Saturday, February 28, 2009

Of Bro Codes and Buttkickings; or "An Evening With PigPen and Peanut"

A couple of weeks ago, I got a call from The Lovable PigPen asking if I could take off work a bit early on the following Friday afternoon to pick him up from the airport after his return from a business trip. To make it worth my while he offered to buy my lunch and pay for a day pass at his and Cap'n Peanut's gym so that I could work out with them and play some racquetball. Never one to pass up free food and an excuse to take off of work, I quickly agreed; of course, the fact that I don't get to hang out with PigPen too often anymore, and hadn't played racquetball with him since a couple of months before he broke my finger might have had a little bit to do with it.

I got to the airport about 10 minutes before his flight was scheduled to land, which turned out to be excellent timing, as his flight was about 10 minutes early. I was standing by the baggage claim that had been indicated online when I saw PigPen walking out, looking around; he looked right through me and turned to walk the opposite direction. I of course did the only logical thing; sped walk to catch up to him and invade his personal space so that he almost spun around and decked me. When he realized it was me and didn't give me crap for coming up on him like that, I knew something was distracting him. Turns out as soon as his plane landed and he turned on his work Blackberry, he had a ton of missed calls. You see, although he had been out of town on company business all week, he had also been primary on-call all week, and so didn't get a full night's sleep all night from dealing with calls. And, of course, while he was on the flight, some major technical issues sprang up, the end result of which was that his planned afternoon off went up in smoke; bummer for me, who had been looking forward to hanging out with him, and double-bummer for him who had been looking forward to being able to escape from work stuff for an afternoon.

We stopped to get a quick bite to eat at KFC, and then swung by his place so he could grab his car. Luckily, Cap'n Peanut was home, so I hung out with him while waiting for PigPen to get back from work. Well, except for the hour where Peanut had an appointment, during which time I sat around reading their copy of The Bro Code by Barney Stinson*; not surprisingly, I discovered that I am a frequent code violator, but was more than pleased to note that Peanut had a couple of infractions under his belt as well. Anyway, PigPen was finally able to escape from work, and by the time all was said and done, we made it to the gym probably close to 7pm.

It was at this point that Peanut and PigPen tried to kill me.**

Okay, so maybe, that's a bit of an exaggeration; really, they just tried to make my arms and legs fall off with a work-out far beyond my meager capabilities. I would periodically inform workout mastermind Peanut of my intense loathing of him, and how I would do him great bodily harm if I were actually still capable of moving any of my limbs. After they finished breaking my spirit with the workout from hell, we headed to the racquetball courts.

I managed to beat Peanut in my first game***, but had a brief fear of being shut-out by PigPen when he broke out into an impressive lead early on in our first game; I told them afterwards that if he had managed to shut me out after not playing for over a year and a half when I had been playing with Trouble for the last month or two, I would have just walked back to their apartment and then driven off into the night, vanishing along with my dignity. Luckily, this was not necessary, as I finally got my head in the game enough to stage a minor comeback. Not enough to beat him, of course, but enough to keep me from feeling like a total screwup. We kept playing until the gym shut down at 10, at which point we finally picked up some dinner and headed back to their place.

Before we had gone to the gym, Peanut had been giving PigPen a hard time about the previous weekend, when they had stayed up late reliving their college days by playing Tekken 3, during which time Peanut had managed to rack up quite a few more wins than PigPen. After all the trash talking, PigPen of course had no choice but to instigate a rematch. And while it apparently wasn't as one-sided as their previous all-nighter had been, Peanut was still turning out to be a bit more on his game than PigPen, a fact that frustrated the always competitive PigPen to no end. At one point, Peanut handed me his controller while he went to get something to drink, and so after getting my butt kicked by the workout and again in racquetball, I received my third butt-kicking of the evening as PigPen mercilessly took out his aggressions on my poor electronic avatars -- poor because they were being guided by someone who had never played any version of Tekken before and being attacked by someone who had devoted countless hours to learning all the nuances of the game. After several games in which I was barely able to lay a virtual hand on PigPen, I passed the controller back to Peanut with great relief.

One of the features of the Versus mode of Tekken 3 is that it keeps a running tally of how many wins each player has, making it easy to keep track of just how far ahead Peanut was. This lead to the following exchange:

PigPen: "Man, I can't believe Peanut is up on me 13 games."
Me: "Actually, if you subtract the wins you had against me, it's more like 17 games."
PigPen: "Shut up, Todd!"

This exchange was repeated several times over the next hour, with each iteration leading to a more forceful tone of voice from PigPen, as well as threats of physical violence. And so it was that my smart mouth lead to my 4th and final butt-kicking of the evening, as PigPen followed up on his threats and engaged me in our first sparring match since the night he moved out 6 months previously. And while the part of me that had missed our semi-regular grappling matches was pleased, the part of me that was so worn out from the workouts and racquetball that it couldn't move its arms and legs was less so.

By the time my hosts had decided they were ready to call it quits, it was around 4AM. I crashed on their couch, and managed probably three or four hours of sleep before I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep, so I just laid there on the couch waiting for the others to get up. Eventually they both emerged from their respective rooms, and Peanut called out for pizza for lunch. After we ate, Peanut and PigPen headed to Era to pick up a table from Peanut's parents, and I headed back to my place. I was sore from the workout, but both of my tormentors, I mean, friends, assured me that it would be even worse the next day. However, after a brief chat with my mom when I got home, my sleep deprivation caught up with me, and I crashed for several hours, waking up 30 minutes before I was supposed to head to Cap'n Bubbles' birthday party with a massive headache and even more massive pain in my limbs; apparently, my body had taken my three hour nap as a signal to move into second-day-soreness mode. The upside, of course, was that although I wound up having to beg off the party, I got most all of the discomfort out of the way on Saturday, and felt pretty good on Sunday.

To recap: initial plans scrapped, received massive butt kickings at everything I attempted, and wound up feeling pretty miserable the following day. Factor in the fact that I got to experience all of the above while hanging out with two of my best buds who I don't get to see nearly often enough since they moved to Lewisville, and I'd have to say that on the whole it turned out to be one of the best weekends I've had in a while.

Even if the bastages did try to kill me.

*Pretty entertaining little book; I'm tempted to purchase the audiobook version which is read by NPH in character.
**While never explicitly spelled out, I can't help but feel like attempted homicide flies in the face of the Bro Code
***A fact that I would be much more willing to brag about if it weren't for the fact that that night was Peanut's first time to play racquetball ever, and my win was not by a very impressive margin. Cursed athletic, coordinated people, making me look bad!