Tonight is Jessica and Ron’s birthday. The plan is predrinks at Jessica’s apartment, then to our house, and off to the bars on Crescent. Early on, I realize my newfound purpose for the evening. Answering a higher calling I’ve rarely felt, I assume the roll usually reserved for those less fond of the drank then myself. Tonight I’ll be the Designated Driver.
Adam, in his wisdom, suggests that I might feel more involved in the party if I get a fun cup (i.e. a light-up pink martini glass, or plastic sequined beer mug.) I am painfully aware that a fun cup filled with water is a poor substitute for any cup filled with alcohol, but immediately agree to his suggestion, because (1) the need for a fun cup creates the perfect excuse to shop Richard’s Variety Mart (RVM), and (2) RVM is right next door to Trader Joe’s, which has never failed me in the free sample department.
RVM, although lacking in the free sample arena, makes up for this fact in every other way. If you are ever in need of a birthday gift for anyone, no matter what their interests, head straight for RVM. You will undoubtedly find what you had no idea you were looking for, and the happy recipient of the glow-in-the-dark Fidel Castro Magnets, Weiner Dog cigarette holder, or Grow-Your-Own-Dominatrix is bound to thank you. She probably doesn’t own one already, and you’ll look awesome next to the unimaginative fools who bought her Chicken Soup for the Gardeners Soul, a scented candle, or a picture frame.
Of course, RVM fails me not, and I leave the store with a plastic cup molded to exactly replicate a real coconut. Only this cup is better than a real coconut, not just because it is dishwasher safe, but because, printed in playfully rustic dandilion gold lettering, as if in after-thought, it mischievously calls upon, not just the lucky owner (me, thank god!), but all those fortunate enough to come in contact with coconut-shaped-cup, to cut loose and forget about our financial troubles, if only for the night. The cup’s mantra “Let’s Get Coco-Nutty,” is one we might all benefit from listening to and living by.
Coconut-shaped-cup and I step into Trader Joe’s, where I am treated to chocolate covered gingersnaps. They are crazy good, if you like ginger. They might be good even if you don’t like ginger, but I’d be a bad judge of that. Score and score!
Seven-ish we arrive at Jessica’s apartment. Jessica, who is clearly out to get me, keeps her thermostat at, from what my inner thermometer reading tells me, about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The cold alone, I can handle, but when paired with the miniature crock-pot of cheese dip Jessica has “graciously” laid out, an almost devastating combination threatens to ruin my 30/30. Unable to maintain my core temperature, I am forced to warm my hands by the heat of the crock pot, enduring the alluring aroma of wonderfully, deliciously, creamy, melty cheese dip and the contented sighs of others enjoying aforementioned dairy delights. As more guests arrive it becomes apparent that the plot to bring me down extends beyond just Jessica, as each new arrival declares that the “temperature is just fine.” Taking a cruel joke and running with it, Jessica’s brother Robbie reaches over my shoulder, scooping an excessive amount of dip onto his chip, dripping the creamy white substance down my leg.
Despite the Cold Apartment/Hot Cheese conspiracy, and with the help of coconut-shaped-cup's continuous reminder to "Get Coco-nutty," I manage to have an okay, if sober time.
Overcome with remorse for his part in the plot, "a friend" extends the olive branch, offering to smoke with me before we go to the bar. I normally don’t smoke the reefer, but I normally don’t stay sober around wasted people either. Sobriety among the extremely inebriated can be an agonizing experience. After very briefly considering the question of whether weed was food, which it is clearly not, I take him up on the offer.
I drive the group to our house, which is conveniently located within walking distance of the best midtown bars, and blaze up before stepping out into the frigid night. Taking care to smoke enough to make everything happy and hazy, but not so much that I become a nonfunctioning paranoid schitzo, is an art I was afraid I had forgotten. But like riding a bicycle, reaching the perfect balance was a skill not lost despite my letting it fall to disuse.
Thank the lord baby jesus above for pot, because my sober self would never have made it to the bar, sensitive as I am to the cold. And had I made it to the bar, I surely would not have lasted through the Jaeger-bomb induced obnoxiousness of my friends.
I am accustomed to being just as deeply entrenched in the throws of stupid drunk fun and craziness. But, as everyone knows, this form of fun is entertaining ONLY to those who are actually intoxicated, leaving any sober attendees with the desire to jab out their own eyeballs. Tonight surely would have been the death of me, had I been forced to confront the situation as a tee-totaling non-participant.
However, as a pleasantly stoned observer, I have reached two conclusions, (1) No, you do not want another Kamikaze. You just had one, right before you fell on your ass, which is why your Jack and Coke is spilled all down the front of your shirt, and (2) everything really is better on weed. (except of course driving, which is a given)
Not fueled, as the others are, by a Redbull and alcohol-induced desire to remain awake into the wee hours, discussing things that no one will remember in the morning anyhow, I eat a falafel patty upon our return home and fall into a blissful cannabis coma. Coco-nutty indeed.