Thursday, May 29, 2008

Texty, Question Of The Week

Texty of the week, name removed due to potentially sensitive subject matter:

So I banged a stripper this morning. I made her eggs and bacon for breakfast. I think I paid for sex. Is that bad?

Even funnier because I received that at like 7:30 in the morning on a Saturday, so I was half asleep and hungover when I read it. I love my friends.

Question of the week:

If you HAD to choose one, would you rather have a threesome with Brangelina or TomKat?

I leave for Vegas tomorrow morning. If I don't make it back alive, well then I hope you've all enjoyed reading....

Monday, May 26, 2008

Vegas, Baby. Vegas.

Just a couple days away from Vegas trip number 4. Excitement level = high. Productivity = low. After going to Vegas three times in 12 months (New Year's '06, Spring Break '06, New Year's '07) I haven't been there in 17 months. This seems crazy to me, it feels like just yesterday that I was leaving for my favorite place on Earth. Here are a couple of old posts, one of them written right before trip #3, which talks about my highlights and lowlights from the first two trips, and the other one written right after trip #3, which gives the rundown of trip #3.

As previously mentioned, I have an obscene number of close friends who are got engaged within a few months of each other, so the official reasoning for this trip is a multiple bachelor party. Although, speaking personally, if someone gave the reasoning of "We should go to Vegas, it's Friday tomorrow" I would be in, no questions asked.

The cast of characters: me, Noles, Horp, Fundy, Bergman, St. Aubyn, Russell, Ike, Jake, ADawg, Haley, and Dacus. Previously, the most people I've traveled there with is 4 others, and the most people I've been responsible for, so to speak, is 8. So I've been proposing that we use a buddy system or something this weekend, or all of a sudden it's gonna be like 3 a.m. on Monday morning and we're gonna realize we haven't seen Haley since he was talking to the tranny prosititue outside of Mandalay Bay 31 hours ago.

We're staying at Caesar's Palace, a far cry from my first night in Vegas, when spur of the moment, we decided to drive there from L.A. at 1 a.m. and ended up sleeping on Jake's hotel room floor from 10-10:30 that morning. I'm happy about this, because now if anyone's taking a beating gambling, instead of having to just ride it out until the bitter end, they can head back to the pool and hit on topless 40-year-old ladies (foreshadowing.)

I've been to Vegas with some combination of many of these dudes before, but never all at once. It promises to be a truly rowdy time. In the spirit of gambling, here are some prop bets for the weekend:

"Number of times St. Aubyn drunkenly yells "Hiyoooo, it's me- Papa Burgundy"

over/under 68. (Take the over on this one. Side story: during a UND football game a few years ago, we got a little Patrick Ewinged***, and St. Aubyn was slumped over in his seat, incoherent, by the end of the 1st quarter. The only way we knew he was still alive was that, every time the PA would yell "First down, Fighting Siouuuuuux!!!" he would snap alert and scream "Hiyoooo, it's me- Papa Burgundy!" EVERY TIME, to the point that he had pissed off everyone within 30 yards of us. So now it's the beginning of the 4th quarter, and we suddenly realize we haven't heard him in a really long time. We turn around and yep, his seat is empty. We're a little bit worried, but quickly forget again (we're all hammered and don't take the best care of each other; whatever, we're not chicks) and continue watching the game. A while later, after a Sioux first down, we're greeted with a rambunctious "Hiyoooo, it's me- Papa Burgundy" and we turn around and there's St. Aubyn, in all his glory. Apparently he went to take a shit and passed out on the toilet for the entire third quarter before waking up again. All told, he probably yelled the Papa Burgundy line around 50 times that day. So again I say, take the over on this one. End of ridiculously long side story.)

"Number of dollars gambled by ADawg"

over/under $1. Unless he's abandoned his "I don't gamble" mantra, which to a degenerate like me is completely and totally insane, especially in Vegas. You can also parlay this bet with "number of times we make fun of ADawg for not gambling" (over/under 200) or make it a three-team teaser along with "number of times we make fun of ADawg for various reasons, including: being short, reminding us of Michael J. Fox from Back to the Future, reminding us of Michael J. Fox from Teen Wolf, dressing like an Abercrombie Model, and reminding us of Michael J. Fox from Family Ties." The over/under for that one is 650.

