Sunday, August 17, 2008

Flashback in a Beer Tent

Last night J and I found ourselves at a good ol' Wisconsin party in a field. My hair went from sleek-n-smooth to licked-a-live-wire in sixty seconds, but other than that, we enjoyed ourselves. Because the party was called The Big Deal (how often do you go to parties with NAMES?), and it was a benefit for Big Brothers / Big Sisters. As such, there was a considerable amount of beer present. And kickball! Beer, live music, and a giant kickball tournament.

Also, have I mentioned the men in kilts? Yes, there were some of those, too.

At one point in the evening one of the party organizers hopped on stage to announce the winners of a raffle. Upon hearing the names, a disgruntled drunk in the crowded beer tent shouted, "I never win nothing!"

I couldn't help myself. In the relative quiet between his statement and the announcer's next, I pushed my sheets of Brillo Pad hair from my face and shouted, "Double negative!" I quickly slapped my hand over my word hole to keep other grammar police phrases from slipping out.

J frowned. "Honey, you're talking about drunk people in tents."

"I know! My kind of people!"

Later, when the crowd had thinned, a spontaneous wrestling match broke out in the beer tent between Some Dude and a well-known but somewhat womanizing local musician. The blond girl standing nearby watching was clearly his latest victim I MEAN GIRLFRIEND, and she was also sick. Sneezing nearly non-stop. (As one who is still suffering from an excess of mucous, I am well-versed in these symptoms and felt particularly empathetic toward her.) So, patiently she stood there, sneezing and trying to smile at her idiot boyfriend's antics. Have I mentioned he's, like, seventy? Okay, he's not that old, but he's more than slightly balding and has no business wrestling in a beer tent at a Big Brothers / Big Sisters fundraiser.

Later, I watched them leave. He didn't hug her or put an arm around her once! No gesture of concern, not even a head tilt in her direction to indicate that he may have asked, "Hey, how ya feeling?" He just walked next to her, arms swinging awkwardly like a self-absorbed boob of a monkey.

This seemed like a complete injustice to me, and I ranted about it for awhile to my patient husband while he drove home, gnawing on a piece of BBQ a friend had given him in the parking field. When we got home I ate pickles right from the jar and then went to bed, glad to be alive and relieved that I no longer dated self-absorbed monkey boys.


  1. Anonymous9:39 AM

    Hiya Jess,

    Grats on the book. I saw a pile in Book World in Fondy the other day.

    Best of luck from a fellow Fondy writer.

  2. Beer in tents...mmmm. Almost as good as beer on gravel roads. (I'm from Missouri.)


  3. Ah- a happy moment when we realize that we no longer have monkey boys in our lives.

  4. hmm - Who is Monkey BOY!!?? how exciting!

  5. Oh you make me laugh! You should just publish all these snippets of life as a book.

  6. Isn't it nice how it all works out? No more monkey boys. With all their crazy ways it's great when we find that special guy that does still hold our hand, or put an arm around our shoulders, or on the small of our backs, letting us know all is right and how it should be. Safe and happy. Loved and cherished. Isn't that what we all want after all? Companions and equals.

    I'm loving the book, by the way, I have saved it to get me through my chemo treatments so am having to force myself not to read more than one or two chapters a night. With the diagnosis this summer our vacation to Greece and my camping trip I had planned was canceled. But, I feel I am right there in the car with you seeing the sights...well, actually, stranded right now out of petrol! Thanks for a fun read and giving me something that keeps my mind in another place right now.

  7. That post totally cracked me up. My mom used to be involved in Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Somehow I always thought that it was more dignified than beer and wrestling in tents with brillo headed folks screaming grammar tips out randomly. I may be wrong.

  8. Monkey the expression. I will be sharing this term with a good friend of mine who is going on terrible dates through the online dating world.

    Usually, I'm left messages that "boys suck", but I'm thinking I met another Monkey Boy is a phrase she'll use often.