Jenks emailed this story to me today. Perhaps you’ve heard it. But now you don’t have to retell it, just tell everyone to read it here.
My buddy got married in Miami Beach in November. I went down with Big Steve and a bunch of other knuckleheads. We get there on Thursday and go out. We come back to the hotel sloshed, call Berk and sing the Tiger song from The Hangover in his voicemail. We wake up on Friday and decide to go on a South Beach Day Load. We had earlier decided that we wanted to wear linen pants to the wedding so we needed to go looking for those as well.
11:30 – Bloody Mary’s at the hotel
We leave the hotel and start walking. I already had a path picked out as far as which direction to go based on the number of bars I found on GoogleEarth. On the way, there should be multiple places to purchase linen pants.
12:15 – Heinekens at a bar. Big Steve got a grilled chicken salad. His review was that the chicken was delicious but he was slightly upset that he had to cut the chicken himself. He eventually got over it.
As we continue walking we find a hookah bar. So we sit down and smoke a hookah while taking pictures of each other looking like pale tourist with no plastic surgery. As we sit and smoke, Big Steve tries the best Mojito in Miami while I enjoy a single malt scotch. Make that two single malt scotch’s. I wanted a third but Big Steve had his eye on the linen pants
12:45-1:45 – