Apr 24 2007

Yes, You Have My Permission to Make Out

Saturday night was Lauren’s birthday, a friend and the girl to my good friend Nick. As a celebration, we went down to Altitude Sky Bar for some drinks up on the rooftop of the Marriott. All in all, a good evening, catching up with people I haven’t seen in a while. (Nick’s reply when someone asked if I was going to show up: “You only see Barclay when he wants to be seen.” Heh.)

But the most memorable was the walk home. I left a bit earlier than the rest of the group, due to training scheduled for several hours on Sunday morning, and a fiscal allergy to the $8.75 drinks. I was waiting for the elevator along, but when the doors opened, an obviously intoxicated couple joined hopped in behind me and posted up in the corner of the spacious carriage. There was already a very large man on the other side, forming a triangle between the couple, himself, and myself.

This man was large. Not large in the “square” sense, but large in the “round” sense. If roly-poly indicates pleasantly plump, this man was rolliferous-ginormous. Truth be told, I hadn’t given him much thought yet. But I would soon. The redhead to my right blurted out, “Don’t worry about us, we’re just going to make out over here.” She and her boy proceed to suck face in the noisiest manner I’ve ever witnessed. I politely avert my eyes down, but a chuckle escapes. As I look back up, I see the large man’s eyes making a leisurely full sweep up from my shoes, legs, torso, and then straight into my eyes.

As his lips begin to curl into a suggestive smile, I wonder what he’s doing on this elevator, as he was already on it when it opened at the top floor, and we’re now dropping all the way to ground level. His mouth opens slowly, and through a deep reverberating baritone, he says to me, “Don’t worry, bro, I don’t want to make out with you either.”

I may have sighed audibly.

“Much obliged.”

We finish the ride in silence, save the lip smacking of the couple in the corner.

I had parked over near 14th Street, east of downtown, because I didn’t want to pay the $15 for a few hours of parking, and I though it would give me an opportunity to explore a different park of town. Now, 1 AM in the morning on Saturday night may not the the wisest time to do this – given that I was parked in a distinctly less safe neighborhood than the Gaslamp – but I did anyway. A friend had warned me on the way out to watch out for the pimps, dealers, and prostitutes.

Instead, I find myself walking behind another drunk couple just leaving another bar. They’re in Official San Diego Club Gear: she has a lacy white thong peeking out above her jeans with a waist-length fitted dress shirt, and the guy has the ubiquitous vertically striped shirt and spiky hair. As I pass, she throws her arm around me and complains loudly, “I’m just trying to flirt with him, but he’s too shy and keeps running away. Would you tell him to flirt with me?”

I slide out from under her arm, and angle my head to speak to the guy without breaking stride. “Are you telling me you need more encouragement than that?”

A few paces later, as I glance back, I see him pulling her into an alcove of the building, hands about her waist.

I smile, wondering if what I just encouraged was a good deed or not, but before I even reach the end of the next block, I find another couple making out against the brick wall of a warehouse. The girl notices the click of my dress shoes on concrete and pushes her head into they guy’s shoulder, mumbling something about there being “people about.”

Again without pausing in my stroll, I comment to them, smiling but without turning my head, “No, really, don’t worry about it. I’m really quite used to it by now.”


Mar 20 2007

Naked Burrito Night

Bartender Betty met up with her man, Lush Lou last Sunday. Now, Lou may not be a lush – I’m not sure – but he had certainly had a full day of Sunday drinking going on. And, he had a friend that was drunk enough to continue buying rounds for the celebratory group. In short order, Lou can barely remain standing, and Betty puts an end to the evening for Lou.

On the stumble home, Lou grumbles a request for food.

“Babe, I’m not going to carry you to the taco stand and back, so why don’t I talk you home, and then I’ll run out and get a burrito for you.”

Betty’s a pretty cool chick, if you ask me.

Lou grunts in acknowledgment, and they proceed home. He face plants on the couch, fully clothed, while she walks the few blocks to the taco shop and picks up a burrito for each of them. When she returns home, Lou is still face-down on the couch.

“Yo, babe, I’ve got food.”

Lou jumps up, slurs something that may have include the words “awesome” and “burrito.” He stumble into his bedroom, reappears moments later in just his boxers, and plops down on the couch, munching away. Betty’s completely non-plussed.

