6th Annual Austin Bar Crawl

– wadE, Wade, & Alex

Welcome to the 6th Annual Austin Bar Crawl!


If you are unfamiliar with the ABC please check out our previous misadventures from 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. Ahhh Austin… it truly is a drunkards paradise.

Isn\’t that a Coolio song? Or is it Weird Al?

We were back to the core group this year of (l-r above) Wade, Dan, Alex, wadE, Matty and Jason. It just didn\’t feel right without Dan last year. We were glad to have him back.

With all the key players in place for this year\’s crawl we made a pact that since we are getting a bit older (and we thought wiser), we should maybe have a person take a bar off as we did the rounds. Try and cut back a little bit. Why we thought we could reign in our excess in Austin is beyond me. Fools, we were! But we all made it through, though some were in much better shape than others, but we\’ll get to that. So join us as we recap the 6th Annual Austin Bar Crawl.

What\’s up bitches?! I\’ll have you know I intend on being as vulgar and inappropriate as possible in this year\’s recap, to make up for my late-evening disappearance. This is my associate, Mr. Wang! No offense! </dangerfield>

You wanna make fourteen dollars the hard way?

We had a departure from protocol this year, we didn\'t go to Bubba\'s on the drive down. Blasphemy, you say? Well, Wade and I were each bringing our puppies down to Austin, and even with it being a mild day, we didn\'t want to leave our puppies in a car...although I\'m thinking if we walked in with our dogs, the patrons of Bubba\'s would hardly notice.

So this year the true festivities start with the traditional visit to the Sportt\'s Bar and Grill. I, of course, ordered the Sumo Burger. Surprisingly Jason goes for the All You Can Eat Fish. Odds are that he won\'t get his money\'s worth.

Shortly after we order a large table comes in with what ended up being a table full of Canadians (Wade can smell a Canadian a mile away).

Molson has a distinctive odor.

The big, sloping forehead is also a tell.

When my Sumo shows up the Canadians work themselves into a lather over it and several of them decide to order one as well. I\'ll keep the meat allegory short this year just to say that per usual it wasn\'t much of a challenge. The only disturbing moment was when I first picked up the burger, a river of grease ran right down my arm, from wrist to elbow; but this wasn\'t wholly unexpected. The unexpected turn was that I found myself still hungry afterwards. But considering I had a granola bar for breakfast and that was it, I was ready for a serious meal.

Afterwards we reviewed the official Sumo \"log\" to find my accomplishments from year\'s past, as well as Wade and Jason\'s entries from a coulple years ago. We were also able to confirm that the Sumo was originally 20 oz. of burger, not the single pound it is today. Which means the Super Sumo used to be 40 oz., not the meager 32 oz. it is today. I think I might be able to handle a measly 32 oz. *barf* But I think instead I\'ll go with Jason\'s suggestion that next year I should get a \"suicide\" sumo, with all 20 toppings. If he reminds me next year, I\'ll do it!

After Sportt\'s we retire to Jason\'s, but not before I stop off at Apollo liquor for some libations to \"prime the pump\" for tomorrow night. While Wade and Jason seem to prefer Bell Liquor, I would rather not run into people I know from high school who are still in town. I spy a bottle of Jim Beam Yellow Lable Rye Whiskey... it had a yellow label and was only a couple extra bucks compared to the regular Beam. I figured it would be the highest quality beverage we would have that weekend...and I was so very right.

There was no Life As A Blackman game this year, but there was plenty of Bomberman. And besides the bourbon there was cherry vodka...it was like college all over again.

Except for the Pig\'s Eye Lean. And, the fact that we didn\'t have to bribe some football player to buy us alcohol.

In college I drank Harp\'s, except for when Nic made me drink fuzzy navels. And I think it might be time for a change away from Bomberman. We should brainstorm some ideas before next year.

Dan and Matt showed up, we primed the pump some more, and called it at night at midnight.

