A Frosty without alcohol? This wasn’t going to end well for anyone.
I don’t remember my walk home. From what my neighbor tells me, I spent a good four hours crying my eyes out on the front steps. It was a dark time for me indeed. Could I have simply disregarded the bet and drank anyway? Yes, and in retrospect I probably should have.
I awoke to a blinding light. Cursed sun, how you always manage to find a way to creep through my closed blinds and into my eyes at the most inopportune moment of my day, namely the beginning before I’ve had my morning beer. My head throbbed as I crawled from my bed towards the refrigerator, eager to indulge in my liquid hangover cure.
Then I remembered the previous night. My humiliating defeat at the hands of Edwin. The chorus of patrons singing that awful rendition of “Frosty the Snowman”. The terms of our bet.
Oh god no, the terms of our bet! The terms which dictated that the loser must go sober for an entire year. I was that loser, and now I had to go sober for an entire year. The last time I had seen sober was, well, honestly, I don’t remember. I was always under the assumption that I came out of the womb with a beer in my hand. My mother disagrees, but what does she know? It wasn’t her birth!
As I opened my fridge, I glanced at its contents. Beer, beer, beer, bologna, water, beer. I began to reach for a beer out of pure habit, when a large and rather pudgy hand smacked mine away. I glanced up to see Slim standing above me.
“Nah man, remember your bet?”
What the hell? This was my friend, my best friend, my best friend in the whole wide world, denying me my amber-colored recovery. I reminded him of our friendship.
“What the fuck you fat bastard, I thought we were bros!”
Always a man of honor, Slim gave me the ol’ “A bet is a bet, Frosty. You lost, suck it up and deal.”
Yeah? Suck this up, pal!
I backhanded Slim in anger, succeeding in sending his glasses to the floor, where they broke into what looked like irreparable pieces. Slim was blind, now was my chance! As Slim fumbled around the ground like a fat Jewish version of Velma from Scooby Doo I made my daring push for the fridge. Yet again, my hand was met with a forceful smack. Groaning in frustration, I looked up. Standing above me this time was none other than… Edwin!
That bastard! Not content with his victory, he had decided to defile my house, my home, with his gloating presence!
Edwin sneered at me. “Rise and shine, Frosty!” He offered his hand, which I begrudgingly accepted. As he pulled me to my feet, I questioned his presence in my house.
“What the hell man, you can’t just walk into people’s houses uninvited. That’s trespassing!”
Slim explained that in the middle of the contest I had agreed to random sobriety inspections. And so, I was forced to watch as Edwin and Slim poured my entire stash of beer down the kitchen sink. One by one my bottles and cans were carelessly dumped with no ceremony or sympathy.
As tears welled up in my eyes, ever-observant Edwin took another opportunity to gloat.
“Aww, look man, you really don’t have to go through with this.”
As if taking away my right to drink wasn’t enough, now Edwin was trying to say that I couldn’t uphold my end of the bet. As if honor was some kind of abstract notion to me. By telling me that I didn’t have to go through with the stipulation of our competition, Edwin was saying “Hey Frosty, you’re a scumbag and I don’t expect you to adhere to any agreement you make, so I’m going to save myself the disappointment and tell you that you don’t have to adhere to our agreement.” Fuck you Edwin! I may be many things, most of which aren’t good- okay, ALL of which aren’t good, but dishonorable isn’t one of them. Frosty is all about honor and integrity! “Three Ninjas” was one of my favorite movies growing up so you KNOW I’m not BSing on this one. Wasn’t that a great movie? Then they went and ruined it with “Surf’s Up”. You wanna talk about “dishonor”? That sequel was dishonorable!
Sorry, I lost track for a minute.
Replying to Edwin’s attack on my integrity, I harshly dismissed his proposal with a hearty “Fuck you”. Edwin laughed and told me to suit myself. And that was how my year-long foray into the cold harsh world of sobriety began, with a “Fuck you” and a laugh.
And a craving for pancakes. The previous night’s events had really taken a toll on my stomach, and now that I was slowly sobering up my body demanded sustenance in the form of water and flour coated in thick liquid sugar. With some sausage on the side. Ooh, and powdered sugar and strawberries! Wow, where had this voracious appetite come from all of a sudden? I wasn’t sure, but something needed to replace my thirst for beer, so it might as well be food.
There was no way in hell I was going outside with that sun as bright as it was, so in an attempt to be friendly I humbled myself to Edwin and asked him if he could make me some pancakes. “Hey Edwin, when you’re done being a douchebag can you whip me up some pancakes and sausage?” Edwin was known throughout the Philadelphia restaurant circuit as one of the best damn chefs in town. Just go into any restaurant in downtown Philadelphia and ask about “Flamin’ Ed”. You’ll be wowed by tales of how Edwin once banged out 24 orders in 10 minutes, how he made a chicken pot pie so good it made Gordon Ramsay cry, and the time he made a western omelette for the ambassador of Nicaragua.
With a sigh, Edwin agreed to my request, and began to make what were most certainly going to be the best pancakes in the whole city. Maybe this sobriety thing wouldn’t be so bad after all.
If only I had known that I was going to eat those words, I may have put aside some of the syrup…