December 27, 2004

December 2004 (Vol. 3, Issue 12)

Welcome to the Vegas Special and year ending issue of Truckin'. We have four entertaining Vegas stories featuring poker bloggers, two from me and one each from Otis and BG. I'm happy to add Matt Sims to the roster with a short story called Purdue. Sit back, enjoy, and please spread the good word about this site. Be sweet, McG.

1. Shane and Cody by Tenzin McGrupp
"So which one of you is the bad guy?" I said as I sat down and stacked up my chips into neat columns. "You got the black hat on," as I pointed to Shane, "I'm willing to bet $1 it's you."... More

2. Strippers, Lesbians, and Fanny Packs by BG
I'm not sure if anyone's made the connection between bad strippers and underpriced seafood before, but here we are.... More

3. Ill-equipped by Otis Dart
When drinking at home, I deal in in the realm of the quick-binge. That is, I drink as much as I can in a three-hour window. That usually results in some form of what Uncle Ted likes to call, "losing time."... More

4. Saturday Morning Rockstars by Tenzin McGrupp
Before I could consider the circumstances, like Pavlov's frothing dog and in a worldly Zen moment, the edge of the glass automatically hit my lips as the nectar of the Gods struggled to make its way into my queasy stomach, into my reluctant liver, and into my starving soul... More

5. Purdue by Matt Sims
Lester, as usual, had a fifth of Beam tucked into the "secret" pocket of his coveralls. The designer of this particular style of Carhartt garb probably didn?t have whiskey stow away capacity in mind when he constructed the inner pockets, but Lester had made the proper adjustments to accommodate... More

What A Long Strange Trip Its Been...

From the Editor's Laptop:

Once again, I apologize for the delay in this month's Truckin'. With the holidays, the WPBT Holiday Classic in Las Vegas, and my sudden onset of the flu... I missed the deadline. The Vegas edition is better late than never, right? Elvis would still be proud.

Thanks to the poker bloggers who shared their bloodwork this month. The trip definitely gave us plenty of material and memories to draw upon. I expect more stories in the future. I always say that the other contributing authors inspire me, because it's true. I'm happy to add Daddy to the roster. Thanks again to old friends like BG and Otis who submitted their work.

I ask the readers that if you like these stories, then please do me and the rest of the writers a huge favor. Tell your friends about your favorite stories. It takes a few seconds to pass along the URL or the monthly e-mail. I certainly appreciate your support. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you know anyone who is interested in being added to the mailing list.

Thanks again. I am grateful that you wasted your time with my site. Until next time.


"Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in, the only cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas." - Hunter S. Thompson

Shane and Cody

By Tenzin McGrupp © 2004

The National Rodeo Finals were in town and cowboys from all over America flocked to Las Vegas for a full week of drinking, gambling, and all things rodeo. Two young cowboys sandwiched me at my poker table late one night. Their names were Shane and Cody. I'm not making this up or changing it for "privacy purposes". You can ask BG if you don't believe me. He sat with them later on in the trip. Anyway, these guys were in their late 20s and had flown in from Utah. They wore cowboy boots, the most popular form of footwear of folks heading to the rodeo finals, along with blue jeans held up by belt buckles the size of CDs and plaid shirts. They had goatees and drank Budweiser. One of them was decked out in a black cowboy hat and the other a white one. That's how I was able to distinguish them from one another.

"So which one of you is the bad guy?" I said as I sat down and stacked up my chips into neat columns. "You got the black hat on," as I pointed to Shane, "I'm willing to bet $1 it's you."

"Yer, Gawd dam'd riiight!" he said as he took a huge sip. "Where are you from?"

"I'll tell you, but I don't think you've ever heard of it... it's very small town."

"Tell me."

"New York City."

It took several seconds before he got the joke and started laughing. Nice to know that cowboys from Utah operated on a seven second comedic delay. Seriously, they were hilarious. Cody was a nice fella. They both were for that matter, just two guys in town having a blast drinking and yapping at the poker table while their wives were off blowing vacation money at the slots. These guys were loose gamblers and Shane was seeing every flop. Maudie was running over the both of them before I sat down. That's when I let them know that she's my aunt.

