I get invited to a number of pub-crawls. I’m not a beer drinker and usually pass. But a guy named Steve, who logged on to the Reader website once to comment on a party, informed me of one he was having. Because it was a fundraiser for the Special Olympics, I thought that would be a special event to attend.
It was late in the afternoon when I glanced at my calendar and checked out the parties for that evening. It turned out this pub-crawl started earlier in the day. I immediately headed out, but it was already an hour after they hit the last pub in P.B.
As I walked into the bar, I heard some young people say to the bouncer, “This ID should be good. I just made it yesterday.” Their comment didn’t bother the bouncer, but I heard him get angry later because there were boxes of shirts sitting by the door.
Steve had made the shirts, and lots of people were wearing them. They read, “Let’s get silly,” with a graphic of a smiley face that had its tongue sticking out. Twenty dollars bought a shirt and a card that got you free drinks and drink specials.
Steve told me a little about his “Stay Classy” social-networking web page, which raises money for the Special Olympics. I found out he coached a Special Olympics basketball team in East County. I had coached youth basketball years ago and decided I’d get involved. He gave me all the info on becoming a coach for the organization.
I asked who some of the sponsors were and was told, “Plum Crazy and Hooters are big ones. We’ve already raised $1200 just today from the drunk idiots alone. Other people saw what we were doing and gave random donations. We even picked up 30 people along the way that joined the crawl.”
There really wasn’t anyone drunk, but a lot of people were tipsy and talkative.
I met a cute young couple. Both were engineers, and they told me of their recent engagement. The blonde’s dad was there, and I asked him how often he gets told he looks like Paul McCartney. He replied, “Oh, it happens a lot…more so when I had longer hair. People will sometimes stop and want to take a picture with me. I say that I’m not Paul, and they don’t care. At the Tool concert, some girl came up and asked, ‘Are you him?’ At first, I didn’t even know what she was talking about. But we’re from Tucson, which is where Linda [McCartney] is from.” I asked if he’s ever met McCartney, and he told me no but added, “My friend is the road manager for Santana.”
I met a guy they called Wolverine. He could open beer bottles with his teeth. It took a while for me to get a demonstration because the bar only offered cans and beers on tap. It was impressive, but I said, “I’m guessing four out of five dentists recommend you use a bottle opener.”
As I left for my next party, I noticed a woman fell into a trash can. Someone asked, “Did she mean to do that? It broke her fall.”
I didn’t have far to go down Garnet to Denise’s place for a party. Nick, who had a sushi party I attended previously, was again providing lots of raw fish. This was a celebration for friends who were getting married.
I walked up and saw Nick holding court with a group of girls near the garage. I talked with him briefly but felt as if I was hurting his game. I went inside to check things out.
I noticed Denise, a tall attractive blonde, doing a wonderful job of mingling and introducing people to other guests that didn’t know each other. I overheard her say, “This is like a hybrid between a keg party and a cocktail party in the early ‘70s.”
Most of Nick’s sushi had been snatched up, which was fine. I don’t eat the stuff.
The place was decorated nicely, with candles in the fireplace. One table had every type of bottle imaginable.
A few people started to limbo — even a tall woman in heels. At one point, three at a time made it under the stick.
I overheard someone say, “See that midget over there? I bet he could make it under that thing without even ducking.” His girlfriend said, “They aren’t called midgets.” He laughed and said, “Okay, okay. Vertically challenged, short, whatever. I’m sorry. Being PC isn’t my thing. I talked to the guy. He’s really cool and nice. I don’t think he’d mind me calling him a midget.”
One guy observed, “The girls seem better at bending than the guys. Is it something with their hips?” A woman who heard this replied, “You just have to have the will to win.”
Somehow this led into a conversation about a marathon that someone completed in five hours. A guest nearby said, “How many miles is a marathon? It’s over 25, right?”
A few people drove down from San Francisco; a couple came from L.A.
An Asian guy showed up with Church’s chicken, and I overheard someone say, “I would’ve thought you’d be happy with the sushi.”
Another Asian guy was on the couch, listening to an attractive (but drunk) blonde babble on about something that made little sense. He went from listening intently to making faces when she wasn’t looking.
We talked to him later and found out he went to college in Canada, and he had a great sense of humor. Most people I’ve met from Canada are funny.
A tall guy talked about collecting Volkswagen bugs. I thought that sounded odd because all the years basically look the same. It was interesting listening to his take on old cars.
There was a tall, attractive, black woman who I believe said she was from Haiti. She had a cute French accent. We talked about her brother in New York, her college days, and lots about film.