Smile Politely

We all came back alive

It seemed as if the gates of hell were opening this past Saturday afternoon as we made our way to Carbondale for a bachelor party. Our little caravan could barely go over 50 mph on the freaking interstate as the rain cut visibility to the front bumper of my car. We should have probably viewed this ominous turn of events as a warning, but we instead decided to see it as a dare.

Either way, the beginning of our trip was nothing if not a testament to just how far eleven guys will go to get drunk in the woods and then throw money at naked harlots. Why all the way to southern Illinois, you may ask. Well, mostly because they had beer, whiskey, cabins, woods, and naked harlots to throw money at. We also chose this area because most of us have very limited rap sheets in this region. On this trip, no one got arrested, but we weren’t especially encouraged to come back all that much either.


After a five-hour drive, we found our four cabins tucked deep in the woods, but not so deep that most of the other cabin dwellers couldn’t hear us yelling, “fuck” in many different colorful ways. Here’s one of our cabins.

Yeah, I know. It looks like the place high schoolers go to die in slasher movies … or possibly the place the brain cells of dipshits go to die, or at least become hopelessly confused.

The first beer and whiskey bottle was cracked before any of the cars had been placed in park so all that was left to do was put on a Kiss CD and find a comfortable chair. Oh sure, everyone glanced around the cabins and sort of picked off a soft place to pass out in twelve hours, but otherwise, it was pretty much sitting in chairs and drinking for a couple of hours.

It was around this time we saw our mascot for the weekend, a raccoon that we all became very close to, or at least as close as you can come to an animal that has no fear, is possibly rabid, and is probably making plans to rip through a screen in the middle of the night and slash open our throats with his cute little razor claws. We decided to nickname him “Murdery.”

We had an all-you-can-eat chicken dinner at the lodge. It was a fine base for an evening of drinking and also a fine way for each of us to get used to having greasy hands for the rest of the evening. Hey, speaking of strip clubs, let’s talk about that next.


Our main destination for the evening was a fine establishment called Club Coyote. By fine establishment, I basically mean a big-assed pole barn with a few stages and a bar inside.

Of course, we could drive to the places, but the rub was that we couldn’t really drive back, so we instead decided that we would rough it in a limo. We enjoyed being in a limousine very much, but it felt a little weird, like the opposite of putting Karl Lagerfeld in a pair of overalls. Still, who doesn’t love drinking while someone else is driving? That looked like this … at least on the way there. On the way back it looked exactly like this picture except all of us had four inches of glitter pressed into our rosy drunken cheeks.

As for the strip club itself, it was pretty much what we expected, with a few surprises, like sort of hot girls and very comfortable chairs. The DJ was exactly what we expected, however. If they have elevators that go to the bowels of hell, I guarantee that rat bastard is programming the music for them. I shouted for him to play “some Helmet” several times and was rebuffed with extreme prejudice every single time.

The girls? Well, they were pretty good looking, but they were also sort of, um, aggressive. It was if they’d read some sort of strip clubs guidelines that said gentlemen enjoy getting the wind knocked out of them when they have a dollar in their mouth. It wasn’t so much stripping as kickboxing. If they’d had any sort of clubs, or even sticks, I’m fairly certain we all would have came home without genitals.

As far as I could tell they were all named “Lavender,” but that may not be correct. I think I may have gotten tired of making an effort and just decided to call each of them “Lavender.” It was hard to tell if this sort of thing pissed them off or not, since they seemed to be knocking the piss out of all the customers, whether they were polite or otherwise.

Eventually, we began to wonder if the grass was greener on the other side, so we decided to check out the other two strip bars in town. I mean, we had a freaking limo and we were paying him to sit in the same parking lot all night. We loaded up and did a drive-through of another joint. It appeared that most of the patrons were standing outside, so we felt this didn’t bode well for what the inside offered. The second bar we tried had just one, sad, little dancer who was being watched by a lone patron, a creepy old man I became certain would someday murder her.

We loaded up again and went back to Club Coyote with a renewed attitude and a desire to spend whatever money we had left. This was far trickier than it sounds because it seemed like we all had a shit ton of money in our wallets. I mean, our billfolds were bursting at the seams. Once we began to look close though, it became apparent that they were all singles. At one point, I was fairly certain that we had possession of every dollar bill in Illinois south of Effingham. We cut our losses and headed back to the cabin to lick our wounds (and whatever else we could reach).


Sunday, we played cards and went on a pontoon boat, both of which oddly gave me sunburn. We listened to Cheap Trick and ate pizza. We compared bruises and watched it rain some more. Even the talk of going back to the strip club again was met with a general “no fucking way” sort of laughter. We had things like a wedding on our agenda and we felt certain that after this trip the groom would feel that anything would be better than hanging out with us for the rest of his life.

Buona sera, senorina, kiss me goodnight.

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