"She's yer aunt?" Shane blurted out after he swigged the last backwash of his beer. "Shit. I'm scared of yer aunt."

"You should be, pal. She's going to pay for her trip on fishy plays from cowboys like yerself."

OK, I didn't say that. I really wanted to... that's what the wise ass New Yorker in me would say... but just smiled and kept my mouth shut. I wasn't going to blow Aunt Maudie's cover. Don't tap the glass, right?

Shane and Cody also bestowed upon me the most original nickname I ever got... New York... which they'd shout out at me when I'd see them from time to time in the poker room over the weekend.

"Hey, New York, what kind of hands to you play?" Cody seriously asked me after I bought a round of drinks for them and a Corona for myself... and by saying bought I mean that I tipped the waitress $3 for all three of us. It was a small investment but the drunker they got the better the chances we'd get even more river calls with bottom pair.

"I only play good cards."

That got a chuckle from the cowboys. Both the dealer and Maudie giggled.

"I like playing any Jack, like J-2, J-3. Are them good cards?" inquired Shane.

"Yes. Yes they are," I agreed trying to hold a straight face. That was my biggest bluff of the trip.

At some point, just when I thought I had seen it all... the monkey on the dog was shown on the big screen. Yeah, ESPN2 had full rodeo coverage all weekend long and that was the main attraction on the big screen in the poker room. When they unleashed the monkey, the entire crowd began hootin' and hollerin'. It reminded me of the insanity on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. It was one of those bizarre scenes of which you completely miss the context while reading my report in your cubicle at work. But trust me, if you were shitfaced at 4 AM, floating around in a sea of loose cowboys at a poker room in Las Vegas and you saw two hundred and fifty people cheering for a monkey dressed up like a cowboy on a Collie... then maybe you too would start to think that time travel is probable, peace in the Middle East is possible and that I'm 100% pretty sure I'll catch my next gutshot draw, even if it is a one outer.

Certain moments in your life define your existence. That was one of them... a monkey in a cowboy outfit riding a dog.

That was also the only other sentence I had scribbled in my notes. So the next time someone corners me at one of those dreadful New York cocktail parties and asks me if I believe in God, I can honestly say, "I do believe that monkeys can ride dogs. I've seen it in Vegas."

Tenzin McGrupp is a writer from New York City.

Strippers, Lesbians, and Fanny Packs

By BG © 2004

1125 PM, Saturday

Do "dancers" smell like whores, or do whores smell like "dancers?" Either way, it takes a lot of mid-priced perfume to cover skank adequately.

I was downtown with my friends from Arizona, Jen and Steve, and another couple from Arizona (let's call them "Dave" and "Dave's wife") along for the ride, and somehow the neon schmaltz of Glitter Gulch was irresistable. To the women. Neither Jen nor Dave's wife had ever been in a strip club before, and they were intrigued. Part curiosity and certainly part "No Cover Charge" advertised outside. Me? Not as intrigued. There are somewhere between eleven and umpteen places to see naked women in Las Vegas, and the girls are gravitating towards the joint across from the place that's served upwards of thirty million discount shrimp cocktails.

I'm not sure if anyone's made the connection between bad strippers and underpriced seafood before, but here we are.

Far be it from me to suggest "gambling" or "gaming" as an option to the girls that were probably more "Rhino" than "Spearmint." These girls were probably gyrating uncomfortably behind chicken wire and ruing that they had skipped "Pole Trick Day" at stripper college and were forced to take what was left when the job placement people were handing out assignments. At least that's how I imagined it. Dave and Dave's wife preceded Jen, Steve, and me into the club, and were effectively lost within seconds. Jen and I made it to a table, where a waitress immediately took a drink order, and told us there was a two drink minimum, and that it'd be $35 for the two of us.

Uh, no thanks. Free boobs? Sure. $9 beers? Not a chance.

