*Lions & Tigers & Bears, Oh My!

Ok, it’s been a very, very long month or whatever since I last posted here. I’ve been too occupied with work to do anything else. Well, I did go out after work one night for a few beers, which led to a party in Jeff Park, where I was seduced by a beer bong (wait, that sounds a little weird), and I met “Arabella”, yada, yada, fast forward eleven hours and insert the awkward morning-after looks. Not from me or her, but from my neighbors.

Thinking back on it, everything surrounding meeting her said “hook-up”. Me and the guys had been putting shots in with the beer (bong), I was lit like a campfire and the conversation of the last thirty minutes centered around recent female conquests. Which, due to my job, I was unable to contribute anything to the conversation. But I sure as hell listened. So, I’m drunk and “motivated”, when SHE strides into the room just as Barracuda started (click and listen, makes the story). We made eye contact, smiled and measured each other up. Wasting no time, I immediately went over, introduced myself and got the conversation going. Fortunately, the music was loud enough that it allowed me to get close enough to lean over and talk directly into her ear. She did the same thing. In fact, every once in a while, she would pull me in closer, as if she really liked what I was saying. Sweet.

After a few minutes of going back and forth, I realized that she had an accent, but for the life of me, I couldn’t place it. Well, she did have dark hair and she kept wanting to use her hands when she talked. So, yeah, she must be a New Yorker, probably Italian or whatever. Of course, with both of us drunk and trying to have a conversation with the speakers rockin’, she might have thought I was from Texas or Mars. Anyway, I suppose words didn’t really matter at this point. As long as she was picking up on my vibe, then everything was going to be fine. And by all accounts, my inner Hugh Hefner was doing his job.

After thirty minutes of yelling in each others ears and trying our best to dance, as well as drunk white people can, my ears are ringing from the endless 80’s rock, and we’re both giving each other the “let’s get out of here and go back to my place” look, when her friend walks up and says that her and her date are leaving in five minutes, do you want to share a cab? I spoke up (ok, yelled over the music) and said that we could use a lift over to Carmen’s on Sheridan. She (Miss Italy) grinned and nodded. Sweet. The next thing I know, all four of us are in the backseat of a cab, cruising down Lawrence Ave, and making out like horny teenagers. Not a word was spoken until we got the Carmen’s and then it was all I could do to say “keep the change”. We jump out of the cab and she immediately whips out her phone and starts texting somebody until we got to my place, which was only a couple of blocks away. I didn’t care because a good conversation wasn’t what either of us was looking for tonight.

Within a nano-second of my door closing, we were tearing each other’s clothes off, kissing, moaning, grunting and making our way to my bedroom. Hot damn, this is going to be one to remember! So, we’re butt-naked and horizontal, continuing with the kissing, caressing, moaning, yada, yada. I’m thinking that she is one very hot, sexy and motivated seduttrice, and Stanley is now standing straight up trying to catch a glimpse of his counterpart. Now, keep in mind that we had basically just left a concert and were now in a quiet bedroom, on a quiet street and it’s about 1:30am.

I don’t want to get too graphic here, but she’s on top and lets out a couple of moans. Then she really starts going at it and her moans turn into what sounded like a polar bear-walrus-fight-to-the-death, I dunno, I really couldn’t tell. So now I freeze up and I’m staring at her, thinking she really needs to work on a more sultry delivery, and she gets to going faster and faster, getting louder and louder, wtf, she sounds like Abe Vigoda being shoved into a tree shredder!! Well, she must have sensed what was going through my mind, so she leaned down and for the first time that night, I really heard her voice.

She was surprised to find out that I never noticed that she’s deaf. In fact, she was sort of pissed. However, I explained that I really couldn’t hear her back at the party and besides that, I wasn’t really paying attention to the words coming out of her mouth. I was thinking about how much I wanted to, you know… Well, she took that as a compliment and we started going at it again. The following morning I got some weird looks from a couple of my neighbors, but I’m really surprised that nobody called the cops about the murder happening in Unit 303. Oh, and yes, we did it again in the morning.

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*Keyser Söze’d (well, sort of)

Thinking back on that afternoon of two autumns ago, I should have stuck with the wine and the brunette. But, like they say, hindsight is 20/20.

Susan liked to spend one Saturday a month getting up early, going to garage sales and flea markets, then lunch, al fresco, with a drink or two, weather permitting. I always looked forward to being her cohort for the day. Not because she drives a kickass BMW, but because she lets me drive her around all day in her kickass BMW.

Anyway, we’re at Café Ba-Ba-Reba, drinking the best sangria in town, getting a pretty good buzz going (she lives two blocks away, so her car was parked for the day), and who walks up? My old neighbor Joel.

