Monday, March 07, 2005
This weekend I went home to Philly because I had my 8th grade twelve year reunion.
Yes, I’m serious.
I know it’s unorthodox to have a reunion for your junior high class, let alone a twelve year reunion, but don’t be a dick. Besides, I’d go to a fucking KKK meeting if it had a buffet and four-hour open bar for $40.
And to be honest, I was a little nervous. Well, maybe “nervous” isn’t the word – “horny” is probably better. Of course the horniness doesn’t have anything to do with the reunion, but because I can’t stop thinking about Keira Knightley in “Pirates of the Caribbean” in that corset, exposing her heaving bosom. Good lord. She’s way too thin for me, but when those boobies are popping out, they nearly drive me to murder. But I’m getting off track here.
I was anxious about the reunion. In grade school, I was a nerdy chubby kid who always had a crush on a girl who wanted nothing to do with him. Of course, nothing has changed in this department, except now I drink a lot of beer.
And reunions are inherently a strange, anxious-inducing experience: you’re in a room with people who you haven’t seen in years (in this case, having last seen them when you were 13), a lot of alcohol, and a DJ. Weird, weird shit.
The idea was hatched a few months ago when I was emailing with my friend Christine, who was actually my date to our 8th grade dance. I said something to the effect of, "Man, it's a shame that we didn't have a ten year reunion, because I would have loved to brag about how much money I make to all the girls who rejected me in grade school." Christine, bless her heart, then took it upon herself to organize a twelve year reunion. So now you're filled in.
And my friends and I were looking forward to it (yes, I'm still good friends with many of the people I went to junior high with; it's a neighborhood thing that's hard to explain to people who didn't grow up in a city). My buddy David, who went to Jacksonville for the Super Bowl, bought something like $300 worth of fireworks down there which we planned to set off sometime between 4am and 6am the morning after the reunion. Our plan was to re-enact what we did on the night of our 8th grade dance twelve years ago: get drunk at my buddy Wick's house, shave his head, throw rotten fruit at cars, and light fireworks (except Wick is now bald, so we couldn't really re-enact that). And yes, we are all 25 years old. Some of us even have girlfriends and ambition. Not me though - I have back hair and $20 worth of pot on me at all times.
For months, I'd been getting emails from my friends saying, "This is gonna be out of control" and "You'd better be ready to drink". And, for me at least, the results were disastrous. It's going to be hard to describe what happened, because, frankly, I don't remember much, but I will do my best.
First of all, and I've written this before, "Jason Mulgrew" and "open bar" do not mix. I'm serious, so serious that it's not even funny. I've been to a lot of open bars in my life, but each time I go to one, it's like I can't believe that the alcohol is free (or in this case, already paid for). "Like a kid in a candy store" is not an accurate metaphor, because a child, not matter how much he likes candy, does not physiologically need candy to make him happy, sexy, and complete. "Like a coke head in a cocaine factory" works much better, except it's not funny at all and to my knowledge there are no such things as cocaine factories.
Adding to the dangers of the open bar was the fact that they served little beers at this event - instead of your standard twelve ounce bottles, they only had eight ounce bottles. An eight ounce bottle of beer is the size of a monster shot and can be drank in about three or four sips. My dislike of unnecessary movement has been well-documented both on this site and by independent film crews, so the entire night I double-fisted, drinking (or at least holding) two beers at once. About an hour into the event, the bartender would see me approaching from across the room and would have two open lil' bottles of Budweiser on the bar waiting for me.
My friends and I had a couple of beers before going to the reunion, which was held at a catering hall, to loosen up a bit and because apparently free beer for the next four hours simply wasn't enough. About six of us walked in together, so as to escape any awkwardness. After checking our coats, we headed straight for the bar.
And to be honest, it wasn't nearly as weird as I thought it would be. It was actually nice to see everyone, including the three teachers who taught us in 8th grade. Things were going well.
Because I consider myself the greatest toast and speech-writer of all time, I wrote a small speech to give at the reunion on the train ride down to Philly. Of course, no one asked me to write or give a speech and I never actually did give the speech, as that would have required using one hand to hold the microphone and thus I would have need to put down one of the two beers I had in my hands at all times. I contemplated lying and saying that I gave the following speech, and telling you all that when I was finished I was cheered by the men and fellated by the women, who all happened to be dressed as mermaids, but unlike other websites that describe being a degenerate twenty-something, we here at JasonMulgrew.com are committed to the truth (zing!). Here's the lil' speech:
First, I’d like to welcome everyone here to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s Class of 1993’s twelve year reunion. I know that we when graduated in ’93, I thought to myself, “Man, I can’t wait to see these guys again at our twelve year reunion” and I’m sure many of you felt the same way.Not my best, but not bad, considering it was written on a hungover train ride.
Christine asked me to say a few words and at first I was reluctant, but then her check cleared, so here I am.
I look around and I see a lot of familiar faces. Some I haven’t seen in twelve years, some I’ve seen quite regularly over the years. I look and see one face that owes me $800. And I may or may not be talking about David Flood, but I don’t think this is the time or place to get into that.
And from talking to you all I’m surprised by how far we’ve come. Many of us have careers, some of us are married - some of us even have kids. Meanwhile, some of us are running a small time pornography business out of our parents’ basement – Jimmy Kane I’m looking in your direction.
