Diary of the 5th Annual Austin Bar Crawl

- wadE, Wade, Alex, & Jason

Welcome to the 5th Annual Austin Bar Crawl!

If you are unfamiliar with the ABC, please jump over and read the three previous recaps from 2002, 2003, and 2004... you'd swear we were a bunch of drunks!

The participants this year were nearly the same as in previous years: (from l-r above) Matty, Wade, Alex, wadE, and Jason; with Matty being back, and Dan not able to make it. Some horrible excuse having to do with the wife, family, and father's day. Spending time with family on the North Shore of Lake Superior or spending the weekend defiling yourself in Spamtown USA? He chose... poorly. ;-)

While there was no way we could ever replace Dan, a good time was had by all (as far as we can remember) and thankfully another year has passed without anyone dying. Joining me again in recounting the fun will be Alex and Wade; with some additional commentary from our good friend Jason who feels he's been slandered in previous recaps.

You made Jason lavender on purpose, didn't you?

I prefer lilac.

Yeah, sorry about that, I'm pretty sure I was the one that said "Jason can be purple".

Last year we had planned to drive to Grand Meadow (an even smaller southern Minnesota town) and enjoy some hot NTN trivia action, but the killer storm prevented us from going. This year, the closest city with trivia was Stewartville (small town south of Rochester), so we bagged that idea and continued on with the Sportts tradition, then retiring to Jason's parent's house (or should that be Jasons' parent's house?).

But even before making our way down to Austin, we also made the traditional stop off for a quick beer at Bubba's Bar in Owatonna. We stop off at Bubba's because Wade and Jason used to be in a band that played Bubba's quite regularly. Additionally, they have the best tasting Budweiser on the planet. I'm not a Bud fan, but there's something about the temp that Bubba keeps his Bud at, that makes it actually drinkable.

Bubba's was interesting this year. We got to see Bubba, and realized that for some reason they'd swapped the men's and women's bathrooms - the men's is now on the right instead of the left. Hmm... it was funnier at the time.

After a quick stop to say hello to our respective families, we met at the Sportts Bar and Grill. This year's highlight is that they installed a salad bar! I just love their shredded lettuce. What restaurant shreds their lettuce for salads? It looks like you should be making a taco, not making a salad. But I digress. While it is assumed that I would be eating the Sumo burger, I was hoping to talk someone else into it. Alex couldn't do it, but did order the Wuertz burger, although he refused to call it that. Like he's ashamed of Austin native, Mike Wuertz. Jason and Wade went with the All You Can Eat Fish special, which came with salad!

Yeah I'd like the failed Cubs closer burger, hold the failure. Thanks.

Jason ordered it because it was as close as the menu came to tuna.

I think my body is still digesting part of the Sumo I ate during last year's crawl. After seeing the grease-shine on wadE's face after his first couple bites, I was confident the fish was the right decision.

I'll also have you notice the menu from the bar in question and point out that it's just hard for me to support anything by name that references the famous Chicago Cub's pitcher (apostrophe intentionally left incorrect). So... yeah.

Please also turn your attention to the Sportts Healthy Choice Menu Selections. Particularly the first item. Only in my hometown will you find meatloaf in the "healthy choices" section of the menu. (And I'm also betting that the Atlantic Cod is breaded and fried in fat.)

We pointed out that the Healthy Choice Meatloaf is so good that you can have three helpings of it. Hmm... that was funnier at the time, too.

The sumo actually looked larger this year. In fact, a large portion of the burger that was too big for the bun had actually fallen off, and like a renegade Antarctic iceberg, it was free floating around my plate. The burger is only a pound (down from the 20 oz. it was several years ago), and even though it looked bigger, I had no problem finishing it and the fries in 15 minutes.

See, it doesn't look that big

While it doesn't look that big, the really issue with the Sumo Burger is the grease. Sportts uses Grade F meat, 50% lean at best. Halfway through eating the burger, my bottom bun was soaked through, and both of the my hands glistened in the light. To just say "it's greasy" doesn't begin to convey that amount of liquid fat that is consumed. It's the reason that I doubt I will ever go for the Super Sumo ever again.

Can Sportts sue us for slander based on that paragraph? (I'm serious.)

Oy, my arteries are hardening just looking at it

So if we look at the tote board, Ed... The annual wadE/meat allegory word count for 2005 comes in at a measly 152 words. Up from last year, but falling short of the 2003 record of 470.

BTW, those pics are courtesy of the Sportts website. For more hilarity, click here. NOTE: I'm so disappointed that the pic of the salad bar has normal looking lettuce, this is not standard operating procedure at the Sportts!

If you check out the "Promotions" link, you'll see that you can host an "Adults Birthday Party", whatever the hell that is. I find it vaguely disturbing, to be honest with you. It also lists the Sumo burgers at 1 and 2 pounds, respectively. I don't think that that's necessarily accurate, though. Oh, and that graphic off the tour page made me need to lie down for a while.