Joel was always the guy that would add a spark to any occasion. This night would be no different.

He sits down and proceeds to mesmerize us with stories of his recent trips to India and Hungary. Within thirty minutes I could close my eyes and imagine myself being 007, dashing through the streets of Budapest or on the back of an elephant, slowly parading down a market street in New Delhi. I knew I didn’t have a chance to hook up with Susan, but I knew I had a very good chance of hooking up with a hottie while carousing with Joel. So, I told Susan that Joel and I were going to hit the bricks and paint the town red. Sorry, but a man’s gotta do, what a man’s gotta do.

We jumped in a cab and headed over to Kelly’s Pub to begin our journey. As we rode other there, Joel was telling me about a beautiful woman he fell in love with in Udaipur. Gandhali loved him too, but her family forbad any interaction between the two. Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately), he went on to tell me that he had just found out that she had moved to Chicago, right here in Lincoln Park.

So, I had to ask him why in the hell he’s sitting in a cab with me, and he tells me that she refuses to return his calls. I started to suggest that we just go over to her place, but that drum roll started up in the back of my head, and I’ve learned to change directions whenever I hear it.

We ended up spending about two hours drinking shots of something I don’t really remember, and the entire time he’s calling this woman. I’d say he must have called her twenty times. No messages, just calling and hoping she’d pick up. Yeah, I know, but I was waiting for his typical magic to appear. I figured it was just a matter of time before he started in with his J. Peterman stories and a couple of smooth legs appeared.

Well, the magic never appeared and I was now very drunk and very hungry, and when I suggested that we go grab something to eat, Joel stood straight up and said that we should go up to the Udupi Palace. MF’r, I might as well have stayed home today and walked over there. Now this fool wants to take a thirty-minute cab ride to eat curry, when we have a boatload of restaurants within three blocks?! But, I thought about it and decided that going up there might be a good thing, as it wasn’t too far from my place and I could always just go home after eating. Yeah… if life were just that simple.

Once there, we gorged on curry chicken, lamb, rice, some dessert I’d never had before, and two bottles of Riesling. My gut was busting and I thought we were just about done for the evening, when my phone rang. It was Susan. She had locked her keys in her car and needed to me come down with her spare, as she didn’t want to go through the hassle of calling AAA, yada, yada. What else could I do but go back down there? Besides, maybe I’d sober up and light a fire under Joel.

So, we got back down to Lincoln Park, dropped off the key and we’re walking down Sheffield, when I had the great idea to go to Ambrosia. In hindsight, smoking some Code 69 and drinking more booze may not have been the smartest thing to do after all of the boozing and eating we’d already done. But the next thing I know, Joel has captivated two coeds with a romantic tale of sorts of some place called Cinque Terre in Italy. Now I had just started to angle my way into the conversation, when in walks a woman of Indian descent. Her family might have lived in Pittsburgh for the last four generations for all I know, but her dark hair and eyes (plus a lot of booze and a broken heart) made Joel think about his lost love and he immediately stopped talking and called what’s-her-name. At this point, the only thought running through my mind was that she’d better look like a freakin’ goddess, swallow, and make a great Rueben.

Needless to say, I had had enough of his JV approach to seeing the broad, so I grabbed him by the arm and said we’re going straight over to her place and get this over with. The first thing I thought about once the cab started rolling was that it’s been a solid six hours of eating and/or boozing, and I gotta push one out like nobody’s business. That said, I needed to focus on something else and Gandhali’s crib was only ten minutes away, so I coached up Joel on his approach if she answered the door.

So, we get out of the cab, and before I could pay the guy, Joel is racing up the back stairs, like there’s free money being passed out on the roof. I can barely waddle at this point, but I made it up to the fourth floor in about three minutes, which I thought would be enough time for this dumbass to at least knock on the door and see if she was home. Instead, I found him leering into one of the windows. I had taken two steps towards him and was about to tell him to get away from the fuckin’ window, when a woman from three doors down yelled out to us that Joel’s not supposed to be here and she’s already called the police. WTF?!

We both take off for the stairs, Joel trips me up, I fall face down, right on my stomach, get back up and make it down the rest of the stairs and across the parking lot, the best I could. Then I got between a dumpster and a gangway, squatting down so I wouldn’t be seen by anybody. Holy cow, this dumpster smells like shit. Anyway, I gave myself maybe ten seconds to collect my thoughts and to calm down, and then it’s off to catch a cab. I guessed that the neighbor didn’t get a good look at me, so it should be safe to catch one on Fullerton. So, I casually walk through the gangway (my knees, back and wrists killing me from the fall) and I’m standing there on the curb waiting for the cab and people are walking past and looking at me like I’m from another planet. Before that thought could completely register with me, I hear a siren.

