With my flip-flops gone, I could feel mud squishing between my toes as the water flowed by. I’ll admit to being a little concerned at this point. This was the first time I had ever gotten lost at a concert, walked through woods in total darkness, and fallen into a fast-moving creek.
You always remember your first time.
I was unable to pull myself out because I couldn’t reach the land above. Picture a drunk guy standing in four feet of rushing water in the dark, and you’ll see me. I walked upstream and found a tree branch. And by tree branch, I mean twig.
I pulled myself up the bank dragging the front of my body through mud in the process. Once out, I traced my footsteps back to where I had entered the rainforest. The parking lot was full of cars in line for the exits.
I approached the first car looking like the creature from The Black Lagoon. I asked for a ride and they told me to go to hell.
The occupants of the second car didn’t notice the mud, and agreed to drive me to my hotel. A girl was driving a male passenger in the front and another girl in the back. I got into the car and introduced myself. The chick in the back was kind of hot. I got her phone number, but never called. More on that later.
I asked to borrow a cell phone so I could call my buddy Matt back in St. Louis. Keep in mind that Matt has told me numerous times not to call between 10:00 PM and 9:00 AM unless it was an emergency. Over the years I have called him late at night with drunk stories and woken his family. Shocker.
This night’s call came a little after midnight, and he wasn’t happy. I briefed him on the situation, and asked for Red’s phone number. I instructed the driver to remember the area code, the guy riding shotgun the prefix, and me and the hottie were responsible for the rest.
I dialed Red who called me an idiot before I could explain what had happened. We agreed to meet at Champs, a bar located next to our hotel.
I arrived there first, and was the only person in the place. They were in the process of closing, but the bartender must have felt sorry for me because he let me sit at the bar and wait. I ordered a Bud Light and paid with a soggy $5 bill.
They finally arrived and we laughed about the whole thing with the bartender over a beer, and then walked back to the hotel. Red and I were sharing a room, and if you ever talk with anyone who has shared a hotel room with me, it’s not something they usually brag about.
I woke the next morning to the smell of puke and pee; my puke and pee. I noticed my Tommy Hilfiger cargo shorts hanging on the desk chair. We had been through a lot over the years, but they weren’t going to make it.
Red was fast asleep in his bed which I found to be the perfect time to ask for his car keys. I needed to get a new pair of flip-flops. I had brought another pair of shorts on the trip, but not shoes.
He tossed me the keys, and I drove around Indy looking for any store that sold footwear. I saw Kohl’s and went inside where I found suitable replacements. I put them on, and carried the box to the checkout lane.
The cashier asked if I wanted to put my old pair in the box and I replied, “That won’t be necessary.”
She leaned over the counter, looked at my new purchase, and asked, “What did you do with the old ones?”
“They’re in a creek at Verizon Amphitheatre,” I replied.
“You can’t walk in here without shoes.”
“Apparently you can.”
I told her to keep the box, and headed back to the hotel. When I walked in the room, Red was puking in the bathroom. I asked the little fellar if he was feeling bad. He explained that smelling my puke all morning had made him sick.
The room was a wreck. Mud was everywhere and my bed was absolutely destroyed. Red flipped $20 on the nightstand for the maid, and we headed to the car. He started mumbling something about how leaving his credit card for incidentals was going to cost him $400 to clean-up my mess, but stopped in mid-sentence. He told me I was driving, and climbed into the backseat where he slept the entire way home.
I thought about calling the girl from the night before as she had mentioned something about coming to St. Louis in a few weeks. I decided against it because I’m sure her friend was furious once she saw her backseat in the light of day.
It’s only half past twelve, but I don’t care.