January 8, 2005

Known Knowns

So. I just got back from a night on the town with the Alpine crew, and I am currently lacking in clarity of thought. Today was my last day at Alpine, so we partied hardy, as Alpine employees are wont to do. When we took our Friday walk to the Market and were perusing the coolers for beverages, one of the regular employees (who recognizes us as regular Friday afternoon customers) immediately recommended their new alcoholic energy drink. We grabbed a couple cans and downed them during our regularly scheduled Friday staff meeting, as we are wont to do.

After work we were under obligation to throw me an epic going-away party, so we hit up downtown Bend. As I recollect we started at Miranda’s, which is actually a rather fancy eating establishment, and proceeded to order nothing but India pale ales and free flat bread. Our group was a monstrous eight people before all was said and done, which was rather large in contrast to the typically manicured couple of Miranda’s. After realizing our intent, the servers requested that we leave the restaurant no later than thirty minutes after happy hour.

Well, no later than thirty minutes after happy hour, we uprooted and jammed on down to the Deschutes Brewery. We waited at least twenty minutes for a table to open up for our group, but then it started snowing. Being people with short attention spans, we were quickly distracted by the storm and stepped outside to hang out in the cold. Prompted by a group of teenagers commenting about the dire consequences of the inclement weather, we started complaining that this here weather was horrible for our bangs. With us we carried this meme for at least ten minutes, incessantly complaining about our bangs, before the rest of our group met us outside, having decided that the Deschutes Brewery was no longer worth the wait.

That, or we had finally caught up with Rick’s wife, who we were destined to meet at the Deschutes. Upon meeting her, I asked whether she was Rick’s daughter, and feigning surprise at her answer I proceeded to hit on her. It didn’t work, of course, but like most things it was worth the effort.

We started heading towards our next venue, and for some reason or another, Jody and I decided that fighting in the middle of the sidewalk was a really good idea. We went at it, I cut my knuckles open on his teeth, but in the end the former combat medic had me pinned to the ground. Nevertheless, he hurt his bum ankle in the process, and we limped our way to the Bend Distillery.

The whole goal behind the Bend Distillery was to acquire martinis, and I got one with gin and twist and the whole bit. We sat in old theater seats collected around an old bathtub, and it wasn’t long until my blood was up once again and Jody and I had to step outside for another fight.

We went at it in the street right in front of the bar, and even though I managed to get some good punches in on the back of Jody’s neck, I still got taken to the ground. Upon returning to the bar, I was surprised to learn that the waitress had decided that I was completely cut off. This distressed me so, as I knew I was not particularly drunk, and I was by far not drunk enough to warrant being cut off by a business established for the purpose of making people drunk.

My friends and co-workers assured me that it was some element of Oregon state law, that the waitress was legally obligated not to serve me, due to my untoward actions. I was deeply concerned that it was my excitable and boisterous personality alone, not the alcohol, that was banning me from further (delicious!) martinis, but when I tried to raise this point with the waitress I said all the wrong things and made some apparently threatening actions that further ensured isolation from my inebriated crew.

No matter. To relieve my emotional distress at this sudden failing of service, Jody and I stepped outside once again. In the street again, he demanded that I get a free punch, a free punch anywhere. “Chest or face?” I asked. “Either,” he replied. Well, I can’t bring myself to punch a friend in the face, so I threw a measly punch to his chest and we grappled to the ground once again. I tore open my elbow on the icy ground and got punched in the eye, but all things considered it was a pretty good fight.

Good as in fun, not as in effective and/or victorious from my side. I kept trying to pick fights with Morgan, but he insisted that he wasn’t a violent person. I insisted that I wasn’t a violent person as well, I mean really, but man, I had found something here that was actually pretty fun and self-destructive that I had never experienced before, and hey, don’t you want to experience it, too? He didn’t. Back in the Distillery, my co-workers proceeded to pawn their half-finished martinis off on me, as I was obviously not going to get reinstated with the waitress based on my current track record.

Utterly hopeless, I finally challenged Lance to a brawl in the icy roads of downtown Bend. Lance, having a good hundred pounds on me, didn’t hesitate to accept and we went at it. Passersby thought that I was absolutely mad, but being used to such things I refused to let their impressions guide my foolish actions. Lance took me to school and back. Somewhere in there I got glocked in the nose.

The blood had finally boiled out of me, and I took a cue from my boss and started chatting with a girl sitting across the bathtub from us. Her name was Andrea, and she had lived in California before getting her real estate license in Arizona. She had just recently moved to Bend on Monday and was flying by the seat of her pants, looking for work, money, or exploitation opportunities. I thought of telling her that I had ready access to all three, but held back. Feeling that it would be unprofessional, I also kept to myself such stories as search engine exploitation with Ads For Free, four-wheeling expeditions through North Rim, and stories of working with The Big Giant Head. Bend real estate? Oh, do I have experience with Bend real estate.

As with most, she was gone within five minutes of my talking to her. Other people started sobering up and bid farewell, and eventually Jim and I left Rick and his wife so we could hit up the Bend Brewing Company. Jim grabbed a wrap the size of a horse pill while I ate a plate of breaded tentacles, and we waxed philosophic about the journey ahead. Afterwards the drive back to Rolen was icy, so Jim shifted the Trooper into four wheel drive to make sure that we could run over anyone who happened into our way.

Ladies and gentlemen, this doesn’t even begin to account for the activities of yesterday evening, which included such things as the Cranky Old Man Blues, a CD entitled The Sounds of the Mosquito, and the innate suction between a bottle of Mike’s Hard Lemonade and a glossy shaved forehead. These things, too, may become known.