Without the use of a hot tub or a Delorean I recently had the opportunity to travel back in time.  All it took was a highly anticipated concert, a functioning liver, an empty stomach, and an equally stupid cohort....and all the sudden, I was 20 years old again.

A Recipe for Hilarity and Filthy Sheets

It started when my friend, let's call him "Marth", attempted to rally the troops weeks before to collectively take the day off from work and go see a show in NYC.  Frank Turner opening for Flogging Molly.  I'd never heard of this Frank Turner, but I've seen Flogging Molly five or six times and look forward to any chance to see them live.  Marth was singularly excited to see Frank Turner and did what he could to get his friends to the same frothing state.  As it turned out, nobody was able to take off of work....I'm fortunate enough to not have to ask for a day off.  So it would be just Marth and Me.

To get me in the mood Marth sent over some Frank Turner recommendations and insisted that I get excited about the prospect of seeing him live...twice...in one day.  As fate would have it, Frank Turner was not only opening for Flogging Molly at Roseland, but would be playing an in-store event at a small record store in Greenwich Village earlier in the day.  So the plan would be:
  • Marth meets me at my place
  • We head into the city in time for the 4pm In-Store
  • End up at Roseland and complete our full and exciting day  
What isn't included in that list is, in between every bullet (unbeknownst to us at the time) would be copious amounts of alcohol...most predominately, Young's Chocolate Stout.

Before I go any further, as the going is just getting good, I will post a couple links to Frank Turner songs that I recommend you listen to as I continue to recount the downward spiral of this day...or upward spiral, depending on how you look at it.  All I know is, there were spirals.  As a bit of background, Frank Turner is a singer/songwriter from the UK very much in the vein of Billy Bragg.  He writes songs about real life that don't necessarily have happy-endings, optimistic lessons, or silver linings.  What they do have is honesty, occasional rebellion with integrity, disenchantment without disappointment, themes everyone can relate to, and they're damn catchy.  And they have an ability to uplift even when the themes are less than uplifting.  Here you go (Click to listen):
Long Live The Queen

Marth arrives around 1pm and we are quick to polish off the four remaining Keegan Ales Mother's Milk in the fridge (if you live in the Kingston, NY area - I envy you).  It's important to note, I've eaten breakfast, but not lunch, which I believe is more than Marth had eaten.  After an hour or so of catch up conversation, music listening, and drinking (as mentioned) we were ready to head into the city.

With a couple hours to kill before the live In-Store event, Marth and I parked ourselves in an Irish bar down the block from the record store.  After a couple pints of Guinness, Marth had a bit of a sweet tooth and while looking over the pubs extensive beer list he decided he wanted to try the overtly masculine sounding Cookie Dough Stout.  A perfect beer for any ovulating fatty.  The waitress, who had the weathered body type of a helium balloon 2 weeks after the surprise party, broke the news to our favorite future diabetes patient that they were out of Cookie Dough stout, but highly recommended the Young's Chocolate Stout....a beer that, as it turned out, we would be seeing for days, erupting from many orifices.  When it was delivered I drank reluctantly, and I'll be damned if it wasn't a delicious beer.

Thankfully, Marth invited a friend of his to meet us at the bar.  As it turns out this friend (let's call him "Don") and Marth have shared a lifetime of morally reprehensible and wildly entertaining experiences that upon hearing them revisit them over round after round of chocolate stout, I was envious of the fly on the wall that might have been lucky enough to witness any of them.  (It should be noted that upon arriving at the bar we ordered an inedible appetizer...so there remains little, if anything, in our stomachs except rapidly growing amounts of stout).  And so, after a couple hours at the bar (and as I understand it, a beer tab of over $150) we head over to the in-store.

After a short wait outside we are directed into the basement of the record store along with 60-70 other teens and twentysomethings.  We are clearly the oldest of the attendees.  The show itself, as you'll learn from the rest of this entry, is inconsequential.  The music was great.  Frank Turner exuded British blue collar charm and was instantly likable.  And my bladder was so full it pulsed with my heartbeat.  I just wanted to get out of there and back to the bar.

And so after about 45 mins, and a good 8-10 songs, Frank said his goodbyes and we rushed out of the store and headed back down the block. 

Round 2

Chocolate stout again flowed quickly and often, as did the classy anecdotes of Marth and Don. The ones I seem to remember the most involved a dentist with unique proclivities and some gentlemen with full bladders; A new use of the word 'iceberg', describing a female of a certain shape and descending attractiveness; and many wonderful things you might do for a dollar in a New Orleans bathroom.  Suffice to say, the three of us are now stinking drunk and we haven't even gotten to the Flogging Molly show.  Our drunkenness was surely tipped off when we started asking the waitresses and random bar patrons for their opinions and positions on some of debates of questionable taste.  It became clear to me how drunk Marth was when he followed me into the one person bathroom and attempted to jockey for position at the toilet, resulting in me having to repeatedly deny his request to "sword fight"...which he decided left him with no alternatives but to urinate in the sink about 6 inches behind me.  Good times.

Oh, as soon as I had the bathroom to myself - I puked a thick brown gullet-full of chocolaty goodness.

So after another 2+ hours at the bar it was time to go to the show.  But first we had to settle another tab of over $150 spent entirely on Young's Chocolate Stout (if you do the math of $6 per beer, that's conservatively 25 beers split 3 ways....plus close to the same amount just a couple hours before...so 3 guys drinking 50 beers on all but empty stomachs.  Do you see where this is going?  I think you do).  I personally think they may have padded these checks a bit...but I also think we drank a shitload of chocolate stout.

