I spent Tuesday sitting through meetings, consuming anything that had caffeine and coordinating schedules with Matt. After his bar ninja routine from the previous night I thought that he’d be ready to completely run roughshod over Philadelphia. Luckily, that wasn’t the case. Still feeling the effects of, uh, being lame, Matt wanted to keep the evening low key. So we decided to meet at a place called Max Brenner.
Max Brenner is an interesting place where almost everything seems to have chocolate in it. I got there first and saddled up to the bar. I was met by a lovely young lady named Katie and she offered me some water and every menu under the sun. When Matt finally arrived we discovered that they really didn’t serve conventional drinks so we wound up first drinking beer and eating. Their mac & cheese friggin’ RULED. After my first beer all of the fruity-froo-froo drinks started coming:
That last image is of a chocolate pizza. The dough is covered with chocolate with a layer of marshmallows on top of it and then peanut butter drizzled on top of that. If we wanted to be healthy we could have added bananas.
So, what did we learn from Kate?
- Australians shorten every word under the sun. ‘Brisbane’ is referred to as ‘Brissie’ and a spectacular move in AFL (Australian Rules Football) is known as a ‘speccy’. I couldn’t explain it to you at all, something about jumping and hitting your opponent in the air with your knees and using that to launch yourself and catch the ball.
- She has a best friend and a woman that is similar to a best friend but she considers to be something like a ‘wife’. I have no idea whether or not she was straight or a lesbian
- She’s seems to have been all over the place
- If she left on Christmas Eve to visit Australia she would land on December 26th and completely miss Christmas
- There are 6 Aussie Pubs in Paris. She and her friends were known as the Happy Hour Girls at the one she went to and the bartenders kept hooking them up with drinks and extra shots
Katie and her manager, Alan, took good care of Matt and me. And Katie kept the froofie drinks flowing. However, what I enjoyed most about our experience at Max Brenner was a story that Katie told us. She said that when she was in Paris she went to speak to her professor. Her professor, an older woman, had told her that she had been married for 45 years. Katie asked, “How in the world did you stay married for 45 years?”
“A lot can happen in 45 years,” her professor replied. “Throughout all those years I’ve loved my husband, he’s been my best friend and sometimes my worst enemy. He makes me laugh and he sometimes drives me insane. There have been years where I’ve been madly in love with him and years when I’ve been apathetic. There have even been years when I hated him with every fiber of my being. However, he is my husband and sometimes we’ll go someplace, like on vacation or somewhere special, and I will find myself seeing all the things about him that made me fall for him. And, no matter what, I will fall in love with him again.”
Katie got all misty over that, especially since she and her wife/friend are on the outs at the moment because the friend wants to move to California and Katie wants to live in New York. After 5 hours of good conversation, effeminate drinks and lots of laughs Matt & I decided to call it a night. We left Max Brenner and agreed to meet up in the morning.
This is where things get a little weird for me. As I was retracing my path back to my hotel I ran into a group of women who were huddled around one of those metered parking kiosks. They were of various shapes and sizes, dressed very nicely, most wearing dresses and made up as if they were going out for a night on the town. They couldn’t get their dollar bill to work in the kiosk so I offered them my bills to try. When one of my bills finally worked we all squealed, jumped up and down, cheered and gave high fives. Then they asked if I wanted to join them. You think that this would be every guys wet dream, wouldn’t you?
They were all friends, several of them sorority sisters, from various universities around Philly. No pillow fights, no dancing, no jello wrestling and nothing even remotely sexual. You know what it turned into? It felt like a night with the guys. The only exception was that these ‘guys’ had boobs, vaginas and talked about their periods. Otherwise, they burped, smoked, farted, hit each other and laughed loudly exactly like guys do.
I’ve realized that I have special powers when I go out with people. I can:
- Blend in easily and people forget my race
- Blend in easily and people forget my sex
- Enter a room it seems like the collective IQ of the room drops and ‘pull my finger’ jokes suddenly become en vogue
- Get people to lose their inhibitions and open up to me about EVERYTHING
- Manage to have a rollicking good time almost everywhere I go
My night was spent talking about relationships, what to wear, shopping, why guys are dumb, why girls are dumb, whether or not Jenny should try a certain sex act, why do I drink scotch, should they stay in school, have I ever gotten anyone pregnant, sex abuse, what should Amy do after grad school, am I really 40, would I ever have a homosexual relationship, what’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten, which of the young ladies was the prettiest and who had the best body as well as which of them did I think would end up a complete wreck.
That was just the first two hours. It went on and on and on.
I have no idea where we went. They dragged my sorry, old ass all over the place. I remember the Devil’s Den, Misconduct Tavern, Fergie’s and Sugarmoms. I swear there were at least four more places that we went to. I eventually made it back to my hotel room close to 3am, tired, fairly sober and all talked out.