The Stumbling Pelican
Or, how I learned to shotgun a can of Beast
There was this place I used to frequent in college called The Stumbling Pelican. It wasn’t a bar. It was a recurring house party with a name, but it was very much like a bar in that you could often find a smooth flat surface upon which to rest your beverage, and it was filled with loud drunk people.
The first time I ever went to The Stumbling Pelican, I was greeted at the door by a tall German fellow with long blonde hair who was wearing nothing but a tiger-print banana hammock and black socks. But to be perfectly accurate, I wasn’t so much greeted as I was pushed past. I was walking up the sidewalk toward the entrance, and he was high-tailing it out of there, stopping occasionally to argue in German with the person behind him who was begging him to come back. He was the DJ, see. And you can’t have great house parties without a great DJ, or a great playlist. I could tell… this guy was a great DJ. It was as obvious as his lack of pants. First impressions are important. I knew instantly I was going to love whatever was going on inside.
You never could tell what was going to happen at The Stumbling Pelican. It was different every time, that’s what I loved about it. If I could assign an odor to my college days, it would definitely be the piss-water beer, stale cigarette and skunky weed smell that permeated The Stumbling Pelican house. It was an older ranch-style house that looked like it had been built sometime in the ‘50s or ‘60s, and it definitely showed its age. The tile and wallpaper in the kitchen were dated, as was the wood paneling in the living room, and the carpet had a thousand party-fouls spilled all over it. You could tell a bunch of twenty-somethings lived there.
The tennants were three “brothers,” but they weren’t really brothers, just friends that looked very similar and went to the same school. Two of them were very kumbaya, but they were all very friendly. Smoking a lot of weed will make anyone friendly, and these guys were super chill. The atmosphere was inviting, so I hung out.
Tiger-print banana hammock came back inside after a while and started DJ-ing the party again. I cruised around with my friends, flitting from one congregated area to the next and I found myself in the kitchen eventually. One larger guy who had more red than neck was drinking a beer from the bottom, and I had one loud thought: DUUUUUUUUDE.
Obviously, I thought long and hard, for at least four, maybe five seconds, about whether or not I would be participating in this most ancient of party traditions. “TEACH ME HOW TO DO THAT!” I shouted.
For some reason, it’s important to shotgun only the shittiest of beers. Actually wait — that makes sense. If I shotgunned an IPA it would probably feel the way it does when you get water up your nose while you’re swimming. Way too much hops for that to be a fun experience.
At this party, they were shooting Beast, at least everyone at this particular house party called it Beast. Milwaukee’s Best is the actual name of the beer but I’ve never called it anything except for Beast because of this memory.
“Alrigh’, now you know what ter’ do with this thang darlin’?”
“Yer gonna pop a hole in the bottom of the can righ’ thur with this,” he handed me a bottle opener on a set of keys.
“Kayyyy,” I poise the bottle opener near the bottom of the can.
“Then yer gonna tilt it up, pop the top and drink like a som’bitch.”
“Cool. Got it,” I punctured the bottom of the can, and did as the wise young man recommended.
I make good decisions
After doing that a couple more times, when I saw double, I figured it would be best if I went and sat down outside. It was during this time that the pantsless German DJ came outside to do a keg stand. Lucky me, I got to see two floppy, inverted, tiger-printed dongs for the price of one. It was a sensory overload, and I barfed right there on the lawn.
One of the brothers came to my aid, offering me an entire roll of toilet paper on which to wipe my mouth. I thanked him and told him, “I’m so sorry, that’s so embarrassing.” And he said, “No worries, I’ve hurled back here plenty of times.” It was oddly comforting, and probably the best thing anyone could’ve said to me about puking in their backyard.
It was The Stumbling Pelican’s version of last call — and it was perfect.