With Tim’s impending wedding, we went for a little afternoon bachelor’s party the other day. It was an experience in the opposite of what you’d expect.
For whatever reason (ahem, slacker) the best man, Tim’s brother Tom, never got around to planning a party. (Which apparently runs in the family — Tim was my best man and never planned a bachelor’s party.) So a week before the wedding he asked Tim if Tuesday was good. A great beginning. Being one of the only other guys in the wedding party available, I went along as well. That was it. Just us three. Two engaged guys and one married guy, living it up for an afternoon.
Tom showed up at my place at noon, and with his 4:30 p.m. meeting and Tim’s 5:00 p.m. shift at the library, we had about four hours including travel time to live it up. Knowing Tim’s appreciation for the Mall of America, we headed there.
After a diverse food court lunch, including Mexican, Asian, and corn dog cuisine, we rode the escalator to the fourth floor to check out Jillian’s. Their over-priced version of fun was a bit much, so despite the fact that they had bowling, we went to the arcade, which was only slightly over-priced. Exchanging a $20 bill for tokens really helped you forget the fact that each game cost about 66 cents (which isn’t nearly as bad as usual $1.00).
Apparently I haven’t been to an arcade in a while, but they’ve done away with gaming diversity. There were essentially two types of games: racing games and what I’ll call pre-virtual-reality games (rather than a joystick you use some type of physical object to manipulate your character in the game). The virtual games were mainly shoot ’em up games, including one with a machine gun, one with a pump-action shotgun, and one with a sniper rifle, but they also had “lifestyle” games, like the fishing game, the skateboarding game where you stand on a skateboard, the deer hunting game (yes, it’s as boring as it sounds), and fighting game with a sword, and of course, Dance Dance Revolution. And I can’t leave out the fire fighting game. Only after 9/11 would it work to have a game where you put out fires and save people, and only after 9/11 would they be able to guilt you into playing again by urging you to be a hero and save the dying people. Let’s just say the mayor didn’t make it on my watch.
So bachelorhood was celebrated in an afternoon of vicarious driving and shooting.
Ironically, across the hall from the arcade was the bastion of bachelorhood, Hooters. I’ve never done more than drive by a Hooters, so it was another experience to walk by a Hooters, complete with swimsuit photos in the window and a few waitresses out front in bright orange short shorts and bulging tanktops.
“Eyes on the floor,” Tim said as we passed, “always on the floor.” Tom commented on the purple carpet, and I mumbled, “God’s fabulous parque floor,” finishing the Simpsons quote.