After fattening up, we drove to Jason's to max-and-relax for the evening, and to finally play a game that I bought for Dan several years ago when we lived together, but he never took with him: Life As A Blackman.

You may have heard about the game a few years ago when it came out. From http://www.blackmangame.com/:
Tired of Playing those same old boring Board Games? Well, the folks at Underground Games, Inc., a black owned game company, have come up with the most fun and interesting board game concept too ever hit the Market. Life As A Blackman the Game is the first and only board game to depict life from the perspective of a minority. "This is the party game for the next millennium," says Chuck Sawyer, C.E.O. Underground Games, Inc.

At any rate, we decided it was high time we busted that game out to see what it was all about. The rules were a little long, and the group isn't known for its patience, so we just started in.

Cripes. The instruction manual for the game is longer than Anna Karenina.

Of course, in Anna Karenina she dies by jumping in front of a train, not getting shanked in the neck by some thug in the hoosegow.

The basics:
You roll the dice to see if you are an athletic, creative, or intelligent black man. You then roll the dice to see if you're going to start up in one of 4 places: Glamourwood, Black University, Military, or the Ghetto.

You'll notice the Ghetto is a lot longer road than the others

Anyway, most of the squares have words on them that correspond to different sets of cards that you pick from; basically the game is like a mix of Life and Monopoly, with drawing cards driving the play. This is all more than you need to know, so let's get to the action.

Our setup looks remarkably like the one on the website!

The rest of the iggits were getting restless with the endless reading of the rules, so we just started in. Play started with Alex who was intelligent and in the Ghetto. He rolled, landed on a Ghetto square, picked up a Ghetto card which said, "You've been shot in a drive-by shooting. Game over".

What a let-down after all the exciting build up of reading the instructions. I think this would be an interesting game to wager on, though. Get eight guys together for $5 per game. Winner takes all. Side bets on who gets shanked in the neck first. Fun times.

And wadE, I do believe the proper spelling is "Idgits". Yosemite Sam says "how dare you".

We should have just stopped there, but we pressed on. All in all, Wade was the most successful black man. He reached Freedom twice before any of the rest of us got close. I was in the lead early, had a great job, a nice car, lots of money, but then I got addicted to crack and lost it all.

I'm like Bryant Gumbel! Or Al Roker!

I was not especially pleased.

After that we turned to the annual Bomberman tournament. Which isn't a tournament as much as it is a chance to blow each other up...figuratively of course, unless you are Jason who at one point nearly blew all of us out of the room.

Is that slander? If you're insinuating that I was flatulent, you may want to remember that I wasn't the one who consumed 2 lbs. of grade F beef in less than 15 minutes before going to my parent's house that night.

You know, I'm just not very good at Bomberman. Maybe it's because I'm a pacifist. I bet I'd kick ass at Unilateral Binding Negotiationman.

I'm really not any good at Bomberman either, but it's still the most entertaining multi-player game around (well, one that you can play in a single evening, anyway). Plus you can't beat a game where it sounds like the characters are saying things like "I'm Judge Ito!"

The next morning we all met at Meadow Greens for the annual round of golf. We were back at Meadow Greens this year after a one year hiatus due to a cancer charity tournament the previous year. It was good to be back after last year's visit to Par 3... er, Holiday Park.

Good. It's not that I don't like Par 3s... well, ok, I don't. But the greens at HP are made of rubber and they're tiny. Meadow Greens at least offers some variety.

Matty was joining us at the course, but no one told him when that would really be... but to make a long story short, he found us just in time to play.

I only lost one ball!!!

It was a really nice day for golf. Wanna see a fat man teeing off? Click here. I hit the crap out of that ball, if memory serves.

After golf we were ready for some fat eats. So we made our way to Wade's parents house for the traditional stuffing of the faces.

Ma toned it down again this year. Meaning we had only had enough food for fifteen people.

Mmmmmm... FIRE... GOOD!!!!

We ate as much as we could, and Alex proving he's no lightweight, ate more brats than I did, even though Jason badgered him the entire time, reminding him of the painful experience he had 2 years ago.

There is nothing worse than the thought of walking into Danny's Bar and realizing that those 3 sausages you ate at the BBQ need to be moved.

I estimate that I only ate about half of what I did that year. But yeah, the facilities at any of the bars in question are not good.

Time to get ourselves to the ballpark for some Home Run Derby action. We again returned to the friendly confines of Sherman Park (a.k.a. Skunk Hollow). The softball action was fast and furious for Jason and Alex who clubbed a combined 40+ homers, leaving the rest of us idiots with less than 10. We all bowed our heads in shame.

Al had an excellent pitcher. I'm the Brad Radke of Home Run Derby.

And with out further ado... we begin the 5th Annual Austin Bar Crawl:

Wasn't Wade going to write a column that was all ado? Whatever happened to that?

5:35 - We are pulling away from my house as Jason bellows, "Ok, let's go get drunk". More prophetic words have never been spoken. Once again Wade's parents let us use their mini-van, when will they learn?

I'm guessing they'll start to be reluctant as soon as I start crashing into trees.

