As I started writing this in the Philly airport, moe.’s “Plane Crash" came on my iPod. How messed up is that? Brings up a flashback to Friday morning. On the first plane from Memphis to Charlotte, I was bored during the preflight instructions. You know the clichés that we don’t need to hear anymore:
Exits are at the rear, middle, and front
Your seat is a floatation device
This is how you use the seat belt (seriously, who the hell does not know how to use a seatbelt?)
So I actually took the “in case of…” pamphlet out and looked through it. Immediately my mind jumped to that scene in Fight Club where Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) and Edward Norton’s character are seated next to each other on a plane. Tyler is talking about how the people in the brochure look like Hindu cows: blank faces without emotion. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, just watch Fight Club. After replaying this in my mind, my stream of consciousness takes me to the TV show Lost. So there I was sitting on a plane before takeoff Friday morning and all that was going through my mind was plane crashes in pop culture. That’s messed up.
So I had a great trip. It was a great wedding. Here’s what went down. I’m going to apologize now, because this is going to be really long. Go ahead and go to the bathroom or get a drink.
Way before I started thinking about Fight Club or Lost, I was peacefully sleeping in my bed. I was rudely awoken at 3:45 AM by my alarm. That was rough. I don’t even get up that early anymore to go hunting. The last time I saw 3:45 AM I had been out drinking and I was already home. In a haze I found my bathroom and jumped into a cold ass shower to jumpstart my batteries. Yeah, that worked. I raced to the airport and got on my plane to Charlotte. This was the view just before we pulled away from the gate (yeah, after the plane crash thoughts):
That was pretty, but it was an omen of trouble on the horizon. For those of you who haven’t ever heard this, there’s an old nautical saying about the weather:
RED SKY AT NIGHT, SAILOR’S DELIGHT,
RED SKY AT MORNING, SAILOR TAKE WARNING.
In other words if the sky is red at sunrise, that means there are clouds and/or a front headed your way (from the west). It means a storm is coming or at least a significant change in the weather. The metaphorical meaning is there’s trouble headed your way). So I’m looking out the window at the beginning of my trip and I see this bad omen. I know at that moment that I was in for a fun weekend.
The flight from Memphis to Charlotte was uneventful. I’ll spare you the boring details. I boarded my second plane in Charlotte and this is what I saw out the window on the wing:
So what did I do? I waited until the drink cart came by. I looked at my watch. It was 10AM local (eastern) time. That meant it was 9AM Memphis time (body clock time). I ordered a bloody mary. I enjoyed my cocktail and finished it just before we descended into Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love. Here’s a pic of the skyline and the Eagle’s ridiculously huge stadium:
I also got pics of it driving by later:
Now as I left the plane my partner in crime was waiting there with a big ol’ smile on his face. Mike (I call him Mikey) was my pledge brother back in college. We used to get in a bit of trouble. He was a bartender at a restaurant/bar called Dan Fax and later the Sanctuary. We called it Skanktuary because of the “high” quality of ladies that came there. The owner was a bad businessman and an even bigger drunk (I was told) who was driven home by the wait staff every day around 7PM. So after he would leave, we’d all show up, drink a ton of beer, have small tabs, and leave HUGE cash tips for the bartenders. You do the math. Pay your waiters and bartenders poorly, and they in turn will have to live off the tips they earn.
So when I saw Mikey at the gate, I said “Hey Mikey, let’s go get some beer and rent a car.” I had my first beer of the day around 11:15 eastern. And it was a nice followup to my previous bloody mary. We left the airport and Mikey rented a brand new Chevy Impala. It only had 1200 miles on it. We start driving and Mikey peels off the no smoking sticker on the dashboard. A little while later he lights up a cigarette. Say goodbye to the new car smell. It was still a sweet ride though.
