It was an interesting weekend. Friday afternoon I left for the Detroit area, where I was having a work retreat. Sweet. We stayed at the Dearborn Inn, which was nice, and I didn't have to pay for anything while there, which was nice. What wasn't nice was that the IU/Illinois game was on ESPN Plus, and was not being picked up locally in Detroit. Thus, when dinner was over and a bunch of us went to the hotel bar to watch basketball, we had to watch some damn Big East or Big XII game.
Thankfully Jamie "Operation Back Bacon" Belanger was able to give me play-by-play over the phone of the last minute of regulation or overtime. From what I've come to learn, it might have been better for my future with my firm that I didn't see the game, unless for some reason my firm encourages the throwing of half-empty bottles of Newcastle at plasma-screen TVs in swanky hotel bars.
Saturday the retreat got done with at about 2, but my flight wasn't until 6. Rather than sit around at the hotel bar, I went to the airport early, setting up shop at a fairly terrible, very little airport bar called Bricks or something like that. The bartender was a small sixtysomething woman who may as well have been Helen Keller. She couldn't hear worth a damn and she was a low talker.
After I was there for about a half hour, Helen -- despite the fact that three of the other six chairs at the bar were occupied -- decided that I looked like someone who cared that she hired a shitty carpenter to install some walls in her basement, at least that's what I think she said. I just started nodding and saying, "oh yeah, you can't trust anyone these days" every forty-three seconds.
Luckily a nice middle-aged couple from Oxford, Michigan sat down next to me (I was at the corner, so it was good for conversing with strangers). Eventually it came to light that I am a lawyer. Usually I get DUI or wills questions, but this was pretty good. Their story goes like this: a friend of theirs was charged by the FBI with giving confidential military documents to the Chinese embassies in Chicago and DC. The kicker was that their friend is apparently a well-intentioned dunce who has not been to Chicago or DC ever in his life. From what the couple said, their friend was mentally incapable of such activity. Then again, that's what they said about Berkowitz. While they were there, I ordered a Bud Light that Helen legitimately forgot to charge me for.
After they left, the next corner friends happened to be some dude in med school at Michigan and a cougar looking for a piece from either me or the med student. The three of us had some good conversation, and the cougar bought us beer, which was nice. Also, she unlocked the mystery of why Sonic (the fast food chain, not the Hedgehog) airs commercials in states where no Sonics are located. If you live in Illinois, you know what I'm talking about. Anyway, the cougar used to work for Sonic, and she explained that it is cheaper to buy national cable ad space than space in all the local markets where Sonic is located. So there you go.
By the time I got on the plane, I was drunker than I've been on a plane since my flight to London on spring break 2000 where Shepley and I drank the plane out of several types of whiskey. Luckily this flight was only one hour, instead of eight.
When I touched down at Midway, I was still feeling excellent. I got on the Orange Line and put on my headphones. A couple seconds after the train left, I heard what sounded like someone playing a boombox loudly on the train, so I took my headphones off. A boombox it was not. I should have been so lucky. I kid you not, some pale-faced, scruffy-faced bastard got on the L at Midway and decided that it was time for him to showcase his guitar-playing inability for the entire ride downtown. This dude wasn't homeless or talented. No, this was a mid-20s douchebag who actually thought that everyone else on the car wanted to hear him lose his dignity on public transportation. Very uncouth.
When I arrived back at the homestead drenched in blood and wood splinters, our houseguests Amy and Kip were anxiously awaiting my arrival. After about five minutes, I realized that I had gone far too long without paying someone for a beer, so I left for Kirkwood to meet up with Shepley (yes, the very same Shepley with whom I got drunk on the flight to London nearly 7 years earlier to the day -- oh sweet irony!), who was in town for the Big Ten Tournament.
We then went to the Wrightwood Tap for an all-you-can-drink party to benefit some sort of condition that causes cells to grow uncontrollably. I didn't pay because I was already drunk. Luckily there were plenty of others there to get me free drinks. No amount of drunkenness, however, could have prepared me for what I was to encounter that eve.
At one point, I walked into the bathroom, which is very small (6x12 tops), containing two urinals next to a stall without a door. When you walk into the bathroom, you can see right into the stall. As I walk in, there's a guy at one urinal and a guy standing in the stall. The Stall Guy asks, "So what the hell are you supposed to do if you want to take a shit?" Sweet sister of mercy, I thought he was joking. Not so. In fact, there was nothing funny about his question. This motherfucker dropped trou and took his seat on the throne with no shame whatsoever. I pissed as fast as possible and got the hell out of there knowing that soon the whole bathroom would smell like my old boss's breath. There's nothing quite like seeing a guy taking a shit in a door-less bathroom stall in a crowded bar to join otherwise unacquainted men in laughter. I sincerely hope there was no toilet paper.
Kip was so mentally disturbed by the events that transpired that he bought a pack of 100s on the way home from the bar.
Sunday morning while at the Golden Apple, I was unable to come up with the title of the teen movie starring Sisqo and Vitamin C. Less than one minute after I texted Tron for the answer, he responded with Get Over It.
I'd like to thank the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee for once again sending IU out west, thereby ensuring that I can work a full day and not miss the IU game. How is it that IU, as a 7 seed, gets sent halfway across the country to Sacramento to play Gonzaga, a 10 seed from two states away? And fucking Illinois, who squeaked into the tournament as a 12 seed, gets to play in Columbus? What the fuck? Why bother calling IU a 7 seed, since it obviously gets punished for being a higher seed than its opponent? And then Louisville, as a 6 seed, gets to play essentially two home games (assuming they beat Stanford) down the road in Lexington. Texas A&M -- the 3 seed in that pod, who could potentially play Louisville in the second round -- has to be pissed off about that. To a lesser extent, Butler and should be mildly angry about having to play as higher seeds up in Buffalo against Old Dominion (located in Norfolk, VA for those of you not up on your public universities in Virginia). But they're probably not as pissed off as Florida. Apparently being defending champion means that you get to play Jackson State only 187 miles south of Jackson, while you get to travel 559 miles from Gainsville, across the hurricane-prone Florida Panhandle and Gulf Coast. The fix is on! And boy does 8-seed BYU have to be livid about having to play 9-seed Xavier a mere 89 miles from Cincinnati (but 1673 miles from Provo). You might as well tell the Cougars that they have to play on Sunday.
Don't forget to join the GMYH Tournament Challenge!