By Matt Sedik
I just got back from Buffalo less than an hour ago. I'm sitting in my boxers on the verge of taking a shower. I feel inhuman at the moment, after spending a majority of my day in the air. I have a load of darks in (Its 11:30pm, my neighbors must hate me. Oh well. I need clean clothes for tomorrow.) Wingnut is flopped down at my feet and I'm scratching his head with one hand while attempting to type with the other. He was so vocal when I walked in. I think the little booger actually missed me. I am glad to be wrapped back up in fog. I missed this place. My cat, my bed, my neighborhood. I survived. Just barely, though. Now I'm onto newer, grander things: catching up at work and tomorrow is my brother's birthday. Thank god I already worked out a gift thing with his wife. Here's a quickie rundown of the events:
Up at 5:30am to get a ride to the airport. We pick up Rob. We almost get killed on the highway on the way to the airport. I guess what they say is true about it being safer in the air than on the ground. The flight to Washington DC was delayed because some fellow had a tummy-ache on the plane and they had to get paramedics to pull him out. (We hadn't even eaten the crappy airplane food yet!)
We get to DC and have to switch to a 19-seater plane to continue on to Buffalo. A puddle-jumper. I nicknamed it the "Buddy Holly Special." Propellers, no bathroom, no flight attendant. Scary stuff. Check into the hotel, no, wait, that would be the motor inn. The room looks like an exact replica of my grandfather's house circa 1976, including a wooden eagle lamp, cheesy colonial furniture. Thursday night is Bachelor Party Night. My very first. I'm jazzed, even if it is in Buffalo...
The festivities take place in a restaurant/bar. Food, beer, families. No stripper. Damnit! We get Jesse sloppy drunk and Rob and I walk home. One of the gag gifts the "best man" (Jesseís brother, who is also named Jesse. Don't ask) gives him is one of those nudie mugs. Fill it with hot water and the woman's panties disappear.
Only they don't.
Itís a defective mug. They must all get shipped to Buffalo or something. The only way we got the clothes to come off was by waving a (lit) lighter along the surface of the picture. Oh joy. Things are poppin' now! Had some Buffalo wings for the very first time. In Buffalo. Only there they're just called "wings." Oh yeah, and at one point Jesses uncle Ray casually mentions to the group that he was once involved in some wacky teenage "circle jerk" thing.
Waitress, I need another pitcher please!
No hangover. Rob and I decide to drive around Buffalo, and in the process manage to hit every bad neighborhood imaginable. Uncanny. That afternoon I pickup my tux (looking damn good) and we do the rehearsal. Right after we finished it starts pouring rain. Not looking good. Then we all convened for dinner back at Jesseís folk's place. They have a pool, only I forget to bring trunks. Good thing, Iíd probably look like Moby Dick anyway...
We find a good street to walk up and down on. Finally. Do the wedding. Thankfully doesn't rain and everything goes off without a hitch. He's married now and it's weird. My bet is they'll start pooping out kids soon enough. During the reception the Best Man's girlfriend, Laura, tells me how I am an exact duplicate of her lost pal "Alex" from New York City. She asks if she can call me Alex for the rest of the night...
I tried to get hammered because it's a million degrees out, 90% humidity, and Iím stuck wearing quite possibly the most uncomfortable tux on the planet. The wedding pictures took three times longer than the ceremony itself.
After the reception, the bride and groom go home, so the rest of us younger types decide to go drinking. And yes, she's still wanting to call me Alex.
What can I say about Buffalo bars? They're like San Mateo bars without the glamour.
They drink bad Canadian beer and play darts on some stupid electronic board. When did dart throwing suddenly become high-tech? It didn't matter; I completely sucked anyway. Some short 20 year old from the reception is telling a guy I was hanging out with at the Bachelor Party to get me drunk. Immediately I decided she must have something wrong with her and stay away the rest of the night. Instead we hung out with the bridesmaids. One had a Carrie Fisher/Princess Leia thing going on that I couldn't quite get over. I mean, itís hard to forget the woman who catapulted me through puberty once I saw her in that skimpy slave-girl outfit from Return of the Jedi
They take us to the "freakiest" Buffalo bar they can think of. We end up downtown in some loud, cheesy Goth/industrial place. Such a bad knock-off of anything around here. I was like, "Ho hum... You guys think this stuff is scary?!?... (yawn)" We left them clubbing. We were tired and cranky and the cheap Canadian beer wasn't having the desired effect (of making me forget I was in Buffalo.)
Wake up. Go to breakfast, walk around more. Get on plane. Come home. Sit in boxers.
We didn't make it to Canada. The connecting bridge was buried in traffic and everyone was telling us it would be a waste of time until the construction stops. Especially on the weekends. It also turns out the American side of Niagara Falls (another thing we didn't see) is very lame.
The Canadian side is much cooler.
We basically chilled in Buffalo. As we were taxing down the runway to leave that wondrous city, I was looking out the window. There was a military base next to the airport and I was watching all the people mill about. Just as we start to pick up speed to take off, I catch a sign at the base's front gate:
"Home of the Flying Tigers squadron"
Like only my favorite thing after Godzilla, King Kong and running around naked to "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" were the Flying Tigers! I was never told about the base. About the possibility of actually seeing a Flying Tiger plane in person! I only drew that damn tiger mouth on every toy I owned. Hell, I still want to paint my car black and stencil a mouth and teeth on it! What an appropriate way to end my visit. Damn Buffalonians... Didn't even tell me about the base.... (grumble, grumble)