We eventually got to Princeton, New Jersey. Beautiful area. Definitely quaint. We checked into the hotel. I asked the young lady behind the counter what was the best place to get a Philly Cheese steak even though we were in Jersey. She sent us over to Chuck’s. It was a great. I was about to take a bite when I decided to take a picture:
Can you say heartburn? I haven’t eaten so many onions, red peppers, bell peppers and yellow peppers in one weekend EVER. After that we had to go to the local mall for Mikey to try on his tux (he was in the wedding. I wasn’t). We went to a place called Chazmatazz. Yeah, you read that right. I still didn’t see any Jersey hair though. But I did see a Jersey tube top for Paul. He’s got this thing on his blog about June being tube top month. I figured a pic of a Yankee in a tube top on June 31 would be a nice way to end the 2006 TUBE TOP MONTH. So here ya go Paul, a Jersey tube top:
I wasn’t in the wedding so I didn’t have to go to the rehearsal, but I was invited to the rehearsal dinner since I was a pledge brother of the groom AND I had traveled so far. I didn’t give a speech, but I did get plenty of wine and vodka tonics. So I’m glad I didn’t have to speak. After the speeches and dinner were over we hung out at the bar for a few more rounds. We were then invited to meet up with everyone (besides the bride and groom who went to separate homes) at a bar called Meditteranea or something. We were just drunk enough to rename it the Greek Bar. Sounded good. I walked in and ordered a red bull and vodka. They didn’t have Red Bull or any energy drinks. Damn Yankee bars. But I realized that this is a nice, upscale bar AND I remembered that Mikey said he was going to buy my drinks at this bar. I said, “Excuse me bartender, can you make a mojito?” He said yes and we were in business. These weren’t mojitos in little cocktail glasses. We’re talking highball glasses. And he put in the fresh mint and crushed it in the glass. Perfect. Everyone in the wedding group was asking what the hell I was drinking. Everyone wanted a sip, and I was happy to oblige. Apparently they never had mojitos before. Most had said that it was the best cocktail they had had. Then one of the bridesmaids Tiffany said that it looked like a chick drink. I asked if she wanted a taste. She said that unlike me, she didn’t drink chick drinks. That sounded like a challenge to me:
“You know what? Why don’t you stop trying to look like Carmen Electra, and let’s make this interesting. I’m going to drink you under the table, darlin’.”
Yeah, I threw down the gauntlet. I asked what kind of shot she wanted. She wanted whiskey. I don’t drink whiskey (it’s bad news). I suggested a Golden Tornado (half Goldschlagger and half Jagermeister). She said no. We compromised with Lemon Drops. Lots of Lemon Drops. No one knows who won the challenge. I think we both woke up in pain with fuzzy memories. Don’t believe me? I don’t remember taking this pic and it was at the first bar:
Tiffany wasn’t in that pic though. She’s in pics from Saturday night. I hung out with everyone until the bar closed at (I think) 11:45. Now all the bars close at 1AM for some reason there. I thought the South only had blue laws. Well after that bar closed, the parents of the groom and the rest of the older generation went back to the hotel. We, the stupid generation, kept drinking. We found another bar called Mulberry or Woodberry or something. We still don’t know the name of it and this place was 100 feet from our hotel. HA! We walked in to find a college bar full of Princeton kids. I needed a recharge for my batteries so I went to the bar. I ordered a Red Bull and Vodka. They didn’t have it there either! WFT! So I asked the bartender if “this glorified TGIFridays at least has Bud Light?” He got me a beer.
We were standing around the bar talking amongst ourselves when this girl made a comment to me which started trouble:
Her (HUGE NEW JERSEY ACCENT): Oooh my gad, I love your accent.
Me to her: No you don’t. You’re just attracted to me.
Me to her boyfriend: Hey Dude, what’s going on?
Me to her: Hehe, you’re funny.
Me: Hey, are those fries?!?
Her: Yeah, you want some?
Me: Hell yeah (I grabbed a hand full and shoved them in my mouth.)
Me: Oh Damn! These are the best fries I’ve ever had. Hey Mikey! I just made new friends who have food! Hey yall, this is Mikey.
Mikey walks over and grabs a handful of friens too. He shoves them in his mouth and says hi at the same time. We hung out with them until the bar closed or we were done drinking. I’m not sure.
