The following story is about a night of excessive drinking in my youth. Its rated R. Hey, I'm telling a drinking story so you just as well know that F-Bombs will be dropped. I'm not talking Christian Bale here. Just average guy kind of talk.
"Its a volume deal."
The Prodigy once asked me "do all your stories start out 'this one time Ralph, Danny and I went a got a 12 pack?'"
Nope. Sometimes they start like this.
This one time Delmer, Ralph and I went a got a 12 pack. It was Ralph's birthday. A cause for joyous celebration. Actually, back in those days, we joyously celebrated quite frequently. Virtually any occasion was an excuse. But Ralph's birthday was extra special. Its almost right in the middle of summer. We never cared which night of the week it was on and we drank like fish.
Ralph worked for the BLM on the fire crew. One year he was out fighting fire on his birthday and we had a party at Delmer's without him. It was actually a great party that he missed. A keg at Delm's, loud music, reservation ice cream. The whole nine yards. Then we had to have another party when he got back from the fire. We had to. It was part of the code.
This year though would go down in infamy. Well, if you were Ralph anyway. If you were Delmer or me, it would go down as one of the great stunts we pulled on this cantankerous little shit. I say that with love. Ralph and I have known each other since we were 4. Delm and me also. I'm almost 46 so that means a long time. Fortyfucking six! That's past halfway to death. When I turned forty I told Ralph that I lived my first forty years thinking I was immortal and in the next forty I'm hoping someone discovers a cure for mortality.
All good stories start with a box of beer. Its a scientific fact. Also undisputed is that I have consumed more beer with Ralph than any two other friends of mine combined. Eric and Howard put together might be close but that would be the only combination that would sniff the title. Ralph and I drink beer together. We make fun of each other. We hate each others favorite teams and root against them with all of our might. Its what we do. Its part of why we are best friends.
So we have a box of beer and are cruising Central in my GMC S-15. A beautiful summer night in the Capitol of the Hi-Line. It was so hot that bugs couldn't fly and that's a nice day. We downed our twelve pack and decided to head downtown. It was time to run the trapline.
"Running the trapline" is a process where you start at one end of town and go to each bar and have a shot. Our shot of choice back then was the kamikaze(http://hubpages.com/hub/Kamikaze-Drink). Vodka, triple sec (whatever the hell that is) and lime. Kamos for short with an emphasis on the "O" (kaMOS).
We didn't run a complete trapline. We skipped the Kid Curry and the GN and started at the Mint. We needed to have a drink with Bo, the owner, and play at least one game of pool. It was Ralph's birthday and the world championships of the Mint Bar were not far behind. It was a title that would always elude Ralph. He could have beaten me 100 games in a row during the course of a summer (yeah, whatever) but when we had the world championships, urine would ooze down both of his legs. He was like the Buffalo Bills of the Mint.
From the Mint to the Stockman. We skipped Mustangs Lanes and went to The Hole to have a drink with Sylvia. She liked Ralph and me but she didn't really care for Delmer. Maybe it was the time on his birthday one year when he spit on her. Yeah, I'm pretty sure it had to do with him spitting on her. That was after he was sitting behind Patty Dooner farting but that's another story. When I think of class, Delmer farting, us giggling and Patty yelling "GROSS" is the first thing that comes to mind. Just good old fashioned fun.
We hung around The Hole for a couple of drinks. We knew where this night was going to end. It was going to end at the greatest most awesome bar of all time with the most fun owner who even gave me a charge account. Yup. We were headed to Stine's Nite Club and the unflappable Italian who had an accent even though she grew up in the same town as us, Linda Ruble. It was time for massive quantities of beer, pool, "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress", "El Paso" and a couple more kamikazes. Banzai.
By the time we made it to Stines, we had a pretty good glow on. A snoot full. More than a little in the bag. You get the idea. I take no credit for this next idea. It was brilliant though and I was a willing participant.
Delmer came up to me when Ralph was in the bathroom.
"I have an idea. Let's start ordering lots of shots but we'll have Chris pour us water and we'll get this little fucker wasted."
At the speed of light I agreed. Chris was bar tending. Linda was sitting with Dave, her boyfriend. We told Chris the plan and everyone was in on it.
Ralph came out of the bathroom and Delmer yelled "Kamos!" Shots were poured and quickly consumed. We racked the table for a vicious game of cutthroat where Delmer and I proceeded to gang up on Ralph game after game. It was soooooo much fun. Ralph's getting pissed, Delm's yelling Kamos! and I'm drinking water. Perfect.
Ralph is really getting lit. We have a round of kamos and Chris takes three dollars.
"Hey, she only, she, she, she only took three dollars" says Ralph.
"I know. We're getting a volume deal."
"That's good thinkin." (Its hard to type this without laughing my ass off. I can visualize Ralph, I can hear him. His eyes drooping with alcohol poisoning, the way he pointed with his finger half bent, the complete trust he had in us not knowing he was getting fucked over. God I miss those days.)