“Uh, what the fuck? Is this Naked Burrito Night or something?” Lou doesn’t seem to notice; he just keeps on eating.

Betty shrugs, strips down to her underwear, and plops down on the couch beside him. They dig in to their burritos.

Of course, this is when the roommate wanders into the living room.

Apparently, the moment was a bit awkward for Betty, but Lou didn’t seem to mind.


Dec 8 2006

Courtesy Amber

Okay, this one gets a little graphic, so turn away now if you’re averse to such things….

Last night after training I went to a birthday BBQ for a friend of mine. The story of the killer whale at Sea World that pulled the trainer underwater came up, which prompted a string of bizarre Sea World stories. The winner, by far, was this little gem:

When Amber was about fifteen or so, she went to Sea World with some family, including her three year old nephew and grandmother. At some point during a tour through one of the habitats, a walrus was floating on it’s back. All of a sudden this mammoth-sized organ (or walrus-sized, as the case may be) began protruding up out of the water. The walrus reached down with a flipper and started rubbing it.

Nephew: “Grandma, what’s that!”

Grandma, to Tour Guide: “I think you need to find a girlfriend for that one.”

Tour Guide, desperately trying to redirect various children’s attention: “And if everyone will just look over here, you can see a group of Sea Lions at play….” It isn’t working, and kids and adults alike begin to gasp and murmur while the walrus continues to beat itself off; parents attempting to shoosh kids forward past the view.

Tour Guide, quietly, to Grandma: “Actually, his mate is in labor right now.”

Grandma: “So he’s a horny bastard right now, then.”

Nephew, with his mother trying to cover his eyes: “Grandma, what’s he doing?”

Through the muffled commotion, Amber trying suppress laughter, she see the walrus open his jaw wide, a shoot a load straight into his own mouth. Totally verifiable, you can ask her mother or grandmother.

Yes, universally voted the best story of the evening.

Now, however, I have this overwhelming urge to use the ultimate ice-breaker: “So, ever seen a walrus snowball himself?”


Nov 9 2006

Bender

I’ve had my fair share of debaucherous days through the course of my life, all pale in comparison to the one I’m about to relate. It’s brief, but entirely true. We’ll call the guy Brian, because he looked like a Brian and I never caught his name. He was already drunk enough to be in the “already friends with everyone” stage, so I don’t think introductions were the first thing on his mind.

Anyway, Brian was in Detroit, gambling large sums of money – “the kind of money we don’t like to talk about” – and losing. So, he proceeds to slam back a shit-ton of beer and tequila. Prior to passing out, he calls his cousin, a tenant of his that we’ll call Paul, and tells Paul that if he buys a plane ticket to San Diego with his credit card and packs his bags, Paul’s next month’s rent is comped.

Paul complies.

Brian wakes up on a plane mid-flight, and has to check his ticket to find out where he’s going. After a few more mid-flight drinks, he arrives in San Diego, where a friend lives, but his buddy is working so he sleeps half the night on the driveway of a stranger’s house. Upon waking, he realizes he’s still drunk, and heads down to PB for more drinks and ends up with two fresh tattoos on his arms – “Honor” on one, and “Pride” on the other. After ten more shots of Patron, he asks one of the bartenders to go to Hawaii that night. After her shift is over, they walk out the back together.

Alas, they didn’t go to Hawaii.

They went to San Francisco.


Sep 8 2006

Unexpected

It’s late Thursday night, after 11, and I’ve just driven a half-hour South after training for three hours. I haven’t had a bite to eat in since lunch so I stop by my local pub for a beer, food, and a chance to scribble down some notes from class. As I finish, a girl bounces up the the bar beside me to grab another round of drinks.

“Paris! Hey, how’ve you been? I haven’t seen you quite a while!”

We do the obligatory small-talk catch-up and invites me over to her table where she and her friend are sitting. There’s an extremely drunk and annoying guy hitting on her friend – we’ll call her Reeses for the shirt she’s wearing – and he’s pressing into her space and just generally giving people the jibblies.

Paris whispers in my ear, “She choked him out earlier. With a rear-naked choke, he was completely out. In the bar.”