"Number of times someone tells Russell to shut up"

over/under 10. Russell generally gets treated worse than Walter Sobcheck treats Donny in Big Lebowski. This is especially true when drinking is involved. Sometimes it's unfair, sometimes it's deserved, but regardless, it's reality. "Shut the fuck up, Russell, you're out of your element!"

"Haley passes out before 3 p.m. at least once during the trip"

Bet $130 to win $100. Watching Haley drink is like watching replays of the Ron Artest Melee. It's entertaining as hell, and you don't really want it to stop, but you just know that it is not going to end well for anybody involved.

"Horp and Noles each have a chew"

Bet $500 to win $100. Both are in the process in quitting, let's just say I don't have a lot of faith in either one to make it this weekend. In fact, this bet should probably be taken off the board. Prove me wrong, fellas.

"Total hours I sleep"

over/under 10. I know last time I only slept like 7 or 8 hours in four nights, but that was kind of a ridiculous performance, I don't know if I can repeat that.

***pre-gaming wayyy too hard so that by the time the main event starts, you're already a mess. Similar to Patrick Ewing, when he would be absolutely dripping in sweat by the end of warm-ups. Everyone start using that one, I want it to make the urban dictionary.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Boards

I was recently introduced to The Boards, an email system started a while ago by Noles, Horp, and Jon-Jon as a way to keep the spirit of Culligan Manor alive while being spread out around the country. And indeed, it truly feels as though it is 2005 again, and we are watching college basketball on one tv and "To Catch a Predator" on the other, making fun of each other at every turn, and swimming amidst a pile of beer cans and Mountain Dew 20-ouncers half-full with chew spit.

We essentially spend our time on The Boards ripping on each other, asking random questions, ripping on each other, telling stories, ripping on each other's sports teams, playing trivia, and ripping on each other. But there rules, and a system of checks and balances that rivals the U.S. Government, making it so that no one person is unfairly treated. Violations of said rules result in quick and severe punishment (maybe not severe....mostly you just have to say three nice things about someone if it is determined that you crossed a line while making fun of them. In actuality, it's Dr. Randklev's "dipping in the bucket" self-esteem methodology from Ben Franklin elementary school. But it sounds better when we do it. Seriously.)

Anyways, I love The Boards because boring days are quickly brightened up by stories such as this one, from Horp, who teaches middle schoolers in Phoenix:

Yo Yo Yo
Sorry, I was on a field trip yesterday. And speaking of that... you should have seen me at air hockey...I was in buzzsaw form. So I'm playing this really cocky kid that thought he was pretty good. We decide to bet two tokens on the game, and while we are doing that, about 30 kids are already watching, and they are side-betting their tokens or tickets... half for me, half for the kid. I get down 6-2 quick and we only go to 7, I was a little nervous, but very confident. I told the kid that I was going to come back and win, and he didn't think so, so we bet another four tokens (and the kids around us did the same). I come back with some of my best play ever, and when I score the final goal, I throw my paddle in the air and walk around the place with my hands in the air yelling 'who's your daddy.' The place went nuts. And I had a stomach ache from eating too much pizza.

Yep, beating a middle-schooler in air hockey and reacting like you just won the ALCS. That's why I should've been a teacher.

One of my favorite things about The Boards is the Question of the Day, and I think I may start doing something similar here on The Slice, except like once a week or something. The Q's are usually hypothetical, usually ridiculously stupid, but also thought-provoking. I'll be digging into some of the questions we've already used, some others rattling around in my head, and I'll take suggestions (if they're good) if you email them to me at First Q of the Week:

MTV calls you up and offers you a spot on the next season of The Real World, and offers to pay you one million dollars. However, for the entire season, you must be drunk, obnoxious, racist, sexist, sleeping around (on camera) and basically being the worst person you can be. The kicker is at the end of the season, your entire family, all your friends, co-workers, everyone you know has to watch the entire season. Do you do it?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lester, Lodrick, Laughter

I've watched baseball pretty religiously for about 19 years, and the no-hitter that Jon Lester threw last night was the first one I've ever seen start-to-finish, so I'm pretty excited. I had no idea he hadn't given up a hit until like the 5th, I didn't even think he had been pitching all that great up until that point. So congrats to Mr. Lester, few pitchers in baseball deserve a no-hitter more than he does.

