Monday, December 03, 2012

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 45

The Time Mookie, Rick, Junior, and Russ Went To Minneapolis

(I have to mention this is a “reader requested story.”)

Several years ago, my gang of friends and I decided that we "needed" to do something.  “Rick”(*) and I had just completed a year of college, while “Russ” (*) and “Junior”(*) had just finished high school.  We always said we needed to do something “big,” like taking a trip out of town or something, but as usual nothing really came from it.  Then one day Russ came to us with news that gave us a kick in the right direction.  He said that his Mom could get us free tickets for a Minnesota Twins game at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.  Russ’ Mom worked as a “travel agent” at a local bank, and set up trips and tours for community bank members.  One of the perks of this particular bank was that -for some reason- they had four tickets to all the Minnesota Twins games that summer.  The bank employees could use them at their discretion, or they could be used to entice any travel packages.

When Russ asked his Mom about the Twins tickets, she said we could HAVE them if no one else had them reserved for a particular date. We all checked our calendars, and found that there were two dates where we could all make the trip.  We just had to wait and make sure none of the bank people wanted them because they got first dibs on them. A couple days went by, and Russ called everyone to let us know that we got the tickets for the 1st weekend we had open.  Booyah.  I imagine we probably looked like a group of excited school girls at the news.  The good news didn’t end there, because Russ’ Mom said she could help us book our lodging accommodations once we figured out what we were going to do, and get us a "deal." This trip was looking nothing but up.
From Junior's archive, his ticket stub.

Needless to say, the suggestions of what to do on the trip began right away.  While we all had great ideas of what to do on our trip, the only TWO sure-fire ideas that came out of our original planning were:
(1). Going to the Twins game.
(2).  Getting drunk.

Since Rick had the most travel friendly car in the bunch (Honda Accord), he appointed himself the driver of this dog and pony show, but reserved the right to appoint someone else to drive in his place if his “ass got tired.”  We all agreed to pay our share of the gas, as well as our portion of any hotel fees we would be accruing.

Eventually in the days and weeks ahead, the agenda started to fall into place.  The official plan was:

Day 1 - Friday: 
Drive to MN.
Check into our hotel in downtown Minneapolis.
Walk to the baseball game.
After the game, go back to the hotel, drink some more, and get some agreeable food.

Day 2 - Saturday: 
Drive to Rick’s Aunt’s house (who lived near the Mall of America in Bloomington) for lunch. 
Go to the Mall of America and check that out. 
Eat at Hooters. 
Then go to a new hotel in nearby Burnsville.

Day 3 - Sunday: 
Come what may.
Head home.

Once we told Russ’ Mom of our vague itinerary (we omitted the alcohol part), she booked us hotels by the Metrodome, and near the Mall of America for our evening accommodations. 

The one real detail we still needed to shore up before we left though was the alcohol:  What were we going bring?  AND…WHO was going to get it?  At this point in our lives we were all still under 21, so it definitely complicated the situation.  In hindsight though, I have to say it provided that extra spark of “danger” that every trip needs.

We quickly figured out we would need a substantial amount of alcohol, and due to all of our discriminating tastes, it would consist of many different varieties (beers/whiskey/vodka/etc).  When the probable size of the intended purchase started to take shape, it definitely became a concern. We didn't want to have one of our usual suppliers get it all, because frankly that was just too big of a favor to ask of someone who was buying a bunch of minors as stash of booze.  Likewise, we felt it could be complicated if we each tried to get our own stuff in advance.  Junior finally came up with a brilliant idea to find someone who wasn't a normal supplier to us - and best of all - someone he knew wouldn't give a crap about buying so much liquor: His older sister.  While it held some risk in that she could say "no" and turn around and tell Junior's parents, but God bless her – she gladly offered and had no qualms about any of it.
From Junior's Archive:  The booze receipt from the store.

The day before our trip, Junior called us all up and said he was “taking our final orders” before he and “Tina”(*) made a run to the Econo-Foods liquor department.  Later that night, we all ended up at Junior’s house where he proudly showed us the trunk of his car.  Inside were cases of Budweiser, Beast Light, Jack Daniel’s, Vodka, Tropical Maui, Bubble Gum Schnapps, and God-knows-what-else.  It was awesome.

