It’s common knowledge among our longtime followers and 18 facebook likers that one of the most beloved PO Life contributors, Cliff, has been deployed since February. From February up until now, everyone at The PO Life has lived a life of normalcy. But that’s all about to change. At time of print, Cliff was safely en route back to America, finishing his second and final tour of duty in Afghanistan.
For better or worse, having Cliff back stateside is sure to usher in a wave of changes. In this week’s edition of The Friday Five, we’re highlighting the Five Signs That Cliff is Back from Afghanistan, penned in a team effort by those that know him best: the writing staff of The PO Life.
Welcome back Cliff… I guess.
1) Eli’s Mom Has an Extra Mouth to Feed - by Eli and McCannon
Eli - I am one of four so my mother has been cooking large meals for my whole life. She’s a solid cook who loves little more than feeding groups of ravenous mouths. For years our house was a spot where the neighborhood kids could go to get stuffed. Alan and Rudy are regulars at our Thanksgiving meals. McCannon has made his way over for the only meal he eats (pizza). Easily the most overfed of my friends, however, was Cliff. Pretty much any time we would hang out he would ask what leftovers were hanging out in our family fridge or what my mom was cooking for dinner. He would pop over to the house, suck up to my mother*, and proceed to demolish the Costco-sized portions that were placed in front of him. Now that my parents are empty nesters, my mother is stuck cooking meals for two. Once Cliff is back, she can start cooking for six again. Her and my dad will each eat one portion, Cliff can eat four.
Once a year, The PO Life headquarters opens its door for the commoners and bourgeois to wander in to see how the other half lives. While most would assume that such a socialite event would be catered with the finest wine and cheeses in all the land to the soundtrack of a live string quartet, the reality is quite a stark contrast.
Since we here at The PO Life are men of the people, by the people, and for the people, the extra-curricular actives of the day revolve around fusing together two of America’s greatest past-times: European soccer and competitive drinking. This year’s event paid homage to UEFA Euro 2012, bringing together 32 of the finest men and women in the greater Washington DC area to represent the 16 teams battling for continent domination.
Advice you never asked for by someone who probably shouldn’t be providing any...
If you live in the Mid-West or Mid-Atlantic areas, there’s a good chance you had a strange weekend. For those of you outside the area who haven’t been keeping up with the weather around the nation’s capital*, some weird shit went down. Thanks to some record breaking heat, everyone in the DMV area learned what a Derecho is. Essentially, it’s a heat and humidity fueled storm that acts like a tornado if the wind doesn’t swirl. Popular accounts, including my own**, tell of a storm that appears suddenly, with little or no warning. Out of nowhere come winds as strong as 80-90 MPH. Within minutes, the rain and lightning start, followed by the massive power outages. Finally, the storm disappears after only a few minutes, as suddenly as it appeared.
*You mean Washington DC isn’t the center of the universe? Who knew?
**That’s right, I think I’m popular.
Last Sunday, HBO ushered in a new program to counterbalance the vampire porn and keep us halfway interested in premium television until Game of Thrones returns in the spring. From the mind of Aaron Sorkin comes The Newsroom. Newsroom picks up where Danny Boyle left us in 2008; Jamal Malik, of Who-Wants-to-Be-a-Mumbai-Millionaire fame, lands the job of a lifetime in the demanding world of cable news blogging. Along for the ride is Jeff Daniels, who offers a captivating intro to this news saga and a refreshing perspective into the current state of America. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, watch the first few minutes of the pilot episode below.
There’s certainly a lot to react to here. For one, let’s quickly break down what the three panelists reasons are for America being dubbed “the greatest country in the world”:
- Token abrasive on-air liberal woman – “Diversity and Opportunity”. Typical safe, pandering bullshit. Yawn.
- Stand-offish conservative blowhard – “Freedom and Freedom”. Typical conservative doubling-down of Constitutional catch phrases. Bullshit.