From the weekend:

We got rowdy at various bars on Friday night, finishing the night at Brother's (holl-er! do it Lane.) There we saw the Stewart twins, Lodrick and Rodrick. For those who are unaware, Lodrick played for USC, and Rodrick was the guy for KU that tore up his knee during an ill-advised dunk attempt during a Final 4 practice this year. I spent the rest of the evening unsuccessfully trying to convince Alex to dance with Rodrick, which would surely lead to sexual intercourse; and eventually, me getting to raise a KU player's baby. Anyway, we left shortly before last call, but I wish we would've stayed, because apparently there was a little bar-fight after close, and Lodrick got arrested for knocking some kid out. Yep, just another Friday night at Brother's. Holl-er!

St. Aubyn and Jenna ran in a mini-marathon on Saturday (5k? 10k? I have no idea what those numbers mean; when someone tells me that they're in a 10k I just smile and nod appreciatively.) Anyway, Noles was in attendance to support his loving fiancee, and we were making some jokes at St. Aubyn's expense (which makes perfect sense, since he's out there getting in shape, and my lazy ass is sitting by the pool drinking PBR) and it led to the Texty of the Week, from Noles:

St. Aubyn collapsed after crossing the finish line and they had to euthanize him

Eight Belles jokes: stillllll funny.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Brother's Day

Happy Brother's Day! I made this holiday up when I was a senior in high school, bored in class, and looking for another way to annoy my little brother, which I've always excelled at. He is not what you would call a morning person, and I'm relatively cheery when I wake up, so breakfast was always primetime for me to piss him off. If I had a dollar for every time he told me "shut the fuck up and leave me alone for once" over bowls of Corn Chex, I'd be a rich dude. We're basically polar opposites except for our sense of humor, which is exactly the same. Not many people can make me laugh as hard as he can. He enjoys wearing bowlings shirts and pierced his ear; I made fun of both things basically my entire childhood. He is a regular North Dakotan, hunting and fishing and whatnot; I decided after about 9 minutes of hunting that I hated it and never went again. He has been able to fix cars and that kind of thing since he was like 12; coincidentally, I have about the same working knowledge of cars as a 12 year old. I got busted drinking shortly before moving out for my freshman year of college, and got freaked on by my parents; when I came home for a Sunday dinner just a few weeks later, I discovered that my then-16 year old bro was keeping his beer in the family fridge upstairs.

My intro to accounting class was always down for some shenanigans too, and with our combined power and influence we were hoping for Brother's Day to really catch on and sweep the nation; alas, this has not been the case. But still I soldier on and try and celebrate this holiday every year by sending my bro annoying texts all day, making him a cheesy card, either buying him a case of beer or re-gifting something of mine that I know he wants, and awaiting a gift from him that I know is not coming (it's been 8 years now and I'm still waiting for my first reciprocated Brother's Day gift.)

Here is an uncomfortably intimate picture of Brother (on the right) and Noles' little brother:

Everybody out there with a brother, today is the day to tell them how much you love them.

Friday, May 16, 2008

In One Word, Would I Use Dope? Nope.

If I have a little extra bounce in my step today, it's because the two Saved by the Bell episodes that were one TV last night were the one where Zack has the bet with Slater to skip every class during Cut Day, and the one where Johnny Dakota comes to shoot the anti-drug commercial. Numbers 5 and 1 on my top-5 list. They were even better than I remembered them. Like a fine wine, Saved by the Bell only gets better with age.

Happy Friday, I hope everyone is getting as special sauced as I am tonight.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pardon The Interruption, Dude

I've gotta take a break from my day to tell you, we have some painters who have been working right outside my window today, and they have been providing me with free entertainment ALL DAY. They are basically the white trash, non-sports version of Wilbon and Kornheiser. They disagree on EVERYTHING, and as each argument runs its course, it finally boils down to each guy just yelling "Dude!" over and over again at each other, just like that scene in BASEketball, until finally they start trailing off, mumble "dude" one more time each and then fall silent until the next round starts up again about 3 minutes later. If I knew they were coming I would've brought a tape recorder. Here is a small sampling of their topics this afternoon:

Which is the best Family Guy episode of all time?

What is the best flavor of girl scout cookie?

If Spinal Tap had been a real band and sold cds and gone on tour after the movie, would they have been successful?

Finally, for 45 minutes STRAIGHT, they argued about a bunch of obscure bands I had never heard of, and whether or not they were considered bluegrass, hippie music, or a jam band. This one almost got violent, until finally cooler heads prevailed (i.e. I poked my head out the window and said, "Dudes, c'mon. Everyone knows that Slip Fire Light is totally bluegrass" and they busted out laughing.)

