Friday, August 29, 2008

Van-o-dudes



I was standing in a local bar, talking to Single Friend. We were talking about boys; Where to meet them, what kind we like, details about the ones we can’t stand anymore. That sort of thing. I had a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other, and I was facing the door, which stands next to a large picture window open to the street.

We continued to chat as a big, white van pulled up and parked out front. It’s the kind of van that church groups stuff 45 children into when they haul them all off to the water park on a hot day. The van doors opened, and a flood of guys poured out. And kept coming. Nearly 20 guys right around my age started swarming into the bar.

“Um, a bus full of dudes just pulled up,” I said to my friend flatly. She laughed.

“No, really,” I said, nodding toward the door, where they were now pulling an amp and a guitar over to the corner of the bar. She looked over, and her jaw dropped.

Now, these guys were not particularly hot, and some of the cutest ones were wearing conspicuous gold bands on their left ring fingers. But this mob of men chose to have their fraternity reunion in our little town, and they’d chosen a bar where they could plug in and play Dave Matthews songs. It was also a bar with four women in it; Me, SF, the bartender and a tiny hippie chick playing pool with her dread-locked boyfriend. SF and I sat down side by side and gawked. We were surrounded in about 5 minutes.

Introductions were made, the former frat boys were friendly. I called SGL and instructed her to get her ass to the bar pronto. She didn’t believe me until she walked inside.

Soon enough, our beers were being refilled before we’d drunk them below the label. Shots arrived (ever had a Wisconsin Lunchbox? It’s DELICIOUS). At one point, I was pulled up to the front of the bar, where 20 frat boys took to their knees or stood on booth seats, clenching their hands together or reaching out to me and singing the Everly Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” Seriously. You’ve seen Top Gun? Wow.

So that’s what I missed out on by not hanging out with these people in college. Interesting.

One guy zeroed in on me. He was nice, but he was short. We talked about his family in Mexico. But I grew bored. AG and I were ready to go. SF was not.

“SF, are you sure you don’t want to come with us? We’re kind of worried about leaving you here with them.”
“Oh, no, it’s fine.”
“OK, just don’t go back to their rental house. You do not want to end up in Date Rape Central. Or Gang Bang Land. Promise us you won’t go to their house.”
“I won’t go to their house.”

I have a faint memory of giving Mexican Guy my business card before AG and I stumbled home. At the next morning’s debrief, I heard about SF and MG making out in a phone booth while the other boys took pictures. Classic.

So after hearing that story, I was surprised when I got an e-mail in my inbox this morning (pre-sic):

Serial,
So, how is life in Smalltown? I bet there hasn't been a van full of guys rolling into the bar quite like that night. How often have you seen 18 guys come into a bar and start they're music show?
Anyhow, I've been traveling through the northwest for the last couple of weeks. I thought I'd send you an email to say hi once again and talk about nothing at all.

-MG

My reply:

MG,
You know, I haven't seen any more van-o-dudes in town. It's really a shame.
SF (remember, the one you made out with in the phone booth? Do you have any of the photos of that? You should send them to us!) and I say hi!
-Serial

1 comment:

Ethan Dodge said...

I would love to be a writer for this blog.
email me at eth.dodge@gmail.com if interested.
www.ethdodge.blogspot.com