Fellowship of the Ring

It was about 7 o’clock on Friday night; Pete and I were driving into Seattle to meet my buds for my bachelor party when my cell phone rang. I glanced at my caller ID, and noticed it was Reverend Alexander, the man performing our wedding ceremony two weeks from now.

Reverend Alexander: “Alright dude, I’ve made a few phone calls and I’ve got the numbers of the three hottest strippers in Seattle. You say the word and I’ll have them at your hotel room immediately…”

Hanging up the phone, two things were suddenly clear: One, this would be one helluva weekend. And two, I had definitely picked the right man to perform our wedding ceremony.

Arriving at the hotel, I realized I had no idea which room I’d be staying at. I was anticipating walking up to the front desk and asking for the “Drunken Jackasses, Party of 17,” figuring the staff would immediately know the group I was talking about. Thankfully, Dave was waiting outside, greeting the arriving guests into the hotel.

Gabe was right behind us, and the four of us strolled into the hotel together. This is where I received the first of many nervous glances from the hotel staff. It was kind of comical to watch the three front desk employees look at each other knowing something nefarious was afoot. I suppose whenever 17 dudes check into two hotel rooms with only alcohol for luggage, it tends to raise a few red flags.

Dave had packed the hotel room with a ton of my buds: Booth, Wilner, Keech, Krusty, Rowley, Dyk, Gabe, Jonas, Ryan, Bailes, Barber, Neslund, Pete, Dave and I and all gathered around the makeshift bar he had assembled. The party was just getting started, as Graham and the Sisko Kid would be joining us later in the evening.

As true Zillionaires do, Dave arranged for a limo to transport us up to the next stage of bachelor-themed debauchery. The limo took us to play “Whirlyball,” a sport that proudly synthesizes lacrosse, bumper cars and massive alcohol consumption. (Side note: I really love hybrid sports. I’ve always wanted to combine skydiving and paintballing into some kind of paratrooper game. For any venture capitalists out there, I focus-grouped this idea to some of the dudes and it was met with great enthusiasm.) Anyway, while it may seem simple enough, “Whirlyball” actually had a ton of rules that we all went out of our way to ignore. Since the members of our group were equally reckless and intoxicated, our style of play could best be described as “Whiplashball.”

The games were low scoring, defensive stalemates at first, but once we got the hang of it, the games became hotly contested. I was thankful to be on the court during the greatest moment in Whirlyball history, when Dyk’s last-second heroics secured a come-from-behind win for the yellow team. The moment warranted dumping Gatorade on Dyk’s head in celebration, but since none was available, and since none of us were willing to substitute our beer instead, we simply settled for high fives.

Our next stop was the Owl & Thistle, a bar in downtown Seattle. It was here that I decided to drink like a former child TV star. After countless shots, I completely lost control of my motor skills. It was at this point that Jonas presented me with a cigar so massive that it would have caused Castro to wet his pants in fear. I lit it up, puffed on it while I drank, but I primarily used it to singe the flesh off my hands. You see, when a really drunken individual possesses an object burning at 400 degrees, sometimes they confuse their forearms for ashtrays.

Unfortunately the night was lacking a key ingredient of any successful bachelor party: public humiliation. Seeking to rectify the situation, Dave pulled out a shirt he had designed for the occasion with the words “BONERFACE” flamboyantly written across the front. Without hesitation, I pulled the T-shirt on over my polo shirt, turned the collar up Travolta-style, and was thankful to have my desired look of “Annoying Drunken Jackass” now complete.

We left the bar and headed for a strip club, but decided to stop for a quick snack beforehand. After all, much like swimming, nobody should get a lap dance on an empty stomach. While the other dudes lined up in front of a hotdog stand, I sought a nearby lamppost to lean against.

I hunched over, straining to maintain the contents of my stomach. I could feel sweat proliferating out of every pore in my body and I experienced constant bouts of cold and hot flashes. As near as I could tell, I was either going through menopause or about to puke. Returning from the hotdog stand, Dave tried to help the situation in the worst possible way…

“Do you want sauerkraut or no sauerkraut,” he asked, as he presented me with my choice of two giant, foot-long hotdogs.

The next thing I remember was puking on the sidewalk. Like a team of secret service agents, my buds swooped in, guided me into a cab and we sped off. Dyk took shotgun, and Dave and Bailes piled in the backseat with me. A few blocks down the road, my stomach staged another revolt, and I puked all over Bailes and myself inside the cab. In a single moment of clarity, I looked over at Bailes, my puke covering his lap, and asked, “Dude, how are you not puking? If someone puked in my lap, I’d follow suit instantly…” Even in my drunken state, the fortitude of Bailes’ stomach was amazing.

Up until that point our cab driver had been talkative and friendly. Once I puked, he grew angrily silent. The driver tightened his grip on the wheel, and muttered through clenched teeth, “This is why I hate this job.” Just for good measure, I puked two more times in his cab.