The next morning we were up and at \'em early for some golf at the historic Meadow Greens golf course.

It certainly is an historic golf course.


Since there were 6 of us, and even Meadow Greens would frown on a 6-some, we divided up into to teams of 3 for a game of scramble (what most people think is called \"best ball\").

Personally, I\'m fond of calling it \'best shot\', because what you\'re doing is choosing to use your team\'s best shot. *shrugs* I could do without playing that back nine again, though. I\'m not a big fan of courses that have unplayable swampland instead of rough, especially when those courses should be catering to hacks like us. Then again, we didn\'t have to play that 85 yard hole that\'s on the front, either. Life is a give and take affair.

Jason, Dan, and I took on Alex, Wade, and Matt. We were following team Alex (c\'mon, we all know this was mostly between Alex and Jason, the rest of us were along for the nice walk) through the 9 holes, and if you went by body language we thought we had them beat. It turned out it came down to the final hole. I hit my 40 foot putt too hard, and it lipped out. We tapped in for what turned out to be a tie.

wadE, typically when a putt moves with the speed of your last putt the other golfers are yelling things like: Hit a house! Hit five houses! And the garage! Basically I\'m saying that you\'re lucky the putt hit the hole so it\'d be close enough to tap in. And it didn\'t so much lip out as slam into the back edge of the cup, shoot straight up in the air, and land softly nearby. Not that I\'m being picky.

I had a grand time at the golf this year. I\'m still horrible, but now every tenth shot or so is decent. It\'s too bad nobody gives golf lessons, that I\'m stuck trying to emulate what I see on TV.

While overcast skies and light rain had kept the temperature down, we had already worked up a mighty thirst, and Dan did the honors of kicking the bar crawl off early with a round in the clubhouse.

I hereby nominate this for New Tradition status.

Seconded. I remember spending a fair amount of time discussing the merits of the new Coors Light can. I also remember trying to smash the can on my forehead and failing miserably. The lesson, as always: I\'m an idiot.


Besides working up a mighty thirst, we worked up a mighty hunger, and the annual BBQ at Wade\'s parents\' house didn\'t disappoint.

The downside of the BBQ is the waiting. To pass the time Alex, Jason, and I decide to toss a softball around. We pondered playing pepper, but Wade mandated \"No Pepper\".


After a bit the usual ennui settled in and the fancy throws came out. Which was all well and good until Alex tosses the ball about 5 feet short of me. I quickly sidestep to save my shins (amongst other thing; we generally don\'t wear a cup for playing catch or the homerun derby); and as soon as I did, I regretted it, because behind me was the house.

The throw wasn\'t so much fancy as it was just plain bad. Still, I blame Jason.

Now the base of Wade\'s parents\' house is 90% cement blocks, with only two small windows, and wouldn\'t you know it, that ball found one of them. The only good news is that the ball only broke the outer window, and not the inner window.

Many apologies to Cheryl and Don. You can send the bill to simpleprop.com (care of Alex).

Agreed. Even though it was Jason\'s fault, I\'ll pay for it.

I think they\'re over it.

After a meal spent gorging ourselves on various foodstuffs, under the watchful eyes of Cheryl, we pack up in Dan\'s pickup and head to Skunk Hollow.

The sun decided to come out which made it not only hot, but humid...sticky even. Perfect timing.

The highlights from this year\'s homerun derby were less than spectacular. A new fence was installed which was a few feet higher than the old one. I was lucky enough to hit one right off the top of the fence, which of course bounced back. In retaliation for Jason\'s terrible pitching I also pulled a Torii Hunter and brought one of his shots back. I\'m wondering if for next year we hit a baseball diamond and give homerun derby a real try.

Sounds fun to me. Do we have a real baseball diamond in Austin? Can we invade Marcussen? Can I pitch knuckleballs? I\'m full of questions. And bratwurst. But mostly questions.

