One Night in Charleston

Lemme tell you a little about Charleston.

I’m here with the art department and animators on an annual field trip. The 2nd years study architecture and draw and workshop. The upperclassmen sorta noodle around.

We’re staying at the Notso Hostel on Spring Street, which is pretty sweet, and has wireless in the rooms and a jigsaw puzzle on the porch, and if you need much more than that in your life I don’t know what.

So what’d we do today? I confess I got a late start cos I went running when everybody else went for breakfast — a run that turned to walking about 3/4 of the way through cos it be hot and I haven’t run in about forty years. Come back, shower, set out on foot to rendezvous with the rest downtown.

Investigate Urban Outfitters. Can’t justify spending $60 on a dress. That dress would have to do my laundry and walk Jake. $60 is more than The Hank Effect’s cinematography budget. $60 would feed the whole crew TWO MEALS. Jersey knit dress that I could make meself in forty minutes and a trip to Hancock Fabrics? Umm. No.

Tour the shops to see more $30-$40 dresses. I don’t think these stores understand what I’m looking for in a dress.

See Citi Trends. Hello Citi Trends. Gonna visit one-a yo asses back in Winston. I respect your cheapitude. I love you, Citi Trends. You are the ALDI of clothes.

Hit Market Street. One guy has nice silver jewelry but acts like me asking how much something is is like a sharp stick in his anus. Kthx, moving on.

There I peruse some silver earrings while a whippet-thin European woman tells me not to start eating if I smoke up cos I’ll never stop. She says she moved to Charleston 30 years ago and what was she thinking? Nasty place. Everywhere… black people.

Ah, yes, okay. Have a nice day.

Couple of booths down I see silver rings with blue seashell stones. The saleslady says in an unknown accent that they are $4. Hello, rings. The saleslady is black. Yes, I would like one.

Rendezvous at the Battery to catch a ride back to the hostel. Knock back a couple of Yuenglings while working on said puzzle and shooting the poo with other art department as they mill in and out. I love that puzzle. That puzzle is the Citi Trends of puzzles. Then time to make reservations at Tsunami sushi.

We achieve Tsunami and the sushi is brain-meltingly good. But my partner in crime has ordered a steak and veggie dish. I trade her a Philly roll for a steak morsel and it is so good I nearly die. Paramedics are called. I am revived with a half-tsp of wasabi, and all is well.

The Pantheon, the dance club that is our objective, is likely to be less than banging at 10 PM. So we cruise to Ann St in search of other under-21 friendly clubs. There we find a thing called cover charge, so we decide to go back to the hostel — on foot this time — and drink our own booze until it’s Pantheon time.

This stop at the hostel was almost my exit. I was full and sleepy and ready to call it an old-person’s-night. But I knew if I declined I’d regret it for the rest of my old-ass life, so I wents.

Back out on foot, arrived at the club a little before midnight. And we all danced our sweet ivory asses off until 2. I hugged a fellow endurodancer named Jason. I praised a surreally hot drag queen and told her how happy I was when I first walked in that there was a woman who looked like me — big rack, big feet, tower of power. I am drenched in sweat and giddy from the stage smoke and strobe lights. I am also stone cold sober, in contrast to most of the rest of our 12-person posse.

If that was all we did, that would have been a full night. Shoot the poo a bit at the hostel, turn in, get some good zeds before the 5-hour drive tomorrow.

But oh no no no no.

Off the 12 of us go for the last hike to the hostel. We’re halfway down Spring Street when a young woman catches up to us. 21? Exquisitely beautiful, stylish, dressed to kill, perfect hair and makeup, and drunk enough to fall off the planet.

Josh notices something is amiss. Not walking so good. Asks her where she’s going.

The answer is a bit slurry, a bit vague, and we realize we must escort her where she is going. You must understand the amount of drunk happening here. This is as drunk as I’ve ever seen a person who was still mobile.

Our only document of Drunk Girl

Mark puts her arm over his shoulder and keeps her walking. She takes a couple of calls en route, and the callers don’t seem to notice she is wild drunk.

We pass our hostel and realize maybe we’ve passed the intersection we’re seeking. So I ask if I can borrow her phone, and I call the last person who called her.

Let’s call him Mike.

I tell Mike that his friend is at the corner of Spring and President and not doing so good. Incredulous, he says, “She’s by herself?” Ah, a reliable and right-headed fellow. Excellent, we’ll see you on the corner.

Meanwhile Drunk Girl is still mobile and difficult to corral. She thinks she’s close to where she needs to be and goes around to the back of a set of houses.

Drunk Girl’s friend — let’s call her Dana — calls, and this is the friend Drunk Girl is supposed to stay with. I ask if I can see the phone real quick.

I explain the situation to Dana. Dana explains the directions to me. Oh yes, we have overshot the mark. So we turn around and head back to the intersection where we’re meeting Mike.

Mike arrives in a little white coupe with a burned-out headlight. Drunk Girl doesn’t want to go with him. Bad sign. Mike seems a bit… out of it. Double bad sign. And Josh sees the driver snort a line off the steering wheel. TRIFECTA.

Me and Josh send Mark with Mike, Drunk Girl, and Snorty McSteer, and head back to the hostel to grab my car and go to where we know they should be going, keeping Mark on the phone the whole time.

At Dana’s intersection, we find the white coupe parked with no sign of life. I use my detective skills to find Dana’s address, and whoosh Mark goes running through the parking area behind a gate. Me and Josh ask him where the Mike and Snorty are — they left. They just let Mark and Drunky out at the intersection and left. Everyone. And their car.

And Mark says they called Drunky and asked if she wanted to hang out. These are not upstanding right-headed young men after all.

Mark says that Drunky got into the apartment complex, headed upstairs to one, entered through the unlocked door. Says she used the bathroom and is eating a drumstick.

We’re not positive this apartment is Dana’s. Dana is no longer answering her phone, and Dana is not in the apartment.

Me and Josh decide to go up to check on things. The apartment is VERY nice, split-level, clean and stylish. Check out two pieces of mail on the table. No Dana.

This could be bad.

Ahh — then we see “D-A-N-A” in three-inch letters down the side of one bedroom door. Wondermus! We are saved.

Okay, Drunky! Goodbye! Have a nice night!

She is asleeps on the couch. On her side so she doesn’t aspirate. Put a towel over her for maximum comfterbuls.

Drew the door closed, went back to the Jeep.

White coupe still sitting there. Sitting. I hope Mike and Snorty didn’t kill Dana.

Kinda hongry. What’s open? Let’s find the Taco Bell. Taco Bell closed. There’s a line over there. Who dat? Is a Hardee’s.

Me and Josh and Mark take orders from the hostel posse, and spend half an hour in the drive-thru. Half. An Hour. I can’t decide if it’s funnier that the drive-thru took half an hour, or that the three of us decided to stick it out. We wanted that Frisco burger, dammit. We wanted it so bad.

This would be anti-climactic after Drunky if Josh didn’t still have a pleasant beer buzz going, and if me and Mark didn’t needle him into all sorts of amazing tirades which I will post here if Josh approves them. Probably not. They were a bit rated of the R.

Then I came back to chicken strips and a shower of power.

And if a night of sushi, dancing, girl-rescuing and Hardeeing doesn’t strike your fancy, you just don’t know how to have fun.

That is all for now. I have to be up in four hours.


Draws. Sweats. Eats too much sugar-free candy.

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