I had birthdays on the brain today. You know I had this theory once that your 19th birthday was the most insignificant in your life, and everything after 21 you probably didn’t care all that much about celebrating. Well, for the most part that’s held true. I once had someone tell me that my twenties would fly by, and I’d wonder where they went. That’s pretty much true as well. I’m not sure if time flew, or if I did irreparable damage to my brain on my 21st birthday. An anecdote: For your pleasure.
So, I think I’ve mentioned here that my 21st birthday didn’t get off to the greatest start. My car got stolen that morning, and then the cop accused me of being in on a drug deal. Pretty standard Lancaster. You have to rebound, though, and I tried. I tried my damnedest. I proved many things that night including the beer before liquor axiom, and that tolerance…while helpful, is hardly invincible.
It all started at Fatback Steakhouse. I think I went with JCK, and maybe a couple other people. I don’t remember. That’s where I started laying down the beer foundation, aka the biggest mistake of my life. At this point in my life I didn’t really drink hard alcohol, and so it was second nature for me to order a couple beers with dinner. Everything seemed fine.
The great thing about Lancaster is that you can go on a nice little tour of townie dive bars for your birthday, and they’re all within walking distance. We started at the immortal Hildy’s. Hildy’s is probably the greatest dive bar in the World. It opens at 6 in the morning, and immediately has a “happy hour” for the night shift employees. It’s poorly lit, is littered with regulars, smells badly, and isn’t much bigger than a luxury SUV. Luckily, my birthday was right in the middle of the week, and it was a slow night at Hildy’s. Mostly townies, and the small crew that had gathered to celebrate my big day. Apparently, I wasn’t as popular as I thought.
I paced myself for a while, but then JCK, using the height of his craftiness starting mixing in various shots until I got to the point where I no longer cared what I drank. I think one of the final of the many mistakes I made that night was criticizing a shot for being too weak. From there on…the details kind of come and go.
I know we went to Brendee’s. Brendee’s is like a really upscale Hildy’s. As you can see, they even have a website. I know immediately upon walking into Brendee’s I was given a shot that was on fire. I was supposed to drop it into something else, and then drink. I dropped the shot from about 3 feet above the glass…and probably narrowly avoided burning the whole place down. From this point on…I wasn’t too popular at Brendee’s, which is a shame, because I think a few more people had come out to meet us.
Legend goes I threw up in the bathroom at Brendee’s, and we started to head back. On the way back to the apartment was where I uttered the famous line, “has anyone seen my f***king car?” No luck. Instead of being put to bed at this point, JCK decided to “show me off” to some of our other friends who did not make it out. I was prone to doing this with JCK, so I can’t really blame him. Most of what I know is second hand, but at various points I believe I was demanding to be put on camera, and preaching about the efficiency of throwing up “in a trough”…or something like that.
I finally made it back to my apartment, and crashed. I got sick, again, in my bedroom…and woke up the next morning feeling worse than I ever had in my entire life. I was a trainwreck. For some reason, I decided it was imperative that I go to Constitutional Law class. Well, that lasted about 10 minutes, before I ducked out the back door. You can puke at Brendee’s, you can puke in the comfort of your own apartment, but you want to keep it together in Con. Law.
I actually held it together for the rest of the day. I know I stopped on the way back from class, and bought like 3 bottles of water…at which point I was spotted by BK from across the street. I don’t remember what he said, but I know he was laughing his ass off. Haven’t had another birthday like it since…