This is from my first book, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell (book here) (audiobook here)
It’s a typical Thursday in my life, noonish, I’m at the laundromat washing my filthy rags, when my cell phone buzzes. It’s my cousin, TheCousin, who goes to the University of Tennessee.
“Dude–Tucker–I’ve got tickets to the UT-Miami game this weekend, AND it’s Homecoming. You have to come down. It’s going to be awesome.”
I need no other persuasion. Check last minute flights to Knoxville: $1047. Looks like I’m driving.
The drive is no problem, until I get about 60 miles from the Kentucky-Tennessee border. I stop at some low-rent redneck place so I can pick up beer for the last hour of the drive. I want to arrive prepared.
I had heard about “dry” counties before, but they were still an abstract and foreign concept to me. I thought of them as silly anachronisms from a long distant prohibitionist past, something only found in the pages of National Geographic. I was wrong. Evidently, every county along I-75 from Richmond, KY to the Tennessee border is dry. THIS INFURIATED ME. I almost got into a fight with the redneck checkout woman when she told me I have 40 more miles to go before I could buy liquor.
“HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO ARRIVE DRUNK IF YOU WON’T SELL ME LIQUOR?? WHAT KIND OF BARBARISM IS THIS??”
I stopped right across the Tennessee border, excited by the sign that says “First Place to Buy Beer.” But at the gas station, there didn’t appear to be any alcohol for sale. I inquire:
Tucker “Don’t you sell alcohol?”
Attendant “No, we’re too close to a church.”
Tucker “What? Didn’t Jesus drink wine?”
Attendant “Yeah, well, ’round here, ya gotta go-on down da road bout’a half mile, to da bar.”
Driven by my need for libation, I “go-on down da road bout’a half mile” and find, literally, a bar with a drive-thru liquor store attached. But apparently, this wasn’t enough. They had firecrackers for sale, right there next to the beer, in the drive-thru liquor store. I’ll just pause here and let everyone make up their own redneck jokes.
I arrive at my cousin’s apartment, and it’s a TV cliché of a college apartment; beer cans piled to the ceiling, pubic hairs all over the sink, filthy underwear hanging from the lamps. I go to get a beer from his fridge, and what does he have? Cans of “Country Club Malt Liquor.” Sometimes, I really do think that God hates me.
After enduring a few cans of this ghetto swill, we head out to a line of bars that everyone in Knoxville calls “The Strip.” Typical college town with typical college bars, we pick one and start the night.
Not ten minutes later, three girls walk in–two are attractive, one is fat. My cousin tells me that one of them has been sweating him for months. Which one? “The fat one.”
I immediately walk over and point out my cousin to Fatty, and she almost knocks me and a random girl over to get to him and give him a hug. He gives me a look that only be described as, “I fucking hate you, and hope you immediately die an agonizing death.”
The rest of the night saw two dramas play out simultaneously: While my cousin tried to fend off the obvious and painful advances of Fatty, on my side the two attractive girls were battling to decide which one was going to hook up with me. It wasn’t that I was so incredibly charming they both wanted to fuck me or anything, it was far deeper and less stroking to my ego. The 1st Law of Scarcity was at work; two of them plus one of me equals my desirability increasing substantially. It was awesome. They were being catty bitches to each other, each one trying to monopolize my attention and push the other one out. It was like a bad episode of Elimidate.
Apparently, I didn’t have much of a say in the matter, but I was rooting for the short girl; she had the better face, and seemed somewhat intelligent. My cousin saw what was going on, knew I liked the short girl, knew I was drunk, and set the match to the gasoline:
TheCousin “Hey Tucker, you know she’s French, don’t you?”
Tucker “Oh hell no–You’re French?”
Girl “My parents are, but I was born here. I want to move to France after graduation.”
Tucker “You fucking cheese-eating surrender monkey. I thought someone stunk around here. So if I start speaking German can I push you around and take all your stuff? Those hairy fucking stink-bags would be speaking Kraut right now if it wasn’t for us, and they aren’t the least bit appreciative. I hope they all fucking die, and your frog-sympathizing ass with them.”
That pretty much settled it: I am going home with the tall one. The four of us head back to her apartment, and as we walk in, she tells us to be quiet, because her roommate is sleeping, and she is bipolar and will flip out. Telling me this, especially when I’m drunk, is akin to letting a starving, rabid pit bull loose in a Montessori school.