Addendum: Doris remarks that Wu-Haul is a great company, in reference to Matty's shirt. Do astronauts drink Wu-Tang?

5:36 - Driving by the Old Hardees', which has a huge new sign that says "China Restaurant"; Jason asks, "Who are the ad wizards who came up with that?" Note: the China Restaurant is Coming Soon. Too bad, we could have gone there later in the evening for pre-downtown dinner of the General's Chicken!

Update: my barber says that China Restaurant is excellent. He's especially a fan of Chicken Dinner. (I'm kidding, of course.) (About the second part, not the first part.) (Nevermind.)

I'm just glad that something's going in there so I can ignore whatever it is and continue to call it the Old Hardees'.

5:40 - Driving by Oakwood Cemetery Alex swears he sees a headstone for "Starman". A discussion of Starman the movie ensues, and quickly dies.

That was funny as hell. I hated Starman and hate Alex for knowing it and bringing it up. Just the though of Starman being buried in Austin makes me giggle.

I didn't know Jason hated Starman, I just saw the headstone and reacted. I'll try to see if I can get my Aunt and Uncle to confirm Starman when they're out there putting up urns next Memorial Day.

5:41 - Arrive Mapleview Lounge. Surprisingly quiet. In fact, we're the only ones there.

Note the "Bucket Special"

One drink in and I?m already caught doing the "cabbage patch"

5:43 - The bartender is wearing a sweet Mickey's throwback T-shirt (for those of you who don't know, Mickey's is a brand of Malt Liquor, a favorite of my good friend Brendan during Freshman year of college.... mmmmm, Mickey's Grenades... halalalamph); I want to complement her on the shirt, however, the bartender is completely ignoring us... she's too busy stocking the off-sale liquor shelves.

I hope wadE is relishing the memory of college, not the malt liquor. Jason and I each had at least one Colt 45 on Halloween night back in 1996. The next morning it tasted like a host of woodland creatures had crapped in my mouth during the night.

I remember when the guy who had the college radio show after ours was giving away 40s of Mickey's on-air. (We were a dry campus, for those of you who didn't know - shows you what kind of wattage the AM radio station put out.)

5:50 - This year I'm on a mission to price out each bars paraphernalia, specifically hats if they have them. So I interrupt our sour bartendress to find out how much a Mapleview Lounge hat goes for... she's new, and doesn't know, but after a brief look around she says, either $8 or $5.

The problem with these missions is that by the time we get downtown we don't even know who we are, much less what we were supposed to be keeping track of.

5:54 - Matty comments on the sour bartendress as we leave, "If I was workin' here, I'd be pretty angry too!"

I guess. But I'd wager that us yahoos were easily the most entertaining, educated, and toothed patrons she'd see that evening. Why not have a little fun? Eh. Aunt Flo must have been in town.

5:55 - Jason takes over as the DJ in the car (new world record!!!), and Matt asks if there is a bar in the cemetery as we drive by.

The Starman Saloon?

I wonder what the legalities would be of making this happen. A bar in a graveyard in Austin would definitely make money.

5:59 - For the 1000th time, Wade mentions the time that a drunk girl said he looked like George Clooney.

Have you heard that story!?! Of course, I believe that's the same night that I woke up at 4 a.m. sitting on a cement slab outside a strip mall in Madison, with a homeless man staring at me. I don't spin that yarn quite as often.

I'm guessing that I probably brought the topic up to get Wade going on it. I like to set Wade in action, he makes me laugh. And I mean that seriously, not in an "I laugh at him" kind of way.

George Clooney or Elvis... you make the call!

6:00 - Wade & Jason act like an old married couple. (Wade...turn here! Yeah yeah yeah Jason, I heard you the first time)

In case you wondered what the diary looked like

6:01 - Arrive Echo Lanes' Twister Lounge.

Just as sad as always...

6:15 - Jason is an asshole.

Bud-ball, still in full effect... posing with a random battery

I made an "Evolution of Bowling" joke when I saw this trophy. It was funnier at the time.

6:18 - Wade tells us that while getting a haircut this morning his barber tells him that Danny's is a 3.2 joint. This is after Wade comments on what a shithole it is, and his barber says that he goes to Danny's. None of us have the heart to tell Wade that his barber shaved "asshole" in the back of his head.

Do I talk about my barber too much?

6:22 - I'm slapped by Jason for making a "Wrath of Hahn" joke.

How dare you.

6:23 - Arrive at Danny's

We chose not to enjoy Danny's lovely patio

Al had a shirt like that nearest "tablecloth" in high school.

I had to think hard to remember that, but Wade's right. Mind like a steel trap, that one.

Do you think anyone has ever used the "patio" at Danny's?

6:25 - Danny's Hat, $6. Although Alex recalls paying $8 last year. That's what stagflation will do for ya! I'm just surprised Alex can remember anything from last year.

Let the record show that last year's recap states that I paid $6. Anything said on a crawl cannot be held against me.

