Monday, October 19, 2009

Curiosity Killed The Annoying Bar Patron

I have some bad habits. For example, if someone shows the remotest interest (or if they make the mistake of being a polite listener), I will hold forth on subjects like:
  • Farm subsidies
  • GM Corn
  • Confined Animal Feeding Operations
  • What a carbon analysis of our hair might reveal
Wait, wait, wait. I need to set the stage for you. Did I mention we've been drinking? And we're at a cheerful bar on Saturday night--a birthday party, more specifically--while I'm delivering a sermon on what too much conventionally-produced dairy did to the participants in a controlled study in Sweden?

Meanwhile, my husband is looking at me like, Why can't you just do too many shots and jump out of a giant cake in a bikini like Jeff's wife just did?

Anyway, I decided to switch conversational gears later in the evening to avoid traumatizing anyone else. First, I was introduced to the singer of a local band and his adorable new girlfriend. Turned out it was her birthday, too. Unfortunately, the singer in question was spectacularly drunk--so drunk you could nearly see his liver glowing through his shirt--which made him quite the Flirty Gertie, all handsy and stinky and stumbly. So I decided to switch to Interviewer Mode to divert his attention back to Lucky Girlfriend, where it belonged. Here's what happened:

Me, to the happy couple: "So how long have you two been together?"

Drunk singer: "Oh, I don't know. Four months?"

Lucky Girlfriend: "We started dating on June 21st."

Me: "So how did you meet?"

Singer: "She was at one of my shows."

Me: "What first attracted you to her?"

Singer: "Oh, her Dad was hilarious. Her family is great. I just love them."

Girlfriend: *Smile beginning to fade*

Me: "But you saw her and thought she was the prettiest girl in the room, right?"

Singer, after a long pause: "Well, not really. You know, as I get older, I'm so much more interested in what's INSIDE a woman, as opposed to the OUTSIDE."

Girlfriend: *Dirty look*

Me, laughing out loud: "But she's adorable! I'm sure you thought she was beautiful."

Singer, leaning in to cup his girlfriend's face: "But it's what's on the INSIDE that matters, right?"

Girlfriend: *Glaring at boyfriend now*

Singer: "I just..I don't know...her family...they're GREAT!"

Me: *Backing silently away while their fight broke out.*

Well that was a disaster. So I decided to switch conversational approaches again. May I just say that attempting to act as Life Coach to a burly, recovering drug addict at 2 in the morning is only going to lead to tears? For him? The good thing is, you'll walk away thinking, Well, my family may not be perfect, but at least my mother never locked me in a cage when I was a kid.

Maybe I should just keep it simple, I thought. Make people laugh. Get back to my roots.

Me, after eating 6 Bloody Mary garlic pickles, to a girl I've only met once before: "Hey, doesn't my breath smell kind of like a casserole?"

So if anyone would like to learn more about factory farming or the giant mass of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean, I'll be at my cousin's wedding in Appleton this Saturday night. Dinner will be served at 5, annoying lecture to follow.


  1. Holy. Shit. I totally need to go bar hopping with you.

  2. So um...basically when drunk you either-

    a.) gross people out
    b.) bore them to death
    c.) break up relationships
    d.) reduce them to tears

    Have I got that right?! Oh you are my kinda friend!! See you at the wedding reception.


    PS- you know that, as much as I'd love to hang out with you, I'm not really going to be at the reception, right?

  3. Hilarious and full of personality, as usual.

    You sound like a blast to hang out with- if only to guess at your inner dialogue as the nights progress.
    Lucky husband you have!!


  4. Speaking for all your relatives who will also be at the wedding, we can't wait.

    Awesome Aunt Dottie

  5. hahaha, i <3 drunk Jess. :)

  6. haha hysterical.

    you're my new favorite drunk person.

  7. Anonymous1:56 PM

    That slays me because I have the SAME problems. Which is why I don't get drunk much. Or go out. it either gets ornery and political or I end up stirring pots that should be left alone!

    Hope Saturday night's chicken dinner was fun.

  8. The casserole line has me in a fit of church giggles - hysterical!

  9. I soooo wish we lived closer.

  10. And here I just fall asleep when I've had too many. Sigh.