So the Bears are going to the Super Bowl. This is a very big deal in Chicago, since their last trip was 21 years ago – Boulos and I agree that this makes us feel old, since we remember it very clearly.
My father was there to see them win, in New Orleans. It sounds like quite the time. 13 men in all drove from Chicago to New Orleans in some kind of Winnebago-type vehicle. These included my father’s two uncles and his then-stepfather. My dad was 27 and probably one of the youngest guys on the trip; he and most of these men were big drinkers. That last sentence is actually a huge understatement.
His aunt sent them off with a big batch of chili. Thirteen men, a Winnebago and a bunch of chili sounds like a fun time, huh? According to my father, the men had an agreement that whoever was driving at any given time would not drink. And this was breached about fifteen or twenty minutes into the trip, when his stepfather began drinking a large amount of whiskey at the wheel.
Someone knew a guy who lived in New Orleans, and they parked the trailer thingy at his place, using his electricity. Some of them stayed in the guy’s house and I’m guessing they all used his bathroom. According to my grandma, she “does not know how his wife dealt with this,” but the woman was reportedly “a nurse who smoked pot every night,” which might explain her general coolness and permissibility.
My father told us that he and his uncle ended up at a strip club alone one night, and they met a guy who took them to a party at a trailer park. Everyone else at this party (including their new friend) was black, and my dad and his uncle were convinced they were going to be mugged. But they just ended up partying until dawn, when the man kindly returned them home. Of course, this is the story my dad shared. You have to wonder about the other stuff they did.
Over the years, I have seen several pictures of the guys with their bad-eighties hair and glassy, drunken stares and smiles. There is one of my uncle mooning the camera – I just found out last night that Jim McMahon had mooned the press and this picture is an homage. Which is classier than a random picture of ass, you know.
Family history is important, and so very fun. Hearing this story last night made me feel very straight-laced and rather ineffective in my attempts at drunken adventures. I am only 26, though, so I guess I have another year to plan something to rival this. Maybe when Boulos, my sister and I visit Nashville in April….
By the way, my aforementioned great-uncle, Tommy, passed away rather suddenly last week. He was a really great guy and probably took good care of my father in situations like this. He took care of everyone, in fact. Um, this story really didn’t capture him. I doubt he frequented strip clubs, but they were in New Orleans – I’d be in strip clubs in that situation (not performing, though, you dirty birds).
So, yeah. This is as close to a football-themed post as you’ll get from me.