- Our protagonist – “The New York Jets”. Honestly – go fuck yourself.
I realize this show is supposed to take place in 2010 in the height of the Rex Ryan/Mark Sanchez promise of tomorrow. But he’s clearly not a Jets fan. As a lifelong Jets fan myself, I can tell you with full honesty and sincerity that the New York Jets are quite possibly the worst thing about America. They represent a bottomless pit of hopelessness and disappointment. They live in the shadow of a more prestigious, more acclaimed, more dignified franchise and only make the back page headlines whenever the New York Post writers need a proverbial punching bag.
By now, you’ve been reading ad nauseum about our group’s epic battle to be Eli’s best man. The Groomsman Games celebrated everything The PO Life is about – senseless bickering, ruthless competition, and brovacious conceitedness. But, more so than any of that, it was one giant pre-game for celebrating the upcoming nuptials of Eli and his blushing bride-to-be. After months of anticipation, the big weekend is here.
Weddings are the absolute best. Everyone brings out their party A-game in the name of the bride and groom. It’s like being in a bar for Game 7 of the World Series and everyone there is rooting for the same team as you. Usually you have the obnoxious guy who’s cheering for the opponent yet can’t name the Game 4 starter or the jaded debbie-downer who’s team finished below .500 for a decade straight. But not today. Everyone here is on a mission, some would say from God, to party their asses off.
Let’s do this thing!
1) Boom Boom with the Bridesmaids – Ah shit, did I just quote the American Wedding trailer? Fuck. Ok. Start over. Pretend that didn’t happen.
Weddings are great for single, lazy people. First, every single woman in the audience feels the empty void of companionship growing logarithimically as each piece of cake is cut. It’s really unfair. It’s the textbook definition of low hanging fruit. And the best part of it is, the bride and groom know this. They specifically pair up single people at tables at the reception! You literally don’t even have to stand to meet someone. It’s too easy.
If you’re looking for a guy, we’re all pretty much DTF 24/7 so that’s a win too, I guess.
Eli’s Wedding Outlook: Un/Fortunately, I’m off the market, as are Al, Bart, and Eddy (Cliff unfortunately won’t be able to make it due to fulfilling a selfish desire to selflessly defend his country in Afghanistan). Best of luck McCannon.
2) Get Outta Town - There’s nothing worse than a wedding that’s within spitting distance of your place of legal residence. Half the fun of a wedding is creating an inescapable bubble in a far off land where everyone is committed to raging until the bartenders start pulling out firearms to keep the crowd back. The other half of the fun of a wedding is piping in random “Employee Only” areas of hotels.
Seriously, who wants to go back to their house after a wedding? You’re tarnishing the legacy of R. Kelly by denying an after-party AND the hotel lobby. Poor form.
Eli’s Wedding Outlook: Kudos to Eli and Future Mrs. Eli on booking a wedding venue 15 miles away from a casino. While it will be tough to drag many of the ancillary wedding guests there, the lack of their presence will be made up by the plethora of blackjack chips in front of me at 4AM.
3) Old People Dancing - There’s nothing quite like taking ambitious, nostalgic grandparents and pairing them up with modern day Billboard Top 40 hits. It happens at every wedding. The moment when the DJ gets a little liberal in his/her song selection and throws in some tunes that rock the traditionalism boat. There always seems to be a seamless transition from “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” to “Sexy Bitch”. And for some reason, grandparents are totally OK with this. They’re blinded by the undying love for their grandchildren that even the poetic words of “Drank in My Cup” by a guy named Kirko Bangz can suddenly become a body shaker. I don’t know how it happens. But it does. And it’s awesome.
It’s also my firm belief that modern day pimps modeled their accessories after seeing older men tear up the dance floor at weddings, cane in tow.
