Jumping the shark…a bachelor party story

Jumping the shark…a bachelor party story


Sometimes you need a goal to plan a bachelor party. When one of my good friends was getting married in 2008, our goal was to push him out of his comfort zone. He is possibly the most reserved person I know. Fortunately, he was a good sport about it all, so we ended up with a couple funny stories.

We decided to rent a car and head to Portland for one night of stupid. This way, our personal cars were safe from the stink and abuse that comes with poor decisions.

After an uneventful drive down, we made our way to the hotel in the confusing bowels of downtown Portland. Our hotel was nice enough, which is all you need when you pass out at the end of the night. We had booked a hotel in the heart of Portland’s gay scene. None of us knew this at the time, so I can only imagine our dumb looks as we walked down the street, wondering why so many guys were waiting to get into the club up the street. There were zero women in line, so we had a hunch.

One of my buddies got his hands on some Viagra swag (he was dating a pharmaceutical rep at the time…they’re married now). We outfitted the bachelor in a Viagra shirt and medical hat, downed a shot of Bacardi 151, and headed out for dinner.



Dinner was at a restaurant called Henry’s 12th Street Tavern. It’s a great place for lunch or dinner, with good food and lots of beer options. The drinks were flowing as we set a good base with meat, fat, and starch. It didn’t take long for us to turn into 12-year-old boys; making fun of each other, telling bad jokes, and generally being loud. This would lead to the first request from the restaurant manager for us to tone things down.

Our sincere apologies to the restaurant manager guilted us into behaving for about 45 seconds. The bachelor was already pretty tipsy by the time our second warning came. It was clear we would not be getting more drinks. Fortunately, we were nearly done eating, so we got the check and headed for the next destination.

If you worked for Henry’s in February 2008, thanks for being so patient with us 🙂



We met up with a friend from the Portland area who would help us find our way around. Our criteria for clubs was simple; drinks and dark rooms. There is no shortage of such places in Portland.

The first club took us east over one of the many bridges that cross the river. It was dark, raining, and I was following another car. I can honestly say I don’t know where we were.

When we arrived at the club, we immediately knew this would be a one-drink stop. Hole in the wall might be a generous description. I opted for a mixed drink, hoping the higher alcohol content would kill any unwanted guests in my glass. The best part of the club was the people watching opportunities, which is how we spent the short amount of time it took us to down our drinks.

With the bar super low, we set off to see more of the area. It could only get better, right?


Jumping the shark

It was basically just club hopping for the next hour or two. For all our efforts to find trouble, it was pretty uneventful until we ended up in a “gentlemen’s establishment”. The place wasn’t very busy, and we accounted for a majority of the patrons.

There were multiple small wooden stages inside with dancers on each of them. We bellied the very drunk bachelor up to one of the stages. Another drink and a water kept him occupied while the rest of us plotted.

While we were trying to work up something more exciting for the bachelor, there was a crash. Looking over, he had knocked a glass onto the stage and it shattered. He was barely cognizant while the half-naked dancer squatted in front of him to clean up the glass. It was a sight to see for sure.

We immediately went over to do damage control. A few of the guys dragged the bachelor to the bathroom when he said he was feeling sick. I paid the check and left a “sorry for ruining your stage” tip.

I rushed to the bathroom to get the guys and evacuate before the bouncers had a chance to do anything. Our bachelor was barely able to walk now, so we dragged him out, apologizing as we exited. We decided it was time to get the bachelor back to the hotel.


Painting the rental

Three of us were in the backseat, including our super wasted bachelor. As a precaution, we had the window open next to the bachelor just in case he needed to throw up. It was borderline cruel, really. It was raining and one of my buddies was pushing the bachelor’s head and shoulders out the window.

Then it happened.

About five minutes into the drive, the puke started flowing. We didn’t even stop the car for it. He heaved and heaved, leaving his night behind on the dark and wet Portland streets. It was at this point that I knew my night was over, too.

Back at the hotel, we brought the bachelor to the room and at least a few of us passed out. It’s a bit foggy, but I think a couple of the guys headed back out for more. All I know is that I crashed hard for some reason.

The next morning, we woke up, gathered our stuff, and headed to the car. We were all a bit rough.

When we got to the car, it looked like something had happened to the paint on the rear right quarter panel. It took a few seconds before we realized what it was; bachelor vomit. We erupted in laughter; there was just so much of it.

What made it even better was the drive back to Seattle. As we sat in the bumper-to-bumper Portland traffic headed north, people got a chance to stare at the car. By the laughter from other cars, it must have been obvious to everyone what had happened to our car.

By the time we got back to Seattle, the car rental agency was closed. We parked and locked the car before putting the keys into a drop box. I can only imagine their faces the next day when they came out to check the car in.

Author: lbothwell

Seeking mastery of one, and jack of all

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