Yeah. Great. How about we make it even harder for me to get my first jack since the summer of \'01? Too bad there isn\'t an equivalent of women\'s tees in homerun derby.

After sweating it out on the diamond it was time to clean up for the crawl. And for some of us it was time to take a nap.


Sleepy Dan... not to be confused with Steely Dan.

We gathered at Wade\'s for the obligatory picture, it was time to head out. After the debacle a few years ago at the Main Street Drug Store/Supermarket/whatever the hell it is... you know, The old IGA (which was the Old something else that I can\'t remember). Anyway, after the group almost left me because it took me 45 mintues to find a flip pad, I kept the one from last year. So with paper and pencil in hand, let\'s begin!

Maybe we can hire a temp next year to transcribe the evening.

5:22 - Ten minutes earlier than last year. Jason kicks off with the first quoteable quote of this years crawl, \"Ten minute head start on drinking!\" Yes, that\'s exactly what we need, more time to drink.

5:23 - Wade misses the turn to head up 4th Street to our first destination, the Mapleview Lounge! The weather has been unsettled all day (rain during golf, sunny and hot during the home run derby), now the radio is telling us that a Severe Thunderstorm watch with heavy winds has been issued. It\'s not raining yet, but the sky looks ominous and the wind is picking up a bit.

5:24 - As we drive up 4th street towards Mapleview Jason says, \"That looks like tornado weather\". Springsteen\'s Born to Run plays on the radio and Alex comment, \"There\'s just not enough saxomophone in Rock & Roll anymore.\"

There\'s not. I blame Huey Lewis. He ruined it for the rest of us.



Killer Dust Storm 2006

5:28 - A spokesperson for the National Weather Service (located in Chanhassen) comes on the radio to tell us that there is a \"Severe Thunderstorm warning in Goodhue County, near Keen-yon.\" Keen-yon? Is that how you would pronouce a city spelled \"Kenyon\"? I know the residents of Kenyon don\'t call it Keen-yon.

You\'d be surprised. This stems from an edict from their city council. You see, it\'s keen in Keen- you know what, nevermind. Abort!

That\'s not out of the realm of possibility-- southeastern Minnesota is known for pitiful yet pithy city slogans. Specifically: Blooming today... Blooming tomorrow... Blooming Prairie. What else do you expect from a place who names it\'s athletic teams after a young, tender flower?

5:30 - Arrive at Mapleview Lounge. The stench is surprisingly putrid. Jason describes it as, \"Stale cigarettes, rosin, and a hint of antifreeze.\" The TV tells us there are 55 mph winds outside. I decide that I don\'t want to die at the Mapleview Lounge. The local yokels are walking out the back door to look at the weather. Unfortunately none of them are sucked up by a twister.



Just Awesome

5:35 - Tie-dyed Mapleview Lounge T-shirt: $13. That seems a little steep for Austin prices, let along Mapleview prices.

5:52 - As we get back on the road, and with the change in weather, the windshield of the minivan instantly fogs up. None of us (and most importantly, not even Wade) can see anything. He and Jason start bickering like an old married couple on which way to turn the A/C controls on the dashboard to defog. I quickly step in and tell them what to do (for the record they were both wrong) before we die in a fiery auto crash.

wadE saves the day. Whoop-de-frickin\'-doo.

While your description is accurate, no one dies in a fiery crash inside the city limits, because fiery crashes don\'t occur at speeds of 20mph or slower. I\'m just saying.

5:54 - Jason shouts \"Hootie!\" at the radio. Nobody gets more excited over a song on the radio...nobody. We decide to head to Smitty\'s first because we are no where near drunk enough to go to Danny\'s.

5:57 - Wade misses the turn to Smitty\'s. Maybe Wade had a few pre-crawl, to get a jump start on the evening.

I don\'t do well under pressure. Ask my wife.

