Tuesday, January 19, 2010

what kind of 33 year old likes giving people dead arms...

Spending 12 hours straight with my friend Big Chris takes an emotional toll. Even a day later, I’m still exhausted from the experience. Highlights include Chris explaining to me the importance of Martin Luther King Day, beginning with his big opening, “As a white person of privilege, you probably don’t know this shit.”
We had to stop at a post office to mail my car registration and my Netflix. Chris, so appalled that I doubted his knowledge of the nearest post office, managed to unhinge the door of the mailbox in frustration. He got back in the car slightly scared.
“I think I broke the fucking mailbox.”
“Chris, that’s probably a federal offense.”
“No Beth, a federal offense would be if I took a shit in the mailbox.”
We headed to (the much cooler and interesting than I remember) Magnolia Brewery and sat at the bar, where Chris ordered a Pilsner. His beer came in a very skinny little glass. It looked like a big shot of blonde beer, really and I could instantly tell Chris was horrified and embarrassed to be presented with something so feminine. He chugged his beer and called over the gentleman behind the bar, a man who probably takes his beer more seriously than he takes the vessel it arrives in. Chris leaned forward, “Hey bro. Can I get something in, uh, a man glass?”
Hipster, microbrew, beard guy didn’t miss a beat. “The Pale Ale comes in a man glass. Would that make you more comfortable?”
Indeed it did.
I was appalled to learn the beef jerky machine was out of order. As I’ve stated REPEATEDLY, I am a jerky aficionado. Other than, obviously, my sobriety and friendship with Ansel, the best thing to come out of my experience in rehab was my discovery of jerky. To see house-made beef jerky offered on an actual menu sent me into a thrilled tailspin. To find out it was unavailable was like having my dreams ripped from my hands.
I ordered the house-made pickles instead and they were lovely.
While Chris “hit the head,” a gentleman came out of the kitchen clutching a motorcycle helmet under his arm and obviously on his way home. I was staring into space (nothing new) as motorcycle helmet cheerfully said, “How’s it going?”
But the time I figured out he was talking to me, it was too late to respond. I felt like the rudest person in the world and perhaps even, undeserving of the jerky. As a frequent lamenter of the lack of friendliness between strangers, I hate it when I screw up my big chance to practice what I preach.
I bet he thought I was a crazy person. I was, after all, having the pickles and French press coffee.
Chris and I met up with Leslie and headed to the Beach Chalet. Over beer and Diet Coke, Leslie mentioned Carl.
My girlfriends and I have taken to discussing this imaginary man I’ve predicted to be my companion in our twilight years, as if he already exists. I suppose, if I’m at all right about Carl, he’s checking his email at a library somewhere right now and does indeed actually exist, but really, we do talk about Carl all the time.
Chris does not read my blog. Therefore he knows nothing of Carl.
Chris took a sip of his beer and stared straight ahead. “Who’s Carl?”
Leslie shot me a look across the bar. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said anything.”
He repeated himself. “WHO’S CARL?”
We started to giggle.
“Don’t worry about it, Chris. I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Are you dating this Carl? Is this some internet boyfriend? Who is Carl?”
We kept changing the subject, our segues purposefully obvious and mysterious. God bless Leslie, she was right there with me. Fucking with Chris.
A half an hour later, “Seriously. Who is Carl?”
“Jesus Chris, are you jealous?” Leslie and I couldn’t look at each other, we would have given it away.
“No I am not jealous of you and your loser boyfriends.”
“I’m so sorry.” Leslie whispered. “I thought Chris knew about Carl.”
Chris was trying to hide his anger. “Fine, I’ll text Melissa.”
“Go ahead.” We said. “Text Melissa about Carl.”
Carl, after all, is really half Melissa’s brainchild. We concocted him together. I might be stuck with Carl, but Melissa is his co-creator. We’re like Carl’s Gary and Wyatt. And I have complete confidence that if Big Chris texted Melissa anything about “Carl” she would immediately know how to respond.
“Just tell me who this douchebag is.”
I pointed out to Chris that if he read “the blurb” he’d know all about Carl. Immediately, he pulled out his Blackberry. He made his way to my blog and searched for Carl.
“Carl is fake?”
“I wouldn’t say that.”
“You made Carl up. Yeah, that’s a surprise. Anyhoo…”
“I’m so glad you feel less threatened, Chrissy.”
But he wasn’t listening. “Leslie, let me try on your spectacles!”
Perhaps the recent tribulations of Tiger Woods have taken it’s toll on either Tiger or Chris, but somehow, Big Chris’ celebrity equivalent is suddenly and jarringly Saturday Night Live’s Fred Armisen.
We headed to Nickie’s in the Lower Haight for some drinks and dinner and ended up staying for the Monday Night Pub Quiz. By the time the quiz began, I was already exhausted. And the subject was music. Oy. Musical trivia is not my strong suit. But we stayed anyway and were in first place the entire game. At one point, they played “Time to Say Goodbye” which reminded Big C. of the Catalina Wine Mixer. Chris had grown antsy and bored, screaming, “Boats and Hos!” whenever he felt like it. He screamed it at us, at strangers, at the chick leading the quiz.
Every five minutes, “Boats and Hos!”
Our team, “Chicks dig me because I rarely wear underwear” maintained a steady lead, and I had fun observing those around us. It looked like a few groups were made up of various singles who’d met on the internet somehow and agreed to meet. I was fascinated by them and couldn’t get enough of their awkward interactions and specifically selected ensembles.
Anyway, by the time we got to the final round, we were tied for first. And bored. It was taking forever, but we figured, golly. If we won, which obviously we would, we’d get $50 and that would have paid for our dinner.
Somehow, someone decided the big tiebreaker would the question, “How many bones are in the human body?”
What. The fuck?
We lost. I didn’t care. I thought Chris and Leslie were going to start a rumble. It was midnight, Chris had put me in a headlock, I needed to go home.
I love my friend Big Chris very much, but as Leslie learned yesterday, and in the great words of Martha Plimpton, sometimes I feel like I’m babysitting only I’m not getting paid...


Jerky fan said...

I was, after all, having the pickles and French press coffee. A fine pairing, indeed.

Meryl said...

Did you just quote both Weird Science and Goonies in the same post? You are my new hero. Also, my husband is going to divorce me and launch a bona fide campaign to date you. I will not stand in his way as you two are obviously soul mates.

Patricia Appelquist said...

I am exhausted and no, don't think that Big Chris is that hot..12 hours ugh.

but just because I happened to be walking into the library after I read this lovely post as I passed by the computers on a complete lark I said out loud "Carl?, carl are you here?"

Lo and behold at the Saratoga Library at 4:33pm this afternoon there was indeed a Carl checking his email.
He is very nice but still in high school so you'll have to wait a few more years...

Ansel said...

Loved your blog! BTW, there are 206 bones in the human body.... :)

antfaber said...

If Chris wants to go with the look, he can try this:

Bonnie said...

I see Big Chris is still wearing the same outfit he was wearing in 2001.

Natalie said...

Big Chris seems lovely.