A few months ago as we were prepping for this bar guide, we asked you for some of your craziest bar stories. The responses were... interesting. At least the ones that were written with any semblance of grammar and spelling. Culled from the pack of inebriated tales of woe told, ostensibly, while inebriated are these two fantastic yarns. Do enjoy.
Only one thing was certain: we were drinking much too heavily for a Wednesday afternoon in February.
There we were—me and my close friend Zed Carter, a half-German, half-Irish, half-Polish American with a foul mouth and a taste for brown liquor. (How he picked up the Jewish first name, neither of us knew.) We were seated at the bar of Flannery's Pub in downtown Cleveland, I remember, marveling at our good fortune.
"I can't believe this shit," Zed said with a slur of his words and a glint of crazy in his eyes, "dumb bastard gives us one hundred bucks for four tickets we picked up for free—and we still get to go to the game."
"Yeah," I muttered, as I gazed into the amber cylinder of pilsner before me, "what a rube. Cavs are playin' the Hornets too; two worst teams in the league. He couldn't sell all four of those tickets, combined, for half a hand-job."
Our laughter echoed our luck, which struck again nearly immediately. The bartender walked over to us, set two free shots of rum in front of our eyes, smiled, and walked away.
I was not about to complain.
"Griff," Zed proclaimed to me, "That hundred bucks is almost gone already," He examined the few, dirty singles he had just pulled from his pocket.
"That settles it then," I decided. "Drink your shot; it's time to investigate this ball game."
With that, we downed the rum, saluted the barkeep, and took our leave of the place. With our land-legs now beneath us, we discovered to our pleasure that we were both quite drunk, and as we strode toward Quicken Loans Arena, we were certain that even a game between last place teams would be a hell of a time.
Once in our seats with fresh but expensive beers in our hands, we surveyed our domain. This was during Kyrie Irving's rookie season, and the skinny bastard was already floating smoothly around the court with the calm demeanor of a league MVP. Being a Cleveland kid, I was completely in love with the way he easily fractured the ankles of would-be defenders and laid the ball into the basket over the outstretched arms of giants. A true competitor. Exactly what Cleveland needed in the aftermath of the exit of that devil they call LeBron James.
"Dude," Zed sputtered, "I remember bein' here for a game our freshman year, and there wasn't a empty seat in this bitch. All because-a LeBron. Now they can't even fill half the arena."
"Right?" I said as I shook my head and looked around at all the empty seats, "it's sad man. People in this city go on and on about how we're the best fans in the world, but once the circus leaves town, those same people disappear."
"Pussies," Zed decided, as he drained what was left of his beer, before throwing the cup in the direction of a little kid three rows down. "Come on, 'bout to be the fourth quarter—I say we improve our view."
Now moving through the brightly lit, curving concourse of the building, I began to feel the booze getting the better of me. As we walked, I looked clumsily down at my feet, reminding myself that I was dressed from neck to toe in my most professional apparel—there had been a job fair in the arena earlier that day; naturally, Zed and I showed up very late, and failed to make any connections.
Dressed like VIPs and feeling the sort of savagely, cocky swagger known only to drunken college students, we walked right past the usher standing guard at the entrance to the lower level. I made a point of not meeting her eyes.
Now seated in the 8th row, we had the view of the game we felt we had deserved all along. At this point, our descent into drunken madness began to peak. We rambled on endlessly while watching the game with glazed eyelids; the topics of conversation ranged from the importance of keeping a dog to the growing population of the transsexual community on the city's near east side. People seated in our area actually left their seats because of the perverse nature of our words, but we were far too inebriated to care for more than a moment.
We had the look of young professionals. We were sitting courtside at a professional sporting event, and I'd damned if anyone was going to stop us from sloppily drinking our beer while discussing the merits of being skilled in the art of cunnilingus.
"Dude," Zed blurted as the game wound to a close with the Cavs being blown away, "let's go hit the front row. Seats ev'rywhere."
"I'm in," I said, as we both managed to find our footing. We wandered into the aisle in what must have been terribly conspicuous fashion, and seated ourselves right on the edge of the front row. I remember being amazed as Cavs' small forward Alonzo Gee trotted by—not because he was an incredible physical specimen, but because I could smell his body odor from where I sat.
"Big leagues now," Zed said to me with a grin and eyelids that were barely open.
We had not been in the front for more than two minutes, however, before the long arm of the law attempted a reach-around.
"Excuse me, gentlemen," a mousy-looking young man in a Quicken Loans uniform said to us, "but I'm going to have to ask you to vacate those seats. We know that you don't have tickets for them."
"'We?'" I slobbered as I glared up at him, "just who the hell is 'we?'"
I felt I had the upper hand.
"Well," he squeaked, "me and them." With this statement, he stretched a skinny arm outward and pointed in the direction of three grim-looking police officers standing at the opposite end of the row, no doubt contemplating how best to skin our hides.
"Well, shit," said Zed bluntly, "...fine, we'll go."
With that, we stood up and sauntered back to the 8th row. Zed and I were both under the impression that we had been seriously wronged, and we were not willing to take this lying down. As the clock reached zero and the Cavs dropped another one, Zed stood up and looked in the direction of the group of cops who were still devoting every ounce of their attention to us.
And then he did the unthinkable.
It was as if God himself had slowed down time so that I could take this moment in properly—Zed's arms rose into the air as he eyed down the pigs, before unholstering a single finger on each hand, as he bellowed in a voice that was not his own:
I was too drunk to be stunned or surprised by this move on his part. Instead, I got up and ran after him into the aisle—just as we reached it, I managed to gather myself enough to unleash one of my own birds and let off an asinine, "Yeah!! Fuck you!" and we were off. Not running, but gliding around the bodies of bewildered pedestrians, dodging small children with some fierce, drunken grace, drawing the gaze of all eyeballs in our vicinity as we raced toward the doors of the Q.
Out the front doors of Quicken Loans Arena into a blisteringly cold but bright winter night; out of the frying pan, and into the city we flew. We had escaped the grasp of the tyrants unscathed, and we were loose on the streets again, racing back toward Flannery's Pub, laughing like we had just pulled off an elaborate bank robbery without a hitch, feeling certain that we could disappear into the crowd of drunks that had developed at the barroom.
Feeling certain that we would dissolve into a dark and stormy sea of like-minded creatures of the night.