Of Meat Lockers and Urinal Cakes
Saturday, I woke up in the middle of the night, which is something I almost never do. Once I'm out, I'm out. It seemed unbelievably cold in my house, so I stumbled in the dark to the thermostat and saw the giant LED read-out: 62F. Sixty-two degrees! Holy buttery biscuits of fire! I'd been holding out on turning my furnace on for the first time this season, because that's a slippery slope of cliches; once you turn that thing on, you're admitting winter is just around the corner. Hell, "slippery slope" is in and of itself a cliche. Its no good, is what it is. But clearly, I could hold out no longer.
This got me to thinking. My brother, before he was married, liked to keep his house in the low 60s all the time. When I used to go visit him in college up in Cedar Falls, he and his roommates kept their house even lower than that -- in the mid-50s, purportedly to save money. All the more to spend on beer, you see. It was like a meat locker. Seriously, you walked in there and you half-expected to see slabs of beef hanging from the ceiling and Rocky Balboa taking swings at them.
Walking in there was one thing. Sleeping there after being at the bars was something entirely different. I don't know the science, but it seems in my experience that your body temperature drops while you're sleeping...and it drops even moreso if you've had a few drinks. Well, imagine that scenario in a house where its 55 degrees to begin with.
And I'm not even someone who complains about the cold! On the contrary, I love winter, actually. Those trips to Cedar Falls were always about meat locker-esque cold, except for when it wasn't.
I can remember one time in particular, where we were at some bar in the area of town called "The Hill" in Cedar Falls -- Suds, I think it was called. Typical college bar. It was fairly chilly outside, but everyone still hung out on the patio, because that was literally four times as big as the building. Anyway, at one point in the night, one of my brother's friends came back from the bathroom and slapped a urinal cake on the table.
A urinal cake! On the table!
I thought it was ingenious at first; who does that? But one of my brother's other friends, Big Head Aaron, thought it was the most hilarious thing EVER. I mean, he just wouldn't let it go. On and on he talked about it, all night long. We began discussing the biological thought process that goes into doing such a thing ("When you're standing at a urinal, what makes someone think 'gee, I should take that urinal cake back with me to the table!'") and came to a disgusting, if obvious, realization:
In order to bring the urinal cake out with him, he had to have stuck his hand into the urinal.
Then the joke took on a whole new life, and another hours' worth of jokes wrote themselves. It had run its course, we were done with it, and then we made that realization. And then there was another hour of jokes. You've never been further away from the ledge you must jump from to perform physical comedy as you are when a used urinal cake is the butt of the joke. Trust me.
When we left the bar that night, we walked back to his house; most of the group was in rough shape, excluding myself. As a matter of fact, I wound up carrying one of my brother's friends back when she "fell asleep", because as typically happens, I was the only one sober enough to do so. Also, I'm too nice a person to allow someone I've only just met to be arrested for public intox. It was damn cold that night, the sort of night where you look forward to the warmth of home. There's poems and songs written about that phrase for a reason. Only, his house was only slightly warmer than the great outdoors, so that didn't really apply in this case.
I didn't sleep much that night. As I laid there in a sleeping bag on the floor, my teeth chattering, I finally managed to fall asleep around 4am. Wouldn't you know it, shortly thereafter my brother's pet iguana "Guido" got out of his cage and as he walked across the room (is it walking when you're talking about a lizard? Suddenly I wish I hadn't been doing "other things" in high school biology...) brushed his tail past my face. Sufficiently freaked out, cold, and still upset from having to carry a passed out girl I barely knew back to a floor where could continue being passed out, I never did get back to sleep.
Yet we got up and did it all again the next night. Not the urinal cake part, thankfully, and not the carrying a passed out girl home part, and not the lizard crawling across my face part. So now that I think about it, we didn't "do it all again the next night". But I think you get the point.
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