Now I'm no court stenographer or anything, but I started typing out some of their girl scout cookie argument as best as I could, it's pretty accurate:

Dude, caramel deelites are for pussies. Thin mints are where it's at.

Dude, thin mints? You can eat like 400 of them before you're full!

So what? Maybe I want 400 of them!

Dude, that's how you get so fat!

Fuck you, dude, I'll race you right now.

Race me to where, the girl scout cookie factory to get some more thin mints, fatass?

Oh, like you're better than me because you eat caramel deelites. That is the gayest name for a cookie I've ever heard. Deeeeeelite. You pussy.

They're awesome, dude! You eat one and tell me it's not awesome!

Dude, that's my point, dude. I don't want to eat just one...I'm not counting calories like you are, you little bitch.

Dude! Harsh.





Dude. Thin mints. For real.

Dude, I can't even reason with you anymore. Fuck this, I'm done.



Wednesday, May 14, 2008

So Long, Curtis

After flip-flopping on the decision more often than Bergman when he was choosing his favorite college basketball team growing up, I finally decided to pull the trigger and get rid of the Altima and get a new car.

It was a good run with Curtis and I, he always ran beautifully for me, and he accompanied me to 24 different states over the last 5 1/2 years. However, he has a flaw that I could not ignore anymore: He gets randomly beat up by strangers for no good reason more often than Daniel LaRusso. He was broken into twice; dinged by other car doors multiple times; got banged up by a coyote who tried to take a charge on the interstate in Wyoming; was the victim of some Altima-on-Altima crime, courtesy of Schne one drunken evening at Culligan Manor; and most recently, was the victim of one of the drunkest guys I've ever met in my life. My car was the nerdy kid on the playground who had to give up his lunch money to the bully every day, then went home from school starving and his parents wondered why he always ate so much food at dinner when he was a really skinny kid.

I hadn't cleaned out my car for a really really long time, and was surprised at what came out:

keg tap (no idea where this came from...I suppose probably a keg)

can of Axe bodyspray with a sell date of October 2002

Beastie Boys Anthology CD booklet

Crown Royal velvet pouch

2 souvenir golf balls, one from The Masters in 2005, the other from the 2006 PGA Championship at Medinah

3 pairs of sunglasses

softball jersey from 2005-2006 that smelled like the inside of a wooden leg, filled with microwaved diapers

My golf clubs

3-wood and 5-wood, banished from my bag because I can't hit them worth shit

Golf spikes

Softball spikes

Baseball glove, is it weird that I have only used glove my entire life? Seriously, the glove I used for fucking tee-ball, I still use today for softball.

Tennis racket

Old wooden baseball bat used for bouncy-ball home run derby

Frisbee golf discs

Box of 15 Titleist golf balls, unopened

6 tennis balls

Roughly 15 baseballs, from when I used to be an umpire and I would get back to my car and realize I still had the game balls in my pockets (sorry, CJ.)

In other words, I was basically driving around with a used sporting goods store in my trunk. I should've named my car Play-It-Again.

There were requests for me to put up pictures of the new Element on here, but I can't in good conscience do that. I would feel like one of those kids who sits in the K-mart parking lot and revs his engine and talks about how sweet his car is, along with 12 other losers who can't find anything better to do on a Friday night. Go do something productive and jerk off to 'The Fast and the Furious' or something. Also, it's an Element. It's blue and gray and looks like a box. If you haven't seen one yet, then you have been living in a cave for 4 years, and I'm not sure how you have internet access in there.

Monday, May 12, 2008

"I'd Rather Throw It On The Floor Than Give It To You"

Here is the story behind probably the most influential 12 words of my sophomore year of high school.

We're sitting at lunch, all of us crammed around the table in the sectors, wings, and outer rim (this could be another post about high school lunch in itself. People practically fought to the death to get a sector spot. Ridiculous.) Haley finishes his lunch, pushes his tray forward, puts his silverware on top, scoots his chair back and relaxes. Clearly finished with his meal. Somebody (my money is on somebody like Delisle or Brun-sack, I can't really remember) starts to reach for his unfinished french fries, stops, and asks, "Hey, you're done right? Can I have these?"

Haley, for whatever reason (what reason did Haley ever have for doing anything back then?) looks at him, slowly grabs a fistful of fries, and asks him, very slowly and deliberately (think De Niro in Goodfellas) "These fries? These fries right here?" And then threw them full force into the ground at his feet. "No. You can't have them. I would rather throw them on the floor than give them to you."