Well, I’m thoroughly committed to running this one out if need be, so I take off back down the gangway, where I now see Joel standing by my dumpster. At this point I wanted to knock him out, but that would only make matters worse if a cop was about to pounce on us, and I also didn’t want him to get caught and subsequently drop a dime on me.

With that in mind, I called an audible. I grabbed him and said that the sirens are coming from that direction and we’d better go one block down and.. then Joel took off like a scared rabbit and I had to make sure he didn’t get pinched. So, I took off behind him and we made it maybe four blocks, when we realized that we had been running in the same direction as the siren, which was attached to an ambulance that was now turning the corner towards us.

Whew, I figured that we were safe as long as we got a cab. So, I’m standing there bent over, panting, with sweat running down my face and back, thinking that I’m gonna have a coronary any second, while counting my blessings, when I notice tears rolling down Joel’s face. He says that he’s gotta be honest with me and proceeds to tell me that he actually never went to India, etc. He had moved to Dallas because he had a restraining order out against him from Gandhali, whom he went to Downers Grove South High School and Butler University with. He’s been seeing a therapist, yada, yada. I then said that as long as we’re being honest, I have to tell him that if he ever mentions my name to her, her family or the police, I’m gonna make him wish that he was never born.

This is where things get sticky, literally. I didn’t expect him to do or say anything that would decisively prove that he’s nuts, but he very calmly looked at me, pointed to my backside and said “Oh, you shit your pants”, then walked away. He said it like someone would say “Oh, your shoe’s untied”  or “Oh, something fell out your pocket”.

Remember the fall I took on the stairs? Although, it’s a great story in itself too, going into detail about how I got home with a shred of dignity would take another thousand words, so I’ll leave it to your imagination.

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*Little Red Corvette

My cousin Michael gets out on prison next week. He’s spent the last three and a half years locked-up at a minimum-security place in Wisconsin a for a white-collar crime, basically for something someone connected would have received a slap on the wrist. So, the first thing to do when he gets back home is to take him out and show him a good time, including getting him laid.

Before he reported to prison I took him out for a few drinks, in what turned out to be a night to remember if you were a recent hair transplant recipient or a midget.

We started off drinking Tequila at The Pumping Co. We’d been sitting at a table for maybe thirty minutes, when Michael decided that he wanted to sit at the bar. OK, fine with me.  Well, Michael being Michael, he starts up a conversation with the guy (Cubs Fan) next to him, and after ten minutes of talking about pussy-this and pussy-that, buys him a drink. This guy looked like any other schmo in the place: jeans, Cubs hat, short hair and he looked like he might have pumped some iron back in the day, maybe even played football in high school.

So, in walks this hot piece of white trash (WT), who looks like she wants to spend a some time “entertaining” one of us. Unfortunately, for Michael, it was his new buddy. WT proceeds to walk straight up to Cubs Fan and plant a slow, deep, wet kiss that would have made the Pope get a hard-on. It lasted about thirty seconds, which was just enough time for Michael to mentally tear off her clothes and have sex with her three times. You have to keep in mind that its gonna be over a thousand days and nights before Michael can get some, so he’s sorta out of his mind at this point.

For the next hour or so, Michael orders round after round of beer, knowing that Cubs Fan will have to use the restroom, thus giving Michael a chance to seduce WT, bolt out the door, catch a cab, get back to her place and… Again, keep in mind that he’s sorta out of his mind. I could tell by now that Cubs Fan was onto Michael’s plan and had been holding off, so that Michael would have to go first, because WT was flirting right back a Michael, big time. She was behaving like she hadn’t been boned in months. But now, after about ninety minutes, Cubs Fan had to abandon his defense and say he’s gotta take a leak. Hmph, Michael looks at me with a smirk as we both watch Cubs Fan walk to the restrooms. But, we both just about fall off our bar stools when we watch Cubs Fan go inside the women’s restroom.

