college, Humor

BAR NONE (IT’S A PUN; I WENT TO A BAR)

Btw, do you like my spoopy new banner image? Pumpkin, more like pumped-kin!

It was Saturday night. My stomach was roiling from the previous night, when I tried to ingest an entire bottle of wine the same way a python ingests a capybara. I was wearing a simple, well-fitted chino pant and an Adidas shoe, along with a denim jacket that I had just ordered from Amazon. It was major.

My family was in town, and rather than rejoice in familial traditions—i.e. mental warfare and ostracizing a random family member at any given moment (this reads a lot more horrible than it actually is; for us, nothing is more fun than putting one of us on the outs)—my sister, Margot, and I were drinking gin & tonics in my apartment, about to go out to a bar.

When I was a kid—still am, so I should’ve written “Since”—I pictured bars with the wistful nostalgia of a Depression-era alcoholic. Long wood counters, a grizzled bartender, a barely-clean glass of amber something. Slow, molasses afternoons, and a jukebox playing in the corner. Simple. Rustic.

When I learned about “clubs,” I was disappointed to learn that I had missed the cocaine-era of the ‘90s. I also figured that clubs were the only places where you got bottle service and tinnitus. BUT BIG SURPRISE. Apparently bars are like that too.

Now, I’ve been to bars before. When I was in London (whispers but makes sure you can hear) I went on a bunch of bar crawls. But that was to British bars, where they’ve been built four hundred years ago. And since I’ve been back/legal, I’ve gone to a few small local bars, where I was able to talk, listen, and—most important—judge.

I’m more of a house party person, where I know the people and can chat and—crucial to me having fun—sit/recline on someone’s ratty Allston sofa. I like being able to bully my way into controlling the Spotify playlist, and I get a major semi from looking through people’s medicine cabinets and room décor. Loud, too-close, too-crowded clubs don’t really do it for me.

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Source: SororityLyfe (i hate myself)

However, we’re walking up to this bar and I learn there’s this thing in the adult world called “covers” and “lines.” Let me break this down for you; I’ve had maybe two experiences with covers in my life, barring expensive, exclusive clubs in London—I studied abroad in London, London, England, ever heard of it, you dirt pleb. One was in freshman year, trying to convince some drunk frat boi bouncer to let me and a gaggle of girls into a party. The other was me, all limbs and rosacea, paying $15 to go the 18+ night at the local gay bar.

I don’t pay covers, I sleep underneath them.

Anywayanyway, we go to the bar, we/she pays the cover, and we walk in. IMMEDIATELY I AM AMBUSHED/ASSAULTED BY THE SIGHT OF HETEROSEXUALS. I love heterosexuals. My parents are heterosexuals. But I don’t generally “hang” out with heterosexuals. If I hang out with heterosexual guys, I pretend that they’re in love with me. If I hang out with heterosexual girls, I pretend they’re heterosexual guys and that they’re in love with me. I’m just not built for heterosexual fraternizing; I have hay fever and bad eyesight at night.

But this place is chockful of guys in Patagonias—so much fleece, so little space—and girls in strappy tops. Also because I’m a guy, guys trying to walk past me just shove me, whereas if I were a girl, they would gently move around me/take 33 cents for every dollar I make. Either way, we’re both fucked.

I also hate seeing straight people flirt. There’s something so creepy about it. I mean, I hate seeing queer people flirt too. I’m an equal opportunity misanthrope. But with straight people, all I see is ten years down the line, one David’s Bridal dress later, and the screaming set of twins they’re going to have while trying to figure out how to poison each other and get away with it.

Also, straight people, because they’ve never had, you know, the crap kicked out of them in middle school or dealt with having to have Perez Hilton be one of us, they’re so entitled. I was standing, talking to my sister and her friends, when all of a sudden, I feel a tingling at the nape of my neck.

Let me set the scene. I was wearing my denim jacket over this oversized skaterboi long-sleeved tee—because I’m awful—and I had popped the collar of the jacket (not full-on erect, but like a rumpled pop—I’m not a monster). I popped the collar because if I didn’t, I would’ve looked like a missing Duggar child. Anyway.

