Monday, October 4, 2010

How the hell do we find these people?

Because he's Dirty Uncle Sal! The one who embarrasses everyone at holidays and family reunions and who can't be left alone with the teenage girls, but you invite him anyway. - Meredith Grey

Every family has one. That one grandpa that likes to bring up controversial topics like politics and religion or the great-aunt that everyone avoids because she likes to pucker up and kiss you right on the mouth, leaving you feeling violated and smelling like old lady perfume, mothballs, or a pungent mixture of the two.

For my “family,” and by that I mean my close group of college friends, our Dirty Uncle Sal is named Chicago.* Most people choose their friends because they like their personalities. This situation was different – we started a student group based on a common interest, and got a group of friends as a result...personality clashes or not. Chicago is active in our cause and always down to party, so he became a key member of the group, despite his many...quirks.

Despite not being a current member of a fraternity, it would be hard to distinguish Chicago from most of the frat guys on campus at first glance. He's good-looking, well-dressed, shallow when dealing with women, and usually drunk. He's always hitting on the prettiest (or easiest) girl at the party, or he's loudly regaling us with stories of his latest sexual encounter (“Dude, tonight I'm gonna do a black chick and a white chick at the same time. That knocks TWO things off my to do list!”, or “I was just doing that girl in an alley off Bourbon Street, but I saw y'all walk by so I thought I'd come say hey.”).

It is commonly known that Chicago will always enter a party (or a room, or anywhere really) the same way: already buzzed, a 12 pack tucked under one arm, loudly yelling “HEEEEEEEYYYYYYY!!” I've seen him walk into parties of 40 people this way; I've seen him walk into my living room while I was home alone this way. I've seen him do this at midnight; I've seen him do it at 9 am. It's always the same entrance, and you always know that the night (or morning, as the case may be) is about to get interesting.

A couple of years ago, we took a trip to Houston, TX. Saturday night we headed out into the city to try to go out. The problem was that we had a few people with us who were under 21, so we had to find a bar that would allow people who were 18 and up (we follow the law, after all). All of our searching and discussing and arguing made Chicago impatient; we looked up to see him walking away from the group, without saying a word. We didn't worry about it too much; there's no use in arguing with him. The rest of our night was kind of crappy – we ended up being tricked into entering an all Latino club where several of our male friends were uncomfortably approached by other males and there was blood on the bathroom wall. We headed back to the hotel, disappointed and tired. I later found out that Chicago had managed to find an awesome bar that was handing out free beer, and had been hanging out with the Coors Light girls all night. This is how Chicago's life works.

A couple of weeks ago, I returned for the weekend to my alma mater to enjoy some football and the greatest college town in existence. I stayed at one of the houses where 3 members of the group live; it's kind of the hub of group activity. At 4:30 am, I once again woke up to Chicago, standing at the end of the bed. Much to the chagrin and annoyance of my 2 dogs, disturbed from their slumber (yet not at all trying to attack this intruder), Chicago began yelling at a volume that is not at all appropriate for a sleeping person at 4:30 am.


Me: ...what, Chicago?


Me: …....the fuck? Do I have any extra what?


Now, let me clarify. Chicago had JUST walked into the house before he woke me up. So I can only assume that he had been wandering pantsless around the small town of Oxford, MS, WITHOUT REALIZING IT until that moment of revelation when he “looked down.” This situation should have surprised me. It did not.

I just texted a mutual friend asking if she had any good Chicago stories for this post. Her response, which made me laugh until I cried, was simply, “Peeing on the couch.” Peeing. On. The couch. That's really all I have to say about that. (My response: “How the hell do we FIND these people?”)

The same friend also reminded me of a late night phone call she once received. Someone was drunkenly yelling her name, begging to be bailed out of jail (ok, maybe we don't all totally follow the law. But it was just public drunkenness, a pretty common charge in Oxford where a panty bandit is the most threatening criminal in town). She refused to get out of bed and go bail him out, because sometimes, we've all had enough. Later we found out that he had annoyed the jailer and bail bondsman so much that the bail bondsman literally drove him home. In his own car. Chicago : too annoying for jail.

Though he's drunk 90% of the time, shallow in his choice and treatment of women, and can be a little crass, he has his redeeming qualities. He's totally honest about everything he's thinking, he's extremely smart, he stands up for what he thinks and isn't afraid to piss people off, and he's THE most fun person to have at a party. You never know what's going to happen next or where the night will take him, but you can be certain that a crazy story will unfold. Just like you love those crazy, embarrassing members of your family, we love Chicago like he's a part of ours.

In closing, I'd like to leave you with a few of Chicago's most famous quotes, collected over the years.

While trying to find a place to eat in Dallas:
McDonald's? Do they sell beer at McDonald's?"

When asked a question about an event that occurred earlier in the day:
I got high. How do you expect me to remember shit?”

When being reminded by a friend that he had taken 6 of her beers with the promise to pay her back:
I owe you nothing! NOTHING!!! I'm just kidding, I owe you a whole bunch of beer.”

I guess someone was biting him?:
You can bite me all you want, I'm drunk, I'm not going to feel it.”

When being reprimanded for not staying quiet during the national anthem:
He was talking shit about me because of the spar stangled pannuh!”

This blog does NOT condone illegal drug use:
They're walking too slow! I just want to get there!....Man, I wish everyone else had done cocaine too.”

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent friend who might run for political office. And if he does, you should totally vote for him. That country/state/district would become one ridiculous party.

Chicago's dog (which was taken away because his landlord didn't allow pets).  He named it Jesus.

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