I left the office late because our meeting went over. Conveniently, Lil D and the Other One had left early for vacation so they were pardoned from having to stay late on a Friday. I got a call from Elyse and Wade to say that their Beer Hour had been canceled so they were coming downtown. I suggested trying Bernard’s for happy hour. It was an ill-conceived idea. Or, at least, the timing was off. Our waitress was either drunk or high and it took forever for her to take our order. The only food served were a finite amount of dubious looking chicken wings sitting on a hot plate. Wade and Elyse bravely tucked into them. The waitress brought us our one beer and bitched at us about using coasters to protect the badly scuffed table. We drank our beers and, when it was clear that the waitress was not coming back to either ask if we wanted another one or to bring us our bill, we dropped some money on the table, tipped her far too much because we didn’t have exact change, and headed out. I’m that after we were gone, she found the money and the empty beer glasses and thought the tooth fairy had brought her a present. She was that messed up.
We then caught the 11 back to Capital Hill. Usually, my bus trips home from work are uneventful. The buses are full of commuters who just want to get home and start the weekend. An hour and a half later, the crazies head home from whatever it is THEY do with their day. It was this bus that we happened to catch. Or maybe it wasn’t the riders at all, but a frazzled bus driver at the end of his rope. It was difficult to tell because we were crammed all the way in the back with people in the aisles blocking our view and a noisy heater impairing our hearing. All we know is that the bus driver kept yelling “If you don’t stop, I’m going to pull this bus over and EVERYONE is getting off!” He then DID, in fact, pull over every block or so and walk to the middle of the bus to yell at someone. “Don’t you touch her!” he said. “You don’t touch people on the bus! I’m going to make everyone get off. I’m serious!” We joked that we felt like we were about to get a week’s worth of detention from this guy. We couldn’t tell who was making the trouble. One very tall man got off the back of the bus and then came back on the front. We felt like we were taking Mugatu’s Crazy Pills. The bus lurched forward for another block and then the bus driver slammed on his breaks again. He stormed to the middle of the bus and started yelling at a girl who was on her cell phone. It was unclear if she was the object of his rage previously. “Give me that,” he demanded. She handed him her cell phone. “Who is this?” he yelled into the cell phone. “I am a Metro Bus Driver!” he shouted. The rest of the conversation was muffled by the heater. Damn, I wish we’d been sitting closer. Meanwhile, a guy in a pimp outfit, who was wedged into the back corner, kept saying “I don’t have time for this shit. I’m getting off.” He would stand up to move, but the people in the aisles ignored him and, rather than say “excuse me”, he would just sit back down.
Eventually, we made it to our stop and we fought our way forward, thanking the bus driver, as usual, for the ride as we exited. We’ll never know why he was having such a bad day.
Now, I know that a lot of people hate riding Metro for this reason. And sometimes, I can’t handle the crazy either. But other times, I find it makes for some pretty great City Theatre. That is, if you are able to hear all the dialog.
After we got off the bus, we stopped at the Baguette Box for, what Elyse swore, were incredible sandwiches. I had never been there before but I am always willing to try new places as long as they have a veggie option for me. While we ordered, chatted with the nice Permabake behind the counter. (Man, I really love Seattle). I (of course) got their braised tofu sandwich.
We continued up the Hill, meeting Meep and Borg and QFC for beverages. We weren’t sure if it was the one beer each on empty stomachs, the surreality Bernard’s and Metro, or something else, but Elyse, Wade and I were definitely having a collective whack attack. We picked two bottles of wine (which took forever), and decided that it would be faster to use the new-fangled self-check. Maybe it WOULD have been faster had it been anyone else working the thing. But for us, it took ages, and many a helping hand from a QFC employee, to get us through the process. We also discovered that one of the bottles, which we had thought was $10, actually cost $20! None of us are in the habit of purchasing expensive wine, if for no other reason than we can’t tell the damned difference between a $20 bottle and a $5 bottle. But we had come this far so we decided to go with it. Besides, if we couldn’t even self-check a normal purchase, imagine the trouble it would have been to exchange the bottle for something else!
Eventually, we made it back to the Zookster pad (losing Borg on the way), and found Gene and Dom ready for the evening’s activity; a screening of one of Wade and Meep’s favorite movies, Condorman!
I had been so distracted by the journey from office to home, that I had forgotten to ask Dom if he’d wanted me to pick anything up for him. Sorry, Dom! So I guiltily made him some tacos. Then Elyse, Wade and I retreated to the bedroom to take care of some weedy business. Meanwhile, Sherwood arrived.
