Tuesday, March 8, 2011

There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars

What ignorant lives we'd been living. All along 40oz (1.18 litres for those playing at home)bottles of PBR have been available for $2, yet I've been spending dollars at a time on cans. The error of our ways was discovered when we went to visit Keri for a drink or two before going to 'The Pub'.

Her apartment sits behind the town's main street (not to be confused with the less significant, Main St). At the summit of the building, the residence had been shaped by the pitch of the roof. We sat around playing drinking games until the 40s ran out and then it was time to head to 'The Pub'.

Max, fearless, was approaching people around the bar, posing in their photos and asking the question "how much does a polar bear weigh?". The answer, "enough to break the ice", had obviously gone around a few times and was answered immediately by some in the bar. One girl, who guessed I was from Australia asked me to guess her hometown. When I came up with Billerica she responded with a level of disgust I hadn't anticipated.

It turned out I was right, and instead of marvelling at my lucky guess, she made an assumption that I was stalking her. What? There's a trillion bumhole towns in this state and only four of which whose names I can remember. Oh well, she wasn't the worst person out that night. That title belonged to the girl I met who visited Sydney and complained it was full of Asians. Clearly she hadn't eaten beef pho from Sussex St Food Court otherwise she would have kept such stupid remarks to herself.

The next night offered us an opportunity to avoid those types at a house party. I went to visit Joe and Eoin in my building beforehand and put in a solid Mario Kart session before donning Joe's thrift store sweater and heading out to the house in the suburbs.

It took a wrong bus and a bit of a trek to get to, but once we were entering Joe and I turned around, started walking outside and told people it was the wrong house. Two were gullible enough to believe us. Inside, the sweater was just that, and I had to try to get any heat reprieve. The snow outside was deceptive, it was absolutely steaming indoors.

A dog was running about the place, freaking out Dicky Peach with every tail-wag. Drunk Germans were stumbling about the place and eventually chalk was grabbed and decorated the blackboards that adorned the house walls.

The chalk also found a way into Sam's beer, and while it was a laugh at first, chemical reactions I can not explain forced the beer to erupt like Vesuvius and pour out more than one person could finish. With that the bottle was passed around and a new, hygienically challenged game was invented. When one 40 went flat another was opened and the same trick was done again.

There's an obvious flaw to this game and when the moustachioed police came along to shut the party down we had to finish the drinks. Quickly. Given that he paid for them, it was only fair that Sam should also be the recipient of four subsequent pieces of chalk in his mouth.

There must have been something special about that chalk, because he sprinted off like a cheetah to The Spoke minutes before the bar closed. We managed to get our order in and in the line for the bathroom I scored to find a free Bacardi cap. Sam, in his rush to drain his lizard entered the ladies room. For a while it wasn't a problem, everyone was doing it, he just happened to exit when a woman was in line to get in. Snap.

None of that mattered in the end, we were so late in arriving that we hadn't even seen the bottom of the cup before the place closed. There was a quick stop at sunset before a segue into someone's room in SouthWest. The chalk was also doing off things with my brain as I was trying to convince people my name was Pablo, unsuccessfully.

We tried to leave, but subtlety had not joined us. We must have been causing some kind of kerfuffle as the R.A., pissed off at our behaviour in relation to the time on his watch, aggressively confronted me on who we were visiting. Struggling to take him, or myself seriously, I tried to channel Trailer Park Boys and said it was some guy called Craig down the hall. He didn't buy it, and no matter what state I'm in I have little respect for aggressive power-trippers so we all bailed.

Sam and Dicky Peach kept talking about "Craig", or "Creg" as they called him all the way to the duckpond. Suddenly, through some kind of idiot magnetism we were attracted to the idea of walking across it. It's still frozen, though not completely, and with the warming weather there probably wouldn't be another chance.

Now let me explain for one moment, that it's almost impossible to walk across an icy surface in skate shows without looking incredibly camp/stupid/special.

Sam and I kept edging out further, like playing a game of icy-chicken. We'd each take turns going out further, and Sam, trying to cement the title decided to tackle me...on the ice. If there's one thing I can attest to, it's the hardness of ice. When I hit, I managed to fall right onto my left wrist and eventually my knees, leaving them equally bruised. No matter though, I had to out-stupid Sam and pick myself up and walk out further.

