistress, tell her to fuck off (no check)

The schedule said:

10/31: bake a pie
11/13: Minivan to JiffyLube
11/14: 4PM tie pick-up
11/20: get bag of Starbucks wholebean for the wife
11/4: resubscribe to The New York Times

Tommy wear contacts [someone had the audacity to accuse Tommy’s goaltending inabilities on his not wearing his glasses in the goal, so I made a note to tell him later to wear his contacts]

The Soccer Schedule said:
Soccer
10/20: Tommy: The Bandits, 4PM
11/4: Sally: Cowgirls, 3PM
11/5: Tommy: Bandits, 6PM
11/14: Sally: CGs, 4PM
11/17: Tom-boy: Goal for Bandits–defense for the Tigers’ defense pretty strong.

Other notes from that night said:
2. alcohols
In love w/E___’s friends.
[phone number and name for dude who loves coke and lax]

We all agreed that #2 made absolutely no sense and moved on. Then we got on the subway, got off the subway, went our own ways, and I wrote the post below.

Lessons learned: Moonshine is a good reason for Nascar to exist,  but the connection’s not strong enough anymore for me to want to watch left turns. Biting is never a good idea. Showing up at the stock room is oddly reassuring after a day at the office. My pointer finger is a piece of shit right now. I like redheads. Even more so when they want to waltz. I still don’t want to do coke. Halloween remains one of the most hallowed of holidays for me. I like “South” as a direction in general. I still like my friends.

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3 Comments

  1. timmy blew the game for us and you know it!

  2. err, i mean tommy.

  3. No, he did not! The Bandits simply couldn’t keep up with the Cougars’ offense. If your kids had provided any defense, the score would have been 4-2 instead of 9-2. Also, it probably would have helped if you had remembered to bring the oranges for half time, like you were supposed to. If you can’t provide the snacks, don’t sign up.

    Tommy’s not legally blind yet, though he will be by the time he’s 17. Extremely inconsiderate on your part.


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