But really, deep down below the extra layers of flab and body hair that we’ve accumulated since we’ve gotten older, we’re still those same kids that we were back in the good old days at Mt. Carmel. At this point I wish I could regale you with some of my favorite stories from our time at Mt. Carmel, but because of a bear attack I suffered in Vancouver in 1999, I can’t remember anything from 1983-1995. So, sorry about that.
But I look around the room and I’m happy what we’ve become: good men, upstanding women, and whatever the hell Wick is. And I feel nothing but respect for you all, nothing but respect. Not pride. Not happiness. Not friendship. Just respect.
I should probably cut this short because I’m pretty drunk and the room is starting to spin, but again, welcome. Please be sure to take advantage of the open bar - [whispering] that means it’s free. And be sure to thank Christine for going out of her way and spending a lot of time and money to organize this reunion. Here’s to you Christine and to a good night. Now somebody better have a vodka tonic waiting for me when I put this microphone down, god damn it.
Back to the real life: slowly as the night progressed, things started to unravel for me. I felt like shit to begin with. I didn't go out the previous night, but in an attempt to save money but still get drunk my roommates Ben and Brian and I stayed in and got absolutely shit-housed and watched four episodes of "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" in a row. Of course, that means I had an erection for four straight hours, but my roommates were too drunk to notice. Also, like I've said, my penis is about the size of a wine cork, so even if they were sober and had excellent, hawk-like vision, they probably still wouldn't have noticed.
So I slept like shit and was hungover and there I was: pounding eight ounce beers at my twelve year reunion. One of my teachers, a guy who I idolized when he taught me, started making comments about my double-fisting, things like, "Do you really need two beers?" and "Jason, the bar is right there and it's not going anywhere - you can only drink one at a time." And it irked me. As any addict or borderline addict will tell you (not that I am either Mom or Dad or anyone I see on Christmas who may be reading this), there's nothing worse than being attacked about your problem. I laughed it off, but as the night wore on, it bothered me 'smore. I talked to some of the other people in attendance and they too remarked that he wasn't being very cool about the crazy fun boozing that was going on. By the end of the event, I was pretty drunk and was talking to one of my other teachers about the first teacher's remarks telling her, "I mean, it's not like I'm an alcoholic or anything [taking one sip from each beer]. I'm just trying to have fun! And I can have fun without drinking too, because I'm not an alcoholic, not at all [drinking candle wax because beers have run out]. I'm just saying that it bothers me. Because I don't like it implied that I'm an alcoholic, when I'm clearly not [breaking beer bottles on table, eating shards of broken glass because they have some beer on them]."
Any time you have to qualify to your former teacher at a class reunion that you are NOT an alcoholic - three times - well, that's a pretty fucking good reunion.
Another highlight came shortly after the event was over. The reunion itself ended at midnight, so everyone made plans to go to a nearby bar. While everyone was pouring out, I was offered a bowl to smoke with a few of the guys. As we were on the street, we didn't have anywhere to go, so we ducked into a nearby alley, trying to be discreet as possible. Wouldn't you know it - just as I'm bent over a pipe smoking like a crack whore from Compton, the girl I loved for six of the eight years of grade school walks by and sees me. Great. I had just spent four hours talking about my big shot job in New York City, my growing Internet Empire, and how much I spend on the women I care about, and she sees me drunk in an alley doing drugs. I can't believe I'm single.
Of course, this didn't stop me from taking a pit stop and smoking again before we got into the bar (which was a football throw away from the catering hall where the reunion was held), and I was ZONKED. I love drinking heavily and I love smoking doobs, but you really can't mix both. Before we smoked, I was doing "fine": really drunk, but I had my shit together and was ready to go. After we smoked, I was still drunk, but now I was high and very, very tired, desperately in need of a bed and a sandwich, preferably with loads of cheese and mayo.
Not surprisingly, here's where things get fuzzy. I thought I was at the bar for maybe thirty minutes tops, but we closed it down, so we were there around two hours. News to me. We then went to my buddy Wick's house and continued drinking, although my this point I was totally pussed out and (and I'm ashamed to write this) was drinking water. I remember sitting on a couch talking to my friend Tricia, and I'm about 95% sure that during this conversation my eyes were completely closed. I know, I know - I'm a total pussy. And I don't use that word often, because I hate it. "Total" - such an ugly word.
I realized that I wasn't doing well and decided to get out of there, pulling my patented "I'm going outside to make a phone call but I'm secretly leaving" move, which worked quite well, because everyone was as equally messed up as I was. The next thing I remember I was throwing up in my dad's bathroom. A lot. Happy reunion everyone!
Since the reunion, a lot of stuff has come back to me and my friends. Stuff like the class weird kid, who hopes to open his own strip club, getting drunk and showing everyone his nipple before taking a cup of water and pouring it on himself. And stuff like lighting fireworks in my friend Wick's house, losing control of a bottle rocket, and having it burn the foot of one of my friends. One of my friends got hit in the face with a snowball and now has a black eye. A couple of guys stayed out all night drinking, and some went to work the next day. Meanwhile, yours truly was trapped in a bedroom with a massive brain-hemorrhage inducing hangover. Such is life.
All things considered, the reunion was a blast. We joked that we wouldn't have one again until our 24th, so that means I have twelve years to do something really impressive to wow and stun my former classmates, which I failed to do this time.
To be honest, it doesn't look good. Crap.