Monday, January 18, 2010

We get it, you're as free as a bird. (aka Bachelor Party, part 1)

(Context note: This is a flashback to several years ago, hope I got the details right and you enjoy.)

It’s the day before my wedding and I am stressed.

I don’t have the “pre-wedding butterflies” that I have heard so much about, it’s more of a fatigue with the seemingly endless details that go into having a wedding. The tuxes and flowers and food and location and weather forecast and music and invitations and dresses and THE dress and … you get the picture. The groomsmen in the wedding take me out for the traditional last night out with the guys.

It’s still a semi-secret but I have planned a honeymoon in Ireland, so it seems appropriate that we go to Irish Pub.

That’s the entire name, not Molly Malone’s or O’Neill’s or The Elephant and the Castle or something – simply “Irish Pub”.

We park and the four of us walk past two men having a smoke by a pickup truck parked near the door. One of them laughs and yells to us, “Hey! You guys don’t have any guns on you, do you?” We shake our heads no and exchange confused looks.

Walking into the pub, I realize that it doesn’t fit my stereotypical idea of what an Irish Pub looks like. In fact, it looks like a full-on country-hick back-woods dive bar. There is loud music playing and I look over to see one man on stage singing “Freebird” into a karaoke mike with all of his heart. I look toward the bar and see that all bottles of liquor behind the bar are one of two things – Wild Turkey or Jack Daniels.

Ignoring all the blatant warning signs that this is not what I expected, I approach the bar and order a Guinness.

“A what?”, the bartender yells back. I repeat myself and he continues to be confused as to what I want.

“Ok, what beers do you have?”, I yell. He responds, “We have Bud … and Bud Light!”

I blink and Freebird starts to reach its crescendo. I ask, “Do you have any imported beers?” He looks a little disgusted and says, “I think we have a Heineken in back!”. Right about now I feel committed to at least ordering something so I say, “I’ll have that!”

He comes back with a lukewarm bottle of Heineken that has a nice layer of dust on it. I pay the man and tuck into trying to finish it as fast as possible so we can get out of there. One of the groomsman orders a Bud and I decide to say out loud, "We need to get moving as fast as possible."- just so there is no confusion.

A new song is starting and there appears to be some sort of argument as to who is going to sing Sweet Home Alabama. It sinks in that there are two things to worry about: first, that there may be an altercation over whether this is going to be a solo karaoke night or everyone taking turns. Second and more concerning, we may have a Lynyrd Skynyrd marathon going on and I don’t know of anything good coming from that.

I leave some warm beer in the bottle, put it on the bar and say, “Let’s go.” and walk out. I think to myself that if pubs in Ireland are like that, I am about to give my new bride a severe let-down.

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