Back in my wild(er) and crazy(er) days, back before I owned a house and was owned by a wife, child and 2 dogs, we lived in an apartment. Apartments are, as any bachelor worth his salt will testify, gold mines for fun, frivolity and illicit sexual deviance.
It was not uncommon to have friends show up at random with a case of beer, a bag of ice and a deep and somewhat disturbing need to get drunk and stay that way for the course of a 2 or 3 day weekend. My apartment was usually the go-to hotspot for parties. Why? I'm not 100% certain. I'd like to think it was because I'm a good-natured guy who enjoys good times. I'd like to think it was the fact that my apartment had all the amenities to providing good, raucous times.
Honestly, I think it was because no one else felt like cleaning up their own abodes once the party ended. Whatever.
My apartment at the time was a 2-story townhouse style with walls not quite as thick as a piece of cardboard. The neighbors to the next of us apparently weren't aware of this. Their loud sexual trysts would frequently wake my wife and I up at 3 am. Interesting? Sure. Fun? It could lead that way. When you had to get up at 5 am? Ok, not so much.
Regardless, on one such night when a friend came over with a case of beer, we began our ritual of popping the top and turning on some tunes. As we began throwing a game of darts, the front door opened. In walked a couple more friends. Shortly after that, a few more arrived. Eventually, we had 20 people over in a tiny apartment, 1.25 bathrooms that saw a whole helluva lot of use, and enough beer to overserve the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force.
My wife, concerned by the sheer number of people and the amount of noise that would surely resonate by the rowdy laughter, looked at me. I just shrugged and handed her a beer.
As the night progressed and the BAC's rose, someone came up with the brilliant idea of making a convoy to the adult video store about 3 blocks away.
Ever notice how these ideas always seem great when you're 10-12 beers into the evening?
Yeah, me neither.
We found 3 of the most sober people at the party, handed over car keys and piled into the video store in question 5 minutes later.
For the puritans out there who have never set foot inside an "adult video store", allow me to elaborate a bit on what it's like. First, it's not just videos. Sure, they have some. Quite a lot, actually. For every sexual bent out there. You like the straight missionary porn? Oh yeah, they've got that. Orgies? Yup. One-eyed-ostrich-in-gimp-mask porn? Uh huh.
But they also have...other novelty items. Dildos, vibrators, handcuffs, masks, feathers, swings, lubes, oils, candles...
Basically, if you're looking for something that will get you arrested if used outside of the bedroom, they have it in an "adult video store".
Glancing around the myriad items on display for exorbitant prices, I came across a gem. One I had to have. I found this:
That's right, friends. I bought the penultimate porno. On VHS, no less.
Everyone got a great kick out of it and we piled back into the various cars for the 3 block trip back to my apartment. Some more drinks were made and the party continued in an at least vein semblance of innocence until folks start passing out in some of the most random places.
The following morning, waking with a roaring hangover, I stumbled my way downstairs to view the carnage. Beer bottles were strewn about haphazardly. Someone had brought a Big Mac over and left it, half-eaten, on the arm of the couch. Someone was using that Big Mac as a pillow.
Grumbling (as I'm wont to do when hungover), I kicked a few people awake to help me tidy the place up a bit before my wife woke and began her whole "your friends are neandrathals" routine that's become pretty commonplace over the years.
As my friends and I are filling 6 trash bags full of empty bottles and other assorted waste products, someone else decides to pop in my newly purchased video for kicks. Unfazed, we continue our clean up efforts. As the bags fill and we make our way to the front door in an effort to take the bags to the dumpster, there's a knock on the door. Curious (and since I was right there anyways), I opened it.
Before I continue, I want to take a moment to create the visual effect for you, dear reader. There are three of us standing in line at the door, each of us holding two trash bags clinking and clanking with the ring of empty beer bottles. In the background are a number of people still passed out in various states of undress. And the porno's going on the TV with someone getting buggered in a shower.
Visual effect created? Good.
When I opened the door, standing before me was the apartment manager, Ingrid (a stern, unfriendly German woman), John (the large security manager with an equally unfriendly disposition), and Jose (the...apartment complex gardener. Yeah, I still don't get that one either). Ingrid asked, "Did you guys have a party here last night?"
I took a moment to look around at the scene behind me, the trash bags full of bottles clinking and clanking as I turned. I heard the telltale sounds of "Fuckmefuckmefuckme!" blaring from the television. I saw someone pulling on a pair of pants. I saw someone else digging a Big Mac out of his ear hole.
Turning back to Ingrid, I said as nonchalantly as my hungover state would permit, "No."
Nonplussed, she responded, "Well we received some complaints that you guys were pretty loud last night."
I looked at her one more time and said, "Talk to the folks next door. I think they had a few people over."
Marching past the three, we took our trash to the disposal bins.
I miss my apartment.