Jen followed me out of there, where Steve was still outside the front doors, watching some Galaga-themed show going on overhead. Some "experience" this Fremont Street was. Can I just play blackjack now? Jen, Steve, and I decided that we'd split up for a bit. Jen would join the Daves in the club, and Steve and I would go tackle the $5 blackjack table inside the Las Vegas Club casino next door. Neither of us had seen a dancer yet, but Jen was hoping they weren't going to be "as skanky as that waitress" we had seen. I advised her that only the dancers would be skanky. The waitresses were more likely to be skeevy. Whatever. I figured blackjack was more my speed for awhile.

Bad move. Instead of two $9 beers inside a cut-rate strip club, I was the one left feeling naked and exposed after about 45 minutes at the tables. The Twin Thai Dealers Joy and Fran were tag teaming dealing duties at our table, and were throwing the high heat. It was surreal. It's not as if I have a long history with blackjack, but I've never in my life seen a dealer throw nothing but fourteens, fifteens, and sixteens to everyone around the table on consecutive hands, turning easy twenties both times herself.

It was like this all night, and by "all night" I mean "consistently for the next forty-five minutes." I tried to combat the dealer luck by moving to two spots and increasing my bets to $10 per. No dice. I'd get an eleven, double, land a four, and be out $20. My doubling didn't work, splitting "by the book" didn't work, nothing worked. Joy and Fran just fucking kicked our asses. Down by $200 in three quarters of an hour, and I'd had enough.

By this point, Jen had arrived fresh from the Gulch, and was parked at a roulette table waiting for us to finish destroying my bank account and little Ivan's college fund. We dragged her out of there and across the street to the Golden Gate to try to make our money back from Downtown by eating some discount cafe food. Dave and Dave's wife showed up, and we managed to make it to the table without Joy or Fran taking my cab fare back to the Excalibur from me at gunpoint.

"How was the club?" Steve was interested to hear his wife's story. I think his brother, the same guy who at 32 was making out shamelessly with a seventeen year old girl at our party sophomore year of college, had taken him to enough strip clubs in his time that they weren't exactly "special" to him anymore.

"It was fun. We were sitting next to the nicest lesbians."

Ahh... lesbians have always loved Jen. She's this big, curvy, beautiful girl that has an unbelievable magnetism about her. She gets along with everybody, and even when she's having a little fun at your expense, you almost feel good that it's coming from her. Steve's a lucky guy.

"You know what I hate about lesbians?" I'm not sure, but losing $200 as quickly as I did may not have made this sound as sarcastic as maybe I wanted it to. "I hate how they're always making out and playing with each other's breasts. You know what else I hate? Those women-in-prison movies on Cinemax. I hate those."

Dave and Dave's wife exchanged a quick look of puzzlement. Steve jumped in on it too. "I just hate the mullets and the flannel. I can do without that."

Unfortunately, just at that moment, a couple of women - one semi-mulleted in a plaid shirt - were seated in the booth behind. Dave's wife had a look of horror on her face for a second, as if I was going to somehow not notice the brutish swagger on the hair helmeted woman seated nearby.

Vegas might be the best place on Earth to press your luck, but I know better than to pick a fight with a lesbian that can kick my ass. God knows what she was carrying in that fanny pack.

BG is a writer from a small hamlet in Western Michigan.


By Otis Dart © 2004

We made out way back to the bar, where my Guinness sat taking on the requisite room temperature. I took a drink and realized that I was not only ill-equipped to play cards, I was ill-equipped to do much of anything. That included drinking.

"I'm ill-equipped," I said out loud. Daddy heard me and offered some soothing words. I don't quite recall what they were, but he assured me I was going to be okay.

Several people have asked how I remember so many details from this bender. It's a legitimate question. When I'm drinking on my home turf, I am prone to blackouts that sometimes last for two or more hours, while at the same time, in Vegas I can drink for days and remember small details that should escape me.

I have only one answer. When drinking at home, I deal in in the realm of the quick-binge. That is, I drink as much as I can in a three-hour window. That usually results in some form of what Uncle Ted likes to call, "losing time."

