We all know people who have a certain je ne sais quoi. People that have a certain effect on us, for reasons unknown. This effect is not always good; but it's always interesting. Our friends Tim and Shelly are such people. They look mild mannered enough, but every time we go out with them, there is always the distinct possibility that one or more of us will end up in jail by the time the night is through. Or at least be issued a warning from law enforcement.
The last time we went out together, the manager of a certain uptown restaurant told us in no uncertain terms not to come back.
The evening last Saturday started like they always do, innocently enough. We tried a little Japanese place for dinner. A little sake and a little wine. We walked next door to a pipe shop and had the following conversation.
"What's the difference between a bong and a hookah?"
"Why can they sell salvia and not marijuana?"
"Why is that glass pipe 30 bucks and that one is 90?"
"Hmmm...maybe THAT one is made from Murano glass."
We go to the Red Dragon and meet up with Karl. We all order Wanderous Punch (rum and juice served in a fishbowl glass that has so much booze in it you could set it on fire). And then we all remark we've never been to the Dragon when it's still light out and agree that it's a complete dive. Tim orders a Zombie and things start getting out of control. When Tim gets drunk he starts acting like Chris Farley in Tommy Boy. Not in a good way. Things start getting political. Tim is a Republican, who also drives a Prius, and starts screeching that he hates McCain and wishes he could vote for Fred Thompson.
"The actor?" I asked.
"So was Reagan!"
I look at him as if that is exactly my point.
Matt says he wanted Hillary for President so Bill could be the first lady.
Then Tim starts yelling that we should go to Liquor Lyle's to celebrate the gay pride festival. "They have 20-for-1's!" he hollers. "And lesbians!"
"You mean 2-for-1?"
By now the squares at other tables are giving us looks. We decide to walk down the street to the C.C. Club.
Now Tim and Matt disappear on the back patio and me and Shelly and Karl sit in the back booth, drinking and contemplating our options. Tim and Matt return, drinking whiskey and cokes. Our political debate continues. Things really start getting loud and Tim kicks the table so hard that it flies out and glasses tip over. Matt starts laughing like a hyena and a skinny, punk kid at a nearby table looks alarmed. I try to imagine what we must look like to him and I start laughing.
We go back to our house and the yelling match continues and because it is nice outside and our new neighbor's windows are open, we realize they can hear everything and are now regretting moving in next door.
They finally leave and Matt lays down. "My tummy feels weird."
"You better go to the bathroom."
After 20 minutes he comes back.
"Did you puke?"
"Yes, it was green."
"All my sushi wrappers."
"You barfed up your whole dinner?"
"Yeah, what a bargain."
"We're never going out with them again."
"You always say that."
But he's right, we always go back, like a bad habit we just can't quit. Eventually things get a little dull and everyone needs a little trip to the dark side now and again. Maybe after the election in November. That should be interesting.