The genesis of Jerks of the Week was the second entry - barbeques. Don't get me wrong, I could eat hot dogs and cheeseburgers three times a day for the rest of my life (and probably die from a massive heart attack in the process). However, a barbeque was what prevented me from taking a hot date to my former college roommate's wedding (really a must-attend meet-and-greet at her new law firm). Though I still had fun by myself, I felt the need to rant about that particular barbeque as soon as I returned home from Hershey, Pa. after the wedding. It was the start of a revolution.
I realized what I wanted to do for the 1-year anniversary of Jerks of the Week while reading Bill Simmons' book, Now I Can Die in Peace. Simmons, a columnist for ESPN, is my favorite writer and a big reason why this Web site exists. In his book, Simmons compiled a running diary of a wedding he attended in September 1999. Since a wedding and an intrusive barbeque sparked Jerks of the Week, I decided to create a live retro blog of this wedding for this anniversary.
2:00 PM: The wedding starts in four hours. I should be packing for my overnight stay in Hershey, but I'm procrastinating and looking up porn instead. I still can't believe Dennis, my old college roommate is getting married. As dumb freshmen, we used to hit up seedy frat parties and unsuccessfully game STD-ridden whores, and we were naive enough to be amazed that they always ended up sleeping with older, sleazy frat brothers. That seems so logical now.
That was eight years ago. Where has all the time gone? I'm now 30 pounds heavier and I suffer a hangover after drinking three beers. Dennis is losing his freedom by getting married. If our 18-year-old versions of ourselves saw us now, they'd most likely commit suicide (or just become sleazy frat brothers and bang those STD carriers).
2:15 PM: I'm now packing my crap into my bags as quickly as possible. Dennis told me that his family is drinking before the ceremony (they're Irish), so my goal is to make it in time and be completely plastered by the wedding vows.
3:00 PM: My goal was to be out of the house by 2:45 It's 3 o'clock and I'm just starting my car. No worries though. Hershey is less than two hours away, which gives me just enough time to check into my hotel and have 3-4 beers before the ceremony begins. Hell, if drunk driving weren't illegal, I would have consumed a few beers on the car ride over. Stupid laws.
3:45 PM: I'm halfway to Hershey, so this would have been a good time to begin drinking. I look into the mirror to make sure I don't look like a complete slob. Dennis told me there won't be any single girls at this wedding, but I didn't believe him. It's a wedding for crying out loud. Isn't there a rule that states there must be hot single girls desperately looking for men? This is my first wedding ever and I only know a few people on the guest list, but I'm pretty sure that Dennis is misinformed. He has probably never seen Wedding Crashers.
4:05 PM: I'm finally off the God-forsaken Pennsylvania Turnpike. MapQuest is telling me to turn right onto the next road and follow it for about 13 miles until it takes me into Hershey. Hot bridesmaids and beer, here I come!
4:30 PM: It's been about 16 miles and I haven't seen any mention of Hershey. I pull over to the side of the road and call my friend Duff. I give him my current intersection. After inputting it into his GPS, he gives me the following bad news: "You've been going the wrong way ever since you got off the turnpike!"
Crap. Now I have to double back. Looks like I'll be completely sober for the ceremony. F***ing A.
5:10 PM: I'm finally in Hershey. All of the lamp posts are shaped like Hershey's Kisses. Forget the beer; I want some Hershey's chocolate. NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM.
5:13 PM: I no longer see lamp posts shaped like Hershey's Kisses. I guess I must have missed my turn onto East Chocolate Road (not making that street name up). Let me double back. Again.
5:16 PM: I have now returned to the street that took me into Hershey. Where the hell is East Chocolate Road?
5:20 PM: I'm out of Hershey again. Why can't I find f***ing East Chocolate Road? What the hell is going on here? I'm going to miss the f*** wedding! I pull over and curse the heavens.
5:21 PM: I call Duff again, who has now dubbed himself as my "GPS B***h." He tells me that I need to take another street to get to East Chocolate Road, even though my MapQuest directions say otherwise. Why would MapQuest lie to me twice? I thought we were friends.
