The Steampunk World

Being the continued explorations of a living steampunk.

The steampunk world is all around us, lying just out of sight, in a continuous thread of steampunk builders and culture that extends from the Victorian era to the present. You'll find no science fiction here: This is real life steampunk.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Kasey has been my homeskillet since 3rd grade. We grew up in a college town without much for kids to do except explore the steam tunnels and blow stuff up down in the creek. I lived in Oxford, Ohio for 14 years, age 9-24, high school and college. After college he and I spent an amazing summer getting drunk, grilling out, boating, and chasing girls. Then I moved to Chicago and he kept kept doing it for TWELVE YEARS. He turned 30 this weekend- still living in the same beer-sign apartment as he was when he was 18, still drinking at the same college bars where the furniture is bolted down, only now he has a party bus and a ski boat and makes his own wine and so on. He and his friends are the target market of Maxim Magazine. You know, the kind of guys who think that there's one single trick that will get all women to sleep with them, and it's got to be a pressure point on the wrist or something you do with your eyes or something. Little too much spiked hair and suit-jackets, big watches, those kind of guys.

Drunk from the RIP Anna Nicole ride in Chicago, I took the 3AM greyhound to Ohio. At noon Friday we piled into a Hummer SUV. Not exactly the classiest of conveyances. It was like a bus in there, except there was neon and a karaoke machine (my first time in a Limo). We brought tons of top shelf liqour and the 15 of us (including his 90-year-old grandma, pimpin in the Hummah granny!) to his work to surprise him. Turns out he'd been bitching and whining all week: "Everybody's droppin the ball on my birthday!" "oh, we'll just have a little shindig at my house" says mom. "I've had 29 birthdays in this house, I want to GO SOMEWHERE!" whines Kasey. At his work they had a shitty little heres-your-cake birthday party for him. SURPRISE! What a great idea. If you ever want to surprise someone, first get their work to throw them a shitty heres-your-cake "surprise" party, just to make them feel like crap and also account for any whispers and slipups that the victim might have heard.

The limo pulls up and he almost shits himself. Out pours a crowd of friends from all over. We pile back in and head down to Cincinnati (or, "the 'nati" as the local chamber of commerce encourages you to say in their cheesy bulletin board campaign).

At this point I begin a process that will leave me very sick: For some reason, I start drinking all different kinds of liquor. I think it was because people were handing me drinks. Gin, vodka, whiskey, etc etc. I will continue to consume this rainbow of fruit flavors from noon until 3 AM. Despite this massive bender of booze, the most embarrassing thing I do all night is "dance like Justin Timberlake". Fool, I TAUGHT him his moves!

Kasey makes the limo stop at Costcos and proceeds to buy $1000 worth of digital cameras. He will then use them all night and return them the following Monday.

First stop: Target world. These tipsy bozos walk into a shooting range and, for $5 gun rental and $8 range fee, they are handed FUCKING GUNS AND BULLETS. You can imagine the looks they were getting from the local redneck NRA types. I shot a .45 Dirty Harry revolver, a Smith and Wesson 9mm (looks like a glock), and a .38 snubnose Saturday Night Special revolver. Having only ever shot with varmit rifles, I found blasting off rounds with a semiauto handgun to be very, very satisfying. The one Iraq vet amongst us did not participate, I can only imagine why. The dudes (and dudes they were indeed) of course go for the most showy guns- a shotgun, a magnum, and this HUGE 50 caliber revolver. I left the range when they started off with the big guns, and you can imagine why- these noodle-armed newbies trying to fire a hand cannon and actually hitting the ceiling with the gun when they pull the trigger and it flies upwards in their hands.

Next stop- a german beer house in lovely Newport, Kentucky. One dude orders a Budweiser- what the hell do you think those big copper tanks are for? They make this big deal about some dobblebock that they can only serve us two mugs of, OOOOOH I surely can't handle A LITER of dobbelbock! Fried pickles were good though. Why, oh why did I start with liquor and then switch to dark beer before getting back into the limo for more liquor?

Next stop: Dave and Buster's. Then back home to the local upscale townie bar. I see lots of old folks I haven't seen in donkey's years. Then we go to, of all places, The Dirty Dirty (First Run), which is the last-chance nasty booty-bar for the school. This is where I perform alleged Timberlakian dance moves. When the bar closes down Kasey slips into a well-worn routine like putting on an old baseball glove: He hits on women and, if rejected, begs for a ride home. Needless to say we got the ride home.

The next morning, I feel like Death took a crap on my soul. I start puking so hard my eyes go red, blood blisters break all over my face, that kind of porcelain god prayer that I left behind in that town. Fortunately, a man does not do this nightly for 12 years without being a pro. Kasey hands me an antinausea/antivomiting suppository and a rubber glove. Damn, the guy's prepared. I keister it and an hour later I'm eating fucking chicken wings and drinking a beer. I gotta get some of that stuff.


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