My inspiration trip

My inspiration trip

Years ago, I went to Vancouver, British Columbia for my bachelor party.  There were quite a few of us, so we took multiple cars to get there from Washington State. It’s been a while, but I believe there were five or six cars.  I rode in my friend’s slowly dying, red Jeep Cherokee.

As we approached the border to Canada, we got our straight faces on.  We agreed nobody would say something stupid that would get us stuck at the border.  After a little questioning about our intentions in their country, we got waived through.

I could see other cars from our group behind us and at other crossing lanes.  One of our cars got pulled to the side for further inspection.  They were eventually denied entry into Canada, forced to turn around for the drive of shame back to the US.  For some reason, our group knew they got turned back (probably a cell phone, but only a few of us had cell phones back then).  Needless to say, we weren’t worried when they didn’t show up at our hotel.

For the life of me, I don’t recall eating dinner.  I just recall moving from club to club.  We were like the guys from “Swingers”, moving about aimlessly, attempting to look cooler than we really were.  I won’t give details about every club, but will mention there were many and some were quite “reputable”.  Each club meant another drink.  My friends took turns buying me drinks, so I went from tipsy to stupid in no time.

One of the clubs we stumbled into was a dance club.  The place was empty when we got there, which meant the dance floor was wide open.  It was a perfect storm for the younger me, which was an avid hip-hop dancer.  I proceeded to MC Hammer and Marky Mark my way around the dance floor.

As I traversed the dance floor, I spotted a long ramp that ran along the side.  The Kevin Bacon in me had to slide down it on my knees because…I said it, Kevin Bacon.  My running start and form felt perfect.  When my knees hit the floor, I slid for at least an inch or two before my knees were burning and I had to catch myself from face-planting.  The damn ramp was rubberized.

Later, I noticed that I burned holes in both knees of my nice pants. I hopped up, dusted myself off, and started dancing, again. Another couple had now entered the dance floor. I was in full Hammer flight, moving side to side, when I rammed into them. It was a cross between slam dancing and clumsy drunk (more of the latter, really).

The dude was not interested in slam dancing, nor impressed with my moves.  My friends quickly jumped in to apologize for me, buying them a drink while I finished my routine. As we left the dance club, we said goodbye to the couple and the friendly staff, and then went on the search for pizza.

It really stands out in my memory how much I wanted pizza. By this time, not as many food establishments were open, so it took some looking to find a place. After ordering a large pepperoni pizza, I sat (laid) at one of the small tables to wait. Twenty or so minutes later, our pizza was ready, and my friends woke me up. Box in my hand, I started eating and walking toward the hotel.

Along the way, there was a homeless guy asking for money. One of my buddies told him he’d give him some money if he did some pushups. I just stood back eating pizza, watching a crowd of guys counting off pushups. After paying the guy for his hard work, we kept walking and paying every homeless dude along the way to do pushups. That got old after a couple of blocks, so we hopped into a taxi for the remaining few blocks.

There were no cars on the street, and I remember feeling like we were in a racing game, flying through the streets, and ignoring the red lights. I have to assume the guy didn’t want us puking in his car or something.

We arrived at the Best Western in downtown Vancouver, which we had booked one of the penthouse rooms at top of the building. One room, countless dudes, oh dear. People started throwing stuff out the windows and generally making trouble.

At this point, I had hit a wall and needed to sleep (pass out). I laid down in the middle of the floor, on my stomach, and crashed. It’s strange, but I recall waking up, lifting my head up, and throwing up a few inches from my face, and going back to sleep.

The next morning, I woke up in the bed. My friend had dragged me up there when they spotted the soiled carpet. I got up to use the restroom, which is when I started to notice people sleeping everywhere. There were guys passed out in the bed, on the couch, on chairs, in the tub, and on the floor (not on my vomit, thank God).

Hungover or not, we had to check out and head home. Our headcount showed two guys missing from the night before. We tried calling one of their cell phones, but there was no answer. The only explanation was that they were dead or got arrested.

Somebody grabbed a phone book and looked up police station addresses in downtown Vancouver. We started driving from station to station asking if they had arrested our friends. To protect the innocent, I won’t share their names. However, their names only made this more entertaining. Imagine something like “Zoltar Milosevic” and “Rick Zleczewski”, and telling a police officer how to spell each one. If one of those is your name and you’re reading this, welcome to my blog.

Suffice to say, we finally found them. I was, eventually, able to get one of them on their cell phone. Apparently, they decided to get another room in the hotel when all the “good” sleeping spots were taken in our room.

With everybody accounted for, we started the journey back home. There was a long line at the border, so a few of us hopped out of the car to get some water and booze at the duty-free store. Who would have thought this was a bad idea? When we were about 100 yards from the car, two guards came out of nowhere with guns and German Shepherds. They asked what we were doing, to which we replied, “getting some water from the duty-free store.”

They were not even having it.

We got rerouted to some building for questioning, where we showed our IDs and explained we were just idiots, not drug smugglers. They let us go after about ten minutes, which seems like a very reasonable amount of time to be detained for being stupid. Go figure, our ride was still waiting in line when we walked out. We hopped in the car, and were on our way home from there, all our fingers and toes accounted for.

When I look back on this trip, it was filled with moments, which is why I think it’s so memorable to me. It wasn’t the most extravagant trip we’ve done, but I was with my friends, and we were young and dumb.

I’ll include an itinerary for the places I can remember on this trip, but many of the club names are blurry after nearly 20 years.

Author: lbothwell

Seeking mastery of one, and jack of all

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