Of Life and Booze

The weekend started off absolutely fabulously. Nothing much happening at work Friday night, so I worked from home, slow rolled some Blue Moons and watched the Cards match. Sure, it would have been nice if they had beaten the Cubs, but this team stinks. We knew that already.

Early to rise on Saturday, I hung out on the terrace, made the weekly round of phone calls. I went across the street to my buddy Matt’s pad; he was hanging out with his groomsmen, getting ready to tie that not in a few hours. Come back home, The Lady Friend gets back from walking around Forrest Park, I cook up some egg-muffin sandis, mix up some mimosas, and we clean ourselves up and get ready to head to the wedding.

The wedding is fabulous, the homily could have used some stories about robots and a Superman III reference, but other than that no qualms. Off to a buddy’s house on The Hill, eat some wings, drink some White Ales (fucking magical), watch the Cards game, and make fun of Brady Quinn. Head downtown to the reception. There’s a line of about 100 prom kids all waiting for the elevator; we skip the line, take the residential lift. We rule!

All in all, that’s about a perfect 24 hours for me. Drink beer, watch two different Cardinals games, eat wings, hang with friends, and make fun of Brady Quinn. Awesome.

Then, the wheels fall off. I’ll go ahead and just blame the open bar -- it’s never good for anyone. Except me, of course (this weekend confirms the fact that I and my buddy Dave are the only two good drunks left in this god forsaken town) -- and by the end of the evening, people were crying and TLF was peeing in our front yard. So, yeah... class all around. Well, class and booze.

The next morn, I wake to my phone vibrating; the first text I got was around nine: "What’s wrong with the Cardinals pitchers during Cubs series?" I chalked it up to "they suck?" and hit the pillow to keep sleeping off a massive hangover. Twenty minutes later, another text from another friend: "Sorry to hear about Josh." What? I need sleepy. Ten minutes later, another text: "Sorry to hear about your guy. Best." Seriously, what the fuck?

Fuck. Flash back to 6/22/02 and my celly waking me up from a super hangover at noon in North Carolina. My buddy Nate is at Wrigley. Sounds like DK died last night. Fuck.

Ugh. You’ve got be kidding me. Send out a text to the group from the cab ride home last night: "So we can now say we saw the accident that killed Josh Hancock. Fuck."

Life is an odd thing. We love people like Albert Pujols because we can never be him; chances are you can’t even imagine what it’s like to have that kind of physical skill. It’s easy to idolize the greats, but in doing so, we undervalue the guys who make up the backbone of not just the game, but of life. Life isn’t hitting 500 foot home runs; it’s an 88 mph fastball and the ability to mop up some innings. We like to think that life would be great if it was filet mignon and $200 bottles of champagne, but it’s not. Life is a few cold beers, hot wings, and good friends. (and maybe some washers.) Life is Josh Hancock.

And that's fine by me.

I’m a pretty negative person; it’s my nature. I’m a jerk. I’d change, but that would require effort. (I’m also lazy.) But for the next week, I’m being nothing but positive on this here slice of webernets. It’ll be all sunshine and whiskey and barefoots. I’m going to fucking appreciate this life of mine, even if it kills me.

Also, since the shoe is already dropping, I’m just going to say this now and I won’t comment on it again (unless we find out he was fucking a goat at the time or something else Eddie Griffin level of ridiculous):

Mistakes happen. And sometimes they involve alcohol. I've known a lot of people who have died in a lot of different ways -- suicide, cancer, war, senseless violence, and, yes, even from drunk driving -- and I don't miss any of them more than others. If he was drunk at the time, it means he made a few bad decisions Saturday night. It doesn't mean that he will be missed any more, or any less, by his friends and family. And it makes this no less tragic.

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Seriousness from Al Fritz? Boooo!
Oh, but "I’m going to fucking appreciate this life of mine, even if it kills me." is a really good line.
well said
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