Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Platoon 2 - Gents at Blanc

The first casualty of Gents is innocence.

Somebody once wrote: "Hell is the impossibility of reason." That's what the Plaza feels like. Hell. Our only hope was to survive the impossibility of reason that is the Plaza. I didn't know what we would do or what would happen if we encountered the violence that is a 13 year old kid unaccompanied by a parent on the Plaza. Would we run, would we die, would nothing happen? Anything was possible.

Blanc was our LZ, the safest place in the most dangerous part of the city. We were all still scared, I didn't know what was right or wrong anymore. The morale of the Gents was low, a civil war in the group. Half the men with Eans, half with Chimpotle. There was a lot of suspicion and hate. I couldn't believe we were fighting each other, when we should be fighting 15 year olds.


The beer started flowing; Funkwerks Saison, Avery Black Tot, Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, Schlafly Reserve Imperial Stout 2008 and Barleywine 2007, Surly Coffee Bender and Furious and more. Dinner was served, I had my favorite, the bison burger, Topeka Trippel got his first kill, the blue cheese inside out burger. Truffle fries and onion rings abounded to help mask the fear. We knew the enemy was near, would this be our last meal? No one knew.

More beers were opened; Great Divide Rumble pitchers (on tap at Blanc now) were poured and it was glorious, even better than in the bottle. The division in the Gents was becoming clearer. I, from Eans' side, offered a growler of Blind Tiger Top Gun to Chimpotle and was rebuffed, rudely. At that point I had no idea what would happen if we faced the enemy, a 14 year old girl without her parents around, I feared we'd all die.

Photo collage by R. Patrick Images
More beers were drank; North Coast Grand Cru, Rodenbach Grand Cru, Lips of Faith Transatlantique Kriek, Odell Friek, a growler of Peace Tree Rye Porter from Chimpotle's side was tried by us on Eans' side and was mostly poured out. I don't know if our distrust of Chimpotle soured us on it or it was just not good, but we weren't going to waste our time with it.

Then Eans brought the poutine and poutine heals all wounds. In case you don't know, and many Gents didn't, poutine is fries covered in gravy and cheese curds. It was as glorious as that sounds. My only regret was that I'd eaten the bison burger, onion rings and truffle fries prior. The Plaza, which has stood for nearly a hundred years, didn't know we were coming that day. If they had, they would've run. Eans was the eye of our rage. And through him, our captain Ahab, we would set things right again. And last night we loved him.

Now we were ready for the enemy, Yuengling broke out his shotgun and started shotgunning 15 year olds; Natural Ice, Michelob Ultra, Miller Lite, all went down. We were one unit again and happy. The enemy had been vanquished.

Then we celebrated, together, at last. Pliney the Elder, New Glarus Unplugged Cranbic, 21st Amendment Back in Black, Port Old Viscosity, Bell's 25th Anniversary, Great Divide Old Ruffian and Sierra Nevada's Ovila Saison were drank. Then Nate brought us all together even more with Wilderness Brewing Dandelion Saison with Brett. We became savages to get to it, and there wasn't enough to go around. But I knew we'd be alright when Flenker (from Chimpotle's side) gave me his glass so I could get a drink of it.

I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves. The enemy was in us. Our enemies have been vanquished. The Plaza is now safe for everyone and Blanc is its savior. Our innocence may have been lost, but we came out ahead.

3 comments:

  1. I can only imagine the total on the bill, there is always a cost to battle.

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  2. Outstanding piece. The allusions to a young Charlie Sheen, Willem Defoe getting whacked by a 13 year old Tom Berenger, a grinning 12 year old doing hits of something via the barrel of his plastic M-16...I could hear the Adagio softly playing in the background from somebody's car (although many 14 year olds rue the complete lack of bass and will not play for fear of street cred reduction)...and then in super slow mo: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" flowing freely from the mouth of Sly as he dives on the pavement, smothered by bodyguards toting M-60s and grenade launchers.
    Thankfully though, the teen crowd doesn't have the vast underground network enjoyed by NVA and Viet Cong. But that's really the only difference I see between the two. Pretty superficial one too.

    At the risk of highjacking to another Vietnam classic, the Plaza Teens simply need some therapy involving low altitude Hueys, aforementioned M-60s and lots and lots of Wagner. (And if you don't pronounce it "Vogner" then you can go straight to hell, reader.)

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