Mikey and I walked out of the bar and started stumbling back to the hotel when I had a wonderful idea: “Hey Mikey, let’s get some food!” We stopped folks on the street and asked what everyone there did for late night grub. Everyone said Hoagie Haven or Hoagie Heaven (still not sure which), but no one could give us directions. We ran into some old professor dude and his old lady. They gave us directions: “Go to that corner, take a right and then take your next left. Go 7 or 8 blocks.” We said thanks and stumbled off. We got lost and ended up running into him again in like 15 minutes. I said, “now where do I go?” He said “do you see that corner 10 feet away?” “Yessir I do.” “Go there and take a left. Go 9 blocks and you’ll see it.” We thanked him, then Mikey said “screw that I’m going to bed.” At this point my stomach had taken all the blood away from my brain or something because I said “Mikey, I’ll go get the hoagies.”
Now I need to explain something here. We are in New Jersey so it isn’t pronounced “ho-gie”. It is pronounced “hooooa-gie” with a lot of o’s. Real funny sounding. So in my drunken stooper, I took that pronunciation and ran with it. I said “HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAGIEEEEEEE!” Yeah it was really obnoxious, I know.
So I hoofed it solo for 9 blocks in dress shoes. A little uncomfortable, but bearable. After what seemed like 300 blocks, I decided it was time to drunk dial. But who should I drunk dial from Yankee land? I decided to call my sister who was stuck in Memphis. I talked to her again the next morning and she said that I was being such a fool that she put me on speaker so her friends could hear me while I was getting the hoagies. Apparently not ten seconds after she answered I walked into Hoagie Haven. These were a few of my comments (I really need to start carrying a tape recorder on nights like these):
“Hello from the Garden State!”
“I totally saw Adriana’s body in the woods by Princeton.” (that was a Sopranos reference)
“I’m getting a HOOOOOOOOOOOAGIEEEEEE!!! I think it’s like a sub, but the Yankee version.”
“Oh my God, you have to help me. I’m in a Blue State.”
“There are four girls staring at me like I’m crazy. Either they think I’m really hot, they want my HOOOOAGIEEEE, or they’ve never seen a drunk Southern man. Hey, yeah yall, which is it?”
“No dude, I don’t know how to order a HOOOOAGIEEEE. Just give me two of whatever everyone else gets. I’m not from around here. Can’t you tell?”
I did manage to get out of there before I sang Dixie though. I walked all the way back to the hotel. I got into the room and saw Mikey on his bed passed out. I said “Hey Mikey! Wake Up! We’ve got HOOOOAGIEEEES!!!” He could barely sit up straight, but he ate that hoagie like a champ. He said he needed water, but he couldn’t even walk to the bathroom. I got him a glass. When he was done with it, he tried to toss it onto the table. Unfortunately his toss was going to be more like a pitcher throwing a fastball. I grabbed that glass, told him I’d handle it, and placed it on the table. He had two more bites and said “no more hoagie.” He handed the hoagie to me, fell back on the bed, and passed out. I laughed my ass off. I took off my clothes and climbed into my bed. I immediately passed out.
About 9 AM Saturday morning, I woke up with the worst hangover I’ve had in a while. Mikey was pretty hungover too. We were pretty bad off, but we weren’t the worst. The groom’s cousin Sam later told us that he woke up naked in his bathtub in a few inches of ice cold water. That’s pretty bad, but the other cousin wins for the worst wake up of the entire Princeton area. Here’s his story as we later pieced it together.
Somehow our entire group at the second bar staggered out in small groups (i.e. Mikey and I went looking for the Great Hoagie Haven). Well the other cousin we’ll call RS. He walked out without anyone else. He tried to find our hotel but never could. Remember our hotel was less than 100 feet from our hotel. I walked out of our hotel and saw the bar at the end of the street. Not that hard to find. Anyway after an undermined amount of time walking around, RS stumbled onto the Princeton campus and found a ditch to sleep in. He woke up the next morning with a HUGE bruise on his forehead, dressed in a suit, and in a ditch at an Ivy League school. How badass is that? I don’t think the majority of the wedding party new about it even after the weekend was over. Pretty cool huh?
Ok, that’s all for now. I’ll recap Saturday and the flight home later.
Have a good one and don’t get none on ya.
posted by Philip at 11:43 AM
[photos and links at original site]