“Wow, it looks like it kinda’ turned him on, ‘cause he’s coming back for more.”

I think no more of Annoying Guy, as he appears relatively harmless and apparently Reeses take care of herself. Paris and I resume our conversation. When Reeses excuses herself to powder her nose, Annoying Guy locks on to a new target: Paris. Now, keep in mind that Paris is married to a Navy SEAL (inactive). She’s obviously not interested, but Annoying Guy is so spun he doesn’t realize it. We spend fifteen minutes playing “give Annoy Guy hints as to what Paris’ name is because he can’t remember it.” Shares her name with a famous dilettante? Is a major city in France? Starts with “Pa”? What does he come up with? “Pasquale.” (I give him points for coming up with the last name of a French tennis player.)

Regardless, he’s edging in on her, she’s exuding “back off” body language, and even goes as far as say “come any closer and I’ll punch you in the face” while cocking her fist back. He’s still not dangerous, but he’s definitely a little creepy. I say at my end of the table, within arms reach, but I don’t think he’ll do anything. He’s just drunk and horny.

I see Reeses returning from the bathroom – both she and Paris are a little tipsy at this point, but not too bad – and I point at Annoying Guy, make the universal “he’s cut off” hand gesture, and cross my arms like they’re in a rear naked choke. I’m trying to indicate that she should do something like tell him she’ll choke him out again if he doesn’t bail. Of course if Annoying Guy steps too far, I’ll act, but I don’t think it’ll be necessary. This is totally resolvable with a few words from the girls, I don’t need to swing my dick around and act like a big man.

Reeses walks up behind me and slides her arms around me in a loose rear naked choke. I tap her arm, and point Annoying Guy again. “No, not me, him.”

I feel her clutch her arms in tighter.

I tap her again, “No, not me, him. I’m friends with Paris.”

Tighter.

I tap her again. “I get it, you proved your point.”

Tighter.

I know at this point I’ve got about two second before I lose consciousness. I also know that I don’t know who this girl is, even if she’s friends with my friend, and I don’t know what her objective is. Even if she’s playing around, I don’t know if she’s sober enough to hold me if I let put me to sleep – what if I collapse and bash my head on the ground?

It happens really fast. One elbow to her sternum, shift right, rotate into her to give myself a gap, suck, tuck, and duck, rotating around and down, she’s still hanging on trying to get the choke back – no games here – and she hits the ground hard on her back. I’ve got my right knee on her stomach, my left elbow pinning her brachial on the ground and the edge of my left hand digging into her neck. My right hand half-way to a throat strike when something else triggers: nothing more is necessary. She’s not looking toward me, but she has confusion in her eyes. She more shocked and scared than violent.

I freeze. The bouncers are pull me off without a a struggle and drag her out. She’s kicked out; I can sit and finish my beer.

Paris doesn’t know what happened, no-one really does, so I give the girl time to cool down outside before I see if she’s open to a little chat. As soon as I get the news that she’s outside and feels bad about the whole thing, I approach (cautiously) and we have our chat. Short story is that she was joking around, she didn’t feel me tap, and she tends to take things too far when she’s been drinking. I let her know I’m not pissed at her, but since I don’t know her from Joe, so I’m not very going to let myself be choked out. (And I notice she’s already got a decent bruise developing on her arm.)

I smooth things over with the bouncers, and catch a third-party interpretation of events from a friend of mine who happened to see the whole thing.

Lessons? There’s a ton, both mistakes and of correct action, but I’m not going to list them all. I will list some, though:

  • My art works. Even from a well-applied rear naked choke that’s already under the chin.
  • It happens incredibly fast.
  • I didn’t have to think about what I was doing, I was thinking about what was appropriate. The physical actions came without thought, the mind was what reigned me in at the proper time. My friend said he saw the moment when I was in motion to strike her on the ground, then something clicked, and I didn’t follow it. My life was no longer in danger. I just kept her pinned.
  • She disclosed she trains under Chuck Liddell – so my assumption that I don’t know her background or intent is both correct and valuable.
  • She’s choked out upward of ten different guys (not friends, but people she’s just met) in bars over the years, and including the ones that fought back, no one’s ever gotten out before. Why did I get out? Probably not because I’m better than the rest, but because when the switch is flipped, there’s no half-assing it. The other guys probably didn’t want to make a scene, or thought it wouldn’t be acceptable to fight a girl. Fuck that, I don’t need to know she’s an MMA fighter to engage – just the chance that she may be, and that my life may be in danger – is enough. Surprise and violence of action.
  • It was ego that got me into trouble in the first place – she was cute, so I thought (or hoped) that her arms coming around me from behind constitued a hug, not a choke, even though I knew she’d choked someout out earlier. Mistake.

