It used to be that it didn't take much effort. The epitome of this was the evening that my good friend and roommate noted that it was Bruce Springsteen's birthday on our trip home from work. We made a quick detour and found ourselves in the Disneyland of Beers: the cooler at Liquor Mart. It was here that we applied all our drunk boy math skills to figure out the difference between buying a case of beer and a keg. Since we owned our own tap and didn't need to pay a deposit for that, it turned out that we were actually saving money to buy a quarter keg. Such a deal.
The fact that we didn't have any guests beyond the two of us invited to help us swill down all that amber goodness did not impede us. We hustled home, iced the keg down and started pouring. That's when we started making some phone calls. Would you like to drop by for a celebration of the Boss's Nativity? Yes, we know it's a weeknight, but it's the Boss. And we've got a keg.
It was that last sentence that seemed to be the kicker for so many of our friends. These were the folks for whom an evening's plans always started with the same five words: "Let's get real drunk and..."
These were the people we were counting on. The ones for whom a mid-week party was a matter of course and might require an extra Tylenol and copious amounts of water the following morning, but could be managed.
Meanwhile, back at celebration central, the beer was flowing and the music was loud. We played darts and extolled the virtues of each and ever member of the E Street Band. As the evening wore on, up crept the volume. It was a party, after all. Somewhere in there, a few of our hastily invited guests showed up and took some of the edge off the gallons of Miller Lite with which we had challenged ourselves. No one bothered to note that there was no attempt at decorating or creating a festive atmosphere beyond the keg and the loud music. And periodic shouts of "Bruuuuuce."
And somewhere in there, the few brave souls who wandered in to share in our night wandered out. It was up to the two of us left marginally standing to bring this bad boy home. Which is what we were doing around midnight, as we sang along one more time to "Born To Run." Not content to merely howl along, we eventually were down on our hands and knees, pounding out the chorus on our kitchen floor.
That's when the phone rang.
It was the lady who lived below us. She was trying to get to sleep, and somehow the importance of Bruce Springsteen's birthday escaped her. The fact that she was almost in tears moved my friend and I. So much so that we turned down the music, and walked out on the front steps where the keg sat, taunting us with still more beer.
"We can save it."
"Yeah. For the weekend."
We put a few extra pumps to keep it from going flat, and dragged the tub inside. There were no streamers or balloons to take down. We turned off the stereo and called it a night.
And what a night that was.