“Give me and TheCousin ten minutes with her; she’ll be trying to hang herself with her pantyhose. HEY–CRAZY! COME OUT HERE. I WANT TO POINT OUT YOUR FLAWS AND SHORTCOMINGS. I BET YOUR DAD DOESN’T LOVE YOU, DOES HE?”
The tall girl and I eventually go into the bedroom, leaving my cousin on the sofa to be devoured by Fatty. During foreplay banter, tall girl makes a request:
Girl “Massage my forearm. It’s sore.”
Tucker “Right. The only way I’m doing that is if it’s a post-coital activity.”
Girl “What? I don’t speak Spanish.”
Oh boy. It’s a good thing I was drunk.
This girl had a nose job, and told me that she has to use Q-tips to get the boogers out of her
nose, because the surgery left her nostril holes too small for her fingers to get into. She got mad when I tested this by trying to stick my fingers into her nose. By god, she was right; I couldn’t even get my pinky in there.
The great irony was ten minutes later, when she told me that she was so poor growing up that there were times when she and her mom ate only potatoes and peanut butter sandwiches. My response, “I guess stripping really does pay sometimes, doesn’t it?” She got mad, but hey, if she can’t take a joke, fuck her.
I wake up the next morning and find my cousin, naked, sheets wrapped clumsily around his torso, asleep on the floor next to the sofa. Why the floor? Because Fatty was so big that both of them couldn’t fit on the sofa at the same time. I was in tears laughing at the scene. We eventually leave, telling the girls lies about how we’ll call them later. As soon as we get outside, my cousin flips.
TheCousin “I cannot believe you made me do that. It was awful. She said I was only the second person she’d ever had sex with, which I don’t doubt, because honestly–who would want to have sex with her? Except for people who’s asshole cousin set them up with her, of course.”
Tucker [I could barely get this out between fits of laughter] “She had a hot face.”
TheCousin “Oh yeah, asshole, she’d be hot as hell if she wasn’t fat as fuck. Eat shit and die, you cocksucker.”
Tucker “Well, at least she had big tits.”
TheCousin “Yeah, that was the best part. She thought she was hot because she had such big tits, but you didn’t notice them because they were resting on her stomach. They were like bags of oatmeal.”
I really hope his parents read this story.
TheCousin is currently finishing his undergraduate studies at the University of Tennessee because he was kicked out of the Merchant Marine Academy. Why? He was on restriction, and went off campus to get a sandwich. He’d gotten in so much trouble during his four years there, that this was enough to get him kicked out–THREE DAYS BEFORE HIS GRADUATION. Yes, he is obviously related to me.
TheCousin and I went back to his place, and he took a shower, scrubbing himself like a rape victim. He had a late English class that day, and I decided to tag along and see what it was like. I went to public school in Kentucky, and I say this now with full understanding of the meaning: That class, a 300-level class, was possibly the biggest farce of education I have ever seen. I’ve heard 14-year old meth-addicted Thai prostitutes say more prescient things than the woman that was supposedly a “professor.” I had a hard time believing that this was a class. I wish I could give you recap of the conversation, but that would be like trying to recount the disjointed ramblings of a senilic nursing home sewing circle. That “school” is a joke. I would have learned more watching a Special Olympics spelling bee.
After class, my cousin showed me around the campus. There were beautiful women everywhere. Wanting to test my cousin’s game, I dared him to approach a random girl and invite her to the lacrosse party we were going to that night. He casually sauntered up to a beautiful girl, used some dumbshit line, and she looked at him with such shock and disgust I almost fell over laughing. She looked like a homeless person had asked her to wash his ass. Of course, I wasn’t helping much. I came up right behind him and said, “Is he giving you that lacrosse party line? It doesn’t exist. If you show up to that address, he’s going to drag you into an alley and beat and rape you.”
My cousin wasn’t that upset, because he said that there would be plenty of lacrosse groupies at the party. He calls them “lacrosse-stitutes.”
The highlight of the campus tour was when we came across this old guy standing on a corner with a megaphone, preaching to everyone about the Bible and Jesus and what not. He had serious mental problems, but was nonetheless hilarious. I loved him. He was castigating and vilifying every attractive girl that walked by. I stopped for awhile to provoke him. Some samples:
Me “What do you think about that girl?”