Eli’s Wedding Outlook: I don’t think I’ve ever actually met any of Eli or Future Mrs. Eli’s grandparents. That being said, if the Groomsman Games proved anything, it was that grandmother’s love me. I’ve already warned my girlfriend that she’ll have competition at the end of the night. Deal with it.
4) Drunk Uncles – Just like old people dancing, drunk uncles serve one and only one purpose: to upstage their younger counterparts and prove they still got it. Usually, this is the result of years and years of repetitive unfulfilled dreams and desires. A crushed soul, if you will. And probably a failed (or failing) marriage. Sprinkle in a kid or two under the age of eight who’s at home with the sitter and you’ve got the recipe for inappropriate touching, microphone coups, and drinking the bar clean of Schaefer’s.
Eli’s Wedding Outlook: Future Mrs. Eli told me she was “genuinely concerned” about our group uniting with her band of uncles. We can’t disappoint the bride on the biggest day of her life, now can we?
5) The Actual Couple – When all’s said and done, points 1-4 pale in comparison to the two people whose calligraphical names were barely legible on the pastel envelope you received months ago. Hopefully, these people are awesome. Like my old roommate who stayed out until 2AM with his new bride and let me third wheel it back with them in a cab to the hotel we were all staying in. However, if they do suck, and you’re contractually bound or pussy-whipped to attend, there’s always the opportunity to horde the giveaways. Suckers.
Eli’s Wedding Outlook: Rather than get all sappy and sentimental here, I thought it would be fun to post the YouTube video of our speeches on Tuesday morning after the holiday weekend. Come back and visit us in a few days to see if we famed or flamed.
In the meantime, from all of us at The PO Life and our legions of follower(s), a big congratulations to Eli and Mrs. Eli!
In all of eternity, before homo sapiens walked upright, before Hercules battled the Minotaur, and after Rick Santorum pulled out of the 2012 election, it was written that Drunk Monopoly would have a champion. Not just a champion, but a champion of champions. It was written. It was written well. It was also spoken. And passed down through the ages through stories. It wasn’t physically written down, but more of in a figurative way. So it was written.
The rules are simple: There are no rules. Before you can even play, you must drink one full beer. Rudy was made to drink two. Let me also point out that the night prior to this, heavy drinking was had and heavy hangovers were in effect. With a strict 11:00am start time, tempers flared as attempted manipulation occurred to begin the game without certain (Eli) participants in attendance. All that aside, the game began smoothly, with the sweet taste of Natural Light tingling on our lips.
When we were growing up, Eli drove us everywhere. Cliff still lived abroad, McCannon was too lazy and too stupid to pass his permit test before Virginia bumped up the age minimum, Bart was a a loser, I didn’t really know Al that well yet, and I was way younger than everyone else. So we’d pile into Eli’s creepy white Plymouth Voyager (literally held together with duct tape) and roam the hard streets of Northern Virginia trying to convince people we weren’t the DC Snipers. As time went on, our group posted a car collection that would make Jay Leno blush: There was McCannon’s iconic ’95 Corolla known simply as ACE, Bart’s ’92 Tercel (that had a huge dent in the side of it from where I kicked it while drunk and later convinced him that he must have been victim of a hit and run), Eli’s upgrade to the ’94 Accord that leaked fluid onto the feet of whoever rode shotgun, and Clifford’s Ranger pick-up truck which once hit 100 mph in a residential neighborhood.
We may have been driving ticking time bombs and playing jeopardy with our lives each time Eli stalled out in the middle of an intersection, but one thing we never did was drive under the influence. Even if it meant that we’d end the night with nothing in our stomachs but the poisons of C2H6O. Every now and then, we’d summon our designated designated driver to bring us to the hellhole that is Amphora Diner in Herndon. But rarely would one of us bite the bullet to stay sober so that our friends could raise hell in a public venue at 3:00AM. So what would it be like to race around DC to our favorite late night eateries? And what would the food taste like without the aid of a couple cold ones? LET THE GREAT EXPERIMENT BEGIN!