In the week preceding the trip, Rick had taken it upon himself to type up the itinerary for the trip, and assigned everyone duties and tasks they were responsible for during the trip.  Rick was of course the pilot of the ship.  Junior was designated “sound engineer” and responsible for proper trip music.  Russ was the "travel guide" as his Mom provided the tickets, lodging, and he continually stated he knew where we were going because he’d “been there before.”  I had the best job of them all though.  Rick designated me as the trip’s “Party Machine.”  In other words, I had no responsibility other than to have fun.

In addition to the itinerary (and because he is an anal-retentive bastard), Rick presented us a list of things we COULD and COULD NOT DO on the trip.  Most of it was common sense type stuff, like “when hanging out of a hotel window, make sure to keep at least ¼ of your body in the room.”  But most of it had to do with what we were not allowed to do in his car during our travels.  I do remember that one main rule was that there was no gum chewing in the car, and went as far as to name specific brands that were banned.  There was a specific rule about making obscene gestures at other cars (that was directed at me as I used to have a problem with that), and most importantly - that we should not criticize our driver.  Rick said “Its my way or the highway.”

Friday morning Rick picked up everyone at their respective residences and we hit the road.  The trip up to the Twin Cities was pretty tame for the most part.  I kept asking to stop in various small towns along the way and “exercise my right to party” as the itinerary stated I could.  However Rick stuck to his whole “my way / highway” mantra, so my requests to party were not given their due attention.  I finally relented as we were on a schedule and did not want to delay our festivities that afternoon.

We hit the downtown area and were able to conveniently park in a lot next to the hotel.  We entered the hotel lobby, and we were INSTANTLY made to feel unwelcome.  We tried to check in, and it became very apparent the desk clerk did not want us there.  We quickly designated Russ as our group spokesperson since his Mom arranged our lodging here, and of course because he’s “been to Minneapolis” before.  Just when it seemed they were going to turn us away, Russ finally spoke with a manager who actually seemed to care about our situation.  Russ explained who his Mom was, and that she had booked the room for us.  After a few minutes of confusion, we finally were able to check into our room.  We went out and got our luggage, along with a discreet amount of our contraband alcohol out of the trunk.  We retreated to the room, got some food, had some beverages, and headed out for the game.

The Metrodome was only a few blocks away so it was a nice little walk.  Once we got there and got inside, we were excited to find that our seats were pretty much right behind home plate….REAL nice.  I don’t remember much about the game itself, who they were playing, or it must not have been that memorable.  I certainly must not have done my best to get us in trouble, although I’m sure I probably made fun of Rick being excited to see his boyhood favorite player – big ass Kirby Puckett take the diamond.  Seriously.  That guy had the biggest ass.  Rest in peace Kirbs.

Seriously.  He has a big ass.
After the game, we retired to the hotel for some takeout pizza and more adult beverage.  After a fairly tame evening, we called it a night.

We awoke Saturday morning ready to tackle that day’s agenda.  Once we got loaded up, we set out for Rick’s Aunt’s house somewhere in Bloomington.  I say “somewhere” because contrary to what he kept telling us, Rick had NO F*CKING CLUE where we were going.  We drove around.  And we drove around.  AND we drove around.  Every so often in a futile attempt to appease us, Rick would say “I think we are close.  This looks familiar.”  After a couple hours in the car (and calling him a f*cking liar) we finally convinced Rick to stop somewhere and call his poor Aunt who had expected us 30 minutes earlier.  She quickly advised Rick he was not even close, and gave us proper directions.

At Rick’s Aunt’s house, we had a lovely lunch of BBQ'd burgers and sides, which we scarffed down with much politeness.  Eventually we headed out and on to our next destination:  The Mall of America.  We knew where this was - mainly because we had driven by it two or three times looking for Rick’s Aunt’s house.