In Vegas, however, the body conditions itself to function on one long, steady, mind-bending buzz. Losing time tends not to happen. Moreover, details tend to stick out. They burn themselves into my psyche and only by purging them here can I exorcise the demons so that they don't eat my medula oblongata for brunch.

All of that said, it was at this point that things start to get a little cloudy. Somebody said something about an Irish Car Bomb. I'm pretty sure I said, "I'm ill-equipped."

Nonetheless, Big Mike had entered some sort of high-level negotiation with the bartender and it seemed rude to turn down the offer. Within minutes, the drink was in front of me. It didn't look right. The Baileys had somehow congealed in the bottom of the whiskey. It had a sickening layered look to it.

After it was over, Daddy didn't look so good. Again, things started getting gray. I'd stopped thinking of the boys as Robin and his Merry Men. These guys were male Sirens, calling from the rocks, singing a sweet Irish ballad that I was sure to follow until the hull of my already sinking ship was wrapped around some boulder.

Somehow, I culled this moment from the morning in something I wrote for my other blog:
It's 6 AM and I've just downed a glass of Guinness. Inside it was a half-shot of Makers and half-shot of Baileys. It's breakfast, after all.

I've propped myself up by my elbows on the bar and am sitting within whispering distance of a guy I'd first met face-to-face only six or so hours before.

"Otis, you should write a book."

The sun is coming up and it's painting the guy's face with an awkward mix of natural and fake light that would drive a professional photographer batty. Somewhere, a few seats down, a guy they call Big Mike is negotiating with the bartender to whip up another batch of what we just had.

I should write a book, they say.

I take a swig from the bottle sitting in front of me, scan the room for anybody who may be listening, and say half-outloud, but more to myself...

"A book. About what?"
As my liver negoitated with my brain for a few more minutes of visiting at the bar, Mrs. Can't Hang joined us. BadBlood and G-Rob joined us. Al joined us. Others were there, but, frankly, this is where things move from cloudy to tornadic.

I talked with Iggy for a long time on life philosophies, life histories, and the like. I tried to get him to lay out his suspect list for the coup d'etat on the trademark Guinness and Poker site. It was the one thing I couldn't get him to talk about.

Mrs. Can't Hang downed a shot of 7:30 AM tequila and played video poker. I counted the hours of sleep I would get if I went to bed at that very moment.

At some point, someone there (I know who it is, but I won't say. He/She can cop to it if they want) said the funniest thing I'd heard in hours.

"This is surreal. I'm sitting at a bar at 7:30 in the morning with Patrick Swayze and Tony Siragusa."

I digested that and expressed my thanks for the summation of the morning.

At 8 AM, just two hours before the meet and greet at Sam's Town was supposed to begin, I quietly slipped away from the growing group and rode the elvators to the tenth floor of the hotel. I found a smelly room, full of people, and no bed space available.

I collapsed on the floor and wondered if I would wake up in time for the tournament.

Otis Dart is a writer from Greenville, South Carolina. He is the mind behind Rapid Eye Reality and is a contributor to Up for Poker.

Saturday Morning Rock Stars

By Tenzin McGrupp © 2004

It was still early in the morning for Vegas standards as we navigated through a slew of Rodeo families with small children in cowboy hats as they rambunctiously made their way to and from breakfast. I like kids, especially red neck kids. They're the cutest. However, my tolerance for little ones runs thin when I'm hungover, especially in Vegas when I have a throbbing headache similar to the feeling you'd get when you slam a car door onto your fingers. I sidestepped the wee ones like dog shit on a crowded Manhattan sidewalk. We finally made our way through the first obstacle and quickly headed towards the front door.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone stumbling through a row of nickel slot machines. Poor guy had probably stayed up all night drinking and gambling and it appeared he couldn't find his room. Just another victim of the depravity of the dark side of Vegas. I stopped for a second to get a better look at the unlucky fella. Holy shit. It was Iggy. I completely forgot he was in Vegas. Our epic meeting just nine hours earlier hadn’t been a dream, after all. In Sin City, my short term memory was as spotty as my cellphone reception.

