Smile Politely

Oh to be 45 again…

I was walking through West Side Park the other day and let me tell you, it was a steamy little hotbed. I even felt sort of bad for the statue that’s there in the fountain, you know, the Indian that is holding his arms to the sky and praying for rain. There’s a wolf standing beside him because apparently it was also very thirsty, but it’s just that if the wolf also raised its arms to the sky it would have looked a little too cute and possibly reduced the seriousness of the drought situation.

Anyway, I thought it might be fun to get involved so I started to climb into the fountain and raise my arms, too. For some reason, I tend to have more faith in Native American gods when it comes to matters of precipitation. I was about to make my move when I noticed that there were a lot of signs saying that getting in the fountain was not permitted, so I backed off and walked away. Whatever, it may not have worked and who the hell needs rain anyway. At this point I might have even simply prayed for some condensation. Let’s get it on.


Every five years something wonderful happens with five of my friends. We get together and have a big birthday party for them. Actually, since this was the year they all turned 45, there can actually be two wonderful things that will happen every five years from now on, a party where we all get together and have an evasive rectal exam for every one of the birthday boys. It’s such a tender age.

Honestly, I can’t decide which one will bring me more joy. No one ever remembers the parties all that much and no one can ever forget a colonoscopy, so obviously the latter offers far more interesting stories to hear. On the other hand, the party is always fucking wonderful, even if it is a little sketchy. For now, I’ll just call it a win-win.

I should have probably included some pictures and videos of the, um, let’s just say celebration. The thing is, once you reach a certain point in life, some of the things seem a bit odd to put on display. The other thing is that the reason I stopped writing the original This Sporting Life a long time ago was because it was getting far too complicated to keep all the fine folks I wrote about out of trouble. Sure, I used code names and everything, but those were apparently very easy for most people to decipher. Suffice it to say that when you call a strip bar “Hot Pockets” instead of The Silver Bullet you’re pretty much asking for trouble.

Many of the events at the party did seem to be well documented by others and I’m sure there’s some stuff floating around. This is the reason I should probably be on Facebook and also, strangely, the reason I will never be on Facebook. So, I’ll use some pretty broad brush strokes in order to protect the completely guilty.

First off, I got pretty excited about the party and I wasn’t completely sure I would be at the 99.8% drinkability that I desired, so I tanked up quite a bit in the two days leading up to the party. This is sort of like deciding you would like to run a marathon this coming Sunday and preparing for it by running a marathon on this coming Friday and Saturday. I have to say though, it really sort of worked and while I may not have hit the coveted 99.8% drinkability, I was well above 99.1%. Just for clarification, I’m generally never below a 98% drinkability, so it’s all fairly relative.

There has always been one constant at these sort of get-togethers and that is a beer bong. For some reason, the ones from previous years all end up lost and a new one has to be made every time. We lost the plans and specs for it a long time ago, but fortunately we are still able to construct it simply by memory. The only real requirement is that the hose that comes out of the funnel has to be clear. Otherwise, the “tube of gold” chants don’t make any sense. Let me just say this, if there is a better and faster way to put down 12 ounces of beer, I certainly don’t want to know about it. Besides, the beer bong is not the only way to drink beer.

The welcome newcomer to the party was “The Gargoyle.” This is where a person squats atop the keg and then pumps the tapper to pour beer directly into his mouth from the nozzle. Obviously, he looks sort of like a gargoyle, so I’m assuming that’s where the name came from. It seems like a lot of work but you need way less people than a regular keg stand and it looks super cool.

A few people even experimented with drinking beer from a cup at a regular and consistent pace. I’ve never done something like this but it strikes me as a little “show offy.”

Regardless of the method, it was great to see everyone and it was, without a doubt, a very successful drunkening. Hell, there was even enough beer. The other truly amazing part was that everyone still looked pretty good for their ages. Sure, we’re all getting older, but there is absolutely no reason any of us are going to act like it … at least for now.


  • If you’re a strapping young fellow with bright red hair, Rusty Slide might be a good porn name to consider.
  • Remember that robot maid that the Jetsons had, Rosie? What was her problem? I mean, if you’re going to make a robot, who the hell puts a “smartass” chip in there? I have to be honest, maybe she wasn’t a smart ass, but I seem to remember her messing with George quite a bit. I bet that shit gets old, even in a cartoon lifestyle.

Buona Sera, senorina, kiss me goodnight.

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