"Crazy Pete Gets The Girl"
It was in late February of year 2 in Room 302 and all of us were finally gelling as roommates. Earlier in the year, The Nate, Big Nick and I were pretty stunned when Junior and The Dave did not return, but the new guys VodkaRob, Jose' and Crazy Pete fit in with our fairly messed up personalities quite nicely. We were actually going to make it a full year without somebody giving up on us! Unfortunately, The Nate was becoming increasingly withdrawn, taking part in our weekend binges less and less frequently. Apparently something about Pete and Jose' rubbed him the wrong way. But none of us could figure out what. Kind of a shame, he missed out on quite a few good times down the stretch that year, even some not so good, and some that were both like the subject of the story today.
It was your typical Friday at
We also just happened to be one day away from tickets to the AC/DC Stiff Upper Lip Tour going on sale. If you did not live in the
There was this certain female classmate of his that, in his words gave him that familiar "climbing the rope in gym class" kind of feeling. The dude was smitten with her. One problem though, she was afflicted with what was known in the Latin as "Boyfriendus-Douchebaggus." You know, she was with the wrong guy. Crazy Pete was the right guy. And since I was in the midst of a not-so-ideal situation myself with Golf-Girl, it was one of the few things Crazy Pete and I found some common ground on. Women were the subject of many of our beer drinking sessions.
Anyway, I had finally got home from an all-afternoon session in my office down at the gym assisting with breaking down tapes on UM-Western for the basketball game the next day. I stopped in the kitchen to pour a shot, grabbed a Michelob out of the fridge and cruised down the hallway to my room. Crazy Pete stopped me in the hallway. "Nickas! Dude! Candace finally broke up with that prick!"
"That's great! How'd you find out, brah?" I asked.
"Well, we were in this study group this afternoon and she told me while we were planning out the work on our class project," He replied.
"Sweet! So she went out of her way to tell you?"
"Yeah," he said, "I thought it was kind of weird."
Now, one thing that I am not very good at is catching a hint, especially from girls. Hell, the writing was on the wall between Jules and I before school even started, but that did not stop me from feeling pretty blindsided three weeks into the year when the hammer finally dropped. And after I took her to see Def Leppard too! But this situation right here seemed obvious as hell to me. "Dude, you have to call her. She wouldn't have told you about her breakup if she didn't dig ya!"
"I don't think she wants me too." He said sheepishly.
"Bullshit man! This is your chance! Call her right now!" I had no idea if that was a good idea or not. Sadly, my biggest problem over the years when it came to women was inaction. I never made the call at the right time if I ever made the call at all. "Dude, make something up, invite her over to work on your project or something." Why the hell was he listening to me?
"I don't know man." He started to wear down.
So I went over and picked up his phone, looked at her number pinned to his bulletin board and started to dial. "Pete, I have fucked up way way way way way too many times. If I let you walk away from this I won't be able to live with myself." The alcohol was definitely talking there. I got to damn near the last digit when he grabbed the receiver out of my hand.
"All right, man, I'll do it." Crazy Pete hit the last button on the phone and pulled his best Optimus Prime impression by transforming into fucking Mr. Suave! He made a little small talk and invited her over to work on their project and hang out that night. It fucking worked! Even I was surprised!
"Are you going to take her to Mardi Gras tonight?" I asked. "I think Jose' and I are going to cruise down there in a couple of hours or so."
"We'll probably just work on the project and hang out." And then he said the magic words: "We'll see what happens."
I snagged a giant can of Fosters out of the fridge to drink in the shower, entered the bathroom and flipped on everybody's favorite rock and roll institution KBER 101. Motley Crue into Metallica into AC/DC into White Zombie into Def Leppard into Godsmack; is it any wonder why I love that station as much as I do? By the end of my shower I felt good and loose. I loves me a long hot shower with a little alcohol. Anyway, I hopped across the hall to my bedroom and got dressed in the nicest pair of cargo pants and the cheesiest looking Hawaiian shirt I could find. I went with the Hilfiger with the Woody cars on it. Real subtle. It was time to get festive! I entered the kitchen/living room area to find a bunch of girls from that room down the hall and VodkaRob pounding down some cocktails.
