When a day begins with pancakes and a glass of Jameson on the rocks and ends with getting punched in the ear at a bar restroom in New York City you begin to wonder why you’re ever allowed out in public.
It was the morning of the St Patty’s day parade in Syracuse, NY. I headed to my friend’s house around 830 am. We’ll call him Pot Hole (he smoked a lot of pot and turned out to be an asshole so we’ll shorten it up for convenience). I was meeting Pot Hole and some other friends there for breakfast before the parade. By 9am I already had a couple shots in me and 1 delicious pancake. Myself, Pot Hole and the others were ready for a day of whiskey and dancing. But I got a call from my friend Mollie around 10 telling me I was going to NYC with her that day to watch Syracuse play at MSG in the Big East basketball tournament. I won’t make up a name for Mollie because I think in the spirit of it being a St Patty’s day story it is appropriate there is a ‘Mollie’ in my story. Anyways, I decided to head downtown first and partake in the festivities for a bit first but was really excited about my new plans for the day. When I got downtown I immediately lost Pot Hole and the rest of my group. I have some issues when I drink. I wander, I pay attention to no one and nothing, I don’t listen to anyone, and I follow any group that looks fun. This usually ends with me losing my group, making new friends, and waking up 2 hours from my original destination with no car and 27 new phone numbers with names like “Mark plaid shirt” and “Alex blonde hair”. But on this occasion I actually found people I knew and decided to hang with them for a few drinks before heading to Mollie’s to begin our adventure.
After 4 hours of driving and some hard core 80’s ballad singing and fist pumping we were in the city. We had booked a hotel on the way down, so when we got there we checked in, got ready and headed out to the bar to meet the guy we were buying the tickets from. After getting the tickets we worked our way up to the bar and ordered up our first shots of the night and 2 Bud Lights. Because it’s NYC the total for that came to roughly $30. So it was time to start working the room. When a shot costs $9 its time to find some dudes. And by dudes, I mean wallets. With each guy our names and jobs became more and more interesting. I normally like to go with my usual, Gillian E Dubbs II, a marine biologist trying to save the Beluga Whale from what I believe to be the Lockness monster. I like to stick with Gillian, and just play around with the job. I have at one time or another been Gillian the local commercial actress, Gillian the painter who has an upcoming show (this is a fun one because I actually give them a time and place to go to see “my work”) and Gillian the Brit. I don’t give a job with that one, I just ramble on and on about anything I want to as an excuse to practice my British accent. These are all of course aliases I only use if I have no interest in the guy whatsoever past him buying me a drink. If it is a guy I’m actually interested in I’m Amy, emotionally unavailable and only in town for one night. Either way, it works out. That night I was still partially decked out in St Patty’s day gear so I went with some fun Irish names. I think at one point I was McGillian Maggie O’IrishGuiness-stein. After a couple hours of those shenanigans it was game time. We walked to the garden, got our seats, and made friends with the beer guy. We let him know we would be loyal customers all night. And what we meant by loyal customers, is that the guys behind us we were going to get to buy us drinks would be loyal customers.
It was a good game, we ended up losing, but still a good game. It was now 10pm and I had started drinking in Syracuse at 9am. I knew nothing good was going to come of this. We walked to a bar called Local after the game with the guys who were buying us beer the whole time. The least we could do to repay them was to continue to allow them to buy us drinks at the bar. I’m not sure how long we were at that bar, but we wanted to go back to Stout. It was apparently our new favorite place ever.
When we arrived Mollie realized she had lost her wallet. We traced our steps back to Local and MSG after ditching the guys but didn’t find it. So we went back to the hotel. I was washing up in the bathroom and when I walked from the bathroom to the room I found Mollie completely passed out sprawled across the bed, phone in hand, shoes on, and a whole mess of items scattered around her. There was a camera, a brochure, some papers, a few $1 bills scattered around making her look like a hooker, and I swear I’m not lying…a spoon. I distinctly remember a spoon. I said to myself right there and then that I would find this poor hooker’s wallet so she had a place to put her $1 bills and her spoon. So I left the hotel on a search for the wallet. I went back to Local to look around and I decided to go check the bathroom. I was in the bathroom when a whole group of girls came piling into the bathroom yelling and fighting with each other. So here’s another fun fact about me, I have this problem where I don’t always realize when I say something out loud that most people would just say to themselves. This happened to be one of those moments.
“Let’s all be bitches and fight in the bathroom.” I said at an obviously loud volume and sarcastic pitch.
I barely finished saying ‘bathroom’ and one of them punched me directly next to my ear. She didn’t even have the common courtesy to let me finish. I was going to also mention how classy it was to fight in the bathroom, but she cut me off by punching me in the head. So I did what my instincts told me to. I turned around, swung my fist like a scared 6 year old girl because I don’t know how to fight, punched the first girl I saw and then ran away screaming, also like a scared 6 year old girl. I ran out of the bar, still screaming, possibly more of a whimper at this point and decided I should probably head back.
I was defeated. I left the hotel on a mission which I had failed miserably at. The girl who punched me was apparently wearing a ring so I was also bleeding slightly. Defeated, cold, bloody, drunk and hungry I did what any self respecting Italian would do. I found the nearest pizza place and ordered a slice. As I walked back to the hotel eating my pizza, noticing my jaw click every time I chewed, I realized the utter ridiculousness of the whole day. So I just started laughing. I wasn’t even scared that I was a young female walking the city streets at 3am by myself. I mean honestly, who was going to mess with me? I was bleeding from the head, eating pizza, staggering around the streets laughing at myself. I probably looked like a drunk hobo on a meth binge.
When we woke in the morning we started talking about how crazy the night was. I very dryly and briefly stated what happened to me after she fell asleep stating I got punched in the head. She is used to me saying things that aren’t relevant to anything going on so she shrugged it off with an “oh, ok” not actually realizing what I had said. I rolled over and she looked up and saw the cut on my face and jumped up asking what happened. To which I repeated at a louder volume and enunciated very carefully, “I-got-punched-in-the-head.”
We packed up and before heading home, decided we would hit up China town to replace her real Coach wallet she had lost with a fake one made by Chinese children in the backrooms of restaurants on Canal St. If you have never been to Canal St just picture a typical NYC street but with 100’s of Asians screaming brand names at you and giving you a “come hither” look that puts a bit of fear in you. They say things like “pretty white girl get pretty bag” and they will repeat that phrase over and over again getting increasingly louder until you buy it. And that’s when you begin to wonder if their English vocabulary exceeds anything other than that phrase, American dollar amounts, and designer names. We did some shopping there, and then escaped China Town before more of the vultures attacked with perfumes that will make your skin burn and rings that will turn your skin green, and possibly make your fingers fall off.
The drive was another beautiful day, sunroof open, songs blasting, us singing perfect harmony in our minds to American Pie and Benny and the Jets. It was quite a trip, we had booze, laughter, guys buying us drinks, adventure, crazy bar bitches, illegal Chinese immigrant children making bags for us…a spoon. Life doesn’t get any better. But when we got back to Mollie’s we decided to make a pact:
Next trip to the city Mollie was not allowed to bring a wallet and I would wear a helmet.