OK, so I found an inebriated Iggy who opted for more liquor than sleep. Just as I grabbed him, I realized that the Sherwood Forest bar is packed with bloggers and King Al Cant Hang is holding court with his beautiful blonde bride... Queen EvaCanHang at his side. His merry jester BigMike kept everyone happily entertained with multiple rounds of hearty meads and ales and a smattering of his loyal soused subjects sang his praises. Iggy's liver had been hijacked by BigMike just around the time I had passed out three hours earlier. He didn't look like he was going to make it as he slumped back on a stool at the bar. Within seconds, I had a shot of SoCo in my hand. Before I could consider the circumstances, like Pavlov's frothing dog and in a worldly Zen moment, the edge of the glass automatically hit my lips as the nectar of the Gods struggled to make its way into my queasy stomach, into my reluctant liver, and into my starving soul.

It was 9:20 AM on a Saturday morning in Las Vegas. I had just inhaled a shot of SoCo with AlCantHang and BigMike before I’d even had a bite to eat or a sip of water. What a start to the day. What could I do to top that? A second shot, of course. That one went down much smoother. G-Rob was super tipsy and EvaCanHang was impressing the peanut gallery with her ability to knock back tequila at 9 AM with the same grace as Willie Mays shagging down a rope into the gap at the Polo Grounds. When Otis appeared, I thought we were going to have to call a doctor. His face was the same shade as the olive green jacket he wore.

"Otis, my man, do you need a doctor or something?" I said in my most serious tone of the entire trip.

"I thought you were one, Dr. Pauly?"

I paused and let my short term memory collect itself.

"You betcha. This doctor says you need a second opinion from Dr. Hang."

I have never lost a patient before and I would be damned if we lost Otis on the operating table. We were lingering at the bar when BigMike assured us that he was renting a stretch limo, a SUV Excursion, to whisk away to our poker tournament at Sam's Town. Ah, we were with royalty. We were hanging with rockstars. Who takes a taxi in Vegas? Peasants! That's who.

The ride was rowdy. Bad Blood had given AlCantHang a mix CD of various metal bands. The driver was blasting it for a while before I begged him to turn on the radio. Of course, he puts on a metal radio station despite Maudie’s pleas for some Frank Sinatra. At that point, when Otis looked his worst, I mentioned something to G-Rob and he admitted, "There was an 80% chance of Otis puking."

"I'll take that action!" I shouted.

I lost another side bet. Not the first and not the last. My head should be struck off with a blunt object for making foolish bets like that one. I finally caught a glimpse of Sam's Town. It looked pretty cool. As we all de-limoed, a group of young kids from a church or school group were getting onto a bus. They all stood in awe as AlCantHang exited.

"Hey what band are you in?" one of the youngsters shouted at AlCantHang.

"The AlCantHang Experience," he said as he scribbled down a few autographs. The kids thought they were meeting a rock icon.

Rockstar wasn't too much of a stretch when you’ve got long hair and stumbled out of a limo with an inebriated entourage the size of a baseball team.

Tenzin McGrupp is a writer from New York City.



By Daddy © 2004

I must've been somewhere between celebrating the last second touchdown on a busted flea-flicker, and getting a handjob in the parking lot from the cheerleader with the Marilyn mole when the alarm clock started buzzing. After a few roundhouse swipes at the snooze button, I realized it was my phone that was making all of the noise. The answering machine picked up before I could locate the cordless.

“Dude, are we still on for the game? Call me. I’ll be at my mom’s.”

It was Lester, and apparently he didn’t remember me telling him eleven times the night before that I’d pick him up at his mother’s at noon. Lester didn’t remember much. In fact, the morning of our high-school graduation he forgot to wear his gown. He did, however, remember the fifth of Beam, and before he was finished with it he had made his own gown out of our drama club’s stage curtain.

“Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke,” he’d always say.

Lester Charles McGraw hit the railroad immediately after high school. His entire family was a railroad family. I had decided long before graduation that I belonged in a cubicle paying monthly dues to a coffee mess, and constantly hoping for quarterly bonuses, repaved parking lots, and a new cafeteria menu.

