21 October 2008

Hike!


Back in August my cousin's husband came to me asking if I was interested in attending any OU home games this season.

"We got KU at home this year?" I asked, remembering their dominant 2007 season, and feeling certain that they must still be talented.

"Sure do," he replied.

"Let's do that one."


After some mild screaming when I saw the cost of the tickets, I was told that the figure included parking. Fuck, for that price we'd better be parking somewhere near midfield. Yes, well. Very good parking, I was assured. Very good. Calm down. I coughed up the cash around the same time in August that I bought the Hammond organ and was dating a woman that apparently had expensive tastes in fuck-all-everything, so it left me severely strapped through half of September. This better be worth it. I nurtured optimism that the Kansas game would be worth watching, and not a complete blowout.

As the time between ticket purchase and game play narrowed, it became apparent that the Jayhawks were overrated, the Hammond kicks ass, and sometimes extremely beautiful women are single for very ugly reasons. At some point during that interim, my friend Zakary contacted me and told me that she and her family would be at the KU game too. Cool news. My ex-wife told me she would also be at the KU game. Irrelevant news, except that I couldn't ask her to feed the dogs while I was gone. And the day rolled closer and closer. OU's season was looking fantastic up until they faced off against and lost to Texas the week prior to the Kansas game.

Eric asked me Friday night what time I wanted to leave on Saturday.

"9:00," I said.
"Nine? Shit, I was thinking more like Ten"
"Ten? Man, I'm not sure I can get drunk enough before the game if we leave then. Unless I can drink in the car while you're driving....?" I half joked.
"Probably not a good idea. How about 9:30?"
"Sure."

So, by 10:15 we were headed out of town, and I must take a minute to pat myself on the back for not constantly shouting GET IN THE LEFT LANE AND PUSH YOUR FOOT DOWN ONTO THAT SKINNY PEDAL ON THE RIGHT in Eric's ear. I think a little old lady with a walker passed us at one point. I suppose I should take comfort in his safe driving habits. As we neared the part of I-44 that I affectionately refer to as the "road vagina," I noticed that the quarter moon was visible above the western horizon. Even though it was only 11:15, I had a sweet thought. Cool. I'll get to get drunk under the moon at noon.

Eric's safe driving was compounded by my expert directions to try Sooner Road instead of I-35 or Highway 77, because I assumed incorrectly that there would be less traffic headed in from the northeast side of Norman. While we were trapped in traffic, I called Tubbs, as we were on his side of town. He was in Tyler with his wife and their daughter, but thought the rest of his band mates were probably tailgating in their usual spot. Traffic crawled along enough to allow access to some side streets. A few back roads, a few neighborhood streets, and a stop at a convenience store for a 24oz Tecate later, we had dodged most of the thick traffic and maneuvered within a half mile of the stadium. I called Zakary, as she had mentioned attending a tailgate party with booze and food and booze. And booze.

"Hey, what's going on?"
"--the tailg-- --drinking the-- --when--"
"What? This connection is horrible! Unless you're drunk and stuttering!" I yelled, as if that would somehow improve the signal.
"--on an second. Is that better?"
"Somewhat. Where are you?"
"At the tailgate party. It's on Brooks. --northeast side-- --y Jenkins--"
"All right. We're still in the car. We're trying to figure out where we're supposed to park. Be there in about thirty minutes. Call you then."
Cool. I'll be able to get drunk under the moon at 12:30.

What the hell is up with this parking pass? I wondered as we drove past a Wizard Of Oz themed homecoming float. It says Kuhlman Court, but gives NO indication where that might be. Eric counseled calling his wife (my cousin) to have her consult the internet. As I was on the phone with her, we wormed our way around to the south side of the stadium. Hey, maybe we should ask that guy controlling that parking lot over there. The orange-vested gentleman looked as bewildered as we felt, but thanks to his walkie-talkie and a map, he managed to locate our destination. The north side of the stadium. Fuck. Streets were blocked off a half mile on either side of the stadium, and every street that was open was still teeming with people and vehicles. Cool. I'll get to get drunk under the moon at one. Unless it sets by then.