Side bar: “Rumpled pop” sounds like the kind of music Kesha would play.

I turn around, and some str8™ guy in a GREEN-AND-WHITE PLAID is putting the collar of my jacket down, saying (over and over), “Collar down, bro, collar down.” I, in my “non-threatening heterosexual man” voice, said, “HAHAHAHAHAA NO THANKS I’M GOOD” and tried to push his hand off. My fashionista nemesis didn’t get the hint and tried to make sure it stayed down.

He finally leaves, and when two feet away, I re-pop my collar and turn back to my friends. I see out of the corner of my eye, this low-rent Tommy Hilfiger try to come back to me. (!!!) “NO NO, I’M GOOD,” I Gila monster-hiss, flashing my teeth in what he thought was a smile but was actually a sign of aggression according to apes. Which is apt, because that plaid dick was definitely out to get Haram-me. And I was telling this Haram-bae “Haram-nay.” Is that even funny?

It was fun, but I’ve filled my quota for hanging out with straight people for the rest of the calendar year. However, the night wasn’t a total wash because I saw a literal grandmother at the bar, and later in the night, I saw a middle-aged guy in a Hawaiian shirt slow-dancing to ‘90s throwback pop. Every cloud.

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Essay, Humor

CHICKEN WINGIN’ IT

“If anyone asks, we all ate these wings,” I say to the table as my hand hovers over a plate covered with the bony remains of twelve chicken wings.

I’m sweating profusely from eating twelve chicken wings by myself, and I swipe the back of my hand against my forehead. Around the table, there are four other plates piled with chicken bones.

An actual gif of me.

An actual gif of me.

*****

This post was basically decided for me, thanks to two of my coworkers/friends—let’s call them Melody and Aerin, you know who you bitches are—so, like, know that I was basically forced to write this like some kind of journalistic prostitute.

I had a post all about Go-gurt half-written for today, Thursday, but I switched to this because last night I—strong of body and narcissistic of mind—went out on a WEEKDAY like a goddamn Carrie Bradshaw.

Side bar, I wrote “Carrie Bradshaw” because she’s the only modern working-going out woman I know of, and I couldn’t remember what Samantha’s last name was in Sex and the City.

Wait, also side bar. Is it Sex In the City?

*****

Before going out to the local bar—and by “local” I mean the bar close to my work, which is forty minutes away for me—we went to a camp variety show, where I got a damp ass from sitting on moist benches. It was…a lot.

“Are you serious?” my coworker—hmmm, Evan (?)—says. He stands up and motions a hand down his front, pointing out his outfit. White t-shirt, olive chino shorts.

“Are you FUCKING serious?” I say. I look down at myself. White t-shirt, olive chino shorts. A few weeks ago, we went to a party and wore the same outfit as each other—black t-shirt and khaki chino shorts—yeah I’m not original. I don’t have a lot of non-gym short options, especially because I’ve gotten fatter but not gotten richer.

The fact that I’m apparently subconsciously psychically linked to this sixteen-year-old is a complete and utter waste of psychic abilities. Either that or God has a rude sense of humor.

Me.

Me.

Warren, in his raspy, young Walter Cronkite voice, laughs.

Every one of my friends—I guess I can call them friends instead of just “coworkers—is looking beautiful. But, frankly, I see them in very worn conditions, so just not have sweat stains larger than the rings of Saturn is an improvement.

We order our wings, after the waitress coming over multiple times, and after a quick but heated debate over the appropriate number of wings for Evan to order, it’s settled. I ordered six sesame and ginger and six tossed in a mixture of barbeque and buffalo.

Side bar, if I ever create a TV show, it will be a sitcom about a redhead, played by me, and an Asian, Sandra Oh, I’m assuming, who are best friends and chefs and I’m calling it Sesame and Ginger because I’m culturally insensitive and also hilarious.

*****

“White was not a good option to wear,” I joke. “You can probably see all of my sweat.”

No, you can’t see my sweat, but Melody points to my shirt, at a spot directly underneath my left collarbone. My stomach drops through the soles of my feet and burrows about six feet into the ground.

“What?” I ask, my voice cracking into a thousand pieces. “What?”

She doesn’t say anything, but keeps pointing. I tug at my shirt, tucking my chin down. And on my shirt is a glob of that fucking barbeque-buffalo sauce. On my WHITE, UNIQLO T-SHIRT.

I waddle—again, I’ve just consumed twelve chicken wings within a fifteen-minute stretch—to the bathroom and wring my hands on the doorknob. It’s locked, so I have to pretend to be a normal, functioning human being instead of a psychotic human volcano. The bathroom’s occupant eventually leaves, and I rush in.

First I wash my hands of any treacherous chicken residue and then examine the spot. In the mirror, the spot looks much smaller, but I imagine I can feel deliciousness soaking through the pearly fibers. I dampen it with a soaked paper towel and spend five minutes just batting at it like a kitten with a toy.

Halfway through the process, I look up at the mirror. Oh damn, I look hot. My shoulders look broad and muscular in the white t-shirt, and my hair lays thickly across my head, with the perfect amount of swoop. Not crazy enough to be a swish but not flat enough to be a flop. Sometimes I forget that I’m a broad person. I still think I’m the scrawny beanpole—with a 10/10 face, of course—but I’ve become…wide—in good ways. I look, like, really hot. Fuck yeah.

Eventually, the glob has diminished into a slight smear, that keeps taunting, but I know have another issue. My shirt is a thin, silky-feeling material, i.e. I now have a wet circle of fabric beneath my collarbone that has all the subtlety of a gunshot wound.

I press my hand neatly against the wet, very “Southern belle,” as I leave the bathroom because A) my last-minute frantic attempts to dry it off have not gone well and B) there’s a very small window where you can be in the bathroom without people thinking you’re shitting.

*****

The whole point of the night was to hang out with coworkers at the bar late into the night until everyone realizes that they’re in love with me. They are, they just need to figure it out. But the bar is so often frequented by fetuses—sixteen-year-olds—that the owner of the bar flips on the lights at 10:30.

Everyone hisses like vampires.

“All right, everyone without an ID get out,” he says. My friends—cool fetuses, not lame fetuses—decide to leave before they’re kicked out. So suddenly our friend group is fractioned off.

Then, later in the night, I spotted a hot British guy, one that Melody and Aerin frequently obsess over. I’m standing five feet away, his back is turned to me, so I say to Evan and another coworker—Miles—“Oh my god, it would kill them if I got a picture of him.”

We debate several different ways to take his photo. I say that I should go with the classic “walk up and take the photo over his shoulder and then change my name and join the Witness Protection Program” but that doesn’t go over so well. Miles and Evan spend a hot second trying to take secret swiping shots of him.

I, in my infinite wisdom, say, “Or we could just do this,” and lift up my phone in clear view, zoom in and hit the button. All of a sudden, my flash goes off. I narrowly avoid smashing my phone on the ground and double over, pressing the flash into the fabric of my shirt as the camera goes off. Serves me right for playacting paparazzi.

Also a real gif of me.

Also a real gif of me.

Eventually my friends and I “leave”—decide to vacate the premises before we are thrown out—and I hiss “Fuck you”s to all of the people my age or younger that I pass on the way out of the door who are being ballsy as shit and staying in the bar.

*****

We hang out a park—no stabbings—for a while, discussing various tidbits of gossip, before splitting up to go home.

I guess, as a college student, the night was a technical fail because we got “kicked out” but I ate twelve chicken wings, so I’m counting last night as a win. And that’s all that really matters.

*****

Side bar, should I publish the Go-gurt post? It’s just essentially 400 words of portable dairy conspiracies. I think I just answered my own question: FUCK YES.

P. FUCKING S. I’m so sorry Marco, but I put Sandra Oh down because I figured in between us traveling the world as a pop duo, our burgeoning organic pudding shop and our podcast, we might need a little space. Mistake rectified; Sandrah Oh is OUT.

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