To be precise, stagflation would lead to rising consumer prices. You see, when there's an unexpected impact to the country's aggregate supply curve, monetary policy can only.. wow, I'm boring myself.

6:27 - Our favorite clock from last year is gone; replaced by Dale Jr. clock.

6:29 - Alex is officially drunk, he needed that explained to him 3 times. Wheel Of Fortune is on TV (of course, why have the Twins on when you can see Pat Sajak instead!). Danny has installed new carpet, still shitty... but at least it's not duct taped to the cement floor.

Lately "Wheel of Fortune" has been more entertaining than the Twins. At least there's a chance that Vanna might fall out of her dress at some point. Compare that to LeCroy swinging so hard that his helmet flies off.

6:35 - We notice that all of the clocks (and some of the other strange stuff in the bar, like the random wood carving of a fossilized animal (dinosaur?) skull) have price tags on them. I comment, "It's like a garage sale in here".

When you see a fossilized dinosaur skull with a sticker on it that says 50$, you begin to realize that 6$ for a Danny's hat isn't such a bad price. You also begin to realize that the bar you're drinking in is trying to sell you a dinosaur skull.

Additionally we notice that every bar we've been to so far has a "bucket" sale, for buckets of beer. Mapleview had just a reg. bucket, Echo Lanes had a bucket special for golfers, and Danny's has a bucket special for NASCAR fans (surprise).

6:36 - I forgot to mention that there are actual people in Danny's... playing pool. I'm shocked that 1) Danny's has some actual patrons in it during the daylight hours, and b) they don't look anything like the questionable folks in the Danny's collages.

I suspect that the collages date back to the days when the place was called The Pub, or Harter's Hideaway. I have visions of Danny buying the place and inheriting the old decor and just keeping it all.

6:38 - Jason disappears with my camera into the bathroom. Several flashes later he comes out... laughing.


6:42 - Arrive at B&J

Five years, and we still haven't run into my uncles...

6:43 - We have to argue our waitress out of getting us a pitcher. We explain how that will get us into trouble later... yeah, that'll keep us out of trouble...riiiiight... We notice there is a Jar 'o' Eggs, Jar 'o' Turkey Gizzards, and Jar 'o' Pickles behind the bar. "It's like a biology class behind the bar" - Jason

I could see the conflict etched on the Wades' faces when the waitress said that it'd be cheaper to get a pitcher. Like deer in headlights. It was actually somewhat fascinating to watch, considering how strongly we'd all agreed that the pitchers did us in two years ago. Heh.

6:47 - I've neglected to mention that this weekend coincides with SPAM Museum Jam (not to be confused with the regular 4th of July SPAM Jam). We had been making jokes during the previous two weeks that we were looking forward to running in to Kurtwood Smith, Tom Bosley, and Jim Belushi. Rumors had it that Alan Thicke was also making an appearance! At any rate, I bring this up because Matty decides to start keeping track of how many SPAM shirts we see. Current count: 1

We agreed that we'd all love to buy Mr. C a lapdance. But the prospect of doing jello shots with Mike Seaver? Wow.

While getting that lapdance, do you think Mr. C would tell the stripper to 'sit on it?? Howard!!

I heard a rumor that the city council got sick of Hormel taking over the 4th and so told 'em to stick it this year. No idea if that's accurate or not.

Honestly... a very well done museum... seriously!

6:48 - Jason notes that the "funbag" waitress is behind the bar...in reference to my conspicuous gestures from 2003.

wadE, you are a scholar and a gentleman.

6:56 - For some reason, Alex & Wade bet $5 on the first year the T-wolves were in existence.
Wade: '89-'90
Alex: '91-'92
Winner: Wade
I don't know what Alex was thinking about when he made that bet. This may be foreshadowing his memory functions later in the evening.

DING! Still waiting for my winnings, Al.

I'll add it to your fantasy baseball prize money.

6:58 - Matty tips the waitress $5... at the B&J, that might be the biggest tip of the year.

7:00 - B&J Hat = $10

7:03 - As we leave, Funbags says, "See you next year!"

Look, her name is... wait, maybe we should just leave her anonymous.

7:03 - She's a honk machine!

7:08 - Arrive at Smitty's... Smitty's drunk (hoo-ray!!!) Smitty throws coasters at us, steals Jason's hat, threatened to throw beer at us. Smitty then mellows and goes into a long monologue of how they are remodeling (and now that he mentions it, it does look slightly less dank in here, and the communal sink by the bathrooms is gone), and then he goes into a diatribe on his son going over to Iraq in a few months. Well...while he brings us down with war talk, at least he's not catatonic as he has been in previous years.

7:12 - After looking at the pictures Jason took at Danny's, Alex breaks out the "Yo' mama" jokes saying Jason's mom shit in Danny's. Maybe you just had to be there for that one.

I missed that one. Did Alex say my mom took a dunker in Danny's? Did he hear that from Wade's barber or something?

Yeah I missed that one too.

7:14 - "Drive carefully, I might be walkin'!" - Smitty

We should have just asked him to pose with us this time

Where is wadE's left hand? Handjob sandwich!! Hey, what do you think would happen if we ordered a round of handjob sandwiches from Smitty next year?

I shudder to think what might happen...

7:21 - Jason hits me in the face with his sunglasses as we get out of the mini-van at Lefty's. Time to leave the vehicle behind and start walking. This is fine since the weather is absolutely perfect. Even last year with the rain and killer storm, it cleared up in time for walking, we've been very lucky every year.

7:22 - We get carded... how lame. But it is our first set of frosty mugs!

My charm makes me seem boyish.

7:23 - It is noted that "Tears Are Falling" by KISS is playing.

7:37 - Lefty's has Sanitarium on their jukebox...I am impressed.

You fail to mention that it was the Brad Paisley cover of "Sanitarium."

7:40 - Motion to move to cocktails passes 4-0 with one abstention (mE).

"Long Time Coming"??? What, they never had a happy hour before?

7:45 - We are accosted by some local drunkard who sits down with us. He insists on buying us a pitcher of beer... Jason tries to explain that we're on a bar crawl, but this guy is really really... really drunk already. You remember Vincent D'Onofrio's character in Men In Black? That's what this guy looks like. Needless to say, we high-tail it outta there, even after the offer of a free pitcher of beer.

He was wearing an Egger Suit.

7:48 - Charley's Lounge... no hats, but $25 for a sweatshirt, and $35 for a hooded sweatshirt. Shockingly, there is no happy hour crock-pot!!!

7:49 - Forgetting the vote that was taken at Lefty's, I buy a round of beers. Oops...

7:50 - Obligatory Charley's backspin by Jason

Again... please burn that shirt...

7:52 - Jason asks if anyone else's judgment is off... while peeing, he inexplicably turned and spit in the corner.

I'd say the answer is yes.

Yeah, for the record that's wadE trying to take a picture with his camera set on "movie". As you can see I lost patience with his confused drunken mumbling.

7:53 - Jason pours out a little beer for Dan.

Too bad... Dan would have probably stolen this poster

...and he could have explained what this was all about

7:54 - 8:26 - There aren't any entries in the diary during this time, so we'll try to recap what happened during this time.

As we leave Charley's we find the really drunk guy (Larry) sitting at the bar. He starts mumbling that he was looking for us, and asking where we were. He engages Jason in conversation, everyone else leaves for the Hiawatha, I instinctively stay with Jason, don't want him left along having to deal with a drunken idiot. Jason tells Larry we'll be next door. As we walk out, Larry slams his drink and follows.

Real stealth. Tell the creepy man where we're headed.

The Hiawatha is relatively packed and bright inside. I'm thinking it's bright because we are way ahead of schedule. About 30 min to an hour ahead of normal; plus this weekend is right before the summer solstice. At any rate, we're still the oldest people in the Hiawatha (per usual), but there are about 6-7 other people there... that's a lot!

Random pic of the Hiawatha Men's Room
In Dan's absence, I take up a collection to play pull tabs. Needless to say, we won nothing. During the rest of the time we did the usual focus on the touchscreen Photo Hunt game. Partially because there's nothing more fun than a bunch of drunk guys staring at pictures of naked women...what's actually even funnier is that while looking at these pictures you're focused more on the background because that is where most of the subtle differences in the two photos are. Anyway, the other reason I'm focused on that is that I don't want to talk to Larry, who is reeling in some of the other guys to "chat". After running out of money for Photo Hunt, and tearing open all of our pull tabs, we leave the Hiawatha Bar and head next door to the last stop on the east side, Bobee Jo's. No karaoke... some band... I'm sure Wade and Jason can tell you more. I'm busy now having to talk to Larry, who is trying to convince me to convince the group to go back to Lefty's... I try to explain the bar crawl concept...but anything with the word "concept" isn't something that Larry is interested in discussing. He says that we shouldn't go downtown, because there's trouble downtown, or something like that. Have I mentioned how drunk this guy is? Anyway, after I insist that we are going downtown, he starts saying, "You wanna go? ... You wanna go?!" and I think that he means downtown, but then he starts calling me a jackass, and something else that was funny at the time but I can't remember now. Anyway, after trying to pick a fight with me, he leaves. After that I finally find out about all the other stuff that had been going on. So I just surfed to Minnesota's Level 3 Sexual Offender website. Surprisingly, Larry isn't on there.

So at one point everyone leaves me in front of the Photo Hunt screen... save for Larry. Despite my efforts to ignore him and concentrate on the photos of women missing hair, legs, and nipples, he keeps trying to converse with me. After several failed attempts, Larry begins to give me a BACK MASSAGE. I quickly decided that no amount of amassed credits was worth sticking around for, and high-tailed it out of there. As someone said, he was a little Larry without the "r"s.

Did anyone else notice that Larry carried the same drink with him into like three different bars? Larry asked me what kind of trouble we were looking to get into. I told him we weren't looking to get into trouble and he said there was a lot of trouble to be had with him at the Holiday Inn. I didn't inquire further into Larry's meaning behind this statement.

