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The Story of Thirty

I think it only fair that you learn about the events leading up to and including my birthday. I began with a very much game of kickball. After the game ended, the bulk of the team adjourned to Grinders for beers, laughs, and the end of our troubles. I had to work the next morning at 7, so I knew I had to get some sleep. However, I was turning thirty, so an allowance was made on my part.

All the kickball players and well-wishers of the night, minus Brad and Sarah, convened at Grinders to pass the two and a half hours before the passing of midnight to my thirtieth birthday, which fell on the peculiar date of 08/08/08. As the hour drew closer, the number of minutes were announced at random intervals by various people, myself included.

In a strange surreal moment, I looked at my phone and saw that it was 12:00. I was thirty, so on an impulse I climbed up on the table and loudly stated as much. Liana's eyes widened at this, and she scooped up a pitcher of beer and demanded that I drink it all. This I did, while my cohorts saw fit to throw water at me.

Soon after, the shock of the passage of the required minute had settled, and everyone exchanged high-fives before heading off in geometrically proportionate directions. I was in bed by about 1am, and slept soundly for a few hours before my alarm clock's familiar screeching note split the wonderful silence.

I arranged earlier in the week to take my turn working "in the hole" on Friday morning, as that would allow me as least some chance of getting off early. I worked in a dark office until some security guard or damned busybody turned the lights on at about 8:30. I was too hungover to eat, and too tired to concentrate, though I did have a lot of work to do. I eventually got it all done and ran the idea of getting our the door at 12:30pm to my boss. He graciously assented, and I was on my way.

I got picked up by Chris and Amanda at my place soon after, and we shared a delectable lunch at the Thai Paradise on Grand. Still thinking it too early to "start," I ordered an overpriced coca-cola. We dropped Amanda off so she could prepare for work, and buzzed off to the Northeast to find some bars we'd never visited. We started with Karen's Kozy Cabin on St. John, before heading to Raytown to visit some of Chris' formative bars. We managed to make it to two: the Double Play Lounge and the Bickering Tree, located in a faceless grey shopping center and downtown Raytown, respectively.

While at the Bickering Tree(fantastic name for a bar, by the way), we met Johnny, who apparently used the granulated photo on his Sam's Club ID card as proof of identification. When he heard it was my birthday, he offered me a free tattoo at any of his allegedly numerous parlours around town. I respectfully declined, and he proceeded to receive several phone calls in succession, during which his state of agitation elevated over time. Chris and I both held our faces as straight as we could when he repeatedly barked "let me talk to Mohawk," into his phone, followed by, "you tell him to beat Gypsy's ass!"

Anyway, the original plan was that the assembled crowd was to go to the Royals game and have a good time. Unfortunately, nobody ever showed up. So Chris and I went to Fitz's Blarney Stone on Broadway in Midtown, where, with the use of a colourful word, I alerted everyone to our location and encouraged them to join us. Slowly the people filtered in, until we had a regular crowd. Tim, Richard, Jody(sic), Nick, Anna, Chris, Brad, Sarah, Derek, Angela, Cole, Nathan, Jenny, Colin, Jami, Betsy, Jason, and others that I just can't remember because of the mind-erasing effects of alcohol, joined at various points in the night, as the proceedings moved on to the Zoo Bar, and again to Anthony's.

I went home and slept like a rock, being thirty.

3:36 PM, Aug 11, 2008

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