Chicago, IL-A relaxing barbeque amongst friends transformed into a knock-down-drag-out drinking extravaganza in record time over the weekend. Like all Chicago barbeques, food was meticulously curated and friends and spouses alike agreed it would be the perfect opportunity to enjoy some good food, good company and perhaps even a beer or glass of wine before retreating home to watch a movie and get an adequate amount of rest before the impending work week.
As the day progressed, and one beer turned into a handle of Rumplemintz with a carton of American Spirits to boot, it became apparent that food had lost relevancy. The early start of the BBQ, originally functioning as an early curfew safeguard, ended up merely piling on additional hours of frenzied drinking.
Prospective burdens of the week melted with the ice in the cooler, and a feeling of regal invincibility settled in as wine glasses swelled like the livers they poured on. Monday would never come, or if it did it would surely be someone else’s problem. The impending hangover would serve as a lesson to employers, a reminder that wrestling with Monday hangovers are as much a part of the weekend as Sunday drinking.
As the barbeque concluded, the guest’s divinity receded with each glass of water, each minute of restless sleep, and they became fully aware that Wednesday would be the next time they felt human.
Old Man Strength
There are certain phenomena in this world that transcend human comprehension. These uncanny spectacles should not be approached intellectually or physically, but rather quietly and respectfully admired from a distance. One such instance of this is a quality that, some if not all, men over the age of 45 seem to inherit. Endearingly and accurately referred to as Old Man Strength.
It is often unrecognizable, but always present. Latent and ready to be provoked. It can present itself in a variety of ways but most commonly:
1.) Rarely touching a drop of alcohol normally, but somehow appearing at a tailgate and outlasting/out-drinking even the raspiest sounding Kamchatka pickled sorority girl. Only to wake up effortlessly and rather chipper the next morning, to toil about and possibly clean the gutters.
2.) Acquiring what is known as a Power Belly.(not mandatory but extremely common). It’s bulbous and misshapen appearance would suggest a certain passiveness, however it’s widely accepted that this is where most Old Man Strength is derived from. A hindrance/stigma at any other age or gender, it is worn with a certain reverence in this instance, and used with haste. Most often times dominating sons in wrestling matches or moving eight foot tall, awkwardly built China cabinets for daughters and wives.
3.) Developing a unique set of the most frustrating/successful basketball moves to play against one on one, most notably the hook, the scoop, and the Larry Bird over the head bank shot that’s somehow impossible to defend. Most of the game involves both posting up on offense and leaning on the opponent during defense. It becomes a war of attrition that is always won with Old Man Strength.
Being subjected to these is mutually embarrassing and comforting. It leaves us questioning our health and physicality but also enforces a certain respect and esteem for the middle aged. That undying perseverance in all of its splendor.