So, who’s taken a chick to down and to the ground in a bar?

I have. Never thought I’d say that.

Oh, I almost forgot the best line of the evening, said to me by a guy that saw it all go down: “Dude, you’ve got to stop wearing that Tag body spray.”


Aug 29 2006

Courtesy Brad

Alright, this one’s not mine, but it’s so representative of my friends, and Brad in particular, that I have to share it.

I’ve known Brad since before Cub Scouts (yes, I was a Cub Scout for a short while), which means we’ve been friends for over two decades now. He was in town a few weeks ago and shared this story over a couple beers. First, some helpful background: Brad is a pretty physically fit guy, funny, hard to rattle, and has a successful law career going. He’s been wanting to do some ultra-marathons and triathlons lately, so when our friend Matt came up and and told him about an upcoming triathlon, he jumped at the chance.

On the last day.

Without having trained.

Since this was in Phoenix, there’s no ocean swimming, so the swim is done in a pool, the cycling in a circuit, and then it’s topped off by a street run. First thing he notices is that that everyone else is in competitive swim suits, i.e., Speedos.

He’s in board shorts.

Since he registered so late, he’s one of the last to start. Undaunted by the extra drag of his suit, he dives in when his number’s called and starts swimming. He’s churning along, thinking it’s been a while, but this isn’t so bad …. But pretty soon, he’s starting to get winded and worn out.

Before he finishes the first lap.

Out of twenty.

Somehow, through shear will power I suppose, he finishes his twenty laps. He’s one of the last to finish, aside from the few people that signed up after him and are in worse shape, but has trouble getting his socks on eventually he tosses the socks and goes shoes-only – which will be a very poor decision when arriving at the running portion – but Brad has a another problem before that.

See, Brad didn’t have a road bike. In fact, Brad didn’t have anything but a beach cruiser he uses to ride the occasional half-mile around the neighborhood. So Brad had to borrow a bicycle. Considering how late he signed up, all he could find was a mountain bike.

The spectators snicker as he hops on the only cycle in the race with big fat bumpy tires, wide handlebars, and shock absorbers. He ignores them, pushing through the first quarter mile or so, when he realizes there’s something … different … about this bike. The brakes are on seat-side of the handlebars. Hmm, he thinks, I remember the brakes being on the front … well, I haven’t ridden a hi-tech bike in a while, maybe this is the new style or something ….

Minutes later it hits him.

So he stops, dismounts, and turns the handlebar around 180 degrees.

As it happens, one of the seeded racers is lapping him at that very moment, and upon seeing this guy in swim trunks and no socks having ridden a half a mile with the front wheel backward, almost eats it from laughing so hard.

God, I love my friends.

(Yes, he did finish the race. With blisters.)


Aug 21 2006

Internal Dynamics

I was recently at a party that consisted primarily of people I didn’t know. I’m pretty comfortable with that; I tend to make friends rather easily. Two of the gents I met there were T—- and G—-, a gay couple in San Diego. We chatted for a bit, and they seemed like pretty cool guys. Anyway, I wouldn’t bring it up if there wasn’t some interesting … repercussions.

I am a gay boy porn star.

Well, not really, but it came back around to me that the two of them a pretty sure they’ve seen me online. In pictures. Performing lewd and lascivious acts. On a porn site specifically by and for gay men in San Diego. Now, I can’t ever recall fucking for money while sober, be it with guys or girls, and while I’ve been pretty drunk before, I’m pretty sure I haven’t tried that. I’d put it up there at five nines: 99.999% – the other %0.001 is just to account for parallel universes, time-space singularities, and a sundry of other things that may have spun me briefly into gay porn and back to my regular self without my knowledge. (These things happen, I hear.)

