Party Down

Perhaps the best advice about traveling to Broad Ripple on Saturday night can be found in Sun Tzu’s classic The Art of War. Whether you’re out with the troops looking for a good time at Chumley’s or in search of Miss Right(Now) at the Vogue, be advised you have entered a battlefield. A few thousand Circle City samurais gather on Broad Ripple’s streets and in its bars for a drunken time. It’s advisable to bring a bodyguard, or two.

I only need one.

Shane, the meanest person I know, and I both understand exactly what we’re in for when walking into Chumley’s: 500 college students, and a few alumni, spilling drinks and pickup lines on each other to a hip-hop beat as we all watch the big game — it’s a nostalgic scene. Luckily, most bar hoppers use Chumley’s as a starting spot, a great place to get loaded before trying their luck at one of the bigger dance clubs. It is this constant turnover that allowed Shane and me to find a table directly in front of the big-screen.

We were enjoying the joke of a game that was USC-Stanford when two drunken idiots blocked our view of the screen. Luckily for them, it was halftime and I am a patient man. When I returned from standing in line for 10 minutes at the restroom, I found they were gone.

As I sat, Shane informed me that he, kindly, asked them to move.

I asked where they were. “Well, after I told them to sit down or I was going to kick the living shit out of them both, they got mad and left,” Shane replied.

Understand, Shane and I work well as a team. Early in the night I keep him out of trouble and later in the evening it is he who watches me. This was already the third confrontation Shane had attempted to start, but his 300-pound frame tends to intimidate even the drunkest foe.

The night progressed, as did my buzz. We left but came back after realizing Chumley’s was our best bet to stay out of trouble. I was pretty riled. A pint of whiskey, some cognac, scotch and countless beers tend to do that to me. Shane was right up there with me, minus the pint. We lost our table when we left, so we stood, keeping the walls from caving. I stole a seat at the bar from a guy when he stood up to whisper something in a passing woman’s ear. “Hey, Sweetie, those are some nice boots.”

After a few words, he bought me a drink (an Incredible Hulk) and I realized he didn’t want any trouble. Shane and I laughed with him and his friends as they stumbled over themselves, commenting on Shane’s size.

We left Chumley’s around God knows when. IPD was strung out keeping a close eye on the hotspots, i.e. the girls. This left plenty of opportunity for Shane to keep me out of tight situations on our way to the car.


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