Smile Politely

I mostly posed

Well, this weekend was the Play or Pose deal around town. It was apparently the 2nd version of the event where many of the fine former residents of Champaign-Urbana come back to town and hang out with all the also fine residents who still live here. There are a lot of both sets of folks. It’s been said that Champaign is like an old comfortable couch that’s really hard to get off of. That’s probably true, though I wish there was more change under the cushions.

Either way, it’s usually a pretty fun and debilitating weekend. Honestly, I thought we sort of had it every year, but I guess it’s not official all of the time or something. All I know is that it’s good to see some old friends and get all liquored up, and it’s also really great when those old friends get the hell out of town again. I mean seriously, a guy has go to get some rest every so often.

Since everyone is getting old, I decided to not just talk about the weekend, but also talk a little bit about getting older … and yet not changing all that much. There probably won’t be much of a narrative, so don’t bother looking for one. If you do happen to stumble upon one, let me know, so I can pretend it was on purpose. Let’s get it on.


The lovely and talented singer of Honcho Overload, let’s call him Bill Johnson, got on stage with the Self-Righteous Brothers and sang his wonderful song “Miserable.” He can still really belt it out and at one point I sincerely expected to see his vocal cords tear from his throat and roll up like a blind in some old cartoon. This particular entry could have also been placed under “The Ugly,” at least if you were talking about the next day when he couldn’t really talk out loud. The “outside” voice needs to be prepared.

Here’s a picture of it … mostly because I took a picture of it. You can see the Mayor in the background. Fun.

This sounds like a dumb “good” thing, but I actually felt better this weekend. This was because I was generally drunk, hungover, or in some purgatory of the two. Yeah, that sucked, but I sort of became unaware of my allergies, so that was a nice little respite. They are now back with a vengeance.

Besides those things, the best part was just seeing everybody. It was swell how for an hour or two everyone told old stories and got caught up and once that was over with, we all got back to the business acting like morons.


The worst part about boozing it up for four days in a row is that all of the alcohol starts to taste a little nasty. I know, I can’t believe I’m saying that either, but it’s true. The first night I had beer, lots and lots of beer. I then had some whiskey, and then lots more beer. I drank a bunch of water on Saturday, but it really wasn’t working. I started Saturday with a shot of whiskey and a beer and it was quite apparent that back-to-back nights of doing that to myself were not going to be on the agenda.

Wisely, I switched to Beam and Coke, still technically whiskey, but with a hint of sweet, sweet caffeine. This worked for a bit and if nothing else made me a little thirsty for a beer later in the evening. By the time Sunday night rolled around, I was still trying to push down the beer to no avail. I tried Red Bull and vodka for a few rounds, not that great, but I was at least very alert and aware that it was not that great.

I eventually settled on vodka/cranberry, thinking that it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to clean out my system a bit, you know, before I died or something. I finally made it around to cider, which was just drinkable enough to get me through until Monday. I had screwdrivers on that day, because well, the party had orange juice and vodka.

The saddest part of the weekend occurred early on Sunday morning when people came to do some post-bar garage drinking and I was already in bed. There’s only about a 10-minute window to catch me in the garage between last call and bedtime and they missed that shit. My friend KC was disappointed because he had heard the garage was sort of like Shangri-La. It’s probably best I passed out. He might have been disappointed.


There was a confused moment when I walked into the men’s room on Saturday night and it smelled like poop. I thought to myself, “Who the hell craps at a rock show?” It suddenly occurred to me that men approaching the age of fifty and who have recently added a lot of bran to their diet are the people who crap at rock shows.


My friend, let’s call him Derek, wasn’t it town this weekend. Apparently, he was busy, um, feeding the duck, um, so to speak. That sort of thing is really making a comeback.


The wedding season starts this weekend. Weddings are fun. Bachelor parties are sort of creepy and awesome, particularly if you have the right mix of people.

The brown dog, which recently ate a bird, found a baby opossum in the yard this weekend. I would have taken a picture of it, but I was too busy vomiting in my mouth and trying to get that nasty vermin away from him. Either way, once he put down the opossum and came in the house I was relieved. When I went back to clean up the mess, the opossum was gone. He was, apparently, playing opossum. Those animals are really committed to that whole “play dead” thing.

Remember last summer when it didn’t rain? That seems like a wonderful thought about now.

Buona sera, senorina, kiss me goodnight.

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