6:05 - Arrive at Smitty\'s. There are only three people in the place: Smitty, Smitty\'s wife, and someone I assume is Smitty\'s son (I\'m assuming the one that was going to Iraq last year). The TV is tuned to TNT. Stepmom is on. As we wait for our beers we notice some interesting signs posted behind the bar:
\"Profanity will not be tolerated\"
\"American Legion Post 91 Gambling Rules & License\"

That last one gave me pause. Does that mean that Smitty\'s doubles as the American Legion? That would explain how the place can stay open when even folks who live in Austin say they never see more than two cars there at any given time.

I must admit to being too wrapped up in Stepmom to notice the signs.

6:07 - Smitty bolts from the bar. Maybe because he didn\'t want to see our reaction to tasting his beer. How best to describe the beer? Let\'s just say that the smell was quite similar to the stench inside the Mapleview Lounge. Moments later Smitty pulls up outside driving a 1970\'s Cadillac Seville...black w/ gold trim. Pimpin\'!

6:12 - As we leave Smitty\'s we all agree that was the worst beer any of us had ever had. How little did we know...

That beer was awful. For a moment I thought Wade had cut one, then I realized that the odor was emmanating from my glass. This threw off my whole plan to be the lead anchor of the bar crawl. I had intended to milk every drink so as to maybe not get us all quite so obliterated over the course of the night, but this beer was so bad that I had to chug it just so I could get through it. There were only so many times I was gonna be able to smell that smell. But you\'re right, how little did we know...

6:22 - Arrive Danny\'s. We order our beers and take a seat at our usual table. Thankfully there is no Pat Sajak this year, and the Twins are on.

6:24 - There is a fan on high pointed directly at our table, with two pairs of sandals laying up against the fan to dry them off. There is only one word to describe Danny\'s: Klassy! As I am taking in the scene I notice that Wade is holding his nose while drinking his beer. I hadn\'t even had a sip of mine yet, and when I go to take one I realize why Wade was holding his nose. Not only was the beer only slightly colder than body temperature, the aroma was the smell that beer gets after it\'s been spilled outside on a 90 degree day. And the taste... well, I\'m not sure I have the words to accurate describe it.

6:25 - Jason chugs his beer. Turns green. Heads to bathroom.

6:26 - Wade finishes his beer and says, \"Ahhh.... Sudsy amber dishwater\". He is being far too kind.

I usually am.

6:30 - I tell the other guys that there is no way I can drink this. It is without a doubt the worst beer I have ever had in my entire life, and that includes a can of Black Label that had been sitting in the sun all day. I succumb to peer pressure, but before attempting, I get up to check on Jason in the bathroom. As I get up I hear the bartender ask our table: \"Do you guys want a pitcher?\" Wade replies, \"Oh God, No!\"

6:31 - Danny\'s bathroom. Jason is fine, no immediate ill effects. We are both disappointed that Danny has put a poster over the hole in the stall door.

Nice poster, but wouldn\'t you rather see this?

Someone should just punch out the hole through the poster. Make it like this.

Check out the big Photoshop-ing brain on Al.

6:32 - I emerge from the bathroom, sit down, hold my nose, and finish my beer; and try not to throw up. Meanwhile Alex disappears back into the bowels of Danny\'s. He comes back moments later, and we roll.

Maybe he was enjoying one of the many Danny\'s collages?

Gotta tell ya, I couldn\'t do it. I tried. I tried to employ the same chug-and-run tactics that availed me at Smitty\'s, and it almost came up in disaster. I plugged my nose, and threw back half the beer, and I thought that perhaps I would be able to do it twice. Then I burped. For the next twenty minutes the focus turned to trying not to vomit. I know this sounds like hyperbole, but it\'s not. I was longing for the days when I thought the parasite at Danny\'s was in my hat, not in the beer I\'d just swallowed.