Growing up, our fathers would always sit around the living room together on Saturdays watching the Purdue Boilermakers play football against various Big Ten opponents. Neither family was much on professional football, mostly because we attended church for the better part of the day on Sunday, so all of our weekend energy was exhausted during the Purdue games. My father taught Sunday school when I was a kid, and growing up in a God-fearing household got to be pretty tough. Especially when I’d come home smelling like corn liquor.

“Don’t become one of the rest of ‘em,” my dad would like to tell me after yanking the car keys from my trembling hands.

By “the rest of ‘em” my dad meant Lester’s family.

I received my degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University almost twelve years ago. I’m 34 years-old. I’m single. I have no children that I’m aware of. I work in a cube. I have no life.

I rolled into Lester’s mother’s driveway five minutes shy of noon. I hadn’t called beforehand but that didn’t keep Lester from sitting on the porch swing shaking with anticipation.

“Go Boilers!” I said as I crept to a stop immediately in front of him.

“Fuckin’ Aye’s Right, Go Boilers!” he shouted. “Dude, did you get my message? I called this morning just to make sure...”

“Yeah, I got your message. Don’t you remember me telling you last night that I’d be here at noon?” I said.

“Dude, you know I don’t remember shit when I get all buttered up.”

I knew the answer before I even got the question out of my mouth, but I still had to ask, “Have you started already?”

“Yeah man. It’s fucking Homecoming for fuck’s sake! You think I’m some sort of bitch?”

Maybe its just me getting old, or wise, or whatever, but the thought of thrashing the dog with it’s own hair doesn’t appeal to me much these days.

“How long before we’re tailgating?” Lester inquired.

“Two hours, give or take.”

“Well this oughta get us goin’, I reckon’.” Lester, as usual, had a fifth of Beam tucked into the “secret” pocket of his coveralls. The designer of this particular style of Carhartt garb probably didn’t have whiskey stow away capacity in mind when he constructed the inner pockets, but Lester had made the proper adjustments to accommodate. He simply cut open the bottom of the pocket so that anything that was placed into the pocket would fall into the insulated innards of the coveralls, but stop short of the legs by a cross-seam that ran around the waistline. “I can get two fifths of Beam and a ham sandwich in there on a good day,” he’d say.

The Indianapolis radio station was calling for seasonal lows that day with a brutal wind chill factor rapidly approaching absolute zero. His advice was to stay inside, and make sure to have alternate sources of heat just in case of a power failure. We were on our way to a football game. Go Boilers!

I received a new set of coveralls for Christmas from my mom a few years before, and they had quickly become a staple in my winter wardrobe. They were “Super Insulated” which probably meant that they were stuffed with some ultra-toxic, non-biodegradable, space-aged polymer, but I didn’t mind because they were the warmest piece of clothing I owned. So warm, in fact, that I usually only wore boxer shorts and a T-shirt underneath, otherwise I’d be soaked in sweat, and my multi-layered approach would slow me down considerably. I knew I’d be drinking heavily, which means pissing more often, so a lack of layers is always key when trying to fetch your dick for a “stop n’ go” piss next to the truck, or fence, or concession stand, or jailhouse.

“Want a rip?” Lester asked as he pulled the bottle out of his inner storage compartment.

“Sure. Why not? It’s fuckin’ Homecoming right?”

“Go Boilers!”

The whiskey actually felt pretty damn good going down. My body was much more receptive to the rip than I thought it would be, probably because of the soothing warmth that trickled down my tubes.

Lester suggested that we stop to get another bottle since I was now officially “on board.” We pulled into a small town liquor store about an hour south of Lafayette, and the store clerk was surprised to see anyone out.

“You must be off to the game, no?”

“Go Boilers!” Lester blurted.

“Yeah, we figured we’d need some more juice to tackle the cold.” I mentioned.

“You’ll probably need a lot more than this to keep warm. Weatherman says its s’posed to be the coldest day of the year. In fact he said sumptin’ like it ain’t been this cold since 1920. We got hand warmers, three for five bucks if you want ‘em.”