Ohhhhhhhhh, we get it now! Michael wasted no time in telling WT that he was going to be locked up for a while and really wanted to have some wonton sex before he went away and that he could tell that she could really use a high, hard one to boot. It was a win-win situation! She bit, but Cubs Fan must have sensed something was awry, because she was double-timing it back to our spot before we could pay the tab. So, I was pulling money out of my pocket and stepping to the bar…

I guess I shoulda known, By the way u parked your car sideways, That it wouldn’t last
See you’re the kinda person, That believes in makin’ out once, Love em and leave em fast
I guess I must be dumb, cuz u had a pocket full of horses,Trojan and some of them used
It it was saturday night, I guess that makes it all right, And u say what have I…

Oh yeah, baby. You like sucking my toes? Oh yeah…

Heh? What? I woke up on the floor to see Michael laying face down, on top of two broken chairs, with a Cubs hat and hand full of hair. Evidently, I took a step towards Cubs Fan, which she took as an act of aggression, thus planting her left elbow squarely on my right temple. I later found out this strike is called Empi Uchi, in the Japanese art of Shotokan Karate, of which Cubs Fan holds a Third Degree Black Belt. Michael was introduced to the Shuto yoko ganmen uchi (knife-hand strike to head), and from what we later heard, a very pretty Ushiro mawashi geri (reverse roundhouse kick), followed by a Yoko tettsui (sideways hammer-fist strike). I guess I got off lucky. Evidently, the hair in Michael’s hand was from Cub Fan’s recent hair transplant. He has no recollection of grabbing her head and to be honest, I think she might have allowed him a free shot, but got pissed that he went for the hair instead of a kick to the nuts or something. I can’t blame Michael though, our high school wrestling coach always told us “Control the head, control the beast”.

Oh, yeah, the midget. To make a long story short, we ended up at the 7-Eleven, near Western and Lawrence, when Michael spotted a hot (remember…) midget getting into a cab, we hopped in a cab and followed her to Grafton’s Pub, where she simply disappeared into the crowd inside (imagine that). We looked for her for thirty minutes (or five beers, whichever came first) before we found her sitting at a table full of Grafton softball players. Michael looked like a mess with a swollen eye and lip, dried blood on his beard, and a bloody and torn shirt. He assumed that with her being a “little person” (notice how I used small caps to write that?) that she would take anything that she could get, but this gal had some class. He tried every conceivable approach, Jedi mind tricks and even cash, to no avail. Overall, getting your ass kicked by a dyke and being shot down by a midget is not the way to spend one of your last nights as a free man.

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*Monkey Gone To Heaven

Enjoying a cold beer or two last night at the Holiday Club was all I had in mind when I jumped on the red line, but I should have known better when I found myself seated across from the Moirae.  I tried not to look at them or get their attention, but I just couldn’t help myself. So, I casually looked at the reflection on the window next to me and checked out the one wearing the wool cap. I swear I saw her smile at me, so I turned my head and looked right at her. Unfortunately, the other two looked at me and rolled their eyes, while the wool cap fan simply snickered and looked away. Shit. Not exactly a confidence builder.

They got off at Wilson, going to scare the kids at Truman I suppose. I stayed on, closed my eyes and thought about more immediate concerns, like, was the Government behind Old Style changing their brewing process, and the show I watched the other night about penguins living in Antarctica. After watching 30 or 40 minutes of it, I was convinced that’s how the worst of us are re-incarnated, over and over.

Anyway, I jumped off at Sheridan, picked up some breath mints downstairs and headed over to the Holiday, with a rejuvenated spirit. It was crowded for a weeknight, and I thought about heading down the street to the Wrigleyville North Bar to check out the redhead bartender, but something told me to stay. Within a minute or two, I spotted some friends at the bar, said sup, and ordered a beer and chips. Within an hour of general bullshitting, I noticed that I had already had four beers. Well now, I guess tonight might be special. Damn the Fates and their stuck-up attitude.

So, now it’s two hours into the Thursday Night Edition of “Yeah, it could always be worse, I could be Keanu Reeves Agent” and I find myself now seven beers into it and I’m talking to Marty’s cousin’s best friend, who happens to be so hideous, that she makes Sarah Jessica Parker look like a super model (in fact, the bartender whispered to me that if she were his dog, he’d shave her ass and make her walk backwards), and thinking that I should slow down and eat something, but Marty and his brother were hell-bent on throwing up tonight and the best thing I could do is slip away to the other end of the bar and hide behind a fatty for an hour or so.

Before I excused myself, I took a big swig of Jerry’s Manhattan and swished it around my mouth to get rid of the Funyun breath that failed to keep the ugly away. Then, I  hit the men’s room, slid by the crew, made my way over to the other end of the bar, and ordered a Sloppy Joe and coffee. Within thirty seconds of receiving my sandwich, about ¾ of it was in my mouth, the other ¼ was on my shirt and I found myself smiling like a fool, humming “Monkey Gone To Heaven”, and thinking that Marty’s cousin’s best friend looks like Abe Lincoln, with better hair, from over here. And no, I wouldn’t fuck Abe Lincoln either.

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I will be standing near the corner of Irving Park and Western tonight from 10:20 pm – 10:30 pm. Please do not approach me.

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