Ohhhh boy that's all it took. A phenomenom was born right then and there. For the next three or four months, you couldn't ask anyone for anything without it getting dumped on the floor. People would purposely not finish their lunch, just in the hopes that someone would ask for something, then you could whip it at the ground, crushing their hopes for your leftover breakfast bagel or garlic breadstick in the process. Virginia, the lunch lady, was NOT impressed, but this led to one of our favorite catchphrases of the year, when one day she was picking up our collection of smashed food off the ground and we heard her mutter (in a British accent, for some reason) "Damn sticky-fingered children."

So one day, months later, I was tiring of this whole game. It was getting out of control. I mean obviously I've never claimed to be mature by any means, but c'mon. We were throwing food around like it was kindergarten again. Daily. So I figure if I can get Haley to call it off, everyone else will follow suit.

So Haley and I are in the locker room before basketball practice. I'm munching on one of those giant boxes of Goldfish, like the milk-carton style box that had probably 7.5 pounds of Goldfish in it. Pretty typical pre-basketball 'snack' for me.

Haley looks over and innocently asks if he can have some. I stop and ponder in my head. This thing was completely full. Oh well, fuck it. And I look at him, and I smile, and he knows what's coming next. I pour out the ENTIRE carton of Goldfish on the locker room floor and tell him, "I would rather dump out this entire box than give one single Goldfish to you."
As Haley was rolling around on the disgusting locker room floor, desparately trying to salvage whatever Goldfish were stacked on top of other ones, he repented over and over again for starting such a vicious and unnecessary game. And I smile and say, "Worth it." And that was the end of that.

P.S. Bergman has started a blog, his shit has been linked. As long as this doesn't turn into a replay of when we were 14 years old and he copied everything I said and passed it off as his own, to the point where people would dismissively shake their heads at me and tell me "you sound just like Bergman" then we'll be cool.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Grandmaster Flash And The Furious 5

Grandmaster Flash....

...and 5 paragraphs of furious Friday randomness:

Unusually stressful week at work, mostly due to me flushing my health right down the toilet last weekend amidst a swirl of mint juleps and leftover pizza. But I've found a stress reliever. I've discovered that the birds outside our building are the same as the ones in Augusta, Georgia (I'd recognize that chirping in my sleep.) I also have a portrait of the 12th hole at Amen Corner hanging in my office. So I just open my window, let the breeze hit me, listen to the birds, stare really really hard at my portrait like it's a Magic Eye or a Where's Waldo, envision Jim Nantz smiling and greeting me with "Hello, friends. Welcome to a tradition unlike any other..." and ba-zing, I'm at the Masters again. Stress level: declining.

I recently finished all 3 seasons of Arrested Development. I know that Cheese has already gone into great detail about how awesome that show is, so I won't belabor the point and beat Eight Belles (get it? Beating a dead horse? GET IT?!?!?) I'll just say that I agree that it is one of the funniest shows in history, probably top 3. If you haven't watched it yet, do it. That goes double for you, Jon-Jon. Just go buy all the seasons at once, trust me. Now normally when Alex and I are watching TV or a movie, I ALWAYS let her know who I think is hot, to the point of being borderline obnoxious, but she never says anything about dudes. However, she has a huge, huuuge crush on Will Arnett. I don't know if I should be pumped that finally she is verbalizing who she likes, or worried that she doesn't say anything about anyone, then goes f-in crazy over one dude.

I got ejected from a city league basketball game for the first time since moving down here. I won't go into details about what was said, since this is a family-friendly blog hahaha, but after putting up with some of these shenanigans the last few months, I'll just say that it was worth it. It was long overdue.

I might be the worst human-on-human Madden player in the world. I am a champ against the computer on the All-Madden level, I'll take anyone and go 12-4 with a first-round bye, unless I change the settings to favor the computer, so I actually struggle a little bit, which is more fun. That being said, I play another human in Madden, and I get rocked every time, especially by Lane, who is basically my daddy when it comes to video games. Pisses me off every time, and yet I keep coming back for more.