“Hand warmers are for pussies.” Lester informed the seemingly concerned clerk.

The clerk gave us the “ole well” shrug, handed us the bottle, and wished us warmth. We jumped back in the truck, and hit the final leg of the journey hard. We cleared the first fifth before reaching town, and had cracked the seal on the second bottle shortly thereafter. I pulled the truck over behind an Arby’s that was closed due to the weather, and proceeded to empty my bladder. I congratulated myself on my decision to only wear the skibbiesunderneath when I confirmed the simplicity and convenience of the act.

The moment of anticipation had finally come to a head when we arrived at the stadium.

“Dude, I bet there’s hardly anyone here cause its so fuckin’ cold out.” Lester offered. “We ain’t got nuthin’ to worry ‘bout though ‘cause we got the Beam! Wooohooo!! Go Boilers!!”

Halfway through the second half was when I realized that I was in for one helluva ride. The whiskey had set in pretty well by now (we were down to a few swallers in the second bottle), but I had noticed that my brain started to feel a little more buoyant, and my eyes started to see things a bit more vividly.

“Lester, did you put anything in the whiskey?”

“Dude, I was wondering how long it’d take you to notice. I dropped a couple gel tabs in there about an hour or so ago when you were pissing behind the concession stands. I figured it’d help with your headache, besides it’s fuckin’ Homecoming!!”

After the game we had the opportunity to hit up a post-game tailgate with a couple girls Lester ran into on one of his many “solo journeys” throughout the game. I’ve partied with girls Lester has rounded up before several times in the past, and there’s usually a story that comes of it. This time was no exception. They had beer, vodka, and orange juice. We supplied the comedy. Lester had just finished his Rodney Dangerfield routine when one of the girls asked him if he’d walk her to the “pisshouse.” Lester gave me a quick nod. This was usually code for “You get yours, I’ll get mine, meet you at the truck in thirty,” but something went awry on their journey, and they were back in less than five minutes.

“Dude, I think we should probably go.”

“What the hell happened?”

“I thought she wanted me to come into the bathroom with her, but when I did, she started flipping out like some sorta psychotic weirdo. Next thing I know there’s like six crazy bitches all yelling at me to get out of the bathroom. But, I had to piss, dude. So, I went. Probably nearly all of ‘em saw my balls, even a little girl.”

“Christ, Lester. What the fuck?”

“Let’s go hit up a bar for a few then get home before it gets too dark.”

“It’s going to be dark in about an hour, and we’ve got at least two to drive.”

“Let’s go hit up some shots somewhere at least. I’m fucking freezin’!”

My brain was still swimming in the LSD, and my knees were wobbly from the booze. I didn’t feel like driving all the way home just yet, so a quick diversion to a roadside watering hole may just set me straight.

After a few shots of bourbon Lester started to bounce his knee up and down rapidly underneath the table.

“Dude, let’s get home. I’ll drive.”

“Why on earth would I let you drive me home?”

“Dude, I know that you know that you’re way too fucked up to be driving, and I feel fine. Just gimme the keys and I’ll have you home shortly. Hell, take a nap. You deserve it.”

A nap didn’t sound that bad. I handed Lester the keys and we hit the road. I must’ve nodded off shortly after we left the bar, but was soon awaken by a severe pain in my abdomen.

“Stop the sled, Les, I think I have to shit.”

“Dude, we’ll be home in half an hour.”

“Okay, I’ll just shit myself then. No big deal for me really, in fact it’ll probably warm me up a bit, and I’ll be able to pass out again. You’ll have to deal with the smell, so if you’re cool with that, so am I.”

“Nah, fuck that, dude, I’m stoppin’.”

Lester pulled over to the side of the road, and I tried to map out a strategy as to how I was going to shit without falling down into the snow. I had to declothe, and I had to do it rather quickly as I could hear the rumblings in my intestines grow louder with each passing second. The only bad thing with coveralls is negotiating a shit. I took off the Carhartts and tossed them into the bed of the truck. I jumped back into my boots quickly, but not before soaking the bottoms of each sock with muddy road slush. I decided to take off my glasses as well because the wind was blowing so hard I was afraid they’d blow completely off of my face. When I went to set them on the dash, I noticed that Lester had passed out on the steering wheel.

