This past weekend I went back to the old homestead for my friend the Baker's bachelor party. We've known each other since very early high school and spent many of our formative years performing together in various plays, musicals, choirs, etc. So while I was somewhat saddened to not be in Madison for the eagerly anticipated Literary Murder Mystery Party, I was excited to see my boy and send him off in style.
Style, it turns out, was indeed the operative word of the evening. We set forth with a party of seven, mostly his family members, all good men and true. Four of us had graduated from the same high school. One of his relatives was a Northwestern alum. And his brother had lived in Madison for several years shortly before I myself arrived here. So we were in good company all around.
They had chartered a limo, and the general plan of the evening was "Bar, dinner, bar, bar, bar, ad infinitum, requiem in pace." The limo, of course, also served as a bar, as it contained a cooler full of various beers and a bottle of Macallan 12 year for post-dinner consumption (not in the cooler, as that would be blasphemy of the grossest order). When you get to travel from drinking establishment to establishment, and the longest you're without a beer is the ten second walk from the bar to the limo, you know it's gonna be a fun time.
We started at a place called McGurk's, which seemed a very fine establishment. I had been warned beforehand by my mother, though, not to make a scene at this particular imbibery. Apparently my maternal family has quite a history there; they have been kicked out of that bar more times than she could remember, for reasons ranging from brawling to spontaneous Irish singing. While a part of me was tempted to start some shit in deference to my illustrious heritage, cooler logic prevailed.
Dinner was superb, particularly the variety of foods available. I had escargot for the first time ever (quite tasty, served on a puff pastry), lobster, crab cake, and veal dumplings, all as appetizers. Then, for entree, a filet mignon sliced along the side and stuffed with lobster and shrimp, with a bearnaise sauce on top. As many of you may know, I am a firm believer in the increasing need for meats stuffed with other meats, and this particular dish, as a tripartite alliance of meats beneath a sauce banner of brotherhood, elevated the evening to an entirely new level.
(The Baker, sadly, did not partake of this delicacy [though four of the other diners also did]. He instead opted for a rare rack of lamb, which I am firmly convinced led to the extremity of his downfall later that evening. But I'm getting ahead of myself.)
Following that, we traveled to at least two other bars, and then returned to our point of origin. On the way, we consumed a liberal quantity of the aforementioned scotch, while I repeatedly cautioned my compatriot not to vomit on my shoes. He obligingly, did not.
That profound moral restraint didn't persist once we arrived back, however (around 1:30 or 2:00 am, I believe, though my time sense was fuzzy by that point), and he spent the next hour or so being tended by his betrothed while desecrating the porcelain altar. We, his merry men, retired to the bar/basement, equipped with a full, professional-looking bar and pool table, where three generations of SLUH graduates engaged the enemy upon the red felt battlegrounds of Billardia. Upon our triumphant completion, the gentlemen were escorted home by their wives, and your illustrious blogger crashed on the couch for a few hours until he was sober enough to drive home.
It was just like I was back in high school, except this time I actually drank. Now I see what all my friends were talking about back then.
The drive back to Madison, however, was not so pleasant. Driving six hours, with a hangover, on four hours of sleep, is never advised. Though we may have been partying like it was high school, I just don't recover that fast anymore. Sadly.
So, final tally:
Limos rode in: 1.
Bars visited: 4 + limo.
Beers consumed: 7 (4 before dinner).
Glasses of wine with dinner: 3.
Glasses of scotch consumed: 1 liberal pour, neat.
Glasses of Irish whiskey consumed: 1.
Shots of Jäger consumed: 1.
Other beverages consumed: ???
Number of meats consumed: 9.
Hours of sleep on a couch: 2?
Hours of sleep in a bed: 3.
Number of Starbucks near my parents' house: 0.
My increasing rage at not being able to find a cup of chai anywhere to wake me up for the drive home: great.
Amount of work I got done on my dissertation over the weekend: 0.
Next weekend, Mimi comes to town, and I show her how we party Madison-style. Sadly no limo, but I may bring a flask just in case...