To be honest with you, I really didn’t like Mad Dog when I first met him.
I think we were in 7th grade, meaning we were both only about 12 years old at the time. He was a chubby son-of-a-bitch, and he had the dumbest haircut I’ve ever seen: a bleached-blonde bowl cut — though, to be fair, it was the late 90s.
He was an arrogant bastard, and for that reason, we eventually became friends. I’d say this probably happened when, around the time of my 17th birthday, he assisted me in leaving home to go live with the Amish — I’ll tell that story another day. We also became close during what I like to call “the Summer of Drugs” a few months later, when we smoked pot daily and tripped on cough medicine every weekend.
Anyway, fast forward to the two of us being 19. I was hanging out at Mad Dog’s place.
Now typically, around this period, Mad Dog’s place was always hopping. He had a revolving door of whores and scumbags going in-and-out of his grungy basement — where he always had obscure 70′s music blaring — every day and every night.
That is, all except this night.
You see, that night our hometown was being battered by a monstrous thunderstorm. It was a torrential downpour, winds knocking down branches, thunder shaking houses and scaring dogs and old people. Thus, even the filth that could typically be found at Mad Dog’s place wasn’t there — except me, that is.
So, there we were, drinking and bullshitting, listening to Pink Floyd or Yes or something, when suddenly, the room went black.
“Damn,” I remarked. “The fucking power went out.”
Mad Dog rubbed the stubble on his face. Then, after putting his cigarette out on his tongue, he said:
“Well… ain’t but one thing we can do.”
So, in the midst of the storm that had knocked out the power, the two of us grabbed his mountain bikes and went out for a ride.
I have to tell you, dynamites, whether or not you like riding bicycles, there isn’t anything like riding bikes during a thunderstorm through the center of a town when the power is out. It was as though the town had been evacuated, like we were the last two people there.
“Hey!” Mad Dog hollered.
“What?” I screamed back.
“My coke is gonna get wet out here.”
“You brought shit out here?” I smirked.
“Yeah,” he said, smashing his empty beer bottle in the middle of the road. “Well… ain’t but one thing we can do.”
Minutes later, geeked out of my mind, I was laughing maniacally as thunder and lightning erupted all around me. As we rode by houses, I screamed, “Fear the horsemen of the apocalypse, fools! The end is here!”
Eventually, we made our way down towards the country club. As we biked by, we couldn’t help but notice the giant white tarps that had been erected on a hillside.
“Hey, Mad Dog,” I pointed. “You think there are actually people in there.”
Mad Dog winced, growled, and biked towards the tents.
As we came up to the tarps, even coked up as I was, I couldn’t help but wonder what was going on. Had the people at the country club decided to try to shelter themselves outdoors with a tarp rather than staying inside? Did they figure, “What the hell, the power’s gonna go out, we might as well all stand under a fucking tarp and wait for the storm to blow over?”
Unlike me, who was actually doing blow over a storm… or the slut who lived next door to me, who was probably over blowing the storm…
Anyway, Mad Dog and I swaggered up to the tent, half hoping the winds were going to knock the tarp off any moment, sending all the middle-aged yuppies scattering for the Lexuses… or would it be “Lexi”?
But as we pulled back the curtain to the tent, we found no one inside. Instead, we found cases upon cases of booze.
There was wine, there was hard liquor, there was beer, both foreign and domestic, both micro-brew and macro-brew. It was a treasure-trove, especially to a not-so-rich 19-year-old.
“Holy fucking shit!” I gasped; Mad Dog was already halfway finished chugging a bottle of Merlot.
Apparently the country club folks had been having some kind of khaki affair that was interrupted by the storm. They must have all fled for the hills, leaving all of their fucking shit out, ripe for the taking.
Verily, I say, Mad Dog and I drank well that night, indeed. We guzzled gin, tapped tequila, imbibed bourbon.
We got fuckin’ wasted, folks.
Eventually, as I found a happy medium between the coke and the booze, I came to my senses and asked:
“Mad Dog, I, I hate to think this is true, but… I don’t think we can drink all of this. What are we gonna do?
“Well…” he belched while pouring vodka into his eyes. “Ain’t but one thing we can do.”
So, we haphazardly wobbled on the bikes back to Mad Dog’s house. Along the way we were stopped by a cop. He said, “Hey, you can’t be out here.”
“Yes,” I slurred back. “I am aware… Time is of the essence!”
Finally, once we made it back to Mad Dog’s house, we grabbed our cars. In a few minutes, we were back at the country club. We fucking took everything — all the beer, all the liquor, all the wine, the silverware, the glassware, the folding chairs, the tarp, everything.
By the time the power came back on, Mad Dog and I were too drunk to see anything anyway.
We blacked out during the blackout.
“Jou know schumthin’, Mad Og?” I smirked. “People schould put dare fuckin’ schit ‘way.”