My dearest Cousin, Cousin, called me to tell me that her and her boyfriend, Water Wings, had extra tickets to U2, and did we want to go? Water Wings is in the military, and in exchange for risking his life everyday for our freedom, they sometimes give him free concert tickets. I hate passing up free anything, so once I secured a sitter, I told her we were in.
I spent the day in a tizzy of excitement. I have never seen U2, but everyone that I know who has just raves about them. The local media was abuzz with the massive stage they were building, people were tweeting and facebooking it all day, and I was getting stoked.
Jr. was at his dad’s, so I arranged for our neighbor’s lovely, recently graduated from college daughter to babysit little Mavbling. The concert started at 7, but we figured U2 wasn’t going on until 9, so we would leave at 7 and take the T and ferry across from Station Square. These were the plans.
This is the reality. I got the baby, got home, made his dinner, spent as much snuggle time as I could, and fired up the U2 station in my Pandora, to get in the right frame of mind. Mavrick mixed drinks, we all danced in the kitchen while Mavbling clapped and laughed, and I thought to myself, THIS is going to be a great night!
Water Wings and Cousin come in, there is more baby playing, dancing (do you get this visual of all of us holding hands and dancing in a circle? Cause that’s what we do. Totally) and some adult beverages.
The sitter gets there, we do the baby handoff, and I look over to see Mavrick and Water Wings giggling like school girls over my kitchen sink. They are filling flasks with Bacardi. So it’s going to be like that. We head to the T and within 3 minutes of getting on, the flask is getting passed around. I, in a flash of genius, decide to fake a shot, because, ew. Cousin, not so smart. She takes a giant swig and almost voms all over the lovely couple in front of us.
I can see that I, head lush in charge of drunkenness, am going to have to be the responsible one this evening. We get to Station Square without incident and beeline for … a bar. Not the ferry to get us over to see U2. Nope. Not that at all. A bar. A bar called Dirty Harry’s. Which, for your reference, has $2.00 Yuenglings on Tuesday’s.
Mavrick and Water Wings proceed to the pool table, beers in hand, while Cousin orders up some rum and diets. At this point, I am getting distressed. There is no way we are making the concert on time. I’m one of those super annoying people who like to have a plan, and then stick with that plan. Not that I can’t be spontaneous, I totally can be, you just have to give me advance notice. Beer after beer, pool game after pool game, I saw my chance to see U2 slowly drifting away.
At about 8:30, they started. The Reasons We Should Not Go To U2. Our seats were in nosebleed. You can’t dance. Beers are expensive. They aren’t even my favorite band. Bono ain’t no Eddie Vedder. I can’t find my other shoe. We’re having fun here. Etc. By 8:45 it was official. We were not going to the concert. Nope. We were going to sit at Dirty Harry’s and shoot pool and drink $2 beers.
And that’s what we did. Well, what they did. I nursed a few rum and diets and (and perhaps one jagerbomb) and watched my three nonconcertgoers complete their head-first slide into inebriation. This went on until Mavrick decided he was hungry. We pay our tab at Dirty Harry’s, and if you want to know how many beers they were drinking I will tell you this: $2 beers, $70 bar tab. So THAT many.
We end up at Bar Louie. Mavrick and Water Wings drunkenly order the entire appetizer menu and a round of shots. The food comes , and before you can say ‘Napkins, please’, the three of them polished off nachos, quesadillas, pot stickers, and anything else that was in front of them. I think Cousin actually ate her fork. I’m not sure. And then it happened. Water Wings wandered off.
This is always a possibility when you’re babysitting drunk people. They do have a tendency to wander off, fall asleep in public, dance, pee in inappropriate places and do karaoke. Watching them is part babysitter, part ninja. So Water Wings is gone. Cousin is crying. Mavrick is licking the nacho plate. This is not how my night was supposed to be! I am supposed to be singing along to Where the Streets have no Name, for fuck’s sake.
About 20 minutes later, Water Wings calls Mavrick. He’s home. It appears he decided that since he had to work the next day, he better get home and sleep, so he hopped a cab. While I appreciate that he’s right, I would have further appreciated his telling me before he left, and also taking his drunk girlfriend with him.
While all of this is going on, the Pirates are playing the Braves in extra innings. Mavrick decides he wants to go back to Dirty Harry’s to watch the end of the game. Apparently this is because the bartender has the coolest name in the world. Mavrick’s name. I wish I had a dollar for every time throughout the night that he went “Who’s the bartender with the coolest name in the world?” *fingerguns*
We go back to Dirty Harry’s, fingerguns a blazing, where Cousin and Mavrick decide to have some more drinks they don’t need. It’s getting close to midnight, so I decide to call it a night.
Me: Okay, kids! Let’s go grab a cab. It’s time to call it a night.
Mavrick: Sher is shtill a game on. Let’s finish watching sha game. With the bartender who has the COOLEST NAME IN THE WORLD. *fingerguns*
Me: It’s the 16th inning. Come on. We have a sitter and I have to work tomorrow.
So I half-drag, half-carry Cousin out to the cab line, while Mavrick does his drunken, head-first Frankenstein walk. And, the concert just let out, so there is a line about 20 deep for a cab. I was just about ready to cry when it happened. I was reminded once again why Pittsburgh is the best city in the world. The people in line took one look at me trying to hold up Cousin with one hand and stop Mavrick from break dancing with the other, and they made me take the next cab. Bless you, my Burghers.
I shove the two of them in the backseat, where they promptly passed out on each other, and rode shotgun home. I somehow manage, using trickery and ropes and pullies, to get them up stairs into the living room.
Cousin passes out on one couch, and Mavrick flops onto the other. I turn on the TV to distract him while I pay the sitter. Sweet jesus on a maple bun. The frigging Pirate game is still on. The sitter asks me how the concert was. I do not want to lie, but at the same time I don’t want her to know that we didn’t even make it IN to the concert.
Me: Oh, there was this huge elaborate stage set up, and …
I THOUGHT Cousin was passed out. She chose this exact moment to pop up and exclaim, “Oh don’t lie! We didn’t even make it over to the concert.” And then she passed back out. Thanks. Thanks so much. I’m so glad I just dragged your drunk butt all over the city so you could mortify me in front of the sitter.
Mavrick is passed out now, sitting straight up, mouth wide open. I gently shove him so he tips over, wakes himself up, and demand he go upstairs.
Mavrick: Za game is still on.
Me: No it’s not, your dreaming. Go to bed.
He dutifully lumbers upstairs. It’s the end of the top of the 19th. I turn off the TV, cover Cousin with a blanket, and head to check on the baby. He’s sleeping peacefully. Mavrick is passed out face down on our bed, also sleeping peacefully. I brush my teeth and reflect on the evening. It didn’t turn out the way I had planned. No, not at all. Actually, not even friggin close. But I did have fun. And as I looked over at Mavrick, snoring gently into his pillow, I knew he had fun, too. So it wasn’t a total loss. Besides, everyone knows, Bono ain’t no Eddie Vedder.
Yours in musicality,