Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snowbliteration

Greetings fellow partiers. First, allow me to apologize for the lengthy period between posts- not to mention the discontinuation of our Winter Olympic Drinking Games countdown with 7 days still to go. I know many of you are looking forward to what our twisted and masochistic minds can come up with to celebrate American athletic glory, and I promise you that countdown will resume shortly. Now to the reason for our lay-off: in a word, it was Snowbliteration. Depending on your location and news source, the D.C. metro area received the 5th-, 4th- or 3rd-biggest blizzard of all time this weekend. In celebration of and coordination with this massive storm, we attempted to go on one of the biggest benders of all time. And since partying comes before all else- including blogging- this lapse in posts was a necessary evil.

And a successful bender it was. Allow me to set the scene.

Being thoroughly dedicated to the cause (of partying) and knowing that the Super Bowl was one of the half dozen most important days of the entire year in that regard, our planning process began early last week. Our thought was to purchase a bunch of food, perhaps some alcohol (not too much, though, since we don't like to drink), invite some people over, and throw your average run-of-the-mill Super Bowl party. And then the first reports of a winter storm began filtering in... half of foot of snow was predicted. That prediction was soon doubled, and then tripled. By Thursday night, the forecast came with the caveat that records could fall to this monster, which promised to drop 20-30 inches or more. I'll admit, being a native New Englander and having been disappointed more than once by bombastic mid-Atlantic snow forecasts, I was skeptical that this impending Snowbliteration could be anything more than a paper tiger.

Then I saw a radar image of the storm on Friday morning: this behemoth stretched over 1000 miles across, from Chicago to the Atlantic coast and over 500 miles tall, from the Great Lakes to North Carolina. Perhaps, the weatherman was right this time. This was the real deal. Our weekend plans were thrown into disarray. What would we do? Could we possibly cope with such a storm? And then we remembered one thing: in December, the great Snowpocalypse of '09 hit D.C. and dropped 16 inches of powder. Over those fateful few days, we stood toe to toe with Mother Nature and didn't blink (although we did get a bit droopy-eyed from all the booze). If we could rock out in the face of Nature's fury then, we could certainly do it again. But we needed more food and more beer. A lot more. (In case you're wondering what transpired during Snowpocalypse, simply continue reading and you will encounter a bigger, badder, drunker version with more snow).

Much like our parents can remember exactly what they were doing when JFK was shot, I can remember the exact place and time where I was when Snowbliteration began. I was sitting at my desk, hungover, at roughly 10:40 am when the first excited GChats, text messages, and emails began filtering in. "It's snowing!" "Hooray for snow!" "Look outside!" Having decided to temp fate the previous night I caught a buzz, betting that the office would close ahead of the storm. As it goes in the song: "I fought the law and the law won." The office operates on the Federal government schedule and the geniuses over at the Office of Personnel Management decided in all their wisdom to declare a half day. Being slightly under the weather and thoroughly peeved, I did not share the excitement and giddiness of my compatriots, but at least I could reconcile myself with doing nothing and getting paid for it. After billing a few hours to "Miscellaneous Legal Research" (i.e. reading the New York Times and sending obscene emails to a few friends), I tired of pretending to work and received permission to leave at 1:30. I walked out the door at 12:15.

After picking up some friends and battling through Washington traffic (D.C. drivers are horrible to begin with and absolutely awful when whipped into a pre-blizzard frenzy), our first stop was the liquor store. Keg. Check. Vodka. Check. Triple Sec, Tequila, Gin. Check, check, check. What are we forgetting...? Everclear! Check. After stopping for a late lunch at Ray's Hell-Burger, we finally made it home. At this point the snow was starting to come down at a fairly decent clip and we put the keg out back to chill to proper temperature. We then ventured back out into the storm, braving the conditions to purchase more supplies. Three supermarkets and $350 later, we had enough food to survive a nuclear attack.

