*Weekly event, drinks and style musings from Lukas Smith of PBR DC & Derringer Friday
This week was a woolly one for yours truly, as two of our most beer-drenched cultural phenomena – the start of the NCAA tournament and Saint Patrick’s Day – both transpired. I never tell the whole truth if I can avoid it, but you’d blush if I confessed the half of this week’s transgressions. . . .
Given the rambunctiousness of this week for a company man, I kept the Chariot of Courage off the roads this week. As such, I didn’t trend much further afield than my cycle or feets would reliably take me. This means U Street and, given the Verizon Center’s role as a host to the NCAA tournament, Chinatown (hiss).
Monday was mellow for me, as it tends to be. I had a blast watching Jackass 3D at Dodge City, up to and including the points when I was sickened by what I saw. Against critics who’d say that I’m a sublimated sociopath for enjoying the suffering of others, I’ll say that it’s not my schadenfreude that is gratified, but that of the participants, and it’s this that I find to be good-naturedly amusing. They’re not trying to damage each other, but they apparently don’t mind a bit (or even a lot) of pain or discomfort. It’s clear that the fellows have a lot of love for one another, and I’d argue that it’s a jovial atmosphere of one-up-manship, rather than madness or stupidity, that drives them to do what they do, but I digress. . . . The point is that you should have been there. I did witness an amorous about-face develop during the viewing. A love triangle was playing out at the table next to ours, where a birthday girl, her BFF, and a gentleman were enjoying the show and many shots. Despite staying for the whole show, he complained incessantly of how stupid, misanthropic, et cetera were the stunts. In response, the birthday girl bemoaned the infantilization of the ‘men (or boys, as she sometimes had it) of today.’ Despite her agreeableness, the beau wouldn’t be wooed. He repeatedly shrugged off the flirtatious hand-on-knee and head-on-shoulder gestures offered him. Contrarily, we at our table were having a ball, gagging and guffawing as appropriate. Rebuffed, the birthday girl at hand took a liking to one of our party, or appeared to do so, because before long she was laughing right along with us, intermittently eying our table for signs of approval. Fish, barrels, and guns.
Later on, someone tried to order a Hendrick’s martini at The Raven. (#really)
Again, knowing that Wednesday and Thursday were going to be bonkers, I took it easy on Tuesday. I’m a budding connoisseur of shuffleboard, and Breadsoda has the best set-up in the land, so we rode west. Tuesday is also Taco Night, and I’m a fool for those damned things.
Wednesday night saw the first real action of March Madness, so I parked myself at the Rocket Bar for a while, doling away t-shirts and cozies, trying to entice the happy hour-ists into filling out tourney brackets. I played darts with some fellows in a dart league; I probably shouldn’t have. I met a very pleasant crew of corporati at a ‘team-wide happy hour.’ They bought me beers, despite my protestation that this was a perfectly ridiculous thing to do. People down there are always nicer than I expect them to be.
Later on, some folks and I enjoyed an early birthday celebration for Mr Jon Harris of Gibson fame (and infamy). Sam Vasfi curated the jams, the birthday boy concocted the punch, and the fizz was brought to us by Louis Roederer. We could have called the event, “Piñata, Bubble, and Punch.” I think a champagne bottle was thrown at a rat in the alley (what were we doing in the alley?). Here, you’ll see an image of the celebrant wearing a piñata shard for a crown. If you don’t know, now you know. . . .
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St Patty’s Day was Thursday and I’m Scots-Irish, so . . . yeah. I do recall, however, that I met a woman whose last name is McGillicuddy. This is something I’m sure I’ll never forget. In the interest of thorough reportage, I looked up my bank statement, and it shows that I spent money at each of the following bars: Duffy’s, American Ice Company, Nelly’s (interesting . . .), Solly’s, Touchdown(?), Marvin(??), The Red Derby (???), and, unadvisedly, the Gibson (again???? Fuck).
Friday was horrible. Not only did it fall the day after St Patrick’s Day, but my alma mater’s basketball team ignominiously lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Ho-hum.
On Saturday, co-designer Scott Permar and I made the final decisions for Derringer Friday’s spring line of ties and pocket squares. They’ll debut at Fashion District on the 14th.
Later on, I was blessed by the company of one of DC’s most wonderful couples. Amanda Hess is my favorite DC lettriste and Matthew Beck is a grandly eloquent misanthrope. We gazed upon the much-hyped ‘super moon’ from the eastern end of St Mary’s Cemetery. Among an eager crowd of wine-drinking lookers-on Matthew took pictures and chafed the wind with his sarcasm, Amanda peppered the occasion with her characteristically droll commentary, and I tried to keep up. Ten minutes after the ‘moonrise,’ Amanda turned and in her half-whisper said, “I’ve had bigger moon.” Later, Matthew admitted that “(tonight’s moon) may be marginally larger than normal, but, look at that thing! (Pointing.) Is it really that imposing? Hell, no. I wasn’t taking pictures of the moon, I shot people looking at it. What a joke.” Me: “The caption should read, “Super Moon: Big Fucking Deal? This guy thinks so.”
Later, we listened to Jim Reeves sing “On the blue side of lonesome” as we commenced a mellow evening full-to-flowing with reminiscence and prognostication. We drank Old Fashioneds (until the ice ran out), Pabst cans (until the beer ran out), and finally sampled Colt 45’s new party beverage, Blast. (Perhaps it should be spelled BLAST? I’ll talk to corporate about it.) As you can see, it’s got a stud colt bucking out on it. Having mistaken the graphic, Matthew asked if the image was an exploding heart.
Jesus . . . who needs enemies?
It wasn’t all pleasure, as Miss Amanda (in reprise of her bygone role as the City Paper’s Sexist) agreed to play the judge for my upcoming “John the Pabstist Wet Briefs and T-Shirts Pageant and Talent Show.” I’m not kidding.