I find this absolutely hilarious.

However, it does change some internal dynamics. I’m not necessarily the best looking guy, but I have gotten to odd wink or smile from guys while dining out in Hillcrest with friends. Normally, I’d get a little ego boost – I don’t care if it’s from guy or a girl, it’s a compliment – but just politely smile or nod and continue on, making it clear that I’m not down with the man-booty. After all, just ‘cause you think I’m cute, doesn’t mean it’s reciprocal, and I’ll take your compliment while trying to indicate that I’m not interested. I unsuccessfully pick up on girls all too often, and I’m sure some of them wouldn’t have even noticed me if I hadn’t introduced myself, so we’re just running the same scenario with different players. No harm, no foul.

But now I have this voice in the back of my head, this one that whispers to me when I meet a gay man, that there’s this small chance a wink or handshake might be saying, “so, I saw you online ….”

And I find this even funnier.


Aug 8 2006

Strange Attractors

I’m cruising up I-15 this morning when I notice what sounds like a helicopter tracking my movement. But … it sounds a little different from most of the helicopters you hear flying from the local military bases, so I turn down the radio and slow down a bit. I notice my steering is muddy, and that the heli is matching my speed.

Of course, it’s not a heli, it’s the whoomp-whoomp-whoomp of a flat tire. It takes a few miles, but I’m finally able to cross three lanes to pull over in the hazard lane – but my hazard lights don’t go on when I press the button. Oh well, no big deal – it’s daylight, and I’ll just pop the trunk and most people will assume I’m broken down.

I unload my trunk into the back seat, pop out the spare tire and jack, get the lug nut lock. I’m all ready to feel nice and tire-changing masculine when I realize that I can’t seem to pop the hubcap cover off the wheel to get to the lugs. I try a key, a quarter, a pen – that fucker’s on there tight. The tip of my knife doesn’t appear to be strong enough; it looks like it’s bending and I don’t want knife-shrapnel in my eye. (Remind me to pick up a tanto-tip and store a screwdriver in my trunk.) That’s when I spot one of my swords lying in the back seat, one of the weapons I’ve just moved from the trunk. I take one of the metal training swords, unsheathe it, and begin wedging the tip down into the slot. Picture me sweating and wedging the tip of a shiny three foot sword down into my wheel on the side of one of the busiest freeways in San Diego during rush hour.

Of course, that’s when the CHP pulls up behind me.

This can’t look sane.

He looks at me suspiciously. “What’s going on here?”

“Hi sir, just a flat, no big deal.” I can see him looking at the sword somewhat incredulously. At least I had the forethought do set it down and step away from it before answering. “I couldn’t find a screw driver to pop my hubcap.”

He looks from me to the martial arts sticker on the back of my car, and I see his eyes scan down to the black belt sticking out of my gym bag in the trunk.

“Did you try a quarter?”

“Yeah. Any other suggestions?”

He scans the side of the road for usable debris, but finds nothing. “Yeah, sometimes those things are on there pretty tight. You need me to call roadside assistance?”

“No, I just called a moment ago, thank you though.”

“Why aren’t your hazards on?”

“I just got my radio worked on last weekend, and I guess they messed something up with the wiring – I haven’t had to use them recently, but they worked last time I tried.” I shrug. “I’m taking it back in next weekend.”

He just turns to scribble in his notebook. Shit, I think, I hope that’s just a fix-it ticket for the car and not a citation for the sword.

He turns back, surveys the scene, and wishes me a good-day.

Eventually roadside assistance comes and pops my hubcap, gets my donut on, and I get to work a good two hours late. I leave after only another hour of work to drive down to Discount Tire to swap tires. Culprit? A huge-ass razor blade sliced straight into my rear tire – probably kicked up from the front tire. I’m in and out in 45 minutes, spending a mere $15 for a brand-spanking new tire. Sean at Discount Tire in Poway, you rock. And regarding my query of “what’ve you got to eat around here?”, your answer of “everything that’s bad for you” was completely correct.