As I was joining in the festivities, I heard Crazy Pete knocking on The Nate's door. "Can I borrow some tequila, man?" he asked. The Nate shot him down. Things were starting to get a little uncool with old Nate, but at the same time, he had a $50 bottle of Herradura he did not want going to waste. So I kind of understood. Fortunately I had a huge bottle of Cuervo in my stash that I was more than happy to part with for a good cause, and this certainly qualified as a good cause. "What are you mixing up bro?" I asked.
"I thought we'd just do some shots or something."
"Well Pete, I'll tell you what, use as much of that bottle that you want, but if Candace isn't up for tequila, you can use whatever of my stuff you want, except for the Goose. That shit is expensive!"
VodkaRob and the girls from down the hall soon vanished, leaving just myself, Crazy Pete and Jose' playing some Tony Hawk II on our little television. Big Nick and Ali were in his room "taking a nap" which usually involved a lot of slapping noises and laughing. The Nate and his girl Lisa had locked themselves up in his room and were pounding something against the wall, probably each other. Good times! It was about 10:00 when we heard a knock at the door. In his excitement, Crazy Pete nearly busted his ass tripping on a stool while running to the door. In walked Candace who seemed just a little too made-up to be coming over to work on a class project. This was a slam dunk for the Pete-ster! As Col. Hannibal Smith of The A-Team once said, "I love it when a plan comes together!" They went down the hall to VodkaRob's room to use his computer while Jose' and I had a shot and caught our ride down to Mardi Gras.
We got down there around 10:15, met up with Peeze, Dane-o, and The Line-Stepper and commenced to having a couple drinks, limbo-ing and having a good time. I didn't intend on staying too long just because we had to get up early the next day to stand in line for the tickets. The years of self abuse had taken their toll by then and I just could'nt hang anymore. So I bailed around 11:15, catching a ride with Rachel, one of my teammates from the golf team.
I got back to 302 to find some of the girls from down the hall digging through the cupboards in the kitchen. "Where do you keep your bread?!" one of them yelled at me.
"What bread?" I slurred, my head already starting to pound. "What in the blue hell is going on?"
"She's in there throwing-up!" She hollered.
So I headed back up the hallway towards my room and I heard the moaning and retching noises coming out of the open bathroom door. I saw a trail of vomit leading from the door to the john as two more of the girls from down the hallway nearly ran me over. "Where are your paper towels?!"
"Paper towels? They're in the pantry." I answered. Why the fuck were they yelling at me? I looked in Crazy Pete's room. He was lying down on his bed, the faint odor of tequila and hurl was in the air. I looked on his desk, the entire fifth of Cuervo was reduced to about 3/4 of an inch in the bottom of the bottle. I had to look at the clock twice. 11:30. Yup, only an hour and fifteen minutes had passed since Candace had arrived. Zero to puking in an hour! "That's got to be some kind of a record!" I thought. "Pete, are you all right?" I asked shaking him back into the land of the living.
"Oh fuck dude, give me a minute." He moaned.
I figured things would get a little messy so I went into my room, flipped on Scott Ian's "Rock Show" on VH1 and changed out of my good clothes tossing on a pair of basketball shorts and my Megadeth t-shirt. Whitesnake's Still of the Night video kicked on as I decided it was time to take over. I retreated to the kitchen, filled a glass of water and went back down the hallway. I went into the bathroom where poor Candace was praying to the porcelain god. "Hey. Are you gonna be all right kiddo?" She looked up, the sweat and tears making the mascara bleed down her face, giving her the vague appearance of Alice Cooper in the early years. "Here, sip some of this, real slowly." I handed her the glass, trying to not look completely horrified. "It's just some cool water." Crazy Pete shuffled in. "Grab a washcloth out of the drawer, and soak it in some cool, but not cold water," I hollered at him.
"You asshole." He hissed as he handed me the washcloth.
I handed it to her, "Here, wash your face off a little bit and hold it against your forehead." I turned my attention to Pete, "Why am I the asshole?"