I read Bigsby's post the other day about athletes having kids out of wedlock, and it got me thinking: These dudes act remorseful and talk about responsibility to the media, but I bet they really have competitions and shit around the league. Like Travis Henry walks into Denver's training camp, and his teammates have all heard the news, but they're waiting for him to bring it up, so they're kinda doing their own thing, gettin' ready for practice, pretending not to notice him, and then Henry gets in the middle of the room, puts his arms around his chest in that gangsta-self-bear-hug, and yells, "AAAhhhhhh shiiiiiiit, I got's another one last month!!!!! Holler at your boy! Come over here and holler at your fuckin' boy!!!!!" and then everyone busts out laughing and gives him high fives and shit. I also can envision a big convention around the Pro Bowl, like a Playa's Ball or something, where they hand out awards to each other for "fattest baby mama" or "most consecutive years conceiving a child while scoring at least 10 touchdowns" and stuff like that.

Happy Friday. Simple and fresh, we like yes, y'all, yes.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The 134th Running Of The Kentucky Derby: A Retrospective Novel

Let me just start by saying that I'm not sure if it's possible to have more fun in one weekend than I just had in Louisville. I think that Vegas is still my favorite place on Earth, but I will say that the gap has decreased significantly. There's no good (or quick) way to retell the entire rundown of shenanigans, so I'll just throw out a series of disjointed mini-paragraphs, broken down day-to-day. And prepare yourself, this post will probably be longer than my final high school comp paper about Tupac faking his death. The cast of characters:

Kyle: eldest Schneweis brother, fellow Lawrence resident, 2nd Derby.
Schne: youngest Schneweis brother, Louisville resident, Derby veteran.
JV: Schneweis' roommate, Derby veteran. Whenever we are reunited it is certain trouble. I may or may not have a large man-crush on JV.
Scott: middle Schneweis brother, making the drive down from Minneapolis. 2nd Derby.
Me: the Derby virgin of the group.
The Girls: JV's girlfriend and her friends, all Derby veterans.


A routine road trip. One funny interaction took place in southern Indiana, when Kyle and I stopped to pick up some PBR for the last 100 miles. Kyle is inside at the cash register, and me being in kind of a punchy, excited, stupid mood, decide to stick my head out the window of the car, wave, and give my stupidest grin. Well Kyle doesn't see me, but the employee does. She comes outside with a giant garbage bag in her hands and shouts at me, in her best redneck accent, "Boy, do you want me to put this here baaaaag on yo' hayyyyyyy-edddd?" Awesome. One of the themes of this trip is that most of the people we encountered all weekend in the service industry were, in fact, batshit crazy.

We arrive in the 'Ville, I'm a little bit buzzed and lot fired up, so we head almost immediately to the bar. We bar-hop a little bit and sniff some girls' hair. At one place I buy a round of beers costing $20, give the lady a hundred dollar bill, and receive five twenties back as change. I hand her a $5 tip. "You've been great, ma'am." That's why outside vendors who have no register to do their math for them are awesome. My fake name for the night is Josh Beckett. During the taxi ride home, Kyle asks the cabbie (from somewhere in the middle east) what the best thing about driving a cab is. His answer:

"Nothing. Is worst job ever."
"Well what's the worst thing then?"
The cabbie slowly turns towards Schne in the passenger seat, and gives him his most serious expression:
"Black people."
(Note: this is where I check out of the conversation. I am laughing too hard to speak for the rest of the drive home.)
"Black people? Why?"
"You know why."

And on and on it goes, Kyle and Schne egging the dude on, me with my head in my hands, dying of laughter.


I'm not too hungover, as my eagerness to get to the track overwhelms any physical effect that lots of beer and little sleep has on me. After one of the best breakfasts of my life at some shitty-looking diner, we walk back out to Schne's car, where a meter maid (is it still a maid if it's a dude? What's the PC term here?) is placing a ticket on his car. Schne shouts for him to wait, we're leaving right now. The meter dude grabs the ticket off the car, and emphatically throws it to the ground before walking away. Picture Happy Gilmore's caddy throwing the rock in the pond when Happy is losing to Shooter McGavin, and you have an accurate picture in your head. As we pile into the car, laughing our asses off, we reflect upon the fact that not only did he NOT ticket us, but he just littered as well. That's three interesting employees in 12 hours, by my count.

We get semi-gussied up (we're not wearing suits or anything, but we have on khakis and nice shirts. Well, scratch that, Scott is wearing a suit, but that's S.O.P. for him) and head to the track for the day's races. Mint juleps and race programs in hand, we're ready to start betting. We figure our karma is good since the first celebrity we see is none other than Bill Self. JV gives me a crash course in how the program reads (there are a ton of random numbers which mean little to me) and I'm set. I develop a game plan early and it pays off for me all weekend: I put roughly 5% value on who JV says to pick, 5% on who JV's Contact Who Has Inside Info says to pick, 20% on the odds and other actual statistics about the horse, and 70% on the horse's name. I'm basically picking like an 8 year old out there, but I kept winning, so screw it.

