It’s almost 11 p.m. on the Sunday after Rich and Bennett’s 14th Annual Halloween Pub Crawl. I am just getting over my hangover. I’m still too dehydrated to stand, and it’s only now that I’m able to successfully brush my teeth without throwing up. Maybe picking up a six-pack and taking shots AFTER drinking for 10 hours straight wasn’t a good idea after all.
Almost two months ago, I was sitting in front of the editor of this here publication — whom I email-stalked for a whole month — trying to give her a reason why she should let me write for CL. A couple samples later and a week before the pub crawl, she tells me, “I want you to be our new nightlife writer.” Honestly, I wanted to shit myself. Especially when my first assignment was writing about a Halloween pub crawl that I planned on being close-to-blackout for.
I assembled my crew: the Addams family, Carrie, Anton Chigurh (I am told he is a serial killer in No Country for Old Men), Slender Man (Google it), a Native American (yes, someone who was actually Native American) and Bob Dylan. In feminist fashion, I was the iconic Rosie the Riveter.
For this gig, I needed to prove myself as a worthy writer, a semi-sober and physically aware adult. But after one double shot of whiskey, I lost my phone and sunglasses. Great start — I hadn’t even left for the crawl yet.
When our Uber pulled up to Dixie Tavern’s parking lot, the anticipation built as we watched hundreds of adults — I use this term loosely; a more accurate description would probably be humans of legal age — dressed in costumes eager to enter. Before I even pulled out my ID, I scanned the crowd. Cultural appropriation? Check. Underdressed women who aren’t actually in costume? Check, check. I smiled. Gang’s all here!
Confused as to how a pub crawl even worked (this was my first one ever), I became immediately anxious that I didn’t have a beer in each hand. After being given a ticket, I noticed an itinerary outlining what bars to go to and when. I began to calculate how many drinks I could have at each place. Forget it, the answer was too many. And I forgot to plan time for food. Plan B it is: Just drink.
After being forced to chug a beer before leaving the parking lot — why is it illegal to walk around Uptown with alcohol again? Can someone fix this? — the games began. Here are highlights from each spot:
• BAR Charlotte: Pole dancing. “Hot in Herre.”
• Fitzgerald’s: Family Jell-O shots. Pretzel bites and cheese.
• Prohibition: Naked bartenders.
• Cowbell: Corndog. Samuel Smith organic apple cider. (Food break, thanks to parental guidance)
• Tilt: Seahawks fans overload. Rick Ross. Hooters To-Go Truck.
• Suite: Bob Marley. Conspiracy theory.
I could go into detail about what we did at each bar, but honestly, it would all sound the same. Insert Kendrick Lamar’s “Swimming Pools”: Pour up (drank), head shot (drank). And repeat. Throw in more than your fair share of drunk convos with strangers (and maybe even co-workers twice your age), tossing a baby-doll at passersby to determine their ability to parent, and you get the gist. What I can tell you is that it lasted nine hours, there were 21 different places to drink, and all roads led to the Grave Digger’s Ball.
By the end of the night I could honestly care less where Waldo was because, seriously? He was everywhere! And my favorite costume of all? A naked bartender at Prohibition who wore only a small box in the “high-ticket area” and a nametag that read “Jack.” You got it. Jack-in-a-box.
I have no idea who Rich and Bennett are, and to be honest, I hated them when I woke up the morning after, but they sure do know how to have a good time. Although I thought I might actually have to crawl, it was by far one of the best Charlotte days-turned-nights I’ve ever had. Oh, and in case you were wondering, I never found those sunglasses.
Here’s to me, the 24-year-old recent college grad using writing as an excuse to explore the Queen City’s nightlife, one drink at a time. Well, maybe two.