8:27 - Larry the drunk leaves us.

8:30 - Jason swears that the guy in the bar wearing an orange mesh shirt just meowed at him.

I remember making some comment about looking like gay couch and not wanting to get scratched by that guy.

Alex notices a sign that says: Liquid Viagra $5. Jason and Alex go to the bar to investigate.

8:35 - Since being made fun of at the Mapleview Lounge for nursing his beer, Matty has finished his drink at every bar first.

8:37 - Since Jason asked, the bartender brings out a free shot of Liquid Viagra for him. Before drinking it, he asks the bartender, "What am I supposed to do if I get a hard-on?!"

8:40 - Next thing I know, we've all got shots of Liquid Viagra... which, by the way, is Jagermeister and Red Bull. We take the shot and Jason yells out, "We're all going downtown with hard-ons!!!"

Thank God Larry wasn't there to hear me yell that.

8:45 - Daylight... Drunk... leaving Bobee Jo's... (we are wayyyy, ahead of schedule, more foreshadowing)

8:55 - "You know what... just dawned on me... I'm wearing a hat!" - Alex

I was extremely thrown off by the fact that we left the East Side in the daylight. That's never happened before. Damn solstice. Oh, and I had just put the thing on before we abandoned the car, so it's not like I'd been wearing it all night.

Some pics taken along the way...


Yes, that is a couch in the cedar river...and I'm happy to see you.

Wade at the peak of the drunk vs. physical prowess bell curve

Oy! Only in Austin...

8:57 - Wade races Jason and is cut on Jason's watch as Jason passes him... there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Look. When you think about the speed we were running at, combined with the angle of the... yeah, I'm a sally.

Next year, potato-sack race!!

Get some disinfectant! Get some iodine!

9:00 - Potty Break @ Thirsty's

9:06 - Alex randomly sits down on random chair

I have no recollection of this. In fact, just apply that statement to 95% of the rest of the recap. Anything I say from here on out is conjecture at best.

Everyone enjoys a good sit... the great leveler of men...

A local icon, Knauer's Meat Market!
You'd think they'd touch up their signs at least once a century...

9:10 - We arrive at Taco John's. While in the bathroom I notice there is a reproduction of a Kandinsky on the wall (Composition No. 6 - 1913). How many other people do you think have noticed this in Austin? Oddly enough the actual painting is in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg Russia; which I'll be visiting this August.

Nothing like a Kandinsky to get you in the mood to crap.

9:20 - Everyone seems to have ordered way more Potato Oles than they could possibly eat. I finally notice what is printed on my water glass, and hold it up next to Wade's head.


I in fact ordered nothing but Oles. Good ol' grease and salt. And potatoes, I guess.

9:50 - Arrive back downtown at ... Mickey's Bar? This is the bar that used to be the Alaskan (or 5th National Bar, or The Cavern, etc.). We go inside and are shocked. They've purchased the store next door, and knocked out the wall so there is a pool table, dance floor, and DJ area, as well as the original bar. There are actually a decent amount of people here, and it honestly doesn't suck; which is saying a lot for an Austin bar.

A very nice place, actually. I mean, relatively. Which, I understand, isn't saying much.

Bad sign... decent bar...

I look like I'm... what.. sitting in a prison yard or something.

Al would be shanked by now if we were in a prison yard.

10:12 - Arrive at the Bakery... Wade threatens to "shim" us... we think he means "shank"... but he's a drunken blowhard at this point... which isn't different than any of the rest of us really.

I thought he meant "shiv".

Wade's obligatory gang sign in front of The Bakery

10:20 - Arrive at Rubes... er, Paradise Island. I'll never get used to that, it'll always be Rubes to me! Matty spots his second SPAM T-shirt, tyed-dyed! It is important to note that even with all of the festivities going on for SPAM Museum Jam, downtown is no busier than normal, and there have been no Tom Bosley, Jim Belushi, Kurtwood Smith, or Alan Thicke sightings... although the one guy getting a lapdance right now looks a little bit like Mr. C. At any rate, Rubes is the same as always; the talent is not so talented, and the bartendresses could make a lot more if they moved it up on stage. This place embodies the word, "seedy".

I again tried my hand at the Dennis Rodman Pop-a-Shot video game. I'm not very good at that, either.

10:45 - Arrive at Margar...er, The Ville (stupid Jimmy Buffet). The Thatch is back! That's right the Thatched Booth is back in action!

Hot thatch action!
They still haven't replaced the other booths, which is why there still aren't too many people in the place, but the clientele is definitely more like that of the former Righty's. However, no one is wearing any Spider-Man shirts.

10:48 - Wade + Alex + Belligerent = Belligerent (written verbatim in my diary)

Are you saying we're belligerent drunks? Well, ... yeah, that's right.

10:49 - Drunk talk: Rube Bartender

10:50 - Sí

11:00 - Jason: Hey Fuckers, it's only 11!

