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Friday, June 19, 2009

Dangerous Moves: Mayor of Ponce Jager bombs Midtown

click to enlarge M.O.P. (left) and Ace
  • M.O.P. (left) and Ace

My hands are shaky. My eyes, jittery and blood red. Red from the Red Bull and, presumably, traces of blood from the German deer that trampled and left me for dead. I awake to my liver sitting on the couch smoking a cigarette. It glances up, exhales a puff of smoke and with a concerned tone says, "Listen, we need to talk."

Inspired by the Internet classic "My New Haircut," where a Jersey guido gets a new haircut and pounds protein shakes and Jager bombs at the club — all to the tune of Corey Hart's "Sunglasses at Night" — my ultimate broskis and I (Team Danger) decide I need a trim, a tan and some empty Red Bull cans. Oh, the carnage.

Flip Flops in Midtown (1140 Crescent Ave.) has $5 Jager bombs on Wednesday night, and Crescent Avenue is as close to the Jersey shore as I need to be. After talking things over with the staff at Flip Flop's, we decide to turn this into less a girl-grinding escapade, and more a battle of skill, courage and stupidity.

After over a decade of doing nothing but astonishing damage to my body, I can't help but wonder how many Jager bombs this little battleship can handle. I've unwittingly been training for this since my sophomore year of high school. It's sorta like when Cool Hand Luke challenged himself with the burden of eating 50 boiled eggs, except this is pints of Jager and Redbull. More like Cool Hand Puke, I suppose.

Although Midtown is the gelled-up, LA Looks Mega Hold No. 4 crowd, Flip Flop's is more laid back: An oasis amongst assholes. So I opt against the "Growing Up Gotti" look, and instead decide to get frat-tastick about things. From the floor up I'm loafers with tassels, khaki pants, logo belt, Lacoste polo, Croakies and sunglasses around my neck — and of course my new haircut. All I need is a beer koozie and a Young Republican's meeting.

It's an hour before and I can honestly say I'm getting nervous. I'm pacing around like it's a prize title fight. Suddenly, this isn't such a brilliant idea. I wonder if Preston Craig will DJ my funeral. Will anyone even show up to my funeral? Fuck. And do I really want to die in this outfit?

The Team Dangerous broskis and I arrive, and at 10:10 p.m. the bombing begins.

"Later dudes!" I pronounce as we toast the first one.

Vegas has the odds at around 12 Jager bombs. That's a solid drinking pace at 3 tilts an hour. By drinking nothing but water in between bombs, as hot dog eating dominator Kobiyashi has taught us, we're in for the long haul.

I throw back a couple more within the hour (5). I don't feel drunk, just all tingly. I just want to wrap Christmas presents for everyone. The acoustic cover band starts up with an obscure Oasis song and I'm singing every word. Loudly.

Ok, maybe I'm a little drunk.

I've been here an hour and a half and I do another one (6) with the bartender Jacob. I can tell he's already getting annoyed with me. It's going to be a long night for our young bomb manufacturer.

A bit later, I meet up with Flip Flop's co-owner Ace Amerson on the rooftop front deck. Ace is from "The Real World" fame (early 2000s) and has since become the Donald Trump of the frat boys, more or less. He's a kid from Statesboro with Atlanta ties, and he's the mascot of fun-loving college antics around these parts. Everyone seems to loves this guy and has a good Ace story about running into him out and about.

I introduce myself and let him know that we met years ago at Backstreets Atlanta at about 5 a.m. It makes sense to him. "Can you hear that?" he interrupts me.

Hear what? I'm thinking.

"Let's turn this shit up!" he says. "Follow me."

We twist and turn through a crowd of asses shaking to a song Ace apparently can't hear. We finally make it to the back room, and as much as his awe-shucks attitude denies it, he really is a celebrity. Everyone wants to say Hi, shake hands, or get a picture with the grown-up MTV frat boy.

