You have a great way with words.
| Some tales are meant to frighten. Some are meant to amuse. Still others are meant to inform. There are tales that must be told, no matter how painful, for it is only through knowledge that we may foresee the unforeseen, and therefore avoid previously unavoidable catastrophes. Then there are those tales that serve no discernable point. This story, as most Driving with Doug stories do, falls into the latter category.
This particular Driving with Doug tale has less to do with the horrors of Doug's lack of automotive skills and hand-eye coordination, and more to do with a typical Saturday night out with the Mongoloid Moose Think Tank. This may seem like an unusual choice, but the Highway of Life has many rest stops. This is one of them.
This whole sordid affair began with a brainstorm on my behalf: take the Think Tank out bowling. You can hear the wheels grinding away, can't you? Nothing special or exciting, just something that we could waste time doing without having to get involved enough to actually care. And since there were no films out worth paying to see, it was either that or search for the nearest Rave. Determined to go with the former, I set the wheels in motion by calling the usual suspects and arranging to meet at Gary's house.
I arrived at Gary's house an hour earlier than the others, and was immediately informed upon my arrival that he had taken the liberty of inviting some of his friends along for the ride. Gary's friends arrived shortly thereafter, immediately followed by Resident Piece of Meat Shawn Phillip Heinze Esquire, who had also decided to bring some non-Moose friends of his along.
There is an expression that states “any friend of his is a friend of mine.” Another saying that springs to mind is “Hell is other people.” Some combination of these philosophies might come close to describing the rest of the evening. Don’t misunderstand me; I have nothing against any of Gary's or Shawn's friends, nor do I mean to degrade or ridicule them. But never before had the lines between “them” and “us” been more clearly illustrated.
As I attempted to settle in with this new motley crew while waiting for the other Think Tank arrivals, a rather lanky and greasy individual greeted me by eagerly lifting his shirt to show me the nipple studs he had recently acquired. Call me a stick-in-the-mud, but I usually prefer a hand shake with an introduction, and I also feel that you should really get to know someone before you go showing them pierced body parts that aren't normally visible in mixed company. I expressed my feelings on this subject to him by politely explaining that the odds of him having his newly acquired nipple studs ripped violently from his body were bound to increase throughout the night if he insisted on presenting them in such a manner to total strangers.
Another fellow, after having tried on his cousin's lipstick, dug an old Nun costume out of Gary's closet , put it on with a pillow underneath, and ran around the room showing everyone his Pregnant Nun Impression. This impressively witty display seemed to trigger some instinctual need to compete for attention, for it was at this point in time that nipple-lad informed the room that he had the ability to make himself pass out. This grabbed the attention of all those still present (some had lurked off into adjoining rooms for various reasons best left unmentioned), and true to his word, he held his breath until he became a dark shade of purple, shook violently for a couple of seconds, and then collapsed in a heap on the shag carpet.
It was after our loyal performer was revived and dragged to an easy chair that Shawn decided to upstage his nearly comatose friend by declaring that he was able to fit his entire fist into his mouth. Surprisingly enough, he did. I contested it, however, as I felt that it didn't count as an actual "fist" because he could only fit it in up to the thumb joint. If he had shoved it in up to the wrist, then I would have been impressed. Of course, one can only wonder exactly what Shawn was actually trying to do when he discovered this latent talent of his. He claims that he got bored while working as a graveyard shift security guard. The thought of what other physical impossibilities Shawn attempted during these lonely late-night hours sent a shiver down my spine, and so I left the topic unexplored.
During the rest of my long and arduous wait, during which I spent an inordinate amount of time contemplating whether Shawn and his semi-conscious compatriot would see to use their respective abilities for good or evil, I happened to overhear several snippets of conversations, the more memorable ones being:
"Gary, can I rinse my hair out in your sink?"
"What's wrong with guys wearing dresses?"
"I'll go with my cousin for $50."
"Hey Shawn, can I put my fist in your mouth?"