Our driver abruptly steered us into a gas station, which was a blessing, because I honestly thought he was about to intentionally steer us into oncoming traffic. I got out of the cab, and distanced myself from the carnage. He ordered us to clean the cab and buy him a new air freshener. Since those demands seemed reasonable, we complied.

Using only the materials available next to the gas pumps, my companions set forth to clean up a lot of puke. With the possible exception of MacGyver, only my buds could completely sanitize the inside of a cab using only a squeegee and washer fluid. Dave came up to me with two handfuls of paper towels and brushed some of the larger puke chunks off my clothing. As a final touch, Dyk liberally sprayed vanilla air freshener throughout the cab, and we all piled in again.

Once inside, with complete sarcasm, Bailes remarked, “Mmmm, vanilla… this cab smells great!”

Looking back, it was probably fortuitous that I puked on the sidewalk the night before. Had I not, our party would have continued to a strip club, and the puke would have surely showed up during a lap dance. While that would have probably made a better story on Zillionaire, I’ve got to think that puking on a stripper is somehow really bad karma.

Anyway, the next morning I woke up and promptly puked four more times in the toilet in our hotel room. Aside from a John Wayne Bobbit scenario, there’s probably no worse way to wake up in the morning. I bundled up my pukey clothes from the night before and joined the rest of the dudes as we caravanned over to Ellensburg to begin day 2 of the bachelor party.

On the way, I decided to make one quick side trip. It had been several years since the last time I had coated my clothing in puke. In fact, most of my alcohol-induced puking was done in my college days when I lived in dorms and apartments that didn’t have laundry machines. In these situations, I always tried to bring my pukey clothing over to my parents’ house so that they could wash it for me. Naturally, when the opportunity presented itself, I had to deliver my puke-stained clothes to my parents one last time. It’s good to relive old traditions like that every once in awhile.

After that brief interlude, the dudes assembled to play some dunk hoops at Mt. Stuart Elementary School. To explain further, “dunk hoops” entails playing basketball on child-sized rims so that grown (white) men are able to dunk with ease. Next to playing against small children or the elderly, it’s the quickest way to inflate your athletic ego.

Whenever Krusty plays dunk hoops, this game quickly becomes “Head of Steam Ball.” Essentially, the game digresses to giving Krusty the ball and watching him charge into the opposition at full speed. Even as we were casually shooting the ball around Krusty found a way to tackle Bailes violently onto the asphalt.

The next stop was camping up in the wilderness of Reecer creek. Cage, McQuiston and Schneider were able to join this leg of the festivities. Pete and I were in the last car of a six-car motorcade heading to the campsite. Jonas, and his 150 lb dog, Jake, were in the car in front of us. Jake is a huge dog, and he completely occupied the passenger seat of Jonas’ Ranchero. Jake stuck his head out the window for most of the journey, and in doing so, placed his ass mere millimeters from Jonas’ face as he drove. It was quite a spectacle to behold. The funny thing was, Jonas didn’t seem to mind. “That’s gotta be a pleasant way to drive,” Pete remarked.

We set up camp, cracked open some beers and Keech made some witch’s brew in a Styrofoam cooler. His concoction consisted of beer, vodka, ice and more beer. Pete had brought a couple pizzas from Grant’s (The Artist Formerly Known as Frazzini), and with the fire going strong and our folding camp chairs set up, all of our basic needs were fulfilled.

For most of the evening, Jonas and Krusty engaged in a game of one-upmanship over past eating exploits. To put it in perspective, for those of you who don’t know Krusty, simply visit any restaurant in Ellensburg. If there is a picture of a patron over the cash register, chances are it is Krusty. Throughout the night, a real kinship developed between Jonas and Krusty. When they both revealed their pet peeve was “ always being asked to help friends move furniture,” it was almost as if they were separated at birth.

Their newfound brotherhood came in handy throughout the night. If we were ever running low on firewood, I would simply invoke textbook usage of reverse psychology. With the mere suggestion that Krusty might not be able to lift a certain mammoth piece of wood, he’d instantly leap from his seat incensed with rage that we would doubt him for an instant. “Jonas and I will take care of it,” he’d vow, and they’d return moments later with a Guinness-worthy specimen of firewood.

At about 2am, we decided to call it a night. None of us wanted to leave the fire, as it was an extremely cold night. We all made for our tents except for Krusty, who didn’t have a place to sleep. I won’t go into the irony of Krusty (a professional camp counselor) being the only member or our party to forget both a tent and a sleeping bag.

There was plenty of room in my tent, so he curled up in the corner. Unfortunately, without a sleeping bag or blankets, he faced a difficult decision. If he stopped moving for an instant, he would surely freeze to death. However, if he were constantly moving, falling asleep would be impossible. So, I watched him execute several hours of barrel rolls next to me in an effort to maintain constant motion.

At one point in his violent rolling, he crashed into me and we found ourselves in a spooning position. Subconsciously, (I hope), Krusty then nestled into me for warmth. Under any other circumstances I would have punched him in the kidney, but I feared Krusty would literally die of hypothermia in my tent if I didn’t comply. My mind raced, but I ultimately decided if Krusty’s survival depended on spooning with me, I supposed it was ok.