6:40 - Arrive at B&J. To say that the beer at the B&J was much better would be the understatement of the new millenia. It is agreed that we will no longer consume tap beer (except at the B&J). I figure since the B&J gets flooded every 5 years or so, they\'ve had to replace and/or clean their taps that often. I wonder when the last time Danny\'s (or Smitty\'s) have cleaned out their pipes. Vegas sets the over/under at: Never.

My mom told me that back in the day one of her friends would bring her own plastic cup into Danny\'s because she thinks she contracted a virus from drinking hard alcohol on the rocks, thus narrowing down possible contagions to the dirty glass. I don\'t even want to think about what was in those pipes, and we\'re a couple months removed. Urgh. Then my uncle told a story about the guy that used to go scavenge loose change from the trough as part of his routine of doing things like digging cans out of the garbage for salvage, and how he (the guy) was eventually struck and killed by a garbage truck one morning. Yeah, we\'re classy.

Why does every Austin story go like that?

6:50 - Sign at B&J: Meat Boards Sold Here. I have no idea what that means.

Same here. And what do you do when you don\'t know what something is? Google Image Search! Interesting results for meat board. The most fun can be found here-- looks like these blokes have been on a pub crawl themselves.

6:51 - I notice that the game in the corner and Wade\'s nickname in high school are the same: Touchmaster.

I\'ve always had a way with the ladies. Wait, was that a cut?

6:52 - There is a guy at the bar talking to anyone/no one while he watches the Twins game. Then his cell phone rings. ... ... Ok, besides the fact he\'s mumbling \"french-fried potaters\", the bigger question is: Austin idiots have cell phones?  I don\'t know what that means, but it can\'t be good.

7:03 - Arrive at Lefty\'s. True to our new motto, no beer for us. It\'s Whisky-Diets for all! The bartendress pours \'em like Wade... Wow!

But not quite as strong as the 95% alcohol pour from Rube\'s a few years back. The bartendress smiled at me while pouring like she was doing us a favor, which, on a normal night I suppose she would have been.

7:04 - There appears to be a table for Texas Hold-\'Em in the side room, along with a crockpot/potluck table. Only in Austin.

7:13 - The minivan has been picked up, Wade can now embrace irresponsibility.

7:14 - The Doors comes on the jukebox... Jason insults me.

Man, it\'s just like 1992 again. Save for the intoxication.

7:20 - Jason sucks down his drink, then he and Wade go to the bathroom together. Matty reprises his gay lovers joke.

It\'s funny because it\'s plausible.

We have a shared history in that bathroom! Wait, that\'s not making things any better. Nevermind. </emilylitella>

7:22 - Arrive at Charley\'s. Sign behind the bar says, \"This House Guarded by SHOTGUN 3 Nights per week. YOU GUESS WHICH THREE!\" Ahh, that\'s a classic. Maybe next year I\'ll review bar signs. Much easier and more entertaining that the ABC bathroom review.

The problem with these noble quests to review [facet x] of the ABCs is that by the end of the night we don\'t even know where we are, much less that we were supposed to remember to note something, and much much less being capable of writing it down. So no offense, but I don\'t think it\'ll happen.

All the more reason for us to get a temp to go along next year. When should we start interviewing? Oooh, just think of the fun questions we could ask. \"Tell me about a situation where you were surrounded by six large, surly, drunken men-- what were some positive outcomes?\" \"How would you describe your ability to translate slurred English?\" \"Beyond the obvious, is there a difference between Irish whiskey and Scotch whiskey?\" (I\'ve just always wanted to know that last one.)

The main difference is Scotch uses peat moss in the drying process.  I font of misplaced knowledge...

7:26 - Jason isn\'t up to doing the annual backspin, so he shows Matty how to do it. Matty now has a brown swirl stain on his back.

I actually think he had that before the spin. He\'s lactose intolerant.


7:28 - Jason: \"Drinking is like driving a car... I went from 2nd to 3rd. You know what I really want now? 4th gear.\"

7:31 - Dan drops the deuce.

