Archive for the ‘Drinking’ Category

Courtesy of Warner Brothers Entertainment

Courtesy of Warner Brothers Entertainment

I’m 31 years old. By no means do I consider that old. That is until I compared my 31 year old self to my 21 year old self.

This wasn’t an introspective glance into my soul. I didn’t sit cross legged in a room with a beaded doorway, with sounds of babbling brooks over the stereo, incense smoke drifting through the air, while I hummed rhythmically and peered into my soul.

No that wasn’t the case. Nothing that dramatic or dated.

The comparison came as I had a reunion of sorts. The type of reunion where guys get back together with their old buddies and proceed to act as if no time has passed. We seem to forget that we are 10 or 15 years older and we can longer walk through fire or drink with impunity.

I am lucky enough to have a core group of friends. About 7 guys…sometimes 6, who grew up together. Who at one time spent every day and night together. We have been separated by schools, cities, countries, women and fistfights, but somehow always came back together.

You have probably seen the movie.

It gets harder and harder. Now with wives and kids our adventures are limited to once or twice a year. And that is not necessarily a bad thing.

This last adventure was a bachelor party. Which should be (or hopefully) the last one.

You probably saw that movie too.

The plan was two days of: camping, drinking, bonfires and paintball.

Or as we should have called it : sore backs, debilitating hangovers, and near death experiences.

I joked on the first night as beers were pounded and the twentieth wooden palate was thrown on the fire, and blaze kissed the sky at, at least 50 feet…”Wow…we really might die…”

The next day as I crawled out of the back of my van (where I slept) hit the ground and rolled over on my back peering up at the blue sky through one eye and blurred vision, I thought : “Wow…I am actually dying.”

Hours later as I ran through the forest with sweat dripping down my face and paintballs whizzing past my head and cracking off my back like stones I realized: “I’m dead and I am in hell.”

The festivities the second night were a tad bit more tame. Gone was the towering fire, and the beers were merely sipped by broken men sunken in their lawn chairs, heads bowed.

Looking around and seeing the equally pained expressions of a day long hangover holding us in a death grip, I thought to myself :

“This is why we have wives. And this is why our wives leave us to our own devices once or twice a year. To remind us why we need them.”

– Jason

Follow @FredThePeacock

You can also check out articles I have written at:

http://www.newsforshoppers.com/journalist/jason-mailhot/

 

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Two more sleeps till St. Patrick’s Day!

There was a time in my life when that would have been exciting…Unfortunately there comes a time in everyone’s life that pre-drinking before the bar opens at 11 O’clock in the morning becomes a thing of the past. Well maybe not everyone’s life…But those of us with a “shit to do list” have to postpone those cocktails to at least the respectable hour of noon.

As far as I can tell I have no Irish in me. I have searched extensively, and by extensively I mean I did a five minute google search and I called my Mom….

Google : Nada.

Mom: “I think someone might have slept with an Irish person once…” Thanks Mom.

So to conclude: no Irish in me. Other than the fact that at this point in human history ancestry lines are so blurred we are all pretty much the product of one big swinger, swapping orgy. Sadly, I have nothing to celebrate come Sunday…Luckily the Irish are an accepting bunch, and as long as you are willing to drink and sing and raise fists in defense of all things green, then they pretty much let you partake in their day of debauchery.

In order to prepare for the day of artificially coloured beers, bad decisions and broken noses, I would like to review some St. Patrick’s Day highlights and the lessons I have learned from this historic day. Gather around the keg kiddies….It is story time…

One memory comes from my freshman year in University. In my first year of school I had 11 hours of class a week. Conversely, bars were open 105 hours per week. To make it clear, I did a lot of drinking that year. St. Patrick’s Day was no different. There were a total of 12 bars on campus. My “homebase” was conveniently located in the basement of my residence building. I lived on the second floor. I don’t ever recall walking down the two flights of stairs to the bar, since it was too much fun to get in the elevator and hit “B” – for Bar. Even though it was always a short trip home, some nights I ended up sleeping on the couch in the bar. On some occasions I was fortunate enough to have the opening bartender the next day bring me a coffee and quietly turn on the big screen, keeping the volume low as to not wake me up.