Every once in a while, Chris would sneak in a real shot on Delm and me. Delm was really putting a hurt on Ralph. I should mention here that these two ass munches roomed together in college at the time so it wasn't like they didn't live for this.
It was getting late and time to head home. I have Ralph's official count at 17 shots. That's a bunch for a big man much less a guy with less than a 26 inch inseam (that was fun to type, what are you going to do about it Ralph? Hit me in the throat? Bahahahahaha!).
Delm went home, I dropped off Ralph and drove the three blocks to my house and went downstairs and crashed. I felt sorry for both of them as I didn't have to go to work until 9:30 the next morning. Delm had to be up at 5 I think and Ralph had to be to work by 7.
I woke up at 6:50 the next morning to someone knocking on my door. It was Ralph. I opened the door and he walked right to my phone and started dialing.
"Hey this is Ralph. Umm, I'm not feeling to good today so I'm not going to make it to work. I'll try to make it in tomorrow."
He hung up the phone.
"You couldn't call in sick from your house?" I asked.
"Are you fucking kidding me? My old man won't let me call in hungover. As far as he knows today, I'm at work."
He went downstairs and crawled in my spare bed. I went back to sleep for a couple of hours and went to work.
About 1:30 my phone at work rang. I was managing a convenience store at the time about six blocks from my house. That was the only thing convenient about it for me (just kidding Robinson brothers). It was Ralph. The pain in his voice almost made me feel sorry for him.
"Chip" he said like a raspy three pack a day smoker "do you want to be my best friend for life?"
"Of course I do Ralph."
"Will you bring me a big coke?"
"There's like three of them in my fridge."
"I drank those already."
I went to the fountain machine, poured Ralph a big soda and headed for Sixth Street. It gets hot on the Hi-Line. Like the core of the sun and my house did not have air conditioning. The sight I am about to describe is not for the feint of heart. I opened my door to find Ralph in my recliner almost spread eagle in his tighty whiteys, a wash cloth on his head and sweat running out of every pore. He was ashen almost like an albino. It was all I could do to keep from laughing my ass off.
I handed him his coke.
He looked straight up at me.
"Aren't you hungover?"
"How can you not be hungover?"
"I guess I'm not a pussy like you. I can handle my booze."
He let out a low groan.
"Cmon aspirin. Start workin!"
"I don't know Ralph. I don't think I can let you run with me anymore after this."
"I don't want to run with you anymore. This sucks."
"Let me know if you want me to bring home some Midol."
He uttered a barely audible "Fuck you" and I headed out the door.
I went back to work. Delmer stopped in on his way home from his job at Russaero Flying Service.
"I wonder how Ghoulies is doing?"
I told Delm about the events of earlier that day and he starts giggling with that evil Henry smile.
"Lets go see him."
We both headed to my house. When Delmer walked in, his joy at Ralph's misery was almost uncontainable.
"How ya feelin Ralphy? You don't look to good."
"I feel like shit."
"Funny thing," Delmer says "Chipper and I drank as much as you but we're both doing fine. You're kind of a nipple head. Get up and lets go to the Mint."
" I can't make the Mint tonight."
"Fag! Oooooh. What's the matter you big a puss? You were a tough guy last night."
It was almost the perfect crime. Sure there were witnesses but they were sworn to secrecy. Now I know why the mob kills witnesses.
Ralph eventually recovered and we started letting him run with us again. We had been giving him grief about being a light weight for about three weeks. I figured Delmer could keep this secret until at least they graduated. After all, they were roommates and he didn't want Ralph to have a chance of revenge. Linda and Chris were solid and Dave had so much fun watching that he would never sing.
We were meeting at Stines, I believe it was after a softball game. The whole team was there, drinking beer, playing pool. Dave was there as well. That's when the shit hit the fan.
"They fuckin what?" It was loud and it was Ralph. He was standing next to Dave. It barely caught my attention but I remember looking over and seeing Dave smiling and Ralph ready for blood.
"Well, that's it for me. I'm outta here."
"You little fucker!" Ralph screamed at me.
I turned on Delmer like a snake grabbed by its tail. "It was Delmer's idea!"
"That doesn't surprise me. Fucking sneaky Indian." Now lest someone get offended, Delmer really is a Native American and we do call him an Indian on occasion and, well, this was one of those occasions for Ralph. When I say "some of my best friends are Indians" I'm not bullshitting.
God he was mad. Delmer and I would have been more afraid if we weren't laughing so hard. We started mocking him, doing imitations of him from that night. The entire bar is rolling and Ralph is still pissed.
"Fuck you guys. Calling me 'pussy' and 'fag' for three weeks and you didn't even have half as much to drink as I did."
Delm and me still laughing.
Linda chimes in "I thought you would probably end up having your stomach pumped."
Delm "That would have been funny."
Ralph "Fuck you Henry."
That was about 20 years ago. Good times. My vertically challenged friend for life has yet to exact revenge on me or Delmer. Bring it on Ghoulies. Bring it on. I don't sweat you. Come to think of it though, I think I'll room with Delm when we go to Vegas next month. I won't have to keep a frisbee in my shorts that way either.