Do I really sound like Stiffler when I?m drunk?

I have no idea what any of these entries mean.

11:05 - Matty gets a face five from Jason for making fun of System Of A Down.

At this point, the written diary ends... so the rest will have to be from our collective foggy memories.

Our next stop was the new Showgirl Saloon. However, they wanted a $4 cover charge. What?!? Cover charges in Austin? Are they crazy? F-that!

Jason and I, fearing the ever-mobile STDs from the old Derby, quickly pass by and stake out some seats at Thirsty's. We hope to run into the "young bull / old bull" buffoon from the past year, but no luck. At one point my cell phone rings. It's wadE from across the bar. I'm guessing he doesn't remember that. Oh, I've gotten ahead of our story...

We then went to Thirsty's. For some reason it's always fairly busy at Thirsty's. Tonight is no exception. I belly up to the bar, across from Jason and Wade. I notice above there head is a jersey that says something funny on it... hopefully someone can remember for me. Since there has been a noticeable lack of paraphernalia to report the price of, I ask about the jersey. The woman says it's not for sale, but then a few minutes later, some guy at the end of the bar says it's the jersey for his softball team, and he can get me one for $20. He's coming off a little too friendly, and after our experience with drunken Larry, I'm not ready to strike up a conversation with any locals. We hightail it to the other end of the bar.

The only thing to do at the other end of the bar is play pool, however there are two ladies already playing, so Jason and Wade proposition them for next game.

I've played one decent game of pool in my life. And, no, this wasn't it. It's to the point where Jason's mom makes fun of me because of my lack of billiard skills. Which isn't really fair, given that she and Dandy Don could be on ESPN with their considerable talent.

Another quality shot by Wade ;-)

Jason picks up the slack...

...much to this girl's dismay

Watching people play pool is fun for about 5 minutes, so Alex convinces me to take off for Showgirl Saloon by offering to pay my cover charge. We get outside of Thirsty's and there is a guy in front of Showgirl Saloon yelling, "We've got 3 white girls tonight!!!"

Alex and I belly up for a bit, get a drink and size up the situation. The guy outside was right, they do have 3 white girls, and even more shocking, they're remotely attractive. Ok, maybe the 4 dollar cover was actually worth it.

Alex and I take a couple of seats up front in Sniffer's Row. The new owners have made very few changes to the old Brown Derby. They've enclosed the far end of the stage, which used to have a table, for the lap dance area. They've jutted out the middle of the stage about 3 feet, just enough to have some semblance of a catwalk...and that's about it. Alex and I wait for the Lisa Loeb type girl to come on stage, who might be the 3rd woman ever we could possible agree about; although Alex gets bored after finishing his drink, and leaves. At this point I'm barely coherent and very tired, so I decide to slowly drink the ice in my drink and enjoy the rest of the show.

Yeah, I have no memory of that. I'm assuming I left because I had to pee and I'm opposed to peeing in the Austin "Gentlemen's Clubs".

A few minutes later a guy and his girlfriend sit down next to me in the front row. He starts throwing dollars down in front of his girlfriend for some hot girl-on-girl action in Sniffer's Row... suddenly the guy yells, "Wade? Wade! Is that you?" I must have given him the blank "...and you are...?" stare, because he yells out, (to protect the innocent and the guilty, we'll call him "Jeff") "It's me, 'Jeff'!" It clicked who he was. We certainly weren't close friends in high school. Actually Jason probably knew him the best out of all of us, but that was from back in the day (as they say). At any rate we started chattin' it up while he continually threw down dollars for his girlfriend. Good times.

Meanwhile, back at the Hall of Justice... okay, meanwhile Jason and I head back to Mickey's. We buy a couple of cocktails, try to talk the DJ into playing something by The Who, and observe the goings-on before us. Jason can explain better, perhaps...

At this point I am slowly fading into Bolivion? I believe Wade and I were carrying the same drink from one bar to the next if that gives you any sense of how we were doing. I remember requesting that the DJ play some Who and he looked at me like this was Denny's and I just tried to order the surf and turf. Over the thumping beat of some 50 cent song I heard the DJ yell, "Look around. Nobody wants to hear the Who". So I turn around and there is a small Asian woman running toward me. She lunges at me and says, "You the hottest white guy I ever saw!". I remember laughing and swaying from side to side. It was like a scene out of the Doors or something. Wade and I retreat (with our same drinks) to the Bakery to feed the jukebox to hear some better music.

1:00 - Closing time. I leave the Saloon and wander out to try and find the rest of the guys. As I cross the street, I see Alex hanging out by the back door of the Bakery/Rubes/Ville. Just as I'm approaching, this black woman bursts out of Rubes and approaches Alex. As I get closer I can hear her saying to him, "What's the matter with your friends? I've been seein' you hangin' out by yourself all night... you've got bad friends!" and Alex says, "Well, there's one of them right now", pointing at me. So we start chatting with her, and she's talking about how good of a friend I am (if you couldn't tell already, this woman is very drunk, and one of the strippers at Rubes. She starts telling us about her kid, and the kids dad who plays for the Carolina Panthers, she has pictures as well. As far as I can tell by looking at the Panthers website (and my shaky memory), it was either Nick Maddox, or Thomas Davis... maybe Michael Gaines... but this is all assuming she was serious.