We tucked in with our expensive wine, sandwiches and accouterments. Finally, we were all ready to begin the movie.
I actually HAVE heard of Condorman. Besides Meep mentioning it as a family favorite, my brother happened to catch it once on the Disney Channel when we were kids. It had enough influence on him for him to actually adopt the moniker himself, for a while, and subsequently pen a rap which placed him in the role. I hadn’t thought about this in years. But Wade had managed to score a copy of the movie (European bootleg) and, perhaps for some, too many expectations had been set on it. For the rest of us, it was easy to enjoy for what it was: a dorky old Disney movie with a silly premise, a smoking hot leading lady, and a built-in drinking game. Nice!
After the movie, we broke out the karaoke show-tunes, which quickly alienated several people. So we compromised, by putting on a few episodes of The Young Ones, before calling it a night.
I woke up hangover free and ready for a nice mellow day of kicking it. Meep and I had plans to have no plans. Gene called before I left to see what we were up to and I happily invited him to do nothing with us. Dom helped me carry over one of my DDR pads to house at Meep’s house for future impromptu DDR sessions whenever her neighbor goes out. She’s lucky because her downstairs neighbor actually LEAVES the house periodically, whereas mine is an angry hermit. Anywho, Meep fixed me and Gene tea and biscuits and we tucked in to watch The Baxter (no relation). I was the only one who’d had the opportunity to see it in the theatre (with Michael Showalter in attendance!) I enjoyed it quite a bit and was excited to watch it again. I am pleased to say that it’s even more delightful upon a second viewing. You are able to catch more of the subtle Stella references and Justin Thereoux is just PRICELESS as the “perfect” leading man whose profession is Geodes and who cannot have a conversation without blubbering. Michelle Williams is also exceedingly adorable in it. (Want her haircut). Actually, it’s just chock full of some the most underrated actors (comedic or otherwise) including Paul Rudd, Peter Dinklage and everyone who was in Stella. It’s got physical comedy, irreverent humor, silliness and some truly mortifying moments of missed opportunity. It’s the perfect ultimately cockle-warming romantic comedy for people who typically don’t go in for that sort of thing.
After the movie, Meep and I got in a few games of DDR (her version has the Neverending Story!) and then we headed out to get a snack. It was too early for dinner so it took us a while to decide where to get something small that wouldn’t spoil our appetites for later. We ended up at Guaymas. Then we stopped in at Crossroads so that I could search in vain for a warm sweater that didn’t make me uncomfortable. Next, we killed time at Everyday Music, where I miraculous escaped without buying anything. While I browsed, I realized that I should have used the restroom at Guaymas. Of course, they wouldn’t let me use it at Everyday, so I foolishly nipped over to Smack in the Box where I bough the cheapest thing on the menu for the privilege to use their urine-soaked toilets. As I waited for the ladies room, I became aware that it was occupied, not by another lady who was doing her business, but by two men who were seemingly having a friendly discussion and not showing any signs of exiting anytime soon. Eventually, I got into the men’s room and regretted it. At least I was done. I picked up the fries that were my consolation prize. They smelled awful and there was NO WAY I was going to actually eat them. Usually, Broadway is full of homeless people so I thought it would be easy to give them away. Perhaps it was because it was particularly nippy outside, but there were no needy people anywhere in sight. So instead I lugged these rank-smelling fries back into Everyday, and hid them in my hat (no food or drink allowed) while Meep and Gene finished shopping.
We left the store and went up the street to meet Dom, passing no hungry people on the way. Finally, as the four of us waited for the bus to go downtown, I left the grease-stained bag on top of the garbage can. I turned my back for a minute and, when I looked again, the bag was gone. At least SOMEONE picked them up. Though I hope they didn’t get sick. Those things really smelled awful.
As it was dinnertime, we went to the Crocodile. Gene, Meep and I were still kind of full from our snack, however. We got small portions anyway.
Finally, we arrived at our destination, and the only location that was in our plan all along: Shorty’s. What followed was 5 hours of drinking, playing video games, reading from the fun little free sex magazines they have on the windowsill, eating amazingly delicious nachos, some heavy conversation, some light conversation and generally some great fun with friends. We were joined by Sherwood, just off the boat from his office holiday party and Borg, taking a break from making us all rich and famous. We also met a sweet little Rottweiler mix who roamed the bar and conned everyone into giving her hot dogs. We closed the place out, and Borg drove our drunken asses home, which I’m sure was a welcome change for Dom.
I am Jack's useless lump.