We knew if someone fell in there was no way anyone else could get them out, and that at 3 or 4AM there was very little around in help. That didn't stop us from trying though. We got to the point where we could see the ice in the middle losing it's colour due to the water that was not far from the surface and turned around. It was horribly unfulfilling to give up, and we debated trying again for another 15 minutes before finally calling it quits.

Since the whole state of Massive-poo-shits thinks it's Irish and that St Patrick's Day falls during spring break they do their celebrating a bit earlier. On my trip to pick up my guitar I already witnessed drunk girls in green falling into snow and it was only 2PM. When we ventured out to the bars at the early hour of 9PM the place was already full of legless punters looking for their clover to be stroked.

One guy, off his tits, started drinking our beer out of confusion and didn't last much longer before he was forcibly carried out by some pub muscle. Evan, the only man I've ever met who has lost his pants without even going out to a club, bought me an Irish car bomb, and moments later would give me a Rick James slap for my troubles. Fine form. Steve was much more generous, buying some drinks but withholding the slaps.

The police came in checking I.Ds. He had no problem with my cracked Australian licence - I guess those grey hairs are helping my cause - but Alex held onto his fake British licence while Sam happily handed his over. The officer was thorough in his inspection, bending and scanning the licence for signs of counterfeit. He passed it back and asked "UK?", "yup, you'd be wearing a hat over" and that was that. He failed to see the point on the back that says it's not real and didn't give a shit for Alex's either. Brilliant.

People were actually playing good songs on the jukebox, and when we were singing along some guy came up and asked me if we were in a band. "Yes, we're from Northampton". Oh great, he kept inquiring and somehow Sam, Max and myself all picked out individual instruments we all played and listed names of venues in Northampton we'd played. "Well what do you sound like?" he asked. "Do you know Sonic Youth?", "No.", "well we sound just like them, I'll let you know when we're playing next".

The guy was too drunk to notice the complete and utter bullshit that was spewing out right in from of him, however, the disgust of the bar at our next move could not be hidden. The songs on the jukebox rolled around and finally Y.M.C.A. began to blast from the speakers.

We sang, we danced and we took the piss, but the sense of irony for the room must have been flushed down the toilets with all their money. One girl even had the audacity to tell us that "the whole bar hates you right now". If there was a moment that defined the gap between cultures that was it.

The bar lights came on and we all ventured to Sunset via the pizza shop. We went inside, but the place was empty and we decided to head off. Suddenly, some Jeep driving erratically pulled up the driveway, came to a sudden halt and a bunch of people rolled out. We turned around and joined them.

The lads had been out since the AM celebrating and when they returned were still looking to kick on. For once the smoke machine stayed dorment and I sat on their stolen movie theatre chairs watching as two of them wrestled all over the room in a hilarious manner.

When the booze and wrestling caught up with them we elected to leave and on the walk back were stopped by some guy saying he met us last year and that one of our friends was in a real state. We'd completely forgotten about Alex and though he normally has a pretty good sense of solo partying, this time it had gone wrong.

We found him hugging a bollard and telling people his name was "Sam". He was offered a ride back to his, but there was no way he would have lasted the two minute trip. Instead, Sam and I would spend the next hour carrying him up to Sam's where he would retire for the night. It was a hilarious, yet frightening performance and though we only parted two hours earlier, what he got up to in the mean time will remain a mystery.

Right now I'm on my way to spend a few days on my own in New York City. It's pre-empting Spring Break and there are gigs-a-plenty to attend. The trip so far has been highlighted by some major traffic jams in Connecticut, but for $1 bus tickets who am I to complain?

Also, just found out that June 30 is the day I return to Australia. It's settled now, by my feelings about it are anything but.

Rival Schools - Used For Glue
I'm seeing this overly bouncy band tonight. Wahey! This song kicked so much ass in 2001.
I saw the singer, Walter Schreifels, play an acoustic show in Sydney last year. He was brilliantly charismatic and his songs were so removed from his previous career as an angry man. He's the Midas of hardcore.

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