Him “She will burn in the fires of hell for her heresy! The Lord forbids such dress!”
Me “Hey man, what about her? Look at her skirt man, that’s pretty tempting.”
Him “HARLOT! JEZEBEL! She is a WHORE, WANTON IN HER DEBAUCHERY!!”
Me “Good Lord! Look at that blonde girl. I’d sell my soul for her.”
Him “DO NOT FALL VICTIM TO HER TEMPTATION! She is a common prostitute, smeared with the paint of seduction, flaunting her wiles for Satan!”
Me “She owes us a rib, right.”
Him “MORE THAN A RIB! SHE OWES US OUR VIRTUE!! SHAMELESS STRUMPET!!
For my money, there is nothing funnier than provoking idiots. I could have hung out with that guy all day, but there was alcohol to be consumed and women to be exploited, so it was off to the party.
My cousin is also the assistant men’s lacrosse coach at UT. He would play for UT, but he used up his four years of eligibility before he got kicked out of the academy. He is like a grad assistant, and hangs out with the team a lot, thus we went to their party that night at the lacrosse house.
The party was a typical college party, lots of kegs and college people and what not. At one point in the night, I got to trading stories, and these three guys I met had some great ones:
Guy #1 told me that, “I’m not drinking in the shower anymore, because the last time I did that I woke up with no hair.” Apparently, one time he passed out in the shower, slammed his head on the wall and got a concussion. His roommates, instead of helping him, came in and shaved ALL the hair off his body.
Guy #2 told me a story about how one time he got so drunk on Red Bull and vodka that when he woke up the next day, his mother came in his room and showed him the police report from the night before. He had NO MEMORY of this, but, according to the police report, he had driven his car into a house, fought the police when they came to the accident scene, spit on several cops at the police station, and got a DUI with a .25 blood alcohol level.
Guy #3 (actually TheCousin), told me a story about when he was in Europe and hooked with up a Swedish girl. She was giving him head when he started taking off her pants and said, “Alright, we have to have sex,” to which she responded, “I don’t know–I can’t have another abortion.” He said there is no quicker way to lose an erection. We all agreed.
At some point later, I drunk dialed a friend of mine. The conversation went like this:
Tucker “AAY, waz up?”
Friend “Tucker, what are you saying?”
Tucker “Am I slurrin’ my speech?”
Friend “Are you what?”
Tucker “Yeaaa, everbuddies a comedian.”
I was sitting in the kitchen trying to hit on this one girl, and it wasn’t going well. So, in typical Tucker fashion I just swung for the fences:
Tucker “Why don’t you come over here and sit on my lap.”
Tucker “Because then your cooch will be up against my crotch.”
It didn’t work well.
People started doing keg stands, which led to perhaps the defining moment of the trip. This one girl, who was ugly and a bitch (thus, didn’t have basic human rights) started doing one. Don’t ask me why I did this, because I have no idea why, but when she was upside down, legs spread apart, I punched her right in the vagina. This caused her to violently spit up the beer she was trying to consume, and fall backwards into the two people holding her up, all of them splashing to the mud.
I ran off, laughing so hysterically I couldn’t breathe. Thankfully in the alcohol-addled confusion, no one noticed who did it.
I ended up leaving the party with a girl who was alumni (remember, it was Homecoming). We’ll call her “Melissa.” The only problem was that she didn’t live in Knoxville, and I couldn’t find my cousin or his apartment, so we had to go to her friends place where she was staying for the weekend. This wasn’t that bad, except that we had to sleep on the sofa. I hook up in style.
The next morning Melissa and I start catching up on everything we missed the night before. For instance, she didn’t remember my name. Charming.
It turns out she is a Special Education teacher, and she told me some great stories about her students. Sometimes when she gets frustrated with them she’ll start moaning and walking around all weird and say, “I’m not Miss Cochran anymore, I’M A MUMMY!,” then they all freak out and run around the room screaming. Her school is by an Army base, and every time a helicopter flies over, she yells at her kids, “WAVE! Wave to the people dying for your country!,” and they all run to the window and wave at the helicopter.