The reason this year sticks out as a St. Patty’s Day memory is the small pub was packed with about hundred or so students and as far as I could tell the only Irish one was the bouncer. He also proceeded to get more drunk than every patron in the establishment. As the night progressed he got more and more agitated and believed in his heart and booze fueled soul that everyone in the bar was anti-Irish. It is a very dangerous situation when the bar bouncer is picking fights with unprovoking drunk students, although it is amusing. He proceed to go around the bar asking each parton what the heritage was. Each answer was not Irish, hence it was meant with a distained glare and quick “fuck you.” When he got to me I mentioned in a drunken slur that I had some French in me. Now this is taking place during the “Freedom Fries” craze in the States. And even though this is taking place in Canada, he proceeded to berate my French heritage with such intensity you would have thought I was an IRA bomber who just blew up a school bus carrying his children. Of course my reaction was to laugh. Now, laughing at a sober barroom bouncer is not a smart idea. Laughing at a drunk, Irish barroom bouncer on St. Patrick’s Day is suicidal. But hey, I have always been a vertical cutting kind of guy. Luckily for my sake the owner (who if memory serves me correctly had some kind of connection to the Japanese Yakusa, as an interesting side note) stepped in and defused the situation. The bouncer bought me a green pint and we cheersed and all was well. Ahhh, that magic of St. Patrick’s Day. The next night there was a heavy line to get into the pub, and I was unusually late to the party. The same bouncer (who looked like he had been hit with a Mack truck that was hauling a load of Mack trucks) pulled me out of line and profusely apologized for the situation the previous night. I quickly shook his hand and there were no hard feelings as he let me skip right into the bar without waiting. I found out later that he was tasked with tracking down everyone he insulted the night before as penance and to save his job. Last I heard he is still tracking down a few wayward drunks before the contract hit from the Yakuza is lifted.

LESSON LEARNED : Irish people hate French People. Japanese people hate Irish people. Vis-a-vis French people love Japanese People.

That same year the bar ran out of green food colouring and someone decided that you just can’t have plain golden beer…So purple food dye was substituted. Because hey, who will know?

Another memory finds us looking in on me one year later. This time I decided to stay home and throw my own party. While I have thrown a few parties over the years they never consisted of more than a keg or two of beer and a solitary bowl of stale chips. I never saw the need for more. However, St. Patrick’s Day is a little different. You are asking 20-30 people in this case to avoid the inevitable good time of making the rounds of the local bars and swaying arm and arm with strangers singing a poor man’s version of O’ Danny Boy. You are asking your friends to take a risk on you. That can be stressful. You want relives stress? Alcohol. So that is what I did. The party was set to start at 8pm. At 10 am I was ready and pacing around the house. The anxiety was killing me. I decided a beer at 10 O’Clock in the morning was a good way to chill out. Well I couldn’t then and still can’t now, have just one. I continued throughout the afternoon until (in all seriousness) there was a cluster of 38 empty beers bottles surrounding the couch I now slept on. The party was awesome. Occasionally I will hear a friend bring it up as one of the great parties of the last decade. I never saw one guest. I was left on the couch as the party happened on and around me. Good times….

LESSON LEARNED: Stop at 37

Our next and final drunken green memory takes place several years later and across the country in Banff, Alberta. The highlight of this story comes at the end of the night after the festivities are over and your weary storyteller makes the long walk home only to discover that he too is not immune to the St. Patrick’s Day drunken fistacuffing stereotype. As I stumbled along the long and winding trail (under normal circumstances it is actually a short, straight paved road) I finally came upon my place of residence. I stopped in the parking lot to have smoke before going inside. It is then I notice my soon to be opponent. A full grown male Elk was standing in the parking lot (not uncommon at all for Banff). If you are unfamiliar with elk, google them. They are bigger than a deer, smaller than a moose and are as dangerous as Jason Voorhees when angered. At first I stared in wonder. Wonder gave way to concern as the Elk neared my car. I cautioned the Elk to not take another step in that direction. Again if you are unfamiliar with Canadian Elk you probably don’t know that they can perfectly communicate with drunk assholes (you can google that too). The Elk ignored my warning and walked directly to my car and stood beside it. Now I was pissed (for no logical reason). I yelled expletives at the animal. He responded by (no word of a lie) looking straight at me and then peeing on my car. Yes, an Elk pissed on my car which I can only assume was out of spite. Those of you who do not think our furry friends are capable of spite, well you’d be wrong. Every wonder why your car is the only one in the parking lot covered in bird shit? Or why those raccoons will spend all night vigilantly placing your garbage all over your deck and yard? Sometimes animals turn around with middle fingers in the air in defiance of years of aerosol cans, clear-cutting and dumping. Back to the Elk; he peed on my car. I took a few steps closer, pointed and berated the creature for unacceptable urination. Can you see where I went wrong here? The Elk charged me. In what I lacked in drunken agility I made up for in luck as I dove over the hood of another car and quickly made my way to the rear. I laid on the ground panting and slowing got up to my knees and peered over the trunk to see the Elk glaring at me through the car. He stomped his hoof and I made a girlie scream and made the 30 foot dash to the front door of my building. I looked back at the Elk through the glass doors. He stared back for a moment than turned and walked off into the moonlight, head held high. Conclusions I later drew from this were, either I hurt the Elk’s feelings or that it was one of those rare Irish elks and he must have smelt the French in me. I capitalized the ‘E’ in elk in this last paragraph because that night, that Elk earned my respect.

LESSON LEARNED: Carry shotgun

Those were just a few of many St. Patrick’s Day memories. Were they the best ones. I don’t know…They were the only ones I could remember….And they serve as proof that valuable life lessons can only be learned through drunken irresponsible behaviour.

To all my Irish friends, happy St. Patrick’s Day! To everyone else, happy fake Irish day!

Cheers,
Jason
Follow – @gskewedview