"If you hadn't have made me call her, this never would have happened. This is all YOUR fault, man!" He wasn't making any sense. In my previous days I probably would have let him have it, but my many years of experiencing consistently fucked up situations had tempered me. He was obviously still pretty drunk. Anything I said probably would have made the whole situation worse. But Christ, what the hell happened in that hour? And where the hell was VodkaRob? He better be having some fun. In my best Winston Wolf from Pulp Fiction impression I looked Crazy Pete dead in the eye and very calmly laid it out.
"Pete, we'll talk about this in the morning. Right now, we've got a sick girl on our hands that we need to take care of. And considering both you and VodkaRob are still underage, if we draw the attention of the RA or the Dean we are ALL fucked. So sober your ass up right now and help out. Go and empty out one of my cans of coffee." Evidently my great aunts, bless their little old hearts thought I drank twenty cups of coffee a day. So every time I went home to Price they'd send a giant-ass can of Folgers up with me.
Pete shuffled down into the kitchen and I got poor Candace another glass of water and a multi-vitamin. I walked past my room to see one of the girls from down the hall in there looking at my music collection. "Something I can do for ya?" I asked. She looked up, blank look on her face, "I like the heavy stuff too. Are you into Creed and Vertical Horizon?" she asked. My eyes rolled, this was definitely a conversation I did not need to have right now.
"Uhhh, not now," I said more annoyed than anything as I grabbed my extra blanket and pillow out of my closet and tossed them on the couch. "Okay Pete, I'm going to need some help right now dude. She threw up her shoes a minute ago so I think she's done yakking, let's have her lie down. We need to move her out to the couch." Pete and I carried her out, layed her down on the couch, propped up her head and threw a blanket on her. The girls from down the hall finally left and I grabbed a Dewzer out of the fridge. Pete sat down on the big chair and hung his head. "Pete, you did a good job tonight. I'm proud of ya. The two of you are going to be all right, man." I said.
"I think I love this girl." He slurred. "What went wrong?"
"Cheer up dude, you've still got a chance. One bad night isn't going to kill ya's. You saw how she was dressed when she came in, it's pretty damn obvious that she digs you." I continued, "Just take it a little bit slower next time, Dude." Silence. "Pete? Hey, bro?" I looked up at him. He had his head in his hands and was passed out snoring. I threw a blanket over his shoulders, turned out the living room light, and grabbed a mop. He was probably right, it was all my fault. I guess I deserved cleanup duty.
Metallica's Motorbreath jolted me out of bed at 7:30 the next day. Thankfully the headache was gone. I jumped in the shower, cleaned up and got dressed. Tickets went on sale promptly at 9:00 AM so we had to bust ass down to the store. As I walked out, the living room area was deserted. No sign of Crazy Pete or Candace. VodkaRob popped his head out his door, looking a little worse for wear. "Hang on, let me put on some pants and I'll go with you." He said groggily.
"Take your time. Just meet me out at the Blazer." I said walking out the door.
Rob walked up to the truck looking disheveled to say the least. "Rough night?" I asked.
"You don't want to know?" he replied.
We met Jose' and another buddy of mine, Little Nick, down at the grocery store and waited patiently for the ticket lottery. In walked Crazy Pete about twenty minutes later. "What a trooper bro! You're alive!" I exclaimed. "Why aren't you in bed dude? Rob and I could have handled this."
"I had to be here man. AC/DC." he replied, horns up.
"How much of your project did you get done?" Rob asked.
"Not a whole lot. That chick is nuts. I can't remember too much."
That's probably a good thing.
We ended up getting awesome seats for AC/DC, right on the floor. I even scored a hottie rocker-chick, Jess, from the dorm for a date. This was a first for me for a big rock concert. Before the show, we shot a little video in the parking lot that planted the seed in VodkaRob, Jose' and I for a little project we're coming out with in a few months. VodkaRob started an on-again/off again relationship with one of the girls down the hall. And as for Crazy Pete, well, Crazy Pete got the girl. Pete and Candace got an "A" on their project and dated well into the following summer. She became yet another one of the crazy characters woven into the tapestry of the Room 302, the Penthouse of Residence Hall 3. Score one for the good guys.
Here's a rough cut of the video we shot in the E-Center parking lot before the tremenduous AC/DC Stiff Upper Lip show. Hope ya'll like it!