Saturday, March 16, 2019

The Dreaded Drinking Double Shift

It's St. Patrick's Day Saturday in Chicago, perhaps one of the drunkest messes you will ever see. You know how I spent it this year? Mrs. Noisewater and I to our kiddo to his swim class, then a baby cafe to kill time until his music class. Then home for a nap for all three of us. That was all before 12pm. But people on this day and in this town get to the bar at 7AM to get started with the festivities. When I participated in that sort of thing I made it a point, no, a rule, to not even leave the house until 5pm when all the kegs and eggs early shift folks had already thrown up and passed out. It actually was a great day to go for a jog and have a few laughs, and of course, you had to be hyper vigilant to avoid stepping in puke.

Only one year did I go out for the 7AM shift. Another rule I have is not going to any bar with an Irish name because it will just be packed with douche bags, and why wait in line for an American bar that happens to have an Irish name? So yeah, I broke the starting way too early and the "Irish" bar rule. I was destined for a bad night. I also had this idea in my head that if I drank mixed drinks I would sip them really slow and not get too drunk too early.

Fast forward to me blind drunk before noon. The hard liquor theorem had been disproven beyond any reasonable doubt. I was dating a girl at the time whom every one of my friends and family pretty much hated. She really was evil when I look back on it. Deep down I knew it too, but I fooled myself into thinking it was a matter of me changing to try to make her happy. Or in this case of this day it was a matter of fighting with her all day long and tipping back way too much booze in frustration.

Fast forward yet again to around 4pm and our whole crew was getting separated because we were all practically sleep walking. I found myself playing beer pong with strangers, breaking a third rule of never playing drinking games in my 30's. My partner was a very friendly and pretty Asian Indian girl. I remember thinking, oh yeah, girls are a hell of a lot more fun when they're charming, friendly, and they aren't making a point of trying demean me and make me miserable. I was so bombed that when the girlfriend at the time found me, I didn't even stop flirting with the new gal I met. This may have been a mistake on my end, but I barely even knew my name by this point.

Fast forward a third time to around 8pm and I'm dancing. I didn't do a lot of dancing by this stage of my life, so if I was I was either at a wedding or blasted beyond belief. Every so often I would see this guy trying to dance with my girl. Eventually I told him, "Hey, I think it's time you fucked off." I thought this would do the trick, but he kept coming back. Each time I would get madder to the point where I said, "You really do need to get out of here before I kick your ass." What? I don't kick people's asses. Who was this guy saying this? Then we are in each other's faces, and it is me who says "Well, let's step outside then." Step outside??!? I have no idea how to fight and I had been drinking for like 12 hours. I would have been lucky to have punched a wall successfully. But it was too late. I had said it and we were walking outside to have ourselves a fight. Suddenly security swept in. I was being thrown out. I was saved! But they only took the dude out and let my drunk ass stay. Seemed strange, but it turned out a gal in our crew was sitting back and observing everything take place and had security remove him. I really do owe her a drink the next time I see her for saving me from a certain ass whooping and possible arrest.

It was not until weeks later that someone told me that my lady friend at the time was baiting that dancing fellow back into the fold time and time again. Now I get it. The guy was getting the signals, she was hot, and how can you even be mad at the guy knowing that? And I pretty much set myself up with my behavior earlier in the evening right? It was jus a crazy-ass night.

My son just woke up so I gotta run. Hey, moral of the story, don't drink all damn day. There's no point. After that 10th or 12th hour you're not even yourself anymore. I think that is why you see all those domestic calls coming in on holidays where people drink too much. It's those double-shift drinkers who have become some drunken jerk they would hate if they could see it. So that's my public service announcement.

Tip one back, my friends. But be safe. And know when to punch out of that shift.

(No proofreading at all so hopefully will get a chance to do that soon)

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Bend It Like Beckham Or Punch Him Like Sugar Ray?

Young Erik Noisewater is 2 and a half years old now, and we got young him in a soccer program. As much as I dislike the sport, it really is the best introduction to team sports for little kiddos. Believe it or not there are some toddlers in his group who you can already tell are going to be great athletes. Erik is just okay as far as the coordination and athleticism goes, but he makes up for it by being a great listener and rule follower. Each class has 10 toddlers, 2 coaches, and it is required that there is one parent per kid out there running around making sure everything goes a little more smoothly. But it's still pretty much like herding cats every Sunday.

I had to take him to a make up class on Thursday after work. All day at work I was hating everyone and pretty much thinking about how everyone seems to be deep down an asshole at heart, and believe it or not I couldn't wait until the soccer practice that afternoon to see play soccer with my great little dude - my little hope for humanity homie. But when I got there the weeknight coach was neither of the nice fellas I was used to from the Sunday class. He was a little weasely-looking, hunched over, eyes half opened and not appearing to be focused on anything in particular creeper who reminded me of a combination of Doctor Riviera from The Simpsons and Igor from the Frankenstein movies. I feel like I could not have been the only parent in the room to have that gut feeling like this maybe is not the best dude to be around kids. Let's put it this way: They give all the kids stamps on the hands at the end of the classes, and when I overheard a coach saying that they cannot put stamps on the kids' bellies anymore because a parent complained, I knew right away it had to have been after this dude lifted one too many kids' jerseys. I tried to describe his vibe to Mrs. Noisewater, and he is a guy who it is hard to say if he would be into men, women, or god forbid kids. It almost seems like he would check off the none of the above box because he is into getting romantic with animals or trees or something far more divergent.

Little of this

And a little of this. And that's our coach. 

So Tree-Humper, as odd as he may be, was running a pretty good class, but my supposed great listener and rule abiding son is completely doing his own thing. When it is time for little kicks, he is toe bashing the ball across the gym. When they are all supposed to wait in line, he is booking it to the other side of the room and trying to hop over the barricade. More often than not he seemed to be doing the exact opposite of what Doctor Igor was asking of him. I pulled him aside a few times to say, "We have to listen to the coach, Erik." There was a look in my boy's eye like, "That's not happening, bro." Who was this kid? I was used to him being one of the best in the class and feeling kind of bad for those parents who chased around their kid who seemed to have zero interest in what the activities were and seemed in their own world. And now my guy was that kid. He was the worst in the group. And I was so looking forward to this class after a crap day at work. Now I was stressed and needed a beer. Because of a 2-year-old soccer practice? Yes. And if I'm being honest with you this thought came in my head: I'm so disappointed in this kid. What? How shitty to say that about a 2-year-old? They are going to do terrible shit when they're in their terrible 2's, right? I know this. But I'm just being honest about what was in my stupid head at the time because you're my people and you're the folks I can be real with.

Out of his mind that day. But a winning smile. 
Then just as the class is wrapping up, when I can already taste the cold Apex Predator I'm going to need after this day of work and this kid wearing me out, the kids are all huddled up, putting their hands in for a big go team, and someone else's kid punches Tree-Humper square in the nose for no reason at all. Wham! A perfectly placed blow, and the coach is actually hurt, his eyes are watering, and he completely stops teaching and just tries to recover. One mom asks if he needs an ice pack. He declines. Maybe he is just being dramatic, but who knows. What we do know is that . . . in a last second buzzer beater turn of events . . . Erik was not the worst kid in the class that afternoon. I really shouldn't have taken pleasure from a toddler socking a creepy coach dead in the nose, but I was flicking thrilled. It was beautiful.

That's all I got, friends. What you got on tap this weekend? If you're like me you are going to clock this weekend in the beak with a right hook like Erik and his daddy's new favorite teammate.