Thankfully it didn’t last long. At some point, Krusty left the warmth of my bosom to find a less homoerotic place to sleep. The next morning Krusty confessed he had thought about killing me in my sleep so he could steal my sleeping bag. Instead, he had simply returned to the campfire, stoked it to near inferno levels, and lied beside it. He told me the wind somehow managed to blow smoke in his face the entire night, but it was worth it.

The next morning, leaving the campsite, Jonas managed to get his Ranchero stuck in the mud. We all gathered around to push him out, and in doing so; Pete got completely covered in a spray of mud. Naturally, our next stop was a gas station, where Pete followed my sterling example and cleaned himself with a squeegee and windshield washer fluid.

Gabe’s sister works at Perkins, and she managed to get a table for our entire group on a busy Sunday morning. It was the first non-pizza meal most of us had consumed in 48 hours. After completing a weekend of malnutrition, dehydration, and sleep deprivation we all found room for a big hearty breakfast. As we bid farewell to one another, I realized it had certainly been one helluva weekend.

5 thoughts on “Fellowship of the Ring”

  1. Well once again Matt, you have outdone yourself! I can attest to the Jake’s ass in Jonas’ face scenario as it is quite often Jonas and the bear cub engage in this position! Glad you made an ass of yourself.

  2. There is a level of class that this group just can’t quite get a hold of. Thankfully a white trash camping trip is just the type of tradition that brings us all together. I hope everyone else took as long to recover. I’ll go on record as saying the next person to get married better have some whirlyball at the wedding.

  3. I just have to say thanks to Dave for offering Matt sauerkraut at just the right time. The way I see it is the sauerkraut kept Matt out of the strip club. I owe you one.

  4. *Ahem, dedicated to DOC, who was the most upset by all this, and without whom we would all have been sleeping on the street or at Booth’s house that night*

    Right then, the debauchery…and the hotel staff. As not nearly enough was said in the way of tearing said grumpy, cranky folks a new hole to sit on, allow me. What will follow is an open letter to the staff. As I feel that a consensus on things that actually DID happen from those that we actually remember whenever drinking, please feel free to add to it before we mail it to them…

    Dear Tight Assed Morons,

    While I understand that your establishment is a business hotel, and therefore is usually a fairly quiet placed reserved for traveling businessmen and the prostitutes who frequent their rooms, WHO THE HELL HAS A BUSINESS MEETING ON SATURDAY?!?!? If an establishment of lodging is going to allow something as raucous as a bachelor party to be headquartered within its too-thin walls, said hotel has a strict responsibility not to allow any other patrons on either side of designated drinking rooms (or below them if possible). This is simply common courtesy, both to those of the party, and those more slovenly, boring folks who actually wish to be alseep in nearby rooms at 2 am. As Dave had informed the staff that this would be a bachelor party, I assumed that any self-respecting hotel would have turned us down before even allowing us to make reservations. The fact that they agreed to let the, “drunken jackass party of 17” through the front door is, in my opinion, a passive, de-facto agreement to allow for the following:
    1) slamming doors. One cannot expect 17 dumbasses in a HIGH state of inebriation to stay in one place for long, especially if they have rented two rooms (conveniently NOT placed next door to each other.
    2) Drinking, lots of drinking and the loud jackass comments that come with it. What does a hotel manager expect out of a group of 20-some year olds who haven’t seen each other in 8 years? Of COURSE we are going to make more noise than Michael Moore and Dick Chenney in a drinking contest! They should be glad we didn’t bring a live monkey, or giant churro…or the entire contents of Jon Hansen’s music studio.
    3) Puke-stained husband-to-be wandering in at strange hours. This one should be obvious, a given at any bachelor party…ISN’T THAT THE POINT!?!?
    4) Recollections from high school, ridiculous lingo and pseudonyms that NO ONE can correctly recall the origin of being shouted out open windows and friends and passerby alike. Really, if a hotel staff is unwilling to put up with complaints from people on the street, then they honestly should not allow lodging for this sort of event.
    5) People getting lost attempting to find their room for the fifth time. Again, this goes along with ANY large group of folks who are in town more for the beer than to see the Space Needle. Is this BUSINESS HOTEL not prepared for visiting Japanese businessmen???? Dealing with lost drunks wandering the hallways should be the first thing covered during the, “how to be a pissy hotel staffer” seminar apparently demanded of all employees.
    This was actually a rather short list, leaving open to group debate whether we wish to include items such as waving the minibar charge or room service billing. I feel that the least this piss-poor staff could have done for us was to raid some of the left-behind shaving kits that they MUST be storing somewhere, find the nearly-expired Vallium tabs that sit in the bottom of most high-powered businessmen’s bags, take two each and leave us the hell alone. (or give the Vallium to us in hope to force unconsciousness)

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