Wait, you seem to be saying that Dan took a crap at Charley\'s. If so, I\'m duly impressed. I\'m not sure I could actually force one out at any of those bars. The situation would have to be dire. I\'m hoping for some concurrence from Jason on this one. 

7:38 - Matty: \"I\'m half-black, the bottom half.\" Jason: \"I could shoot all night.\" Just two of the conversations I wished I hadn\'t have stumbled in on.

7:39 - Jason revises his earlier comment: \"I just went from 3rd to 7th\"

7:40 - As we leave, I get a call on my cell phone. It\'s Brother Mark!


Note: Wade is not giving Brother Mark the finger

7:41 - I arrive at the Hiawatha to find everyone in their usual places. Wade and Alex already pumping dollars into the Touchmaster, Jason in the bathroom, and Dan and Matty at the bar (oddly enough, Dan chooses not to play pulltabs!?!?).

7:42 - Naughty Photo Hunt is up and running.

Hello Video Ladies!

8:10 - Arrive Bobee Jo\'s, only to find it oddly quiet, and no karaoke going on. We drop down at our usual table and crack open the karaoke books. The bartendress comes around for our order and tells us that unless we know how to run the karaoke machine we won\'t be able to sing anything. Apparently everyone in town is that the Williams Sonoma concert... including the karaoke guy. Who the hell is Williams and Sonoma? Aren\'t they the people who sell overpriced kitchen stuff?

In fairness to both the singers and the overpriced kitchen stuff place, they were called Morrison Williams. They sound okay, but probably a bit better than what we sound like singing \"Every Rose Has Its Thorn.\"

8:11 - We decide that we can entertain ourselves with this substance called alcohol.

8:25 - We notice the same Liquid Viagra sign from last year. We wisely steer clear of ordering any. On a side note, we are only 5 minutes off from last year when the Liquid Viagra sign was noticed at 8:30.

8:45 - Time to move on from Bobee Jo\'s and hit downtown, as well as get some food. The annual Wade A vs. Jason footrace commences, thankfully there are no watch related injuries this year.


I lost.

8:50 - Wade, Jason, Matt and I notice one of those RV-sized food trucks parked in the lot where Wade and Jason\'s band recorded their album. On the side of the RV it says in giant red and green letters: Genuine Mexican Food. For some reason we decided to inspect. Alex and Dan choose to continue the trek to Taco Johns.

8:51 - I think we may be the only non-Hispanic people who have ever approached the food truck before. The few people gathered around look at us as if we are animals in a zoo. Wade being the bold man he is steps up and orders...in Spanish. To which several of the younger kids start laughing. Jason follows suit, and not to break tradition I do the same, remember to add \"no cilantro por favor\" since I think cilantro tastes like dish soap. Lastly Matt steps up and says, \"Yeah, can I have 3 tacos.\" The woman in the van replies, \"ok\". In our defense, in our inebriated state, we thought we were \"immersing ourselves in another culture\", while in fact we just looked like jackasses... but what else is new?

I thought they\'d recognize me as one of their people. And wadE is right, at the time I was really thinking that we were making an effort to embrace a culture in my hometown whose prominence is rather new and not looked kindly upon by long-time Austin residents. In reality, I was a drunken idiot.

Dan and I soldiered on to Taco John\'s for some authentic fake Mexican cuisine. I\'m not against the true stuff, but I knew that I was gonna need the Potato Ole grease if I was gonna get through the night. The Oles, they just don\'t disappoint.

And they\'re the only college team whose college fight song is in 3/4 time!!!

9:05 - We arrive at Mickey’s where it is also quite dead, but it is Luau night, and all of the bartenders are dressed accordingly. We all get leied.


9:10 - Karaoke is in full effect, and we witness Willie Nelson sing Wookin’ Pa Nub. Slowly the bar starts to fill (the Williams-Sonoma concert must have finally let out). A couple comes in the bar and I’m not sure if they are just married or going to get married, but apparently one of them works for the local TV station (although I don’t find him here). Him and his MILF wife/fiancee take over the place and everyone seems to know them. I suppose big fish in a little pond has its advantages.