She teaches kids in grades 2-4, and she often has them spell. Sometimes, even though she uses simple words, she has to use creative grammar to get them to understand what she wants them to spell, and even then it doesn’t always work. One spelling exchange:
Melissa “‘Is’…Is you my friend…’Is'”
Kid “Yes Miss Cochran, I am.”
Melissa “No, I want you to spell ‘is.'”
She said the hardest part of the job is the random and violent emotional outbursts of the kids. Many of them have severe behavioral problems, and sometimes they just flip out. She’s had to learn several effective ways to “restrain them without leaving marks.” One of the best ways to control them is with sugar. Her quote, “Retards will do anything for a piece of candy.”
Some other random conversations:
Me “Do you actually call them ‘retards.'”
Her “We’re not supposed too.”
Me “So that’s a yes?”
Her “Well…not to their face.”
Me “Do you ever mess with them in a mean way, like tell them that God hates them because they’re retarded.”
Me “You ever put signs on their back that say ‘Kick me, I’m Retarded,’
Her “NO! TUCKER!”
Me “Or make them wear a dunce cap that has ‘Retard’ written on it.”
Her “NO! You’re mean! What would you do if you had a retarded child?”
Me “I’d bash it’s head against a rock, and have another kid.”
Her “Oh my god!”
She loved it. Thought I was hilarious. We were still talking about tards, when the girl she was staying with got up and started cleaning the apartment and talking to Melissa. Then she abruptly turned to me, and said, “I’m sorry, who are you?” Melissa cut in and explained, “Oh, this is Tucker. He was too drunk to find his apartment last night, so we came here.” This explanation satisfied the girl. Later in their conversation something was said, not directly to me, that I commented on. Melissa turned to me and said, “Shhh. You can’t talk–you’re a random.”
I got Melissa’s cell phone number and eventually made it back to my cousin’s place. I changed clothes and we headed out for the pre-game partying at the lacrosse house. On the way to the party, my cousin and I stopped at a liquor store to pick up some hard stuff. I go in while my cousin waits in the car, talking to someone on his cell phone. He later described the next scene as such,
“I knew it was going to be trouble when Tucker came out of the liquor store giggling like a 12-year old girl.”
I had purchased Everclear, which is pure grain alcohol. 190 proof. The bottle has three prominently displayed warning labels:
“Caution: Extremely Flammable!”
“Caution: Over consumption may be dangerous to health!”
“Not Intended to Be Consumed Without Non-Alcoholic Mixers.”
Sounds like a wager to me!
I bought a liter of Everclear, a quart of Gatorade, and a can of Red Bull, and poured all of it into my CamelBak. I come prepared.
We arrive at the lacrosse house, and I begin sucking back the Everclear/Gatorade/Red Bull mixture, which I will hereafter refer to as “Tucker Death Mix.” It tasted like ghetto romance. It was awesome.
The lacrosse house sits in a busy corner on campus, and has a huge wrap around porch, where me, my cousin, and a bunch of lacrosse players and lacrosse-stitutes were hanging out. The only problem: Everclear doesn’t get me drunk. It turns me into a raving lunatic. It has the same effect as a nail gun would on my frontal lobes. I became Phinneus Gage [for all you uncultured simpletons, see the end for an explanation of who Phinneus is]; I lost what little social tact I have, and shouted anything course or rude I could think of. Starting with a 10 person audience, I started making fun of everyone that walked by the porch. I was too drunk and maniacal to remember everything that I said, but here is a sampling:
-An ugly guy: “Holy crap, looks like God screwed up. Don’t worry you’ll find an ugly girl that’ll love you.”
-A hot girl: “You have great tits; they’ll get you a husband some day. If you don’t fuck them floppy, that is.”
-A guy with orange, black and white camouflage overalls (UT colors): “OH MY GOD! DID A BLIND PERSON WHO HATES YOU PICK OUT YOUR CLOTHES! LOOK AT YOURSELF! LOOK AT WHAT YOU ARE WEARING!! YOU DEFINE THE WORDS “REDNECK LOSER.” EXAMINE YOUR LIFE!!”
-A big fat black guy with cornrows: “HEY HEY HEEY! FAT ALBERT FUCKED LUDACRIS AND THEY HAD A SON!”
