we're going to vegas.


That's our catchphrase around here for those times when, inspired by either the time of day/night, caffeine, alcohol, druuuugs, sheer fantasy or any other mixture of inflammatory inputs, you hatch a completely unbaked plan to do something "crazy" like, say...go to Vegas for the weekend. Or start a band called "Daddy's Balls". Or, you know, whatever.

It used to be, back when the Duck had an impervious constitution, a drivable car and spendable money, that there was the potential to truly enjoy spontaneous and stupid adventures like this.

Although the first one that popped into my head just now was gaaaahck, an especially stupid one from Spring Break 1985 or so, wherein I think O'Neill and I somehow talked his parents into letting us drive from Atlanta (Georgia) to Hilton Head (South Carolina) in the middle of the night (only 5 hours or so). We must've lied about where we were going and what the situation there was like, because who would let their 16-year-old children drive through the night into the next state over.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Please see bottom of post for how we actually ended up in Hilton Head.)

This being pre-cellphones and us being stupid young boys, we arrived in Hilton Head without a guaranteed place to stay and only the vaguest idea of where our "friends" might be. I think we had an address, but probably no map. In trying to dig up these memories I'm getting the sinking feeling that the major impetus behind this underconsidered adventure was this girl Wardell that I had a crush on: she was supposed to be there. 

This isn't exactly as retardedly optimistic as it sounds. Spring Break was the one time of year that almost anyone was fair game to hook up with. If you were of the right temperament (though I myself was not), you could semi-realistically aim for someone one or two levels up in the social strata b/c this is what Spring Break was for: slumming, and reverse slumming, whatever that's called, or at least "satisfying curiosities without suffering lasting social consequences."


Anyway, I seem to remember us idling in O'Neill's white Camaro parked in a parking garage in cold, foggy Hilton Head at 7am or something, early, waiting for people who weren't expecting us to be there to wake up. I think we had peanut butter and grape jelly sandwiches that we made ourselves and a bottle of Jim Beam as sustenance.

I don't really remember with any precision what happened after that, though I do have a vague recollection of O'Neill and I trying to be inebriated enough by 9am so as to not be self-conscious about waking up a houseful of not-exactly-friends for the purpose of trying to insinuate ourselves into their crashpad situation (I seem to remember waving a nonchalant yet mortally embarrassed "hi" at a sleepy, disheveled Wardell on her way to the bathroom as O'Neill and I negotiated with the person whose parents owned the apartment...this almost silent greeting would be the only interaction I remember having with Wardell on this trip, though miraculously within a year we would go on an actual date and then make out very disappointingly at a giant house party, which I later found out was Wendy's house, but this was before Wendy and I knew each other, Wendy wasn't even there that night, mysterious stuff). 


My single clear and indelible memory from the whole Hilton Head adventure is of O'Neill and I on the beach later that morning. It was probably 55F, windy, with grayish-black skies. We're semi-ironically reclining in beach chairs, and there are hordes of sand gnats clouding around us. It's just the two of us b/c everyone else was too smart to be outside plus they had real beds and they were in them really sleeping. I'm pretty sure the concept we'd used to lure ourselves up there was that we would "just crash on the beach" after we arrived, the gorgeously sunny, just-warm-enough beach, and then we'd wake up suntanned and rested, and finally we'd party our way into the hearts and beds of our unsuspecting hosts. 

It didn't go down like that. I will never forget this day on the beach because the sand gnat is one of the most unpleasant creatures I've ever encountered. Imagine yourself: sleepless, hungover, dehydrated, young, stupid, sexually frustrated, etc. All you want to do is sleep, you NEED to sleep so that the rest of your stupid adventure has any chance of fulfilling its promise. But every 3 seconds a devious and agile black dot lands on some/any strip of exposed skin and starts tearing and sucking away at it in a motivated and unignorable fashion. You swat, but the flying dot evades you easily and then it or a close relative of it lands on you 1 cm away from the previous bite and starts chomping away. Repeat this every 3 to 5 seconds until you are driven insane with insect toxin and impotent rage. 

I think O'Neill and I maybe lasted an hour on the beach, two at the absolute most. I'll have to ask him to be sure, but I want to say that around noon we looked at each other's puffy, bloodshot, miserable gnat-bitten faces and decided to just give up and drive back to wherever we came from. 


I didn't mean to tell that story. What started all this was me not being sick any more as of yesterday. After a few days of feeling profoundly crappy, the first day you're back to normal again can really seem like the right time for a "going to Vegas" moment. Luckily for me, the middle-aged version of "going to Vegas" involves three beers at Cafe de Tuin and splitting two pizzas with KK at La Perla. 


(EDITOR'S NOTE: As usual, only after trying to tell the story do I begin to realize that I've been remembering some fundamental element completely wrong. Case in point: I am now developing a suspicion that we didn't drive from Atlanta to Hilton Head at all, I think we did something even stupider. I think we were already on Spring Break in Panama City, Florida, and after a day or two there we suddenly decided to drive 8 hours through the night to Hilton Head, without telling anyone where we were).

(EDITOR'S NOTE: I talked to O'Neill, the above suspicion turned out to be correct. O'Neill says I made him do it. He also says that I made him let me drive 100mph in his Camaro and that his dad eventually found out about most of the whole escapade due to an exorbitant gas and beer related credit card charge in South Carolina. What bad children.)



Klary said...

Vegas was fun.

MEM said...