Jason and I karaoked (of course). I believe we did \"Surrender\" by Cheap Trick. I don\'t think anyone noticed. Know your audience, I guess. Although, given that Austin has no live music downtown anymore, I don\'t even know what people listen to. Probably, like, Korn. And Reba McEntire.

10:12 - We move on to the Bakery to find is absolutely empty. The only person in the place is the bartendress. I have NEVER seen the Bakery empty. It\'s quite shocking actually. The bartendress is young and cute, so we all start chatting her up in our amusing drunken ways. Her name is Nici, which is Nikki, or Nicki to the rest of us. I decided to call her Nietzsche for the rest of the evening. I\'m so funny!

wadE, are you saying that our bartendress looked like Ray Nitschke? That\'s not very flattering. She will cause you pain before the end of the night, I predict.

For the record, she looked nothing like Ryan Natzke.


10:20 - All but Alex move on to Rube\'s, er, Paradise Island (it will always be Rube\'s to me). My notes are sketchy here, but this is what I have: \"Jason - skank legs around his neck. Jason\'s lei is skankified.\"

My initial intent was just to hang out with Nici until someone else came in, just to be a nice guy. At that hypothetical point I could leave and find you guys without abandoning the woman to an empty bar. But then we got to talking and it turns out she grew up in the same town as a bunch of my relatives, so we chatted it up for a while. And then she poured me a few more drinks, and we threw some money in the jukebox, and I started to think more along the lines of: Ehh... they\'ll come back here eventually. So I\'ll catch up with y\'all later in the recap.

10:30 - Arrive at Margaritaville...er, The Ville (hate for Buffet to come an sue me). Matty is befriended by a couple of ladies (a woman and her mom), and considering the rest of the crowd, we don\'t mind doing a little dancing with them.


10:50 - Jason and I break off and hit Trader\'s. It\'s as bad as usual, but some guy tells us that there is a Wet T-Shirt contest happening at 11:30. That could be worth checking out, even if just for the comedic value.

After this the diary sort of drops out, so I\'ll have to go from memory, which is shaky at best. I think Jason and I continued the trek to Thirsty\'s, which was only used for a pit-stop because the place was dead. We continued on to the Derby, er, Showgirl Saloon. The entertainment there was oddly decent. We sat down for a drink in sniffers row and not long after a guy we graduated with (name withheld to protect the innocent and the guilty) and his girlfiend sat down next to us. It took us a minute, but we recognized each other and we had that usual \"drunken hello\'s/how you doin\'/what you up to\" conversation followed by him buying several dances for his girlfriend. That was amusing.

I\'m not sure if Jason left without me, or if we left together, but eventually we ended up back at Trader\'s for the Wet T-shirt contest. The good news is they actually had 4 or 5 girls willing to participate. The bad news is that none of them were the most attractive women in the world, but then again, what would you expect? I surreptitiously took some photos. Without a flash it\'s hard to get a feel for the scene, but it was definitely more amusing than arousing.

Our lovely particpants...

I strolled back to Mickey\'s after leaving The Ville. The place had a decent vibe going-- decent music in particular, but there was something else. Oh, right: I didn\'t feel like I was going to get knifed, which is a standard feeling in most Austin bars. As I\'m wont to due after drinking, I put my dancing shoes on. Why not? I was in Iowa. (Almost literally, this time.) Jason made it back in at some point and I recall us trying to re-enact the Kid \'n Play dance from our childhood, much to the entertainment of everyone else. Clowns, I tell you.

After that I recall returning to the Bakery to find Alex right where we left him, chatting up Nietzsche. Next thing I know is that I\'m playing a dice game with Nietzsche where she knows the rules, I don\'t, and I end up losing (surprise) and drinking a large number of shots. All I know is that she rolled the dice, told me to roll the dice, and no matter what I got, I lost. Apparently in whatever game we were playing all sixes are bad, because I got them twice and I still lost. I\'ll need to rely on Alex to fill in the blanks on this one.