We parked, and set out to ravage the mall.  The place was fairly new at that time, and we’d heard people say you couldn’t see the whole thing in a day.  Bullshit.  It took us about two-and-a-half hours to walk past every store, and shop in the ones we wanted to.  I must add we rode the roller coaster at Camp Snoopy too.  Finally, we decided we needed some dinner and headed up top to our next planned destination:  Hooters.  In true Rick and Junior form, they quickly learned the waitresses names, and arranged to have their pictures taken with a few of them. It was classic Rick and Junior.  Russ and I of course had our photos taken too, because…you know...who are we to say no to chicks in tight clothes getting their picture taken with us?.  After our agreeable meal and ample gawking at the supple flesh the establishment offered, we decided to depart and head to our hotel for the night.  On our way out, a couple of us decided it would be a "good" idea to buy Hooters t-shirts.  While doing that, the hostess came by and let us know that MLB All-Star Harold Baines was sitting right outside.  While it was cool to see him, I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to pick him out of a line up.  We all said hello while Rick got Harold's autograph, and then we headed out.

While our tub had more ice, this is pretty close to what we had.
We made it to our hotel in Burnsville with little to no problem, and sent Russ in to handle the administrative tasks of checking in while we waited outside.  With no trouble, he got us checked in, and advised our room was on the other side of the building.  We quickly found out we could park RIGHT outside our window, which boded well for our transportation of contraband into the room.  With the car backed up to the window as close as we could, we quickly handed our cases and bottles of liquor through the window of our room.  It was pretty slick.  We then hit the ice machine with buckets and pails and began to fill our bathtub with as much ice as we could.  Rick and Russ took to the task of icing down our beverages, and when they were done the scene could only be described in one word:  Magical.

We headed out one last time for some quick dinner, and then retreated to the room for the night.  The beer was cold, and it was flowing.  As the night wore on, we certainly got drunk thanks in part to the various card games we played (Circle of Death/Asshole), and various shots of whiskey.  It was at that point Russ went into the bathroom and then returned wearing only his underwear and running shoes.  He said he was going out (the window) for a run, and to get cigarettes.  We quickly spurned that idea – as an almost-naked Russ out and about was surely a bad idea.  For some reason - perhaps as a form of solidarity -  Rick went to his underwear as well.  So there they were - Rick and Russ in their underwear – drinking.  In any other setting, I would have called them homosexuals.  Either way....I have photos.  If one of them runs for President, I'd hate for those to surface.

Then finally...we had our first "pass-out."  The victim:  Junior.  He was partially was also partially dressed, but had somehow gotten under the covers in bed.  So then we did what any good friends would do:  We wrote on him and then took pictures of him.  We staged various bottles of booze around him, and I think we each took pictures next to him. He’s lucky he didn’t get tea-bagged.

Eventually we all decided to turn in for the night, so we did our pre-bedtime anti-hangover ritual (lots o’  water and Advil) and crashed.

We slept in Sunday, and awoke with laughter as Junior had discovered the artwork on his arms, back, and face.  After some discussion about what to do that day, we finally agreed on going to "Valleyfair,” a nearby amusement park with kick-ass roller coasters.  After packed up the Honda, we checked out and headed to the fun park.  While most of us were feeling "OK," in hindsight I think Junior was feeling the ill-effects of the prior evening.  I remember catching looks of him before going on various rides, and he did not look too good.  However, we all survived the day and no one ended up barfing anywhere.  By mid-afternoon, we all decided that we'd had enough and called it a day.  We piled into the Honda and headed for home.

While our trip home was uneventful, we did arrive home to some “concerned” parents as they thought we were heading home first thing that morning, and were not aware of our Valleyfair stop.  I thought it was funny because if they were concerned about that, it was a good thing they didn't know about the stockpile we had in the trunk, or how we had to stop Russ from going out the window in his underwear the night before.

Trust me...that would have caused major concern for everyone.

In the end, we all had a great time and it was exactly what we all needed.  While some of us don't recall a few of things that happened along the way, a few of us have photographs that documented a lot of it.  Perhaps a few of those photos should be know.... just because.

(*) - Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent.

Have you missed a previous Monday Morning Story?  Click HERE to see the list.

As I stated at the beginning of the story, this one was a "reader request."  Do you have a request for a story you'd like to see in a future "Monday Morning Stories With Mookie" like the one you just read?  Drop me a line at: and let me know.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.