It was around this time that Bri and Doogles arrived, and I greeted them eagerly at the door. I informed them that they had missed most of the evening's entertainment, but that if they asked nicely, Shawn would probably shove his fist in his mouth again. I then discovered that Chris had in fact arrived twenty minutes ago, at which time he had promptly hidden in the kitchen and curled up on the counter for a quick nap.
Rousing the sleeping giant, we all decided to hit the road and try to get somewhere before midnight. Confusion reared its ugly head again, however, as Gary's friends had not been informed about our original plans. They had automatically assumed that we were all going to journey to the Eagle Rock Lookout and sit around drinking all night. Not only did this not jive with our original plans, but I was especially resistant to the idea, having had actually done just that with Gary and his gang a while back. That night had ended with me crouching in the mud and hugging a half empty bottle of Vodka at one in the morning while police cruisers scoured the area with search lights, and I was damned if I was doing that again. Fortunately, we were able to convince them that bowling was the way to go that night, and after some deliberations as to which bowling alley to go to (two were decided against because it was a heavy league night, and a third was called a no-go because Gary had previously absconded with a pair of their bowling shoes to accentuate his personal wardrobe, which is another story for another time), the Arlington Lanes were chosen, and we were finally on our way.
Or perhaps that was wishful thinking. There was now a slight problem with transportation, for Gary was leaving separately to pick up his girlfriend, which left us with only two vehicles to transport twelve people. It was automatically made clear by me that I would only be taking Chris, Doug, and Brian in my car. Nipple Boy and the Knocked-Up Nun could walk for all I cared. So we headed out with my self-assigned party in my car, and Shawn with the other seven in his car.
Shawn was playing leader that night, so we were further delayed when he decided to make a detour so he could pick up another friend of his that was getting off of work shortly at the local Big & Tall shop. We spent twenty minutes waiting in our respective vehicles in the parking lot, during which time a patrol car slowly passed us twice. This was of no concern to those of us in the Bullt-Proof Hyundai, as we had no illusion as to which car was more susceptible to random police harassment: "Why no, officer, we're just waiting for our friend to get out of work. However, that car parked two spaces down overflowing with suspiciously grungy looking characters seems to have been here for an unreasonably long time now. Look officer, the one with the green hair and pierced forehead just hid something under her seat". When Shawn finally emerged from the store, he did so clutching a bloody handkerchief against his left wrist. He claimed that he had simply cut his hand on an open pocket knife he had in his pocket, but the delay combined with the wound convinced us that he was attacked by an enraged customer with a coat hanger. Those familiar with Shawn’s people skills should have no trouble accepting this as the more likely scenario.
Alas, we did finally make it to the bowling alley, and that is where our story ends. For, as is the case with most Driving with Doug stories, it is the journey that holds the adventure, not the destination. That's not to say that nothing happened at the bowling alley itself. There were no experienced bowlers among either group within our party, so creative scoring was employed, as were scab bowlers as people tired of playing and wandered off to the back to dance to the music. Yes, strange as it may seem, this bowling alley was fully equipped with a DJ, although his selection of music seemed to be limited to reggae, house music, and anything with the word "Yo" in it. It was heart wrenchingly sad to watch Chris spend five minutes trying to request a song that the DJ actually had in his collection. I am also compelled to mention that during the game, I accidentally bowl the ball down the lane at no pins, an act which inexplicably managed to jam not only our pin setting system, but that of the three lanes on either side as well. Not too surprising when you consider that my bowling average is around sixty something.
After the evening festivities, the surviving numbers of our party tallying in at six (Doug, Brian, Chris, Gary, his Mikey, and me) went next door to the Arlington Dinner to enjoy a greasy midnight meal. The highlight of our repast for me and Brian came when our table was suddenly greeted by a pair of imposing personalities that could only be described as a fashion conscious ogre and Baby Huey in a bullet proof vest. I made a remark to Brian that it would have cost us two dollars each to see these guys at the Meadowlands Carnival (look for my future article on freak shows, food poisoning, and dead puppies), and our uncontrollable laughter drew annoyed stares from clear across to the other side of the Diner, not to mention puzzled looks from the others at the table.
Was there a point to this story? No. But if there was, it wouldn’t have been as memorable.
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