As soon as I get back into the office, I receive this call: This is [my credit card company], calling to verify a possible fraudulent purchase. The purchase in question is $500 of industrial equipment from [some company] in Ohio. Press 1 if this purchase was made by your or an authorized card holder ….” Hmm, that doesn’t sound like me.

I transfer to a customer service agent and verify the charges are fraudulent.

“Was it an internet purchase?”

“Let me check … no it appears it was keyed manually. Actually, it was keyed three times with your account number, manually. I’d recommend closing the account and opening another.”

I concur, and we do. The rep is very helpful, but there’s still nothing she can do about re-routing the charges that auto-bill this card – which is basically every company I do business with. This is my “send all recurring payments to this account” card.

After cleaning up various credit-related activities, I realize I’ve been relatively un-fazed by the events of the day. Given the circumstances, things went optimally. I can’t help but wonder if everyone was so cool and helpful with me because I was smiling and relaxed throughout, whereas I most people I’ve seen deal with such interruptions have vented their anger on the very person trying to help them. Perhaps I just woke on the right side of the bed today – or maybe it’s just the practice. Regardless, I’m still smiling, and I still think it’s a good day.

But if this website goes away, you know where my hosting bills are being charged.


Jun 29 2006

Asymmetry

He walks up to the bar rattling confusing tale of digits. “I ordered the three Jager Blasters twenty minutes ago, and you gave me back one five and three ones, and I wanted to tip four dollars, but I gave you one ten and a twenty, so I should have five more dollars….” He’s got his next round of seven drinks waiting for him at the bar.

Natalie turns her attention to the guy, who’s still recounting a transaction long past, at least in bar time.

“I’m sorry, what’s the problem? Could you start again?” She’s a terribly sweet girl, not aggressive in the least.

“You gave me a five and three ones, when it should have been a ten and three ones, so you owe me five dollars. I wanted to tip you four dollars.” He stares expectantly.

She turns and checks the tip jar and till, not finding evidence of the slip-up, and he resumes his spray of numbers. About how much he was going to tip, and how much he’s owed.

“Do you have the still have bills?”

“No, that was a while ago. I just noticed now.” He’s getting more aggressive, alpha-male posturing and leaning across the bar, flipping his hand up in the air while he talks, projecting disdain. “So can you just comp me a drink?”

The change is subtle, but visible. You can see her expression change from trying to politely rectify the situation to having to dealing with an asshole customer.

“I’m sorry, I may have messed up, but I can’t just short my till or comp drinks to every person that asks. If you had shown me when I gave you your change, I’ve been more than happy to fix it. But there’s no indication I messed up.”

“Listen, I wanted to tip you four bucks. This isn’t the way to get good tips. I’m telling you that you gave me a five and three ones, when I should have had a ten and three ones. You messed up, so you should be the one to fix it. Why don’t you believe me? It’s your fault.”

“I’m not denying that I might have messed up, but you need to let me know when it happens, not twenty minutes later.” I can see the unspoken sentence in her eyes: maybe if you weren’t being such as ass about it….

“Listen, I’m not making this up. I work for tips also, sweetheart

Natalie makes me proud, cutting him off with a curt “Don’t call me sweetheart; I’m not your sweetheart.” Good girl. You don’t need to take shit from this guy. If he really did work for tips, he would know she lost more than four dollars in tips wasting her time with him. Better to cut her losses and serve others, four bucks won’t make it up.

Here’s my take: she might have messed up, and he definitely messed up by not checking his change (or he’s trying to hustle her), but he’s the one that’s entitled the money and/or drinks? If you were going to leave tip, wouldn’t you have checked the money you were going to tip out of? And to top it off, you’re buying around $60 worth of drinks, and you’re concerned about $4?

We’re at some sort of uneven tie, deuce-ad-Natalie, and yet he’s demanding that he’s faultless, and that trust should be placed in him when he’s placed none in others? If the guy really was honest, and she really did fuck up, it’d be much more productive to let her know respectfully and suck up the loss, learning a lesson in the process – and he probably would’ve ended up with a comp part of his tab anyway for being reasonable about it.

As carries his round of seven drinks away, his friend walks up to order a glass of wine for herself. I hear him whisper in her ear: “Don’t tip her at all, she’s royal bitch.” So that’s ten drinks now without of tip? (At least ten, as they were here when I arrived 30 minutes ago.) Wouldn’t surprise me if you don’t get any more service tonight.