5:25 PM: I'm finally on East Chocolate Road, and there are more Hershey's Kisses than ever before. I've never seen anything so beautiful in my life.
5:35 PM: I run into the hotel and ring the bell at the front desk. "I'm here for the Field wedding," I say, gasping for air. Apparently, I've eaten too many hot dogs and cheeseburgers over the years, and am currently in terrible shape.
The woman asks for my ID and my credit card. I hand over the former, and scour through my bag until I come to the terrible realization that I forgot to bring my credit card. Crap, looks like I'll be sleeping in my car tonight.
5:40 PM: After pleading with the woman for five minutes and reciting my credit card number by heart (thank you, Amazon.com and Nintendo Wii for helping me memorize those 16 digits), she finally concedes and gives me my room key. I thank her repeatedly as my friend Hab walks into the lobby. He tells me that everyone is leaving now. Without even going into my hotel room, I run back to the parking lot, throw my bags into the trunk, and then hop into Hab's car with Duff and his girlfriend.
5:50 PM: Thankfully, I'm not the only one who's sober. Hab, Duff and I recall drunken memories from Penn State on the way over to the church. Our livers are very displeased to hear these stories.
5:55 PM: We arrive at the church five minutes before the ceremony is supposed to begin. Unfortunately, we can't find the ceremony. While walking around in circles, we bump into six other people who can't find it either.
6:00 PM: We finally locate the ceremony, which is conspicuously in the bottom basement of the church. Way to have your wedding in a dungeon, Dennis.
As we walk in, the organ begins to play. We realize that we're blocking the view of all the bridesmaids and groomsmen, so we duck into the first aisle near the door.
6:05 PM: Random people start walking down the aisle. The only person I recognize is Dennis' best man, Doug. I turn my attention to the crowd. Surely there has to be at least one hot single girl here, right?
6:06 PM: It doesn't take me long to spot her - a brunette with an incredible body. Sexy time.
6:07 PM: I notice that she's sitting next to some dude. Damn you, Dennis!
7:00 PM: The next 53 minutes were a blur. I spent the entire time either comatosely staring forward or scouring the crowd for hot chicks with no avail. The next thing I knew, Dennis and his bride Mari were walking out of the church.
7:30 PM: Now back in Hab's car, we get lost on the way to the reception even though we used Duff's GPS to navigate our way there. Who's the GPS b***h now, Duff?
7:50 PM: After asking for directions, we finally locate the reception. I approach the bartender and ask if there's any liquor like vodka or gin, but apparently beer and wine are our only options. I think wine is one of the most disgusting things on this planet, so the choice is easy.
** Side note: Why do I think wine is disgusting? I can't stand its temperature. When I drink something, I want it to be cold and refreshing; not something that's as warm as piss. Also, I had eight cups of wine one night at Penn State during my sixth year. According to sources, I ended up crying about Lakitu (the a-hole from Super Mario Bros. who throws porcupines at you from his cloud), citing that he killed many people and needed to be stopped. I threw up 10 minutes later. **
8:00 PM: Just had a conversation with Dennis' dad. He's a cool guy, but there is absolutely no way he's remembering anything we said to each other tomorrow. If I were to guess, I'd say he's been drinking since 6 a.m. I'm extremely jealous.
8:45 PM: I'm three or four beers in, and none of the few single women there are attractive yet. God help me if I sleep with a 500-pound pig after 15 beers. All I ask is that I'm not eaten alive.
9:00 PM: It's time for food. I stand in line, and begin talking to Duff and his girlfriend Melina. Melina calls me her "inspiration" for running a Web site as a full-time job. She and Duff tell me about a Web site they're working on, and I encourage them to continue despite Duff's reservations. Lo and behold, BaltimoreSpecials.com. I'll take all of the credit, thanks.
9:05 PM: I grab two plates packed with various meats, cheeses and breads, and begin stuffing everything into my mouth. NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM.