Yeah I do vaguely remember that. Is that the first time in your life you've been the Good Friend, wadE? And for the record, "all night" at this point can't be more than 45 minutes, tops.

At any rate, Alex and I are able to get away, and find the rest of the guys in front of Mickey's. At that point, Alex and Jason went one way, and Wade, Matty, and I headed for home. Which looked something like this:

Mmmmm... Thai Chinese Hoagie... halalamph *burp*

Have you had Dick Young in your mouth?

Matt says, "whoa, I don't feel so good"

We might have our first casualty

The next morning I woke up at 8:00 or so, and found Jason, Matty, and Alex in the living room with me. I was not feeling very capital, so I went back to sleep. At 9:30, I woke up feeling much better, to find Jason, Matty, and... Wade? Wait, I swear that was Alex over by the TV, what the...?

Alex and I are the same person, and we morph into each other based on situation. C'mon. Have you ever seen the two of us together at the same time?

Slowly people began to wake up, and memories started to seep back from the darkness...

My return from Bolivion has left me with some unanswered questions. I remember leaving downtown. I remember being kicked by a deer in a cemetery. I don't know if this is in any way related to Starman or not. Perhaps I was in search of the Starman Saloon for one more drink before going to bed. I awoke in the morning with what appeared to be a Fig Newton in my hair.

Hail Caesar! Pizza Pizza!

Anyway, I dragged myself off the couch to help my mom cook breakfast and to avoid last year's debacle of cooking for 5 hungry guys using two small frying pans. Instead of my Mom and Dad bickering at each other, it was my Mom and I bickering at each other... I'm sure that was fun for all involved, but at least we had plenty of food, and it didn't take 3 hours for everyone to get eggs.

You know, the morning started out so well. I got up, noticing the effects but still chipper, and head over to wadE's. After about ten minutes, though, I notice a marked downturn in my outlook. Pretty soon I was lying on Al's mattress, concentrating on breathing, and trying not to die. This isn't right, thought me. I don't get hangovers. It was looking pretty ugly there... okay, I was looking pretty ugly there for a bit. Which was unfortunate, because I appreciate a good greasy hangover breakfast as much as anybody. So, for the first time in... years, really, I make my way to wadE's bathroom and... yak. Profusely. Which was not fun. But I'd forgotten how good you feel after that. I was on top of the world, baby. I proceeded to stuff myself with Doris' a.m. goodness.

When I woke, I turned to wadE and began laughing immediately. I knew I was still drunk. I rolled over from my right to my left side and realized that Al had turned into Wade. I also noticed the physical sensation of the alcohol draining from the right hemisphere of my brain to the left. Much like an hourglass filled with a mixture of old booze and cheap beer.

I remember leaving downtown with Jason. I remember peeing on someone's lawn. I remember waking up at wadE's and feeling somewhat decent. I remember walking home and feeling quite a bit less good. I remember going back to sleep for three hours and staving off the dry heaves. Yeah. Woo.

While I think it's safe to say that we all were in better shape compared to last year, I don't think that's saying too much. To paraphrase the legendary Danny Glover, "We're gettin' too old for this shit!" More than likely, this has been the last Austin Bar Crawl in its current format.

"I agree"

Hottest white guy you ever saw.

"Me too"


I personally would be willing to break it up into two nights, doing the peripheral bars one night, and then doing the east side & downtown bars the second. Or we could just focus on the east side/downtown bars only. As in the past, time has tempered our outlook at the debauchery that is the Austin Bar Crawl, but only time will tell.

You know, we say shit like this every year. And then time heals, our livers forget, and we end up sticking with the original agenda. That said... We're now six weeks out from the crawl and I'd be more than happy scaling it back to 11.

No, I'm definitely done. If we want to take a day to go down to Austin and play golf, eat ourselves sick, and hit softballs at people, I'm in. But I'm done with the bar crawling. It loses something after the fifth time, for me at least.

However, if there are people out there who want to keep going, here's what I recommend: The virtual bar crawl! We'll host up at one of our houses (I'm guessing wadE's) - we've got the chronology well documented in the crawl recaps. So at the designated times, we all pour drinks and see what happens. If we get really ambitious we can have themes for each bar, or at least tell stories about each one. I know there are folks out there who think they could hack the actual bar crawl, and this'd be a way for them to see if they're right or not. Regardless, that's as close as I'll get to another ABC. Thanks for the memories (or lack thereof), but I'm done.

Thanks again to Wade's, Jason's, and my parents for putting up with us at various points throughout the weekend. Another round of thanks to Wade, Alex, Jason, and Matty for making the 5th Annual Austin Bar Crawl one to remember...or not remember as the case may be. :-D

- 08/24/2005

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