The tip on the single glass of wine from friend-of-A-hole? 33%.

I guess we know how much his friends believe him.


Apr 20 2006

Mammoth

Chris, Frenchie, and myself are in some Tahitian-themed bar in the Village at Mammoth, sucking down drinks after a rough day on slopes. The snow had been great, but the wind was hellacious. At mid-mountain, there was so much snow blown around we had a maximum of 10-feet visibility. You couldn’t tell the ground from the sky and the drafts were strong enough to push you uphill when you thought you were going downhill. Never before have I felt so disoriented and isolated. A complete white-out.

As it turns out, we’d all eat shit near the top, but none of us would see each others’ falls (which is always good for a laugh), and we’d get separated on this run. I slid off a catwalk (that I couldn’t see) while carving left, slamming my head sideways into the snowpack. By the time I got up, I didn’t know where anyone was, so I followed gravity, albeit a little more carefully. Not finding them at the bottom of the lifts, I ventured off on my own to the leeward side of the mountain for some fresh snow and tree skiing. (I did have one incredible back-scratcher drop-in from the top of a six foot cornice – enough to get cheers from the liftline – but ended up with face-first belly-up yard-sale slide for the next forty feet. I’d scoped the site earlier, though, and it was pillow soft. Great fun, great snow.)

Eventually we met up for some powerbars and water before finishing up the day on the slopes and dropping in the hotel hot-tub to relax our muscles. Dinner and a few beers later, and we cut to the present: shooting the shit at a soon-to-be-happening nightclub. Until the cougars walk in. Big cougars. And damned if they don’t think we’re the hottest and/or easiest guys in the bar.

Big, Big, Big, Cougar opens it up with “Want to see me pole dance?”

“Um, not really, thanks.”

“No, really, I’m a really great pole dancer.”

At this point, I’m thinking she has a custom-made reinforced pole at home. It sounds mean, but really, she’s huge, way to big to swing from some brass pole – perhaps high-grade aluminum. Fortunately, there are no poles in the bar, but unfortunately, she doesn’t let that stop her. She mimes holding a pole while slamming her body against it, and proceeds to spin around onto the dance floor, and shoves four fingers in her mouth before sloppily massaging her crotch while gyrating. God, is that image ever burned into my head, despite turning as soon as possible.

Another cougar in the group takes advantage of her absence to pounce and tell us, at least three times in the course of a conversation, how she can hang a coathanger from her erect nipple. Okay, I call her and her ample breasts on the bet, and fashion a little hanger-esqe triangle our of bar straws. Right there in the bar, she flops her breast out, ices it up with a cube from her drink, and hangs the triangle from it. Twice. Once from each nipple.

By now we’re trashed, they’re trashed, and we’re torn between finding some cute girls our own age and watching the trainwreck of a spectacle in front of us. But we don’t really have a choice anymore, it’s coming fast and furious; it’s hard to keep up or even disengage. One of the other girls has her hand in Chris’s hair and is asking if he “trims his hedges,” while another one, one seemingly normal aside from the rich patchouli scent, pulls me forcibly out to the dance floor. After about thirty seconds of standard run of the mill dancing, she grabs my hips and slams her crotch into mine ten times, then stops, apologizes, and says, “had to be done,” before walking off. I’m completely shocked. It’s so violent I think I may have pelvic bruising.

I stumble back to the bar where one of the girls has grabbed one of Chris’s or Frenchie’s legs and is attempting to rub her crotch against it while whoever it is that’s getting molested is trying to pull away. Chris gets mauled by Patchouli Cougar – literally, she’s clawing his face and biting his ear – BBB Cougar is up on stage grinding an imaginary pole beckoning to Frenchie, Irish Cougar is slamming my fists against Coathanger Cougar’s breasts King-Kong style while Coathanger Cougar is has a Kung-Fu grip on my crotch.

Eventually, I get to tab out.

I awake hungover as all hell. It’s even colder and windier and dumping snow. I have to pull my beanie cock-eyed down over my smashed goggles, and the wind is even worse on the hill, but the snow is fresh and continual. Never has the mountain seemed more inviting.