…My Living Room (Again).
This is all too familiar. Not the fact that I’m passed out, mind you; rather, the fact that I’m passed out in my living room. If you recall, this same locale was the scene of yet another “Tale” this past summer. If nothing else, perhaps it’s more dignified to pass out in your own home? Pfft. Passing out is passing out. Dignity’s got nothing to do with it.
For the record, managing to sleep while sitting on the floor, legs crossed, head hung low, ain’t as easy as it looks. Skills, people. Skills.
The latest “Tale” took place Saturday night, the day after Christmas. I mean, what better way to celebrate my dad and step-mother’s anniversary, right? Okay, that didn’t have a thing to do with it. My pal, Chuck, and his ladyfriend were in town, and the three of us made our way out to one of the only bars worth visiting here in Harrisburg, The Pep Grill. We used to frequent this place when its only customers were drunks, would-be prostitutes, and Harrisburg’s Mayor, Stephen Reed. (That last part, incidentally, is absolutely true. Mayor Reed was and remains a Pep Grill regular. It’s pretty fantastic, actually.) For one reason or another the place started to become popular — too popular — and before we knew it The Pep Grill was no longer much fun. What was once our local shithole became a trendy spot for the Harrisburg masses. Rather than tough it out, we had to give up on the joint. A damn shame, really.
The “Pep” was the site of several, well, indiscretions over the years. For instance, they used to keep a beer cooler for to-go beer at the front of the beer. It didn’t take them long to realize that drunken folk like myself were snatching beers from the cooler and drinking them while still sitting at a table. I mean, in a dump like that, it was pretty damn easy and inviting. Another favorite Pep pastime was lighting up their outdated jukebox with nothing but “wipeout” music, a habit Chuck and I continue to practice. The object is to essentially find the most ridiculous or annoying music on the jukebox and do one’s best to completely piss off the entire bar. We have several fallbacks (the 20-minute live version of Ween’s “Poopship Destroyer” is my calling card and personal favorite), but because the Pep doesn’t have a digital jukebox, we always looked for two songs in particular: Shaggy’s “Boombastic” and, during the holiday season, Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis.” The jukebox still plays three-for-a-dollar at The Pep, so three straight playings of, say, Eddie Grant’s “Electric Avenue” is by no means out of the question.
Again, this past Saturday a group of, oh, 10 of us planted ourselves at The Pep, and rather than ordering one drink at a time, we convinced the bartender to sell us six-packs of Miller High Life all night. So, it seemed like every 20 minutes or so there was yet another six-pack sitting on our table in its own High Life carrying case. Now that, friends, is service. We managed to stay till last call before heading back to my place. Upon arrival, our drunk asses were, of course, famished, so naturally I threw a bread bowl of home-made spinach and artichoke dip in the oven. We attacked it like jackals; we ripped it to shreds. What happened next? I have no idea. All I know is that I woke up in my bed, walked downstairs, and saw Chuck’s camera sitting by the front door. I knew immediately what had happened: my drunk ass had been captured on film. Again.
Captain Wipeout, indeed.
Well, that’s it for this installment of The Wandering Jew. If there’s one thing you can count in, this won’t be the last time you see me this way. Until next time, have at it, you vultures!