Hey it\'s me! I\'m back! Yeah, I can\'t help you out here. I don\'t think there were actually any rules whatsoever, and considering that I had plateaued from not drinking like a camel, I was actually trying to figure out what the rules might be. If it\'s any consolation, you tended to lose in name only, because after you had your shot, she poured and drank one of her own. I think she just kept telling you that you\'d lost because you had your normal angry reaction, which was quite humorous. At some point during the shennanigans (you guys were in and out a couple times) I have a clear memory of Nici turning to serve another group of folks, and wadE leaning towards my ear to make a loud, slurred and (thankfully) nearly incoherent offer to \"put in a good word for me\" with the bartendress. Ever the good wingman, that\'s wadE. I assured him that things were well under control on that front, and that he should perhaps challenge her to another round of his little dice game. Yes, I am pure evil. wadE, I\'m sorry.

The last stop for the night was back to Mickey\'s, where there was much dancing and usual jackassery. I only have pictures to fill in the blanks here (sadly).  Some of us eventually make the walk home (I think).

I remember my own walk home, but you weren\'t there. If the other years\' walks are any indication, several of you peed in various bushes at various points, and Dan may have attempted to steal some signage while shirtless. This is all just conjecture, I\'m afraid, but it may help.

I\'m also guessing Al and I randomly bumped into each other at about 2:30, and I probably thought he was holding a painted portrait of Sherman Helmsley. I mean, it happened once. Actually, here\'s a fun one: for the second consecutive year, I stopped at Apollo on the walk home and picked up a frozen pizza. And, for the second consecutive year, I fell asleep while the oven was preheating. I\'m glad we have electric instead of gas, or my house would have blown up twice already.

The following morning was quite painful. The worst I had felt since the 2nd bar crawl. All those good intentions of moderation in my binge drinking flew out the window, but the nail in the coffin was those shots at the end of the night. Thanks to my fellow friends (Alex!) for looking out for me. At least his punishment was driving back home with me. Ha! Revenge is a dish best served hungover!

Remember what I said about wadE being a true wingman? He let me fall asleep in the car on the way back. He\'s really just a sweet guy, you gotta love him. Don\'t let all those times he yelled Matlock at you and flicked you off be your only gauge of him.

Speaking of, due to my state of disrepair, Wade was kind enough to step in the kitchen to referee the annual making of the breakfast with my Mom and Dad. Wade did a great job, and those hash browns were fantastic. I don\'t think I\'d be over the top in saying that they saved my life.

My standard line in situations like this is \"It really wasn\'t a big deal.\" In this case, though, it truly was a big deal. I thought I might have to call security a couple of times in there, I was nervous John and Doris were going to go Springer. However, when there\'s a greasy breakfast involved, I\'ll heed the call.

As badly as I felt for most of the next day, I had a really great time, to the point where the topic of a fall crawl has come up, and I\'m all for it. I think having the memories of the aftermath fresh in my mind would keep me a little more rational in my choices (like getting into a drinking game with a bartender, where only she knows the rules). At any rate, a fall crawl isn\'t out of the question. We\'ll see if we can make it happen.

Count me in, but we\'re growing the moustaches. It has to happen. C\'mon, you know you wanna look like Jason Giambi.

We\'ve tossed out ideas of a modified (pared-down) crawl for next year. I\'m just waiting for the time when we decide that\'s a dumb idea. It\'s usually around April or so.

Finally, thanks again to Wade\'s parents (send us the bill for that window), Jason\'s parents (for vacating so we could be loud), and to my parents for behaving themselves in front of my friends. We appreciate you all letting us into your homes and putting up with us on yet another bar crawl. We\'ll see you next year! Maybe... 😀