I throw back a couple more with Ace and his bartenders (9) and lean back for dramatic effect. That's when the song comes to a dead halt. Dramatic, indeed. I fell into the computer that was Djing the entire upstairs. My bad. Or actually, I pled the same defense as Jaime Foxx and T-Pain: "Blame it on the ah-acca-ah-ah-al-cohol.

You do feel more important hanging out with Ace at his club. And his club really is spectacular considering everything it represents. The no-care college lifestyle. The t-shirt, ball cap, and yes, flip flop attitude. All this in the middle of glossy Midtown's unreasonable pretension. All this while standing in the shadow of the gleaming jewel of bullshit: Opera. So close you can just about sling one of Ace's alcohol-amped slushy concoctions that spin in the daiquiri machines downstairs and hit the ridiculous assholes in line at Opera.

Ace and his college pals own the bar and the vibe. Not much negative comes out of his mouth. He makes you feel like you're the reason every girl is staring. Or maybe it's because we're standing behind the bar with about 50 kids screaming for drinks over the song Ace probably can't hear.

"Come on. Make us another" he says.

I'm fumbling behind the bar, getting in the real bartenders way. I keep asking step by step what to do, then forgetting. Never mind all the liquid cocaine I've put in my body over the last two hours, having a 22-year-old sorority girl waving money and fake tits in your face can be a real distraction.

He looks at the half-assed shots I'm very proud of, "Shit. If you make 'em like that, I can drink 100!"

After 10, he says "Dude. You're way too coherent."

At 11, he looks at me, and in all seriousness and concern says, "Honestly, you might have a problem."

My notes are fairly inconclusive at this point. I've written stuff down, but in assorted dialects. The rest is gathered from pictures, texts, and other accounts...

(14) Shirtless, I do one more with Ace. I throw the cup down and walk off. I'm told later that I did come back over and pick the cup up and put it in the garbage. Ever the gentleman.

Apparently my photographer disappears for an hour or so. His text reads, "Had to dip. Hot sex. Be back soon."

So while I'm out getting bombed for my life, he's hooking up with a bombed foreign exchange student in an undisclosed location. Ever the professional.

At this point, I'm doing drunk math in my head. I've been on a destructive pace of four an hour. Vegas' handicap wasn't close. We're looking at a serious number come last call.

I tilt one with Team Dangerous member Kellen John (DJ Black Dominoes). He asks, "Have you done any performance enhancing drugs?"

I'm insulted. "What? I'm no cheater! Who's that guy" - I'm sure I'm yelling at this point - "from the Rolling Stones?" I can't even remember who's in the Rolling Stones. Jagermeister has seeped into my rock 'n' roll database.

"Richard Whozit? Wait. Richard something."

"Uh, Keith Richards?" Kellen answers in amazement.

"Yeah! Fuck that guy."

I actually love Keith Richards. And it's quite fitting that he came up. See, I believe our bodies are amazing machines. Some people are preconditioned for certain environments. It explains how a person can smoke like a chimney all his life and live til 90. Or booze hounds like Sir Peter O'toole can still sip single malt like its vitamin water, and he's older than John Jameson himself.

It's the Keith Richards gene. The rock 'n' roll reset button. Keef is 65-years-old, and I honestly believe if he didn't mainline whiskey, drink vodka on the rocks and snort rails of cocaine, his body wouldn't know what to do. He's told his body for the last 50 years that that's what it needs. It's a machine, and for the most part, it does what it's told.

This was a pretty irresponsible and pointless stunt. For four hours I pounded one of the worst things on this planet half a can at a time. Multiplied by a shot of Jagermiester, it's legalized liquid cocaine, it's alcoholic candy, it's fucking delicious.

Shirtless and on a stage, root beer belly protruding, I swallow the last of the evening's bombs. No. 20 and it taste like victory. Yes, No. 20. And yes, I'm victorious in a lose-lose situation.

I've eluded death. And although this is by no means a great accomplishment, it certainly was a great escape. Till next time.

And sure, I'm besties with Ace now, but my liver still isn't talking to me.

(Photo courtesy Mayor of Ponce)

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