Fear and Loathing in Santa Barbara Part One.

[names have been changed to protect the inebriated]

Worked up until the wire on Friday.  Glad I had the gas tank filled.  Walked with a co-worker out and discussed the politics of bachelor parties.  Felt glad I was going to a bachelor party.  Switched to sandals.  Sandals are the awesome.  Opened all windows and smoked a Macanudo on Lincoln trying to get to the PCH.  Thought about how I will need a lot of cigars this weekend.  I don’t have any.  Can’t get to the V-Cut on Melrose.  Fail.  Try to relax and enjoy myself.  Traffic is annoying.

Finally get passed the California Incline.  Open road towards Malibu.  California is great.  Need to go to the bathroom.  Decide to stop and get beer and cigars at Colony House in exchange for two minutes of bano time.  Notice a sign for Mr. Bones cigar store.  Cop car parked out front.  Decide to go in anyway.  Dodger game is on a tiny television with static.  They are winning.  Korean owner named John.  Seems like a good guy.  Cop is sitting on a papa-san looking extra pissed off.  Get out of our beach community, Lebowski. I pick out a few gauges of Macanudos in the humidor.  John says they are bad cigars.  I tell him that’s what my granfather smoked.  It’s sentimental.  And old school.  He apologizes.  I tell him it’s cool and buy one of the cigars he recommends as well.  We’re all good friends.

I get too chatty at the checkout counter.  The cop eyeballs me.  He asks me where I am going.  I tell him Santa Barbara.  Everytime a cop asks me where I am going I am always answering somewhere outside of city limits.  It’s like begging for more questions.  Where are you going, kid?  Well, Yuma.  And I gotta get there quick.  Running from a man named Ricky the Blade.  Violent memories of 2am police encounter in northern California with Miner.  Will explain later (Fear and Loathing in the Pacific Northwest).

Cop is cool once he realizes I am going to a bachelor party.  Brief discussion of California no-fault divorces and the Dodgers starting rotation.  Use the upstairs bathroom with an ocean view.  Simple pleasures.

Take Malibu Canyon to Calabasas the the 101 through my hometown north towards Ventura County.  Hazy memories of secret late-night high school missions to Solvang to play blackjack at the Chumash Casino.  Still more fun than Vegas, plus no bottle service.  I hear they cleaned the place up.  Back then, the food court was a bunch of vending machines.  Still think of that place when I hear the live acoustic Smashing Pumpkins album.

Brief traffic jam near Milpas after a blissful 10 miles of oceanfront driving.  Two lane highways are for degenerates.  Eventually arrive at Hope and make my way into world’s darkest neighborhood.  Have extreme difficulty finding the house.  GPS is now useless.  I miss Los Angeles and my knowledge of the street grid.

Find the house and then find the backyard where music is blasting and everyone is already drunk.  College seems to be back in session.  Quick beer pong session.  Woodstock Pizza by the truckload.  Someone decides it is okay to heat pizzas in the oven in cardboard boxes.  House almost burns down.  Fail.

one of the pizza boxes hard the word "orgy" written on the side.

one of the pizza boxes hard the word "orgy" written on the side.

Beer olympics are a massacre.  My team cannot close out games.  Flip cup is a beating.  Beer pong we go 1-3, this despite me making 10 cups in the super table game.  No one, myself included, was clutch enough.  I blame myself.  Baseball quarters gets rough.  We have trouble converting with runners in scoring position (or RISP as we call it in the biz).  At one point, one of our opponents is lollygagging on finishing his beer.  I drink the double and single cups just to prove a point.  Probably the hardest thing I did all weekend.

basic concept.  we used way bigger cups.  easier to shoot.  harder to drink.

basic concept. we used way bigger cups. easier to shoot. harder to drink.

Night gets considerably hazier.  The Destroyer falls face first into the hot tub.  He also shows us his rap.  I love the Destroyer.  He won the trophy for the weekend.  Bachelor Boy seems very happy.  This is exactly the kind of event he loves.  Bachelor Boy is actually one of the best dudes I know.

I wake up on the couch incredibly confused.  A screaming match has erupted in the dining room over what appears to be the most drunken game of Scrabble on record.  The four a.m. tequila shot impresses me everytime, although I am attempting to sleep at this point.  Night one was supposed to be the warmup and I would need the 2 hours of sleep.  The poor bastards who rented us their home.  They seemed very religious and probably would be afraid at our antics.  They had a Bible Trivia board game.  And we almost burned down their house for the briefest of moments.

I have texted my brother in New York.  He calls me back at 4 am PST, which makes it 7 am in New Jersey.  He is getting his Saturday started.  My niece and nephew are in the background chirping away like morning songbirds.  I am jealous for a moment, regretting my place in life.  I am stuck in the middle of a Scrabble game that may come to blows soon riding that thin line between five or six horrible states of mind while my brother pours cold fresh milk over nutritious cereal filled in a sunny kitchen on the eastern seaboard.  I remain strong.  My brother tends to get a hold of me when I am at my worst.

[continued in part two]

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