Monkeying Around

On Saturday, I volunteered at the Tour de Fat cycling event. If bicycles and Mardi Gras were to have a baby (and you KNOW Mardi Gras would sleep with anyone), it would look kind of like the Tour de Fat. Music, costumes, drinking, and cycling: not a bad day, so I donned my famous monkey costume and headed over.

Stationed at the beer tent, I was tasked with pouring all of the Ranger beer and keeping ahead of the demand. It flowed from a spigot from a truck, but every cup I filled was way too heady. No matter what tricks I tried, my beers were at least half foam, which was pretty embarrassing as I watched the others pour effortlessly.

Naturally, I felt incompetent. I assumed the problem was me, since I’m easily the dumbest smart person I know. Considering I can foul up the most menial of tasks, I wanted to quit so I didn’t keep delaying the beer line. The other volunteers, some dressed as Superman, Sweet Dee, and a gender-bending tooth fairy, though friendly, kept critiquing my style because they “knew” what the problem was. The quickest way to get them to shut up was to let them take a turn at pouring and realizing that they couldn’t do it much better.

For once in my life, the problem wasn’t me! Apparently, this kind of beer and overheated and would just be interminably foamy no matter what, so I just had to do the best I could with it. It kept me busy, anyway. My solution was to shake out the foam and combine the liquid from a few cups into a single cup that would have an adequate amount. Essentially, I was pouring three beers for every one that got served.

In my haste, I spilled a lot of beer on myself, making me grossly sticky. I was also getting drunk. We were not allowed to drink on shift, but if we were to randomly step away with a beer for a few minutes and return without explanation, that was okay, wink wink.

While pouring foam out into the grass toward the end of the day, a pair of people approached me, saying they knew me from somewhere. Not recognizing them, I figured they must be mistaken, explaining that I wasn’t normally dressed as a monkey and covered in beer. After guessing a bit, one pinpointed how he remembered me (the real context is too embarrassing to share, so we will henceforth refer to it as “art class.”) Then I joined them and like ten other people in a port-a-potty for karaoke. It was a handicapped stall, so roomier than your average transportable toilet, but as a dozen people flailed around singing and dancing to “Love Shack,” I was concerned that we might end up tipping the port-a-potty over.

As much as I’d like to say I rushed home to shower after these unhygienic experiences, I ended up spending the next ten hours barhopping with these near-strangers. Well, considering I just took one person’s word for it that he knew me even though I had no recognition of him, I guess it’s fair to call them complete strangers. Not only did they not judge me for lugging around a monkey costume all night and having hands so sticky that people recoiled when they shook my hand, these strangers also didn’t rape and murder me. So, like, new friends!

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