30 June 2011

The Bachelor Party

(L to R) Wild East, Foosko & Sgt Nick Penis - Deer Path Inn 30 June 1988

23 years ago tonight some old friends, relatives and in-laws gathered at the Lantern in Lake Forest for my low key bachelor party. The image above is of the 'After Party' complete with Pabst Blue Ribbon. Amazing how hip we were and didn't even know it.

One of my friends asked my father that night what his experience in Vietnam was like. Dad shrugged and said there wasn't much to tell. Everyone nodded and the conversation moved
quickly to the Cubs and the merits of Old Style. The night winds down as in-laws leave but old friends wanna go all night.

Wild East and Foosko. decide to reenact Lobby East dorm life with a purchase of the cheapest beer available. Army buddy and Chicago local, SgtNick Penis comes along for the ride. Sadly, Red, White and Blue is not available so two sick packs of PBR go from the Lantern to the Deer Path Inn only four blocks and a low crawl away.

A month or so later the old man is visting D.C. and offers dinner at his favorite French restaurant in Old Town Alexandria. My bride asks Dad, in a break after escargot en croute but before steak au poivre, what it was exactly he did in Vietnam. Dad sips his Beefeater martini and tells my wife it was just like the mafia. "They'd come down to the village. Kill some locals. We'd go up the mountain and kill some of them."

While the rules of time, place and occasion are invaluable for apparel -- there is some wisdom in applying the rule to story telling. You don't wear a white dinner jacket to a bachelor party nor should fatigues be worn in French restaurants.


Anonymous said...

The fine art of being appropriate.

Oyster Guy said...

Or at the very least, know your audience. This past weekend I attended a rather grand wedding with three USN Captains and a USMC bird Colonel among the wedding party, and no shortage of spooky guests. There was also no shortage of shop talk to be had at anytime during the three day event if you were the right sort to engage properly. I think there is a desire to lighten the burden.

I wonder if your dad was looking for a bit of shock value. This bride is the woman you usually refer to as the Echo X-ray?

You might not wear fatigues in restos but the reverse has happened. During periods of conscription, the apprentices of the best hotels and kitchens in France were assigned straight off to the Officer's Mess. No army in history, in garrison, has ever eaten better with the most exquisite service. Enforced with the threat of military discipline no less!

GSV JR said...

(i) [sic] packs.

(ii) i'm a braves man, but we got WGN when we got cable in the early 80s (part of the package) and i used to fake sick so i could come home from school and watch em when they had an aft homegame. recall a sandberg in-the-park homerun and simultaneous call by caray soundin akin to choking on a goddamn manatee.

also: red white and blue. weird. my n'bor (from the delta) said her first beer was red white and blue. said it tasted like sucking on cold coins.

tintin said...

(i) My creative license.
(ii) Both the Braves and Yankees were clients in the 90s. The opening game of the world series was at Yankee Stadium. I was introduced in the Stadium Club as the broker for both teams. A NYC fan said, "Who you rootin' for?" Silly question.

RW & B was made by Pabst, I think. $1.49 at the Winn Dixie in St Augustine. Squat brown bottles. Paired well with Totino's frozen pizza (.99cents). Burps tasted like cleaning solvent -- but in a good way.

Anonymous said...

That's good writing. Perfect...just perfect.


Anonymous said...

OK, so I have to admit, I guess this confirms that I am not a "hipster". PBR is incredibly trendy in this area. In the last 2 years it went from being the one thing a liquor store couldn't sell, to now being the one thing they can't keep on the shelf. I hate it, and I still to this day do not understand how it is "hip" to drink a can of cheap piss that was left out in the hot sun and re-refrigerated. It is definitely hipster gold....that and cloves. So to you Oyster Guy, I finally see your point. Maybe that's the power of PBR.

Unclelooney said...

it's cheap, old and not a micro brew. that's why it's hip.
Schlitz seems to be targeting the same group.
Cloves? how 1982!
Gives us PBR and Gitanes or english ovals! Where are my bauhaus records?

GSV JR said...

Shlitz has undergone a facelift and tripled in price, so I'd say, yeah, they are def targeting the kids.

JT, is Sgt Nick Penis' moniker an allusion to Bachelor Party's "Nick The Dick?"

Ben said...

Nice little vignette, but in a rare instance of smart-aleckry at your expense, your pals look like the late 80s version of out-of style!

By your leave.

Anonymous said...

Which is best French restaurant in Old Town -- 219 or Le Refuge?

Peter said...

And, by the way, 219 and Le Refuge are both pretentious and weak. A pity Le Gaulois closed.