My favorite horse of the day was named Better Than Bonds. It's supposed to be a reference to finances, but we decide that his name would be cooler if it related to teammates of Barry Bonds who were better than him before he took steroids. He went off at like 19-1, and I had a great time yelling, "C'mon Bobby Bonilla!!!!" as he unexpectedly came in 2nd place. Even though it rained all day and I lost my last couple races in heartbreaking fashion, my first day was a marginal success from a gambling standpoint. More importantly, it set the tone for the next day. Friday night was spent attacking a keg at The Girls' place, going to the bar, and putting on the greatest eating display since Jesus fed the 5,000 with a few loaves of bread and some fish.


Now I'm hurting a bit. The battle between me and my hangover is so one-sided that, in comparison, Apollo Creed put up a pretty good fight against Ivan Drago. My breakfast consists of Vitamin C tablets, Tums, ibuprofen, and three bites of a McSkillet burrito. I wander around a gas station in a daze, desparately looking for anything to put in my stomach that sounds even remotely tasty. At one point I just kinda stop and stare at the hot dogs on the rotisserie, my eyes glazed over. How do I go from here? I'm at a crossroads. This is when a gas station employee, looking similar to Serena Williams (only short, fat, and semi-toothless) notices my plight, stops and grabs my arm and shakes me a little, and admonishes me:

"Hey! Let's go now! It's Derby day, boy, you gotsta be gettin' yo game face on!"

Words of wisdom, Ugly Serena. Words. Of. Wisdom. Let's get my Game Face on.

Background info: you are not allowed to bring your own booze into the infield at the Derby, and there is a pretty intense search process upon entering the grounds. Stories of sneaking in booze throughout the years are legendary: people putting fake bottoms in their coolers; sneaking in days early, burying kegs, and then digging them up later; even people getting wheeled in wheelchairs with blankets over their legs and a keg underneath the blanket. We opt for a more crude, yet just as effective method: duct taping bottles of whiskey to our junk. The 20-minute walk to Churchill Downs is a bit of an adventure at first, but after awhile I could hardly even notice that my manhood had acquired a new roommate in my pants, named Kentucky Tavern Whiskey. Plus I had taken Ugly Serena's advice and purchased beer from some dudes on the sidewalk, and I was feeling better already. Things were looking up.

We successfully sneak in (getting past the security guards who looked about 12 years old was surprisingly easy) and set up shop. The scene is wonderful. Fellow UND alumni, picture Springfest, only 20 times bigger, with gambling, horse races every 45 minutes, and girls wearing hot little dresses (since it's 75 degrees instead of like 40 degrees in North Dakota.)

I immediately catch fire with the ponies. I'm not even really pretending to know what I'm doing at this point; just picking sweet names and throwing around money. I can't even take credit for the absurdity of some of my picks, and two stories in particular exemplify this:

1) Looking over the list of horses for one of the races, I see a horse named Game Face. Remembering my encounter with Ugly Serena that morning and how inspiring that was, I conclude that I'm obligated to pick this horse to win, and that I should probably put a lot of money on it, even though the horse had terrible odds. So I do, and what happens? Game Face comes out of nowhere to win the race.

2) After a couple hours, I'm sauced up, but I've also grown confident enough in my newfound horse-racing lingo to leave the program behind when i go to the betting window....a dangerous combination. This results in me putting money across the board on horse #3 when I meant horse then #3 promptly goes out and takes second place, while #4 struggles to the finish. Sometimes it's just meant to be.

As the day goes on, the betting window lines get more and more ridiculous; by the end of the day it's a 45 minute commitment to go place a bet. I get separated from the herd and wander into line by myself, and immediately begin complaining to whoever will listen that I shouldn't have got in line without a beer. Well, the girls in front of me listen, and I am immediately presented with two mint juleps. I am appreciative: they just gave me $18 worth of booze without hesitation, and this was probably what I looked like as I said thank you:

No, the guy on the left. I wonder what Dirk Nowitzki's screen name is for Golden Tee. I bet it's something badass.

