Phil and Bob promised to send us home in style. Phil and Bob held nothing back.
Jeff, Lloyd and I met the pair at Ye Olde Tripple Inn early Thursday evening. They offered to buy our dinners, which we declined as we had already broken bread with Oz and the rest of our group. Instead, they committed to buying our beer the rest of the night. We resisted their generous offer. Once.
The five of us sat a table across from the bar, a table that gave us the best view of the entire place. Once again, we marveled at the decorum that celebrated virtually every holiday on the calendar. Our hosts gave us a brief history of “The Trip”. The bar, located less than a block from the theater home Ed Sullivan’s old TV show, was a popular hangout for musicians and actors through the years. The Beatles hung out at The Trip prior to their first appearance on the Sullivan show, a tidbit that our buddy Mike would have appreciated much more than we did at the time. Several comedians got their start performing there as well.
We pounded a few beers before Phil asked if we would be interested in watching more footage from the documentary. The three of us jumped at the chance. We each grabbed one more beer for the road then headed to their studio. The footage they showed us was from a memorable Saturday night early in the second semester of school.
The footage began with a typical dinner-time scene inside Shakey’s. The hustle and bustle behind the counter was interrupted by the ringing of the telephone near the cash register. Word quickly spread that it was Lloyd on the phone calling about his blind date for the night. The Snider women wanted details about his date. The Snider brothers wanted to know what Lloyd thought of the girl.
“Ah, geeze,” groaned Lloyd. “I remember that night. I forgot you guys were there filming.”
“Just wait,” Phil said with a chuckle. “It gets better.”
Jeff and I were laughing hard at Lloyd’s misery. Lloyd pointed his beer at me and admonished, “Don’t laugh too hard. You remember what happened, don’t ya?”
It was about that moment when the video showed one of Lloyd’s brothers hanging up the phone. “It’s not good,” he told the family. “He and Thad are leaving the party and are on their way here now.”
“Oh, shit,” I muttered. The other four were laughing at me now.
The party as discussed in the video was held at Jeff’s house, just one of many that he held during the school year. The reason for the party was to have a friendly environment for Lloyd’s blind date. A girl from Yorktown set Lloyd up with a friend of hers from one of the Muncie city schools. She told Lloyd several times that her friend was pretty and very nice. The problem was that a girl’s idea of pretty and a guy’s idea of pretty don’t always match up.
Lloyd arrived at the party all duded up for this girl in anticipation of meeting his dream girl. The Yorktown girl showed up with her friend from Muncie. The Muncie girl was just as pretty and just as nice as described, however she brought a lot more to the soiree than we had been told about. Lloyd was disappointed.
Lloyd tried his best to make something of the night with the Muncie girl, but it just didn’t work out. The rest of us at the party grimaced at the sight of it all.
Less than an hour had passed when the two girls put their coats on and left. The Yorktown girl was none too pleased with how things went down. Lloyd called his family at Shakey’s to let them know what was going on then asked if I could drive him up to the pizzeria. We’d all been drinking most of the night so it was questionable who among us was in the best shape to drive. My teenager instincts told me that my buddy was worse off in his mental state so it was incumbent on me to help him stay safe on the road. He tossed me his keys and told me we could take his car.
The scene on the video changed to a shot of the dining room of Shakey’s. Seconds later it focused on the front door in time as Lloyd and I made our big entrance into the pizza parlor. There was Lloyd dressed up in his date night best. I was wearing blue jeans, a flannel shirt, and my black and gold Purdue jacket. We were both wearing our “Go to Hell” hats. We were both obviously feeling pretty good.
Lloyd spoke to his eager-to-listen family about the date before walking back to the office, leaving me at the counter to talk to one of his brothers.
“So was she pretty hefty?” he asked me.
I stole a quick glance at the camera and answered, “Yeah, she was pretty hefty.” The four guys laughed hard at me. My fifteen minutes of fame was instead going to be fifteen seconds.
Phil turned the equipment off and asked us if there was anything else we felt like doing. We couldn’t think of anything. Bob reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a joint. “You guys want to smoke some?” he asked.
The three of us looked at him in wide-eyed amazement before coolly shaking our heads and telling him “No thanks.”
Bob lit it up, took a hit off of it, and told us it was our loss. He took a few more puffs before he was struck by what must have sounded like a great idea. “You guys ready to quit or do you want to keep partying?”
We were all eager to keep the night going despite the dope smoking our hosts were now partaking in.
Bob got a shit-eating grin and asked, “You guys want to go to an after hours bar?” Phil shot him a questionable look.
They three of us as one replied, “Hell, yeah!”