By mid-afternoon, the riot punch was mixed and the drinks began to flow. (There is nothing that gets you in the mood to party like a concoction that is 50 percent grain alcohol). The keg was tapped shortly thereafter and by early evening we were sufficiently buzzed to put on our best Emeril impression. Soon there were steaming pots of three-meat chili and spicy jambalaya, Red Baron frozen pizza (cooked at this point, of course), along with a varied assortment of chips, dips, and other delicious finger foods. As the snow came pounding down that evening, we ate like kings.

Our hunger being sated meant only one thing: it was time for beer pong. My partner and I had a particularly hot hand Friday night, winning a couple dozen games against only a handful of losses. At times it was like if Tyson fought an infant; we couldn't lose. Meanwhile, the Snowbliteration was intensifying: every time we opened the back door to refill the pitcher from the keg, the gusting winds whipped the snow inside, leaving a fine dusting over the kitchen. Upon returning from a pitcher mission or a cigarette break, people would be covered in snow as if they had just been antiqued, despite only being outside a few minutes. At this point the snow was accumulating multiple inches every hour, while 30 mph winds reduced visibility to near nothing.

The beer pong could have gone on all night (and perhaps I might never have left the table) save for one event: around midnight a Metro bus lost its momentum on the slight incline in front of our house and became stuck, spinning its wheels. Being both Good Samaritans and thoroughly intoxicated we decided that it was not only possible but the desirable to venture outside and attempt to push the bus up the hill. Now to any sober, rational person this would seem like a dangerous and fruitless endeavor. (Can't you imagine the opening sentence of that news story? "On Friday evening, the attempt by a number of drunk revelers to push a 12-ton city bus up a hill ended in tragedy as it slid backwards, crushing all of them to death like so many ants"). At the time, however, we were neither sober nor rational, and this seemed like a terrific idea; it was simply another chapter of our party, waiting to be written. Somehow, someway the beer muscles of 6 young men were able to push the bus through the blizzard to the crest of the hill and send it on its merry way.

After that excitement, more beer pong was just too much to bear, so we turned to card games. After a few rounds of asshole and a few more of bullshit pyramid, the first weaklings began to hit the deck. Around 2 am, I poured myself a bourbon and ginger ale and drifted off to sleep, as the storm continued to rage outside my bedroom window.

I awoke at quarter to ten on Saturday morning, slightly hungover, but eager to tackle the new day and reignite the Snowbliteration obliteration. I opened the blinds and was dumbfounded to see that my entire balcony had been filled in with a four-foot deep snowdrift. And it was still coming down. I went downstairs and the sight of sleeping bodies all over my living room rudely reminded me that due to all my fellow partiers being snowed in, I was now running a Holiday Inn. Fuck it, the more the merrier. After a breakfast fit for royalty and the mandatory weekly viewing of Inglourious Basterds, I set about shoveling our patio in preparation for the day's activities. The keg tap had frozen overnight so I brought it inside. It thawed just in time for me to pour my first beer at 12:02 (don't want to upset mom with any morning drinking, anyway that's strictly for Sundays).

Roughly about this time, my roommate decided it was a good idea to catch a mild morning buzz and go out drifting in his Blazer on the snow-covered streets. After pulling out of the garage, he made it roughly 15 feet before coming up against Snowdriftzilla. The once-indefatigable Blazer had finally met it's match. We proceeded to spend the next two hours of the afternoon drinking and shoveling it out. The only good thing about this debacle is that we had both a keg and riot punch close at hand.

And the snow kept coming.

After finally shoveling, pushing, pulling, and cajoling the Blazer back to her spot in the garage, the next step was logical: barbecue. We had built a powerful hunger that demanded attention. If you have never barbecued in a blizzard you are a.) not awesome and b.) missing out on some serious fun. Apparently, our neighbors had never experienced such lunacy, but back home in New England, the blizzard barbecue is a February tradition. We spared no expense in bringing this tradition to the South and showing these people how we do it. With half the development drawn to our patio by the smell of cooking meats like moths to light, we piled the food high. Barbecue chicken slathered with Sweet Baby Ray's (trademark, all rights reserved), sausages of all varieties, slider-style burgers glued together with raw egg, seasoned with every spice in the cabinet, and topped with fried onions, mushrooms, and peppers. Homemade steak fries, covered in oil and salt, hot dogs, and every chip and dip that Frito Lay makes.