The cab ride to the concert was essentially a 15  minute hate crime.  The questions surrounding religion, women, and deodorant should have led the cab driver towards an act of justifiable homicide.  Thankfully, in NYC, we were just a bunch of drunk douche bags that were barely a blip on his radar.

So we get to the venue, haggle with scalpers to get a ticket for Don, and finally arrive at the concert.  The place is packed yet somehow I quickly run into my sister-in-law and her friend.  Marth is nowhere to be found because when we arrived Frank Turner was already in the middle of his set.  So it's just Don and I and my sister-in-law and friend.  It's been almost 30 minutes without a drink, so I ramble up to the bar and order a round of beer for the 4 of us, and 2 shots of Jamison's for Don and I.  Guess what....Big mistake. 

The beginning of the end

Soon after these ill-advised shots Don goes missing, Marth is somewhere in the crowd of 3000+, and I am all alone.  Not a bad thing because I was really going at my own slow pace at this point and just looking for a place to stand and watch Frank Turner and not have to respond to anyone.  My focus was on standing still and, well, focusing.  Frank Turner seemed to be over as soon as it started and without much delay (or so it seemed) Flogging Molly took the stage.

Thankfully, about 2 songs into the Flogging Molly set, I found Marth.  I could tell from the look on his face that he was in the same state as I, and I'm sure my face was as easily read.  I believe the exact exchange upon finding each other was:
"Wanna getha fuggoudda here?" 
"Where's Don?"
"I don't know"

The Voyage Home
And so we stumbled the 10 blocks to where the van awaited to take us home.  As the world spun in one direction, my stomach spun in the other.  Marth sat on one side of the van and I sat on the other.  As the van startled it's seemingly violent roll towards West New York I started sweating more than usual (which is saying something).  I was forced to keep my eyes open because when they were shut I began plummeting through a dark unseen abyss which could only end in awkward apologies to the lucky person sitting next to me.

The sense of accomplishment that I felt as we got off the van, knowing that my mind conquered the matter that was churning in my belly and begging for sweet release, was short lived.  Soon after stepping off the van I informed my battery mate that he'd better move unless he wanted to go shopping for new sneakers.  And with just the slightest contraction of my abdomen, I opened a valve that wouldn't close for quite some time.  As Marth sat in a row of hedges, dazzed beyond consciousness, I continued my new favorite ab exercise.

Before long, we composed ourselves and finally arrived back at my apartment.  I was surprised to see that my wife, a typically early sleeper, was still awake.  I was even more surprised when she said "What are you doing home so early?".  In my mind we had wrestled the night and were crawling in mere moments before dawn.  It was 10:30pm.

So I responded to her in the only way I could.  With one word I explained what we were doing home so early.  One simple word that I repeated over and over:  Drunk.

"Drunk.  Drunk.  Just....drunk.  So......drunk.  We're drunk.  Both...drunk"
Chiming in behind me the other pathetic victim of the night, "Drunk.  Totally....drunk".

Thankfully, Lindsey had already prepared Marth's bed and we were able to quickly begin our approach to a terrible morning.  Before going to bed I took a bag of pretzels into Marth so he'd have something in his stomach.  But as I approached the bed, it looked briefly like Terry Schiavo was a guest in my home.  With his mouth wide open and a gentle hum coming from his mouth, Marth was gone.  Again props to Lindsey for having the forethought to supply our drunken guest with a bucket to leave by the bed.  As I was to find out the next morning, it was needed...and it was used.  Often.  Another thing I discovered early the next morning, after both Lindsey and our guest had left for work (did I mention this was a work night?) I went to where our guest slept only to see that Marth....marthed all over the sheets.

Throughout that day, and partially into the next, Young's Chocolate Stout continued to appear and surprise me in a variety of ways.  At one point I thought I might have colon cancer.  But luckily the black tarry waste that led to this assumption had a soft aroma of chocolate.  This too shall pass.

I regret no part of that day (or night) and had a great time reliving my youth.  If nothing else it confirmed that I can still have fun...and am lucky enough to have friends willing to do the same.   I don't anticipate getting that drunk again anytime soon....if ever.  But I'll be damned if we didn't have a great time.  And as bad as I felt that next morning, I knew it could be worse....I could be some weird dentist laying wet and naked in an alley between tractor trailers in Chelsea.  I guess you had to be there...

Oh by the way - "Marth" is Adam Carta.  And he's a bad man.  A very bad man.

And so I say now what I said many, many times on this night:

Blah, Blah, Blahg!
Mrs. Schedler
4/7/2010 09:25:21 pm

This was awesome. However you left out two things that I enjoyed most that evening - 1. Both you and Adam came home with your flies down.!? 2. You developed chocolate-scented hiccups that lasted for about an hour as I was trying to sleep - and they wouldn't stop, probably because you wouldn't shut up!!! :)

4/8/2010 12:32:14 am

it amazes me that grown men can claim to get "drunk" on beer. Pussies. Next time just drink some wine coolers, the puke is clearer.

4/8/2010 08:49:55 am

I formally invite second to our next outing. Do you like to sword fight second?

4/8/2010 08:50:17 am

I love how the guy calling me a pussy doesn't leave a name. Hey "second", go drink a few single malts and take your kids for a drive.

4/9/2010 10:41:08 pm

How did Mrs. Schedler know my fly was down. MY EYES ARE UP HERE LINZ!

4/12/2010 12:41:05 am

Although I have already heard about this evening it was even funnier reading about it. I am just happy my boss isn't around to hear me laughing out loud and crying. Mmm chocolate scented hiccups, Linz you're a lucky lady.


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