Guess You Had to Be There

One of my favorite drunk friend stories — with some compensation for the bits I don’t quite perfectly remember:

So, she’s new in her grad school program. One Saturday night, she’s out to see a band play at some bar with some fellow students and some guys she met in the process of buying the tickets on craigslist. They’re having a great time, getting wasted, letting off steam, getting better acquainted. After the show they decide to continue drinking elsewhere. One of them knows a great place. They all pile into a cab and go.

She gets out of the cab after paying the driver and runs up to the sidewalk to rejoin her friends. But suddenly it seems they don’t know where they’re going. She gets kind of annoyed.

“Hey, guys, where are we going? What’s going on?”

OK, fine, they say. So they turn to enter a bar, and she follows them in. Moments later, they’ve all got beers, and she’s laughing and having a great time, and everyone seems to be getting along. A few of the guys are sort of standoffish, but hey, no big deal, right? she thinks. She’s mostly talking to one guy in particular, anyway, who turns to her at one point and says, “Hey, I gotta ask you one thing: Who the hell are you?”

“What do you mean?” she says.

“I mean, who are you?” he says. “What’s your name? Who are you?”

She holds her beer a little tighter and looks at him hard, a little offended. “What do you mean, ‘Who am I?’ We’ve been hanging out all night. We went to that show. We had a great time. We caught a cab. And then we came here,” she says.

“Uh … no,” he says. “We” — he gestures slowly to himself and his friends — “didn’t go to any show. You got out of a cab and just sort of followed us in here. And here you are. We have no idea who you are.”

She looks at each of them in turn, and it slowly dawns on her that she doesn’t know the other guys. Wait a minute. She doesn’t know this guy either. She looks around the bar. Where are the guys she came in with? She thinks back to the cab. They were right there? Where did they go?

The next day her friends would tell her that after they got out of the cab, she simply disappeared. They went one way and she must have gone the other. They assumed she went home. Instead, she had joined up with a group of complete strangers, followed them into a bar and started buying rounds with them.

All these guys know is that some strange girl just walks up to them out of the blue acting like she knows them. “Hey, guys! Let’s go!” It’s fine. She’s funny and cute. Each one thinks that one of the others must know her … until they all realize that none of them actually does.

“Uhh…,” she says.

The guy’s three friends are so disgusted with the whole thing that they just throw their hands up and walk away.

“Oh my god,” he says. “That’s so crazy. You have to let me buy you a drink.”

She sits with him a little while longer, but she’s feeling a little sick to her stomach. But they were right there!. She puts down her beer.

“Um, I think I’d better go.”


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the untallied hours

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