This feast so excited our neighbors about the possibilities of conducting activities outside in the storm that they decided to invoke Blizzard Rules (real rules don't apply) and set up flip cup and beer pong games at the end of our street. (It would be useful to note here that our street runs into one of the main east-west thoroughfares through Arlington and that there was constant foot and vehicle traffic passing by, astounded at the audacity and resilience of our partying). Some people joined in despite the fact that we were total strangers, others looked down their noses at us; I guess the party gene is stronger in some than others. One pedestrian was particularly unamused when we offered him and his 12-year-old son cups of riot punch, and then lobbed insults and snowballs at him when he wouldn't let the kid have a drink. (Umm, sorry for partying).

At the height of this party, with 25-30 people boozing in public, throwing snowballs at passing plows, and the storm at full throttle, we decided, like Emeril, to "take it up another notch!" The keg was brought out into the street, packed into the snowbank (to maintain proper temperature), and the keg stands began. You might say, "Well, gee, isn't that illegal, all that drinking in public, disturbing the peace, inciting mayhem, and so forth?" My response to that question is threefold: 1.) blow me; 2.) yes, it is, but we were already breaking the law so it's really just water under the bridge; and 3.) our lease expressly forbids kegs and I would rather break the law than break the lease.

Plus, the Arlington County cops understood that we were operating under Blizzard Rules. After one lengthy keg stand, a cruiser that were we too distracted to see rolling up the street, slowed to stop beside our party. Without rolling down the window, the cop looked at us sternly and pointed at the guy who had just finished the stand. We all tensed, ready to run (nothing is cooler than running from the po-lice). He then broke into a wide grin, gave us the thumbs up, and gunned the Crown Vic down the road.

Around 6 pm on Saturday the snow tapered off and then stopped altogether. There were 21 inches on ground. Snowbliteration had ended, but the obliteration was still in full-swing. We took the snow ending as a cue to go inside and continue the party there. In quick succession we attacked the barbecue leftovers, smoked a good amount of herb, played a few beer pong games, and tossed the kicked keg out the back door. At this point, I blacked out.

I am told the rest of the night went swimmingly (and by that I mean complete and utter chaos ensued). I soon turned into a mouth-breathing knuckle-dragging neanderthal who leered out of half-open eyes at the scenes passing before me, like clips from a movie. I am told that I held a 45-minute animated conversation with a set of neighbors I had never met before. (I must have said something interesting since they didn't run away). Apparently, my roommate and beer pong partner (Blazer guy) viciously- and accidentally- bodyslammed our neighbor/opponent during one of the beer pongs games that I don't remember playing. Miraculously, both emerged without any broken bones/concussions/lacerations. And towards the end of the night, the handful of people remaining went through 5 cases of beer in under 2 hours.

I woke up late in the morning on Sunday, with a pounding headache and a 4-hour blank spot in my memory (so fratty). After the first wave of pain and nausea receded, this thought hit me: we spent nearly $500 on food and booze for a Super Bowl party and we finished it all before Sunday. In essence, we blew our Super Bowl party load 24 hours prematurely... and it was so worth it. I grabbed the pipe off the night stand, took a few rips to center myself, and went downstairs. I poured myself a tall mimosa and drank it quickly, to kill the hangover. Then, in a pint glass, I mixed up Southern Comfort with orange juice and grenadine, and settled into the day. What a weekend.

Update:

The Saints (Who Dat!?) made history by winning Da Super Bowl. D.C. is still a war zone. The Federal government has been closed since midday Friday. And this just in: 72 hours after we were Snowbliterated, the third major storm of the year is about to slam into the mid-Atlantic, dropping 10-20 inches by the time it's all over on Wednesday night. Seeing as I won't be going to work for the rest of the week, I'll have plenty of time to write about the impending Snowmaggedon. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

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