Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bowling Adventures

Back in my college days, I was in a bowling league on Thursday nights. I loved this league. It provided a fun activity to build camaraderie. It helped me make social connections. It allowed me to improve my bowling skills. It also gave us a socially acceptable reason to be drunk at 8 o'clock on a Thursday night.

See, our league started at 5 PM. There are 5 people on a team in this particular league and you bowl against a different team every week. My team wasn't all that great at bowling. In fact, aside from one guy who had about a 190 average, we all pretty much sucked. We had one goal for this activity: put down 10 pitchers before the games were done.

That's right, our sole purpose was to have everyone on the team drink the equivalent of two pitchers of beer per person in around 3 hours. This resulted in some great memories (and many lost memories). Also a lot of eyewitness accounts the next morning. It was a ton of fun and looking back on it, my liver starts to hurt.

The infamous night I will be speaking about now occurred on a 13 pitcher night (not our record, but a good night nonetheless). I broke away from my bowling team to meet some friends out for a birthday celebration. I met the group at a bar that is famous for serving fishbowls full of booze (cleverly named "Fishbowls"). As I ascended the stairs to the second floor of the bar, I was greeted with about 6 tables of people, each with a Fishbowl on it. There were 4-6 people at each table except for one with my friends Eli and Jim sitting there. It was a Fishbowl race, with each team consisting of 2 more people than ours did. I shrugged and drunkenly psyched myself up for the race (which involved drinking more). The sprint was won by the three of us, much to the chagrin of the other teams. After the feat of strength, our crowd was restless. We polished off the other drinks that were ordered (I finished a friend's whiskey and coke) and we decided to trek on to a new location.

Well, after that many drinks, anyone is going to be affected. My motor skills were lacking, speech center impeded, and my stomach uneasy from the mixture of beer and liquor (and extraordinarily sweet Fishbowl drink). As we came into our new libation station, my memory fails me. From here on out is all eyewitness account, but has been confirmed by several people as the truth. The bar we were at, it should be noted, is famous for two things: it has a goddamn tree in it and smells of puke, even after having all the carpet replaced. To a lesser extent, it is also known for having really bad customer service unless the bartenders know you. But that's neither here nor there.

As I came into the bar I should not have been let into in the first place (apparently I can appear sober if need be), I was offered drinks. I wisely refused, saying I should take it easy. At this point, I realized I needed to throw up, but instead of going somewhere more private, I stealthily threw up in the middle of the bar. Realizing that I should try to cover up the fact I regurgitated in public, I came up with a plan. Like a ninja, I disguised my transgression... by standing in a puddle of my own vomit. A bartender saw through my clever rouse and came around to inform me that I needed to leave. But first, I was handed a towel and told to clean up what I had done.

Before I tell you what happened next, I would like to say that having worked in bars after this occurrence makes me feel bad for what happened to the bartender. My work experience also makes me have less sympathy as it was a stupid, short-sighted act the bartender should never have done. Hindsight is 20/20 though, and I can't change what happened.

I took the towel and drunkenly bent over to clean up the puke. I lost my balance a bit, and almost fell into the puddle. However, I did manage to paw at the pile of bile enough to get a handful of it contained in the bar rag. I then managed to hurl the pukey mess into the face of the bartender who told me to clean it up.

Let this be a lesson to all you bartenders out there: just kick the person who threw up out. Suck it up, clean the mess up yourself. They may throw up again if they stay, or maybe the will pull one of the all-time douchiest moves and hurl a bar rag back at you.

In any event, the bartender wasn't happy and thanks to my amazing (drunk) people reading skills, I was able to deduce this. I ran out the door as my friends distracted the bouncer. Apparently no one gave chase, but I do vaguely recall running most of the 2 miles home (and I think throwing up several more times). I don't know exactly what happened, but I do know that no fewer than 10 people posted comments on my Facebook wall the next day to congratulate me on a job well done.