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Saturday, April 20

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Editor's note: Public Notice is enjoying a brief hiatus, and will return next week. In the meantime, we're excited to re-run some of our favorite Public Notice columns from the past year.

"Man, being reasonable, must get drunk; The best of life is but intoxication."
-- Lord Byron

A good party is peppered with moments when you can actually see happiness. Everyone is slightly intoxicated, smiling, and has someone to talk to. Laughter gets louder, but not raucous. And you know, just for a night, that you are truly among friends.

Or maybe that's just me.

But what makes a truly amazing party? What was the best party of your life? There must have been a time when you had a drink too many, laughed too brightly, and did something entirely silly and harmless. My 25th birthday was my all-time perfect party. This party, a wine-soaked frenzy of laughter and Spin the Bottle, lives on and casts its shadow on all future gatherings. I have set the bar very high.

The chemistry of an amazing party is difficult to discern, but you know it when you find it. And one Craig's Lister found it and is seeking it again. Read his ad, and see why I had to meet this guy:

I will get drunk at your wedding. - m4mw - 27

Congratulations! You're getting married!

There must be many things on your mind right now. There are certainly many details to work out. Worries, concerns, nervousness...

One nagging issue in particular I can assist you with.

Perhaps you were a bookish academic in college, and never went to fraternity parties.

Maybe you were shy, and didn't get out much, but finally found that special someone to spend your life with.

Or could it be... Your family is too controling and manipulative, and you want to send the right "get the fuck out of our new life together" message?

Whatever the reason, you and your mate-to-be have arrived at one unmistakeable conclusion:

You need a raucous, boorish, unruly drunk guy at your wedding.

And behold, you have found him.

But don't take my word for it. Here are just a few testimonials as to my prowess:

I am "such a drunk that he often accepts shots bought from his students." -- A former student (He got an A, on an entirely unrelated note.)

I will "provide companionship to the needy as well as those who want not." I "socialize indiscriminantly" when drunk. -- A favorite drinking buddy (I got drunk in front of his old roommate the first time they met.)

I am "really annoying when he's drunk... in a cute way." -- This girl I've been seeing (She can drink me under the table, too. She doesn't like weddings, but if it's casual dress, you might be able to get her to go. Maaaaan that would be wild.)

A few facts for you to consider:

  • I have only been defeated once in an Irish boilerplate competition, and only then due to excessive Indian food *
  • In fact, on another occasion, I tried to do a boilerplate with the Indian restaurant waiter, but there was no Guinness left
  • I have woken up underneath my bed, on top of a pile of most of my clothing, with no recollection of going home
  • I have been drunk 3 1/2 times in one day, and then passed out in a movie theatre
  • There are numerous beer pong victories under my belt, including one shut out
  • I woke up one time in a strange hotel room, wearing a souvenir t-shirt from a bar I barely remembered
  • I don't care what you're serving, as long as it has booze in it

I also have directly relevant experience. Two weeks ago, I got mind bendingly drunk at my buddy's wedding. Then I convinced most of the wedding party to also get extremely drunk. After roughly 20 drinks, I was still going strong on the dance floor, making wild claims to the bridesmaids. Between songs, I performed amateur psychoanalysis on the groom's friends while drinking carafes of wine.

It has been widely regarded as one of the most enjoyable, and most successful, weddings any of the attendees could recall.

Thanks, in part, to the services of the professional drunk guy.

In order to qualify for my services, your wedding must:

  • Be in Chicagoland (or include airfare, lodging, and ground transfers)
  • Offer an open bar for at least 3 hours
  • Include a hotel room or designated driver ride for my drunk ass
  • Serve a nice dinner

Serious inquiries only, please.

* An Irish boilerplate is 2/3 of a pint of Guinness, and a shot that is 2/3 Jameson whiskey and 1/3 Bailey's. Drop the shot into the Guinness and POUND. Tastes like chocolate milk. My encyclopedic knowledge of drinks and drinking games is included as part of the service.

Ted Matthews* is a graduate of a prestigious school in upstate New York, very clean-cut, and an unrepentant wedding drunk. I met him at Lincoln Square's Daily Grill to talk about his search for more perfect parties on Craig's List.

When I asked him to describe why he was the hit of the party, he replied simply, and in a perfectly digestible sound bite, "I was the Mrs. Dash of the party."

Ted is an alchemist. How many times do you experience the perfect party, only to find yourself in the center -- the cause -- of the bliss? As Ted related the full story of the wedding (which is really, really good), his face lit up when he said that the next day, "people came up and shook [his] hand." I, too, would wear that badge of honor proudly until it became tattered and smudged.

So I can understand why he wanted to replicate the experience. Did he really think Craig's List would work? Ted confessed that the ad was slightly facetious, but he would be more than happy to attend any and all weddings with an open bar. But why share the experience publicly? During the two hours we spent at the Daily, Ted related some great drinking stories, one involving a ceremonial hat and several that he termed "emasculating." But this wedding was his most choice drinking story. And when you've got one that good, you don't keep it under your hat, ceremonial or otherwise.

As I plan my own wedding, I'm keeping this whole idea in my mind, perfecting the chemistry. And even Ted couldn't really detail what exactly had happened to make that wedding so amazing. But he asked if he could come to mine and see what happened. I might take him up on that.

But what of these boilerplates that he mentions in the ad? Ted explained that these boozy concoctions also go by the name Irish Car Bomb and is comprised of a shot of Irish whiskey and Bailey's dropped into a pint of Guinness and chugged mightily. Though it was a school night, I talked Ted into doing one. Ted, like the unrepentant boilerplate champ he is, drops the shot and slams the glass back down in just under four seconds. And then it's my turn.

I cannot chug anything. It's sure to come out my nose or run down my chin. And I'm too prissy to drop a bar-clean shot glass into my beverage. So I pour the shot of whiskey and Bailey's into my Guinness and watch as the Bailey's clouds and swirls through the dark stout. It is entirely lovely and lasts for just a second or two. Then as quickly as beauty blooms, it withers. The shot curdles and a foul scum surfaces.

Ted smirks. He told me not to think about it too much. To just drink the drink. But I preferred to study the moment and then mourn its passing. This ties in to how I look at parties, at Craig's List, at life in general. Watching, looking, always analyzing instead of just doing or appreciating. That can be exhausting.

I think Ted may have hit on a good idea. Have a good time, and chase it any way you can.

* Ted Matthews is not his real name. In the age of Google, it's not particularly wise to let potential business associates/future girlfriends know that you love turning it up at weddings. I told him I'd give him a really badass name, but it would have been weird to type Ezekiel Proudfoot over and over.

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About the Author(s)

Shylo Bisnett loves ironing, baking and dancing naked. She dreams of being a naughty housewife. Let her know what you think about Public Notice at .

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