Applebee’s dollar beer night: Sunday through Thursday, from until . Four good, young men descend from the other side of the tracks, the side of the tracks where the college kids live on their parents’ dimes. Four good, young men step out of the tan 1997 Volvo station wagon, walk slowly to the door and take seats at the bar. It’s dollar beer night.
Even at such a bargain price, it is easy to run a sizable bar tab in just three hours; if you are dedicated; especially easy when you consider than none of the four young men are thinking clearly or rationally about how they intend to get home safely, or if.
I lost count at double digits. By then the beer foam has flooded my mathematical intuition. I am not even certain how much the bar tab was, I just took it, looked, wrote down a series of numbers, showed it to the bartender and asked what she thought. She nodded yes and pulled her head back quickly, so I figured that the tip I left would suffice. Normally, I would wake the next morning, still in my clothes from the night before and search my pockets to find, with surprise, a receipt. But this night was different. Upon leaving the restaurant, I lit the paper on fire and tossed it at one of my cohorts as he walked to the car.
It sank like a feather, eventually landing between his foot and his flip flop, sending him jumping off of the curb in shock, while at the same time causing our designated driver to full onto the asphalt nearly in tears from laughter. The “sober one” now rolling into and around an old oil stain, gets up, still laughing and brushes himself off. This is when we all realized the awful truth.
We were all too drunk to walk without laughing or talk without fighting. From the door to the car was only a distance of ten yards, and already three punches were thrown (one from the flaming paper incident, two more from an argument about “Carmen Elektra or Pam Anderson) and our DD was covered in parking lot motor oil.
We all sat on the curb: three smokers and a man trying to convince himself that he was “totally alright to drive.” After about two minutes, he conceded. “forget it, ya’ll can smoke in my car.” None of us were in any condition to protest, so we complied; back into the car and up university, over the tracks and out of trouble.