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Monday, January 10, 2022

 A colleague asked me this morning how was my weekend.

I said, "Well -- I lived."

You see, I reunited with high school friends Saturday and they are reprobates all.

Imagine men in their 50s acting like teenagers mixed with examples of what medication we on. Oh, and beer. And alcohol. No little belligerence. And trash talking that would make a professional wrestler blush a Catholic grade school boy at a dance. (Note: We're all Catholic school graduates, something the church won't acknowledge.)

My plan had been to visit them at my friend's cabin outside of Solon Springs. Directions to the cabin were: Drive to the middle of nowhere and turn west for four hours. When you hear the cries of a rabbit being killed by a bear, stop. You have arrived. Even Google maps asked, "Where the hell are we?" And advised, "Proceed to the route outta here."

It was a nice cabin, rebuilt after a 10,000-acre forest fire blew through a couple years ago.

And the first beers tasted good, mostly because of company and even though it was Busch Light, which isn't really beer. It's like one of those hard seltzers that taste vaguely of a flavor and has less alcohol content than my spit.

Yes, we did compare medications. I did not win the competition for most.

We quoted virtually every line from "Blazing Saddles," able to do so because my friend's brother in-law had a VCR copy (kids -- you'll have to Google that) of the movie and let us watch it along with buying us a pizza. Cheapest and worst babysitters in history. But the kids survived to adulthood -- which is now the next goal for me and my friends.

I still had a goal to get home by 5 p.m. but they wanted to show me area bars. Now Solon Springs has as many bars as Madison, Wisconsin, they're just more spread out. Say, every quarter mile. I have not run the official numbers on this. It's all anecdotal.

Soon enough I determined I was in no shape to drive home to Hayward. Or interact with others. Or talk.

I asked our designated driver for a ride back to the cabin and was the first one to hit the hay. Real hay, by the way. None of this fake hay. This was a class joint.

First I was awakened by the story of how the designated driver who slid into a ditch. I thought I dreamt that. Then brought out of slumber by two friends arguing over apparent urination in a non-peeing room. But such hysteria is hard to keep up for 56-year-old men who treated Jack Daniels like a mother's nipple.

The next morning centered around trying to get the vehicle out of the ditch, which wasn't really so much a ditch as it was the woods. The intersection of Highway A and Highway AA was like walking on an ice drinking. There was no stopping, particularly when temperatures dipped to 15 degrees below zero.

By morning, temperatures retreated to 0 degrees -- how often can you say you had no degrees. Thankfully, that was augmented by a wind of 15 miles and hour. When I tell you the wind cut through us, that doesn't suffice. It's more like the wind minced us into small pieces which would then be added to a crockpot of homemade chili that would taste strangely of Busch Light. And sorrow.

After one of the man-children tried to dig out his car -- that would have been like giving a piggyback ride to the whale in "Free Willy" -- professional services were required.

We spent the next couple of hours in the Lakeview Bar & Grille, where they had coffee, breakfast and, oh, some beer.

I have to write I love those guys, some of whom I haven't seen in decades. Our friendship is like an old shoe, stinky but easy to slip into after some time away.

And we've all turned out OK, even with life constantly shooting hockey pucks at our genitals. That is an appropriate metaphor given our proximity to Canada. 

I can't wait until we do it again -- in 25 years.

Peace and lifelong friendships unto all of you my brothers and sisters.


  1. Being on the corner of AA should tell you guys something. Busch light I know you all can afford Leinies Light. Hopefully no animals were harmed during this production. Take care. Your other stinky friend

  2. This was hysterically funny! Thanks, as always, Rich, for making me laugh and brightening my day!