As we crawled from one side of campus to the other, I began to suspect that kickoff would occur before we were parked. We finally turned onto Asp and headed south past the student union. I looked to the left and confirmed that Tubbs' band mates were in fact holding court at their usual place. A policewoman that looked creepily like Queen Latifah noticed our parking pass and flagged us through a barrier. Holy shit. This parking space is going to kick ass! We were the only car in a sea of crimson pedestrians, and when the road forced us to turn left, some woman started knocking on Eric's window. Fuck off. We're allowed to be here. She held up a hole puncher and pointed at our parking pass. Oh. Eric dropped the glass and the woman punched the pass and then asked us to hold on for a second. She then raised her voice and threw her arms out, holding up the massive throng that was trying to make it to the stadium. As Eric was rolling the window back up, we both heard someone remark: "Who the hell do THEY know?" I ejaculated into my pants a little bit.

We parked right under the water tower that is a block from the staduim.



Standing at the corner of Brooks and Jenkins, I called Zakary's phone twice, while emptying the giant Mexican beer. No answer. "Well, I'm about out of beer, and this thing is looking like a bust. Wanna go hang out with Tubbs' band?" We walked the three blocks over to them while making cracks about the latest trends in hooker fashion.

Green, Tanner, and John all greeted us warmly with handshakes and Keystone Light. We jawed for a bit and tried not to brag too much about our climax-inducing parking place. Then we wandered up to campus corner because we were both still dangerously sober.

After loading every available pocket and hand with full beer cans, we made our way back towards the stadium. As it turns out, a half mile walk is not long enough to consume five beers, so we ended up sitting on a bench out front, swilling as quickly as possible.

Once inside, we grabbed some purported food products from a vendor, and stood in line for the elevator that would whisk us up to our seats. It turns out that the seats rivaled the parking, as they were right behind the 20-yard-line cameraman.

I was briefly concerned because I had forgotten my sunblock in the car, but within fifteen minutes, the press box took care of that problem for our section. Other sections weren't so lucky.


At halftime, I finally managed to contact Zakary, and I got to meet Jeff. I also got the CORRECT location for their tailgate party.

The game itself was pretty good, with the exception of the officiating, which was some of the worst I've ever seen. Their incompetence managed to stretch the game to a record four-and-a-half hours. I hope those refs all get demoted to Division II games, or at least booted from the Big 12. Even through that, Sam Bradford managed to shatter all previous OU passing records for a single game.

After the game, Eric and I went to Zakary's tailgate, where I got to meet Troy for the first time, and see Zoe and Zondra again. Troy showed off his ninja-speed hands while trying to snag Jeff's beer. Momma hovered in the backgound to show Junior how to get things done.


Ninja-speed is seldom so well rewarded. Welcome to Oklahoma little guy!


(Please note: That beer can was empty BEFORE Troy got a hold of it)


Eric and I were getting sober and hungry, so after a quick photo (by professional photographer Zoe) and some handshakes and hugs, we said our goodbyes.


We called Tubbs' drummer Green to see what he had shaking, and he invited us over. After a plate of chicken-fry at J-Pats, we spent a few hours with Jeremy, Rachel, their two dogs, and the keg fridge in the garage. By 9:30, we were ready to head back to T-town.

As we made our way out of Oak City, I noticed that Frontier City was still operating, and remarked to Eric that I thought they usually closed for the season in September. He informed me that Six Flags had bought them out and extended their season.


As we turned onto I-44 and blasted past the road vagina, I noticed that the quarter moon was rising in the east.

Cool. I'll get to get drunk under the moon at midnight.

The dogs were pretty damn hungry.

2 comments:

zakary said...

Seriously, what was with the cowboy boots and tube top dresses on everyone? I'm glad I made Jeff change before we went to the game.

Troy asked for a keg for his first birthday party. Hope you're happy, Kreg!

Lorrie Veasey said...

wow-what a post!! I can't wait for the movie version. Although I think they will have to make it in TWO PARTS.

Go Phillies.