Anyways, we get to talking, and after about 20 minutes I realize the girl from Tennessee might be my soulmate (Alex, earmuffs):

Her: So, what's your name?

Me: Well....I was gonna give you me fake name, but you seem's Jim.

Her: Oh really? What was your fake name gonna be?

Me: Brad Bradshaw. (I was in a douchey mood that day)

Her: No way!!!! Brad is MY fake name!

Me: Blah blah blah (I have no idea what I said exactly, all I know is that it was form of drunken rant where I tell her that girls shouldn't be named Brad, and I'm positive I threw a Hey Dude reference in there. I am a shithead sometimes.)

Her: Well, it's because my middle name is Bradshaw, my dad was in love with Terry Bradshaw when I was born.

Me: Well how about I be Terry Bradshaw, and you can be Lynn Swann?

Her: Or I can be Lynn Swann, and you be Franco Harris!

Me: How many 1970's Pittsburgh Steelers can you name? Will you marry me? We can buy steel curtains for our house.

Fast forward another 20 minutes, and her and her friend have successfully shamed me into shotgunning the rest of the mint juleps, and we have proceeded from there to tell the other girl and guy in their little group that the story of them meeting and falling in love resembles Princess Jasmine and Aladdin, and begin singing songs from the Aladdin soundtrack. So Leigh from Tennessee, if you find this blog, I've got an engagement ring waiting for you.

One last story, and this baby is getting wrapped up. In the middle of the madness is a row of about 25 port-a-potties. Sometime during the day, people decided it would be cool to start racing across the tops of them. Of course, the inevitable reaction from the crowd is to begin gunning anything they can find at these runners. One girl decides she wants to be a hero and run across. About four steps into her journey, she gets smoked in the back with a beer bottle and FALLS OVER the side. I don't think she was seriously injured...I mean, she wasn't euthanized on the spot or anything. Goes to show that girls can get hurt when they try and compete with guys. Isn't that right, Eight Belles? (Ohhhhh. Too soon?)

My boy Big Brown won the main event, but I only pocketed a little bit of money on that race, since I had a bunch of other bets on longshots that didn't pan out so well. I finished the day up a couple hundred dollars, counting beer expenses. We navigated a Lord of the Rings-style walk back to the girls' place, they cooked us some wonderful hamburgers, and then we drank for another 5 hours. All told, I was sober for about 14 hours total. I'll see you at the Derby next year.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Down The Stretch They Come!

Leaving town in a few hours to road trip it to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby. I am beyond excited, as this trip is a couple of years overdue. It's my first time in the 'Ville since Spring Break 2005 (a magical trip, if there ever was one); my first time reuniting with JV (a legend in his own right) in almost two years; and my first Derby experience, period. According to Schneweis, there are races on Friday, the main event on Saturday, and nonstop boozing the entire time. My goals for the weekend are simple, and they are few in number:

Don't get arrested.
Do get shitfaced.
Don't bring back more than $50. (unless there are heavy gambling winnings, let's just say I'm not too confident that I'll have to worry about that.)
Be coherent enough to remember the actual race, 20 seconds can go by pretty quick.

That's all. I printed out a few tidbits about the horses, so I at least have a fighting chance to win some money on stupid drunk bets. I'll study up during the drive down and place my bets accordingly. In my preliminary research, however, I happened to stumble upon a horse, by the name of Recapture The Glory, whose breeder's name is, I shit you not: Charles Jacobi. So I already decided that I'll be putting some ching down on that horse. If he loses, I blame you, Chuck.

Saturday is also Springfest up in Grand Forks, which means I won't be the only one of my friends that will be crushed by 11 am....which is a nice feeling. This will be the first Springfest I miss since the year 2000, which is a little sad. But don't cry for me, Argentina. Hot little southern belles in big-ass hats sipping on mint juleps, while I sniff their hair, mainline vodka beers and yell obscenities at random animals that cost me my hard-earned paycheck will keep me from getting too bummed out about missing the festivities up north.

Random thought that literally just popped into my head: what if there was the horse-racing equivalent to the Ron Artest brawl? OH MY LORD. Horses jumping into the stands, kicking the shit out of fans, people running onto the racetrack to challenge horses, then getting booted in the face, beer flying everywhere! If I see a horse lounging around near the infield, taunting the fans, I'm gonna lob my beer at its face and see what gets started, just in case.

Actually, on second thought, I'm not totally sure that an angry horse is any scarier than an angry Ron Artest.