9:25 PM: I'm now at a drunken level where I can approach any stranger nonchalantly. But apparently, I'm not a complete stranger to anyone else. Though I've barely met anyone there, everyone somehow knows me because of this Web site.
10:05 PM: I've discussed football with people I've never met before for the past 40 minutes. Hopefully they remember some of the smarter things I said, like, "I think the Saints will go to the Super Bowl," or "The Texans or the Bengals will make the playoffs this year," and forget that I foolishly had the Giants No. 1 in my 2009 NFL Power Rankings, or remarked, "Watch out for the Bears this year!" Too bad you can't give drunken people selective memory.
10:10 PM: Football discussion has now concluded and everyone is now slow dancing. Well, except for the few single people there: me, Hab and some large girl with cankles. Hab and I look at her, then at each other, and say "Nah!" at the same time.
10:15 PM: Everyone is still slow dancing, so Hab checks the Cavaliers-Magic score on his nifty phone (mine barely supports text messaging). Orlando is up by 10 points with a few minutes remaining - and I bet $220 to win $200 on the Cavaliers.
Great. I fail to bring my hot date to this wedding; I get lost twice on the way there; I almost have to sleep in my car; I nearly miss the wedding; I can't get drunk before the ceremony; I have no hot girls to talk to; and to top it all off, I'm $220 in the hole. I'm THIS close to being as pathetic as the Erin Andrews-stalking Eric Mangini.
10:45 PM: The next 30 minutes are a blur. I'm pretty sure I texted my barbeque-bound hot date, but I don't think she replied. I have officially reached the Erin Andrews-stalking Eric Mangini pathetic level.
10:50 PM: Everyone has gathered in a circle, so Hab and I wander over to see what all the fuss is about. Standing in the middle of the circle is Dennis' dad, who starts doing this crazy song and dance.
I don't know if it was all the beer, but I remember it being the coolest thing I've ever seen in my life. I later told Dennis, "I want to download the mp3." He laughed, but I wasn't joking.
10:55 PM: After Dennis' dad's jig, I spotted the desert tray. Unfortunately, I can't recall if I had the cookies or brownies, but it was the best thing I have ever eaten. And no, this wasn't a drunk "OMG these Doritos are the best ever!" declaration. I had four or five of whatever they were, and I think I had an orgasm each time.
11:00 PM: The reception concludes, and everyone starts heading over to the hotel for the after party. Hab's more sober than me, so he offers to drive. This seems like a good idea.
11:20 PM: We somehow make it back to the hotel without crashing or getting pulled over by cops. Since most of the people aren't back yet, I decide to check out my hotel room.
11:30 PM: My initial reaction: "Holy crap!" It was huge. There were multiple rooms inside my suite, a large couch, an emperor-sized bed, a spacious work desk and a huge TV. I suddenly realized why I had to fork over close to $300 for the night. Too bad I would use none of these contraptions (save for the bed) during my stay.
11:45 PM: Random people start filing into the after party, which is about 10 doors down from my room. There are no hot single girls, but there is plenty of beer. I'm content.
12:00 AM: The phone rings. Apparently, we're being too loud. We move our party to the other side of the floor.
12:15 AM: The phone rings again. Once again, we've offended some losers who are trying to sleep. Who goes to bed at midnight? Jerks.
12:30 AM: We compromise with the staff to have our after party in the hotel lobby. They're in shock when random drunks cart down dozens of huge coolers of beer. Gotta love an Irish wedding (even if there are no hot single girls there).
1:00 AM: I'm talking to Dennis' cousin Terrence about my 2009 NFL Power Rankings. Once I tell him that I have the Giants ranked first, he yells back, "There's no way the Giants are winning the division. They're... the... Va-Giants!"
1:05 AM: All of the drunken males in the room are impressed with Terrence's new nickname for the Giants. Everyone believes Terrence is a genius.
1:10 AM: Terrence approaches his fiancee, and a hilarious conversation ensues:
Terrence: I have a new invention that will make us rich!
