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This is it. The final full day in Europe.
The morning and afternoon were neat, but let’s skip to the
self-defamation good stuff. We have money now, loads of it, unlike nearly every other country where we were on a stiff budget sometimes as low as zero dollars. So we’re treating ourself to fancy dinner and improv show at Boom! Chicago, a famous comedy house that’s a launching pad for aspiring MADtv and SNL actors (Seth Meyers, Nicole Parker, etc.).
When we went to purchase dinner tickets and found something that changed our lives forever. For 15€ we could buy an “all-you-can-drink” ticket that lasts for the entirety of the 3+ hour dinner and show. Need I justify each of our actions?
So we’re drinking. Two waiting for dinner. Two during dinner. Two after dinner waiting for the show. Then I lost count because the waitresses started bringing them to us four at a time because Animal tipped one 5€. We wondered if they would cut us off when we bought the drink card, but on the contrary, they tried to increased our consumption after we had lost that sentient look in our eyes.
The show started and this pleasant four-star restaurant experience suddenly became a drunken bar scene from a spaghetti western. The crowd was yelling out various things at the improv comedians and it quickly became apparent that Animal and I would have to step up to our A-game to keep up with these drunken Scots on the balcony. One of them was getting married so he was, obviously, dressed as a chicken and drunk as brewmaster on his last day of work. The improv group asked the crowd what they thought of Americans, and while most clapped and cheered, he kept repeatedly screaming “they’re a bunch of f**king puritans!”.
We’re a bunch of f**king puritans? Puritans… Those are the ones that think pleasure and wealth are evil, right?
So Animal and I are getting pretty sloshed at this point. In fact, Animal mentioned to me a week later that blacked out and couldn’t remember the end of the improv show. And we were up for another three hours afterwards. So everything I write from here on is brand new information to him.
We had too many beers left on the table, so we both grabbed two and headed out to the bar section of the theater. We were around for about an hour chatting with nearly every person there and making lots of world connections… only to be forgotten immediately. Animal clearly had no humanity left in his eyes. And I was probably the same, but I didn’t have a mirror and I wasn’t about to hand Animal a camera to break.
Speaking of the camera, I’ve never been so confused as when I downloaded photos from that night. Here is a fairly representative sample, and I still have no idea what I was trying to capture. It’s like a clown midget high on peyote took my camera for two full hours and ran around the city.
What was I taking a picture of…?
So here’s how Europe ends: Animal is blacked-out drunk. We’re right outside the Red Light District near our hostel. Hopelessly drunk tourists always get swarmed by drug dealers and thieves because they are an easy target. We’ve been seeing it for days. And now we’re that target.
In a few minutes three young drug dealers offering us “our pleasure” turns into eight or nine goons trying to take us to a “night club”. We both know the club will turn out to be a dark, blood-splattered alley. In a calculated move worthy of Bobby Fischer, Animal starts yelling about how he has 840 Euros and wants a good time. More shady gents come over and start fighting with each other over us, the catch of the day. So a group starts following or dragging Animal off one way (I can’t remember which) and I get pulled in another direction. Not in a friendly manner, either, they hold you up by the elbows and try to get you off your feet hoping you’ll go limp for the ride. But I’m tired and I have an 8am flight.
I yell over “I’ll see you in America!”. And Animal calls back “that guy loves speeeed!!”