-A fat white guy in camouflage pants: “LOOK OUT! IT’S THE PILLSBURY COMMANDO! ALL YOU CAN EAT?!? THE JOKE’S ON THEM!!! Hmmm, steak or chicken, steak or chicken? WHY NOT BOTH? SAY GOODBYE TO ALL THE LEFTOVERS.”
-A woman with the worst, most disheveled hair I have ever seen: “OH MY GOD! Where did you get your hair done? A wind tunnel? A bombing range? The “I Hate Myself Salon?” Hey grandma, the heroin chic look went out years ago. Do you realize that you are in public?”
-A guy with a mullet: “YEAAAAHHHH! My first mullet in Tennessee! WELL STOMP ON FROGS AND SHOVE A CROW BAR UP MY NOSE!! WELL PAINT ME RED AND NAIL ME TO THE BARN!! HEY MAN! LET’S DRINK SOME MOONSHINE AND SET SOME FIRES! COME ON BUDDY!!”
I was like this for a solid two hours. One girl had to go inside twice to fix her mascara, which had run all over her face from the tears she was crying laughing at my comments. By the time we headed to the game, there were about 40 people hanging out on the porch listening to me rip everyone that walked by. I am convinced that the only reason no one tried to kick my ass is because there were several large guys hanging out with me.
Let me just say this: There is nothing better than college football Saturday in the South. The weather is warm, the liquor is bountiful, the barbecue is sumptuous, there are countless hot girls in sun dresses, and all of it is topped off with three hours of brutal, modern gladiatorial competition for your enjoyment. After the game, you go home, have drunk sex and pass out. What can beat that?
We get to the game, and our seats are 20 rows up on the 40 yard line. Awesome. The only problem: It’s UT-Miami. I mean honestly, who do you root for, the rapists or the murders? I hate both teams. I figured I would just root for myself to find a nice girl.
I got a free coke at the game by telling one of the black girls working the counter that she looked “like a Hallee Berry posta.” Some guy at the game almost tried to kick my ass when he was looking for his girlfriend, and I told him, “Your girlfriend left with a bunch of black guys.”
This one girl, after drinking deeply from my CamelBak, informs that she is not in a sorority. Why? Because she was kicked out for leaving dirty condoms outside her room. She got mad when I asked her why she didn’t just save everyone the trouble and tattoo ‘I’m a whore’ on her forehead.
My idiot cousin had spent the entire pre-game, and game itself, trying to get laid by offering pulls from my CamelBak to every girl at the game. I thought this was no big deal since alcohol kills bacteria and germs, right? Yeah, well, apparently not these germs. Before halftime, I was carrying the entire plethora of viruses, germs and bacteria that every cocksmoking whore at UT has to offer. By the time I left the game, either from a virus or from the gallon of pure grain I had inhaled, I was sick. My lymph nodes were so swollen I looked like I had goiter.
Me, my cousin and a friend of his find my car, which was parked on a side street, completely boxed in. The car behind us pulled up literally to the bumper. Still feeling the effects of the Tucker Death Mix, I get in my car and start alternately backing into the car behind me and bumping the car in front of me. This doesn’t bother me because I got this car for free (don’t ask, I won’t tell you). After smashing into the car behind me a good five or six times, a couple girls come out of the house across the street, and start yelling at me from their porch.
Girl “HEY!! THAT’S MY CAR!!”
Tucker “WELL WHY THE FUCK DID YOU PARK IT SO CLOSE TO MINE?”
Girl “DON’T SMASH IT UP!”
Tucker “Alright, then come move it. I’ll wait.”
A reasonable request I thought. Instead, she just stood there for about 5 seconds, staring at me, and then raised a large piece of posterboard that had, “Not So Fast My Friend!” written I it. I hate Lee Corso, so I backed into her car a few more times just for spite, and drove off.
I was home at 6, and by 8, I was dead. Saturday night in Knoxville, and I couldn’t make it out. Stupid poetic justice.
Did I just pack it in? Nope. I called Melissa, and she came over to my cousin’s place, and we had a great time hanging out, eating pizza, and having lots of great sex. She stayed there all night with me. I have to say this about the girl; she is awesome. I was a mess, blowing my nose, coughing like a TB patient, farting like Jim Belushi, making rude comments. She was fine with it.
I guess working with retards is the perfect precursor to hanging out with me.