Back to the Back to the Back to the Burbs Y’all

Call it making the best of a less than ideal situation. Call it emic anthropology. Call it the search for kicks. We called it, Whitby Night.

On Friday, Caitlin, Michelle and Scott took the GO eastbound. Picked them up at the station, the classic rock radio station blaring.

“I didn’t know [Trooper’s] Raise a Little Hell actually had verses beyond the chorus,” said Michelle.

See, the event was educational from the start.

The plans for the evening involved a barbecue, a designated driver and a six of 50 (cans). All of us grew up in the suburbs, we wanted to see if we still had the skills we honed in our teens.

After a lovely barbecue came the stealth mission into the woods behind the elementary school and the old-folks home. On the path to the forest, we were passed by 20 to 30 high-school kids. Caitlin wondered aloud if this was some class-trip. I heard calls of ‘Nerds!’ Ah, la plus ça change. For us, it was into the woods to the big tree with the forked trunk and then off to the right to the rotten log. A few leaves scattered ever so naturally and the 50 was stashed.

“Sixer, dude!”

On the way back, we could hear the kids, cursing and swearing their way along the fence set up to keep the wild sylvan things off the old folks’ chemical lawn.

The six of us crammed into Elif’s parents’ car. I did the lie-across. Parking downtown [sic] Whitby on a Friday night turns out to be pretty easy, at least outside that ‘Firkin’ pub. Nickel Jam was on the stereo and hockey on the tube. An incredibly generic experience, really. The next stop was the Downpatrick: no frills, neon Ex sign in the window, harsh fluorescent lights inside, darts and AC/DC. I went for the first available table, right in the middle of the place. Someone else spotted a nice booth off to the side.

“What do you guys want?” says the bar-guy.

“What do you have on tap?” says Caitlin.

“Well, what do you want?” reiterates the bar-guy.

“50.” says Matt.

“I wish.” says the bar-guy.

A good sign nonetheless, eh?

As the levels from the first round approached empty, but before we could start debating a refill, the fit hit the shan. The whole bar erupted in a fight. A full on bar-brawl with broken glass and baseball caps knocked onto the floor. One of the servers said quite despairingly, “Oh, we haven’t had a fight in three months.” before she called the cops. Then, the fight took a break so that the participants could file outside and continue to smack each other in the face. The booth turned out to be the best seat in the house. We could sip our beers and watch everything. It might have been a little hairy if we stuck with my initial choice.

Scott and I got a warm “goodnight/take care” from the bar-guy. The cops told Martha, Elif, Michelle and Cait to stay out of trouble. “No fighting girls, hehehe.” We crammed into the car, headed to the northern reaches of town, made our way into the woods, past the car parked at the end of the soccer field with a make-out couple, to the big tree with the forked trunk and then off to the right to the rotten log. I brushed aside the natural-looking leafy covering and voilà, the sixer was still there! Time to enjoy mother nature and father 50. Lovely.

On our way to my parents’ we ran into a guy making his way home for the night.

“Aw man, were you here when all the cops showed up?” says the dude.

“What?!”

“Yeah man, there were like three or four cars here, busting people. About an hour ago.”

“Really, how many people were here?”

“Like, uh hunrud.” [Trans. “There were roughly a hundred.”]

“Holy crap!” [Trans. “A hundred?! That’s rather impressive.”]

Timing. It’s everything.

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