I’d been blowing off my buddy in the suburbs for a few months and the guilt trip was starting to work. I mean the suburbs!? Really?! The traffic, the tolls, the pretentious bitches and their purse-sized dogs and baby carriages!? No thank you.
But Donatello is a pathetic son of a bitch who drinks himself into oblivion anytime he lacks the company of others. He’s unemployed, he’s never even seen a girl gnome, let alone gotten laid by one, and he’s pretty freaking fat. Lately, I’ve had my own shit going on. I’ve been job searching in the non-profit sector and scoping out networking events at overpriced strip clubs.
Anyway, tonight was the night I sucked it up and went out to visit that old bastard. He loves the freaking hell out of karaoke. I have never understood why anyone in their right mind would want to karaoke. I guess that’s why drunk people usually karaoke so that they AREN’T in their right mind.
There’ this spot in Warrenville called Rock Bottom Brewery. Apparently, on Tuesday night this was the HOT SPOT for the karaoke crowd. Donatello and I clearly have a different opinion on the the term “hot spot” because there were literally six people in this bar besides us. Each and everyone of them sang a country song. Country?! For real?! You live in the goddamn western suburbs of Chicago and you think that qualifies you to sing country.
Needless to say, the performances were horrendous. Donatello is one of those guys who only has two karaoke songs, “Living on a Prayer” and “Don’t Stop Believing”. Although he has an awful singing voice, he has practiced them so many times in his pathetic lonely shower that he’s actually mastered those two “masterpieces” to a T.
Meanwhile, I got drunk. This is what I had to work with.
Hitting rock bottom
I started with the Dochness Monster and Donatello started with the coffee-infused Dochness Monster option. Quickly after obtaining our “warm up beer”, Donatello remembered that he hated coffee. He grabbed by non-coffee-ish beer and marched up to the stage in his cowboy hat with that whole “corn-cob-up-my-ass” kinda swagger.
I hated him so much at that moment. The original Dockness was pretty good…not too heavy but with a good flavor. That coffee infused version was like drinking straight up black coffee when you show up to work late and hungover, not having time to stop at Caribou and disappointing finding that there’s no flavored half&half or Splenda in the office fridge. Blech.
“Whooah we’re half way there. Whooah livin’ on a prayer. Take my hand – we’ll make it I swear. Whooah livin’ on a prayer.”
Dear god, how long do I have to stay out in Warrenville. What is my exit strategy. How many more of these mediocre brews can I take down before I get another DUI?
“I’d like a Topple Bock, please!” I screamed to the unconcerned waitress across the Bon Jovi massacre. This is the moment the night started looking up! This stuff was awesome! Not too hoppy, not too sweet, lots going on where you couldn’t exactly pinpoint the exact spice you were experiencing, but it didn’t matter because your taste buds were dancing a jig. This was the kind of thing that justified that miserable drive out to the ‘burbs.
“Don’t stop believin’! Hold on! Streetlight! people!” belted out Donatello with a unnecessary use of hand gestures.
Alright alright, so maybe the the old boy wasn’t sounding quite as bad now. But I hear a vacuum. Vacuum in bar/restaurant code = get the fuck out and go home. Okay, fine I get it. One for the road. I think I got some gum in the arm rest of my car anyway. Cops never can tell you’re drinking if you’re chewing gum. Dumb bastards.
“One Catcher in the Rye, please!” I yelled to the average looking waitress as last call was being announced. Honestly, I only ordered this beer because J. D. Salinger was the only one who made sense to me as a lost and confused 14 year gnome and the reminiscence value brought great expectations.
Big. Freaking. Mistake. I couldn’t even choke this down. I mean sure, sometimes I eat rye bread with some roast beef on a sandwich at lunchtime but I’m not sure where the disconnect comes in when combined with beer. It was overly bitter, hoppy, and carbonated. Maybe that’s what the brewers were going for….something as painful as the novel that defined my teenage years. Irregardlessly, yuck. Time to head home.
Since Donatello had already sang his two signature songs and yet again, there was not even one girl gnome in the bar to flirt with, he was ready to call it a night too. All in all, I learned a couple new things about a couple new beers and he did the same old shit and cried himself to sleep cradling his stuffed orange lizard.
At rock bottom (for real, not the brewery),
Leonardo The Gnome