This past Friday night saw my return to the barbecue joint to celebrate the launch of the Brooklyn Petro hot sauce company, a bottling endeavour fronted by Campbell — the Pug-eyed Britney Spears-looking motherfucker in the photo below — and my former kitchenmate, Scott the Crooklyn Cowboy. I can tell you from watching the guy nearly everyday in the barbecue joint's kitchen that Scott is a dab hand at saucerie (sorcery?) and the flavors he bottled and tested out on an unsuspecting clientele thoroughly kick ass, being all about the flavor and with enough burn to be noted and appreciated but not strong enough to fall into the category of culinary felonious assault.
Campbell and Scott, during their halcyon days of transporting young white girls across state lines for purposes of violating the Mann Act.
So Scott and Campbell have incorporated and the whole skinny on Brooklyn Petro can be found at http://www.brooklynpetro.com/ so I urge you to check out their wares. The inaugural flavor off the line is dubbed Exhaust, the first of many automotive-themed sauces that do not taste of their namesakes. Trust me, the shit's really good on chicken, especially wings and legs.
The lads at the bottling plant, personally ensuring that each bottle gets a dose of their own DNA.
The launch party for Brooklyn Petro turned out to be a rather raucous affair, complete with much imbibing of spirits, nubile young women parading about the place in various states of questionable attire, the expected delicious barbecue fare, and even live performances by a rock cover combo and a bluegrass band.
Believe it or not, all of this went to one party of people. That's a fuckload of food, dude.
But fun though Friday night was, the weekend became an odyssey of more partying than I've done in quite a while, much of it inspired by the presence of a dear old friend.
This is Lanei, one of my favorite extant human beings. We met about nine years ago, not long after I settled into my current Park Slope digs, and I seldom get to see her these days since her path took her to the hinterlands of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a place that defines the term "so close, and yet so far." She's a philosophy professor there and while that's fantastic on an academic resume it's a bit of a hike if you want to see her, and having been to Pittsburgh I can attest to its lack of any sort of stimulation. There's a reason why George Romero shot NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) and DAWN OF THE DEAD (1979) in the area. Anyway, Lanei's been through some unpleasant shit recently and needed a dose of positivity, and much to my surprise it turned out to be a two-pronged positivity boost thanks to the introduction of Suzi, a longtime pal of Lanei's whose interaction with her struck me as more sisterly than just a friendship. Suzi just moved to park Slope from California, and as luck would have it she's just around the corner from me on 4th Avenue, just a couple of doors down from the popular lesbian watering hole — stop that giggling! — Catty Shack.
It's always great to see Lanei, but Suzi arrived from out of nowhere as welcome as a pleasant breeze; she's tall, smart as a motherfucker, cute with green eyes, is a bit of a STAR TREK goon, can party like the girl your mother would hate on sight, has a very funny and ribald sense of humor, tells a story quite well, has a sly smile that can stop you in your tracks, loves Frank Zappa (!!!), and has a huge standard Poodle named Reggie (who will be arriving here soon). Find me one thing in there not to like!
So the three of us had spent some time together earlier in the week, but now it was the weekend — "time for freakin'" — so we got our drink on big time at the barbecue joint, and the ladies let me know in no uncertain terms that their mission for the evening was "the complete and total objectification of men," and with that I was treated to a not-so-subtle display of ogling and comments about the various "studs" (Ha!!!) encountered that night, all as the Magic Helmet made its way about the bar and worked its singular absurd magic.
Carly was in full force as usual, this time making like the world's smallest Valkyrie. Is it just me, or does she look really tasty in a helmet?
The ladies also got to meet Big Mikey, who arrived full of piss and vinegar and instantly endeared himself to the two objectifiers thanks to his infectious sense of humor and obvious pride in being a bear among bears.
I have no idea who the honey in the Magic Helmet is in this shot, but haci-machi, I'd sure like to!
As the night went on, myself and the ladies made our way down 5th Avenue toward the Commonwealth pub, a decent bar with what may be the most exhaustive jukebox in the entire borough, and while we walked Lanei sported the Magic Helmet, a fashion statement that earned a number of drunken (yet surprisingly genteel) comments from the scurvy louts who festooned the sidewalk. We even gained another member for our little safari in the person of, as Suzi aptly described him, a "Viking punk rocker guy" who we happened to meet on the street while he was sending a friend back to Manhattan in a cab. But since I had worked a long week and just gotten off of a fairly busy day, to say nothing of having engaged in nonstop drinking for the past six hours or so, I was too exhausted to keep pace with the objectifiers, so I left them at Commonwealth and made my way back home to bed and the first night of uninterrupted sleep I'd had in a while.
More of the same went on the very next night, only with the booze consumption turned up considerably (well, for me anyway). And Mikey got to show off his new tattoo, a work that was met enthusiastically by a swarm of assembled hotness.
The next afternoon found myself and the ladies enjoying brunch at the New College diner, a place I once frequented every Saturday and Sunday with my extended family of friends when they all lived within walking distance. Lanei knew the place well, having once been a part of the weekly crew of hungover scarfers, and she'd introduced Suzi to its many charms the previous afternoon, so we stuffed ourselves with abandon, relishing the high-cholesterol feast, perusing the Sunday paper and its appallingly feeble funny pages — will someone please just fucking end PRINCE VALIANT already? — and cracking each other up with stories from our misspent youth. Those two brief hours brought me back to a much happier time and place in my life, a time when I was surrounded by the security and love of family, a time now long gone, and I silently wished that some random glitch in the fabric of time would allow this perfect moment to go on indefinitely, but such was not to be; Lanei found herself fighting a bad case of food-coma and needed a nap, while Suzi had errands to run and work to catch up on. All too soon we parted ways, and I returned to the confines of the Vault, a little sad, but grateful for the dose of positive female energy that had sustained me for the past few days.
This weekend was a tonic for my weary emotional state, and it offered me a short respite from the loneliness that dogs me on nearly a daily basis. It was wonderful to see Lanei, and I am broken up at the thought of her returning to the zombie stomping ground on Tuesday, but I'm equally elated that she introduced me to the conveniently-located Suzi, a uniquely delightful new friend who I hope to see a lot more of. In recent months I've moved on from the job at the barbecue joint, weathered a failed attempt at romance, found new employment that brings me back into the creative field (well, sort of), and started doing my forms again, but I've felt undeniably empty, and my time with Lanei and Suzi was another taste of getting back to my old self, a self that lost a lot of its moxie during the past four years.
But then there are those who would say it's all due to the powers of the Magic Helmet and some of the mysterious potions I ingested over the weekend, including a noxious concoction called a "Red-Headed Slut," so what the fuck do I know?