“Lester. Wake up! Lester!! Okay, I’m gonna shit real quick, then I’ll be right back.”

Still, no answer.

So there I was, tromping through the snow covered cornfield about fifty yards from a brush patch with a couple trees lurching out, wearing nothing but my skivvies, an old Boilermaker T-shirt, and my trusty boots. I probably didn’t need to find a tree, or any cover of sort since there wasn’t anyone on the roads, but I wanted to be sure. One of us had already been exposed that day, and I was going to avoid it if at all possible.

I finally got to the tree cover, and decided the best approach would be to take off my skivvies and use them for toilet paper, and then just ride commando the rest of the way home. No sooner than I get my Hanes down around my ankles and taken off do I hear the truck start up, and slowly take off down the highway.

“WAIT !! Lester, you stupid motherfucker!! Get back here.!!!”

He was gone. Unbeknownst to him, I wasn’t with him anymore. The friend who drove him up to the game, and spent the entire day with him wasn’t with him anymore, yet he wasn’t concerned.

I had other issues at hand. I would need my skivvies for warmth, and I still had to shit. I decided that I could tear off the bottom half of my t-shirt and use it for toilet paper, therefore allowing me to not be bottomless. I took care of business and planned to find warmth somewhere. There was a small town with a 24-hour gas station a few miles down the road, and if I kept up a brisk pace, I may keep warm enough to survive the night.

I soon realized that I had even larger issues than keeping warm when a state police officer slowed down by my side as I was jogging down the highway. He flipped on the cherries & blueberries, and pulled in front of me in sort of a “mini road block” fashion, and then jumped out of his car with his pistol drawn.

“Stop right there!” he demanded. “What in the hell is going on here?!”

The lights were bright enough to give me a brief sense of sobriety, but I still couldn’t fend off the whiskey and acid well enough to convince him that everything was alright. Not to mention the fact that I was almost naked, it was seven below outside, and I was jogging down the highway.

“Officer, I’m so glad to see you. You see, we went to Homecoming. Go Boilers! And Lester woke up and drove off because I had to shit, and I was wearing the Chahartts, and you can’t shit in them. I’m so fucking cold right now, can I sit in your car?”

I’m not sure if he felt pity, wanted to show off this unbelievably hilarious find to his officer buddies, or what, but he put me in the back of the car. I was cuffed, but I was warm.

It took the entire ride to the police station for me to convince him that I wasn’t an escaped loon, or someone on a butane huffing binge desperately seeking attention. He seemed content with the fact that I was just very drunk, and had a bad run of unfortunate events happen.

When we got to the station the police officer said that I wouldn’t be charged with anything, but if I wanted to keep warm I’d have to wear an orange jumpsuit. He also called my parents, and told me that my father was on his way to pick me up. My father who would be teaching Sunday school in less than six hours.

I tried to ignore the chatter, but I couldn’t help but hearing some of the policemen talking about my underwear and the fact that I had what they were calling a mile long “Hershey squirt” running down the back of them. I wanted to crawl into a hole and die.

My dad arrived about an hour later. The look on his face was without description. I assured him that I was only wearing the jumpsuit because when I had gotten there I was almost naked, but I really don’t think that helped soothe his concerns much. We didn’t speak the entire trip home until we pulled up to my house and I started to get out.

“Son, maybe we need to talk, ya think?”

“Maybe.” I muttered. “Thanks for the ride. Tell mom I’m okay, and that I’ll see you guys soon.”

When I finally got back into my house, which I had left some sixteen hours earlier, I noticed the little red light on the answering machine flashing like a state trooper’s rooftop.

“Dude, where are you at, man? I got your truck, and your glasses are on the dash. I’m starting to worry about you.”

I’m 34 years-old. I have no life. Go Boilers.

Daddy is a gambler from Indiana.