Terrence's Fiancee (looking skeptical): What is it?
Terrence's Fiancee (looking confused): Huh?
Terrence: You know the Giants? If you mix their name with vaginas, you get Va-Giants!
Terrence's Fiancee (looking annoyed): Ugh!
1:20 AM: "Va-Giants!" is yelled often over the next 10 minutes. Dennis' sister Kim constantly shakes her head at Terrence disapprovingly.
1:30 AM: One of Dennis' friends walks into the hotel lobby. His eyes are bloodshot and he reeks of weed. Terrence yells "Va-Giants!" and the super-high individual bursts out laughing like it's the funniest thing he's ever heard in his life.
1:45 AM: Dennis appears out of nowhere. I have at least 12 beers in me, but I have this brilliant idea about a Web site where people can make their own NFL Mock Drafts, NFL Power Rankings, picks and NFL Draft Prospect Rankings. Eventually, they'll be able to have a live NFL Mock Draft with various people, and all of this will be linked from WalterFootball.com. We'll also be able to have a large NFL Mock Draft contest on the site.
About three months later, DraftDebacled.com was launched.
2:00 AM: Our in-depth conversation about DraftDebacled.com is interrupted by Kim, who says to Dennis, "I didn't know your roommate was so cute." Uh oh. Based on what happens in the next few hours, Dennis and I may not be friends anymore.
2:30 AM: Some people are violent when they're drunk. There are those who get depressed. Others tell random people, "You're my best friend... hic!" And Terry Bradshaw spends his drunken time doing NFL pre-game shows for FOX.
Duff is a yeller. I forgot what he was capable of because I hadn't seen him this drunk in more than five years. But Duff reached the point where he was bellowing random things, ranging from obscenities directed at no one, to indecipherable fabricated words.
2:55 AM: It took us a while, but we convinced Duff to go to bed. He seemingly tried to insult everyone in the process, but no one understood what he was saying.
4:30 AM: The rest of the night was a drunken haze. I remember listening to the wedding band for a while. I also recall having a conversation with Kim, Terrence and Dennis' dad. The four of us must have consumed a combined 75 beers by that point, so I doubt our discussion made any logical sense. "Va-Giants" was probably mentioned early and often. Eventually, I made it back to my room and passed out.
5:30 AM: Or tried to pass out. As great as my room was, the pillows were terrible. They were these tiny little hard pillows that...
10:00 AM: ...Gave me a huge headache the next morning. I had to beg the same lady at the front desk for some Advil. I was up this early because Dennis called me and invited me to brunch at Mari's parents' house. Plus, checkout was in an hour, and I didn't want to be charged another obscene $300 and forced to recite my credit card numbers again.
10:45 AM: Dennis gives me his GPS so I can get to Mari's. I get lost anyway, and have to call Dennis. He's my GPS b***h today.
11:15 AM: I finally arrive at Mari's, wondering how many times I'll get lost on the way home. My worries are quelled when I walk into the house and smell all the great food.
11:30 AM: Before Brunch is served, Dennis and I take a picture together, and a new relative of his remarks, "I bet you have some funny stories about Dennis from your two years living together at Penn State."
I laugh, opting not to discuss our frat party adventures or the time that Dennis drunkenly wandered the wrong way home from a party on a Saturday night, accidentally reaching the outskirts of State College instead of our dorm.
11:40 AM: Brunch is served! There were all sorts of great things, but I'll never forget the sausage gravy and biscuits. Oh my God. I would gladly forfeit any future hot wedding dates if I could have those again.
12:15 PM: Terrence walks in and sits down. He asks, "Was that Va-Giants thing a good idea, or was I just stupid drunk?" All the males at the table tell him that it was epic. All of the females shake their heads in disgust. Women just don't understand awesomeness.
12:45 PM: I bid farewell to everyone. Dennis promises to contact me after his honeymoon so we can get started on DraftDebacled.com. Mari's mother assures me that I won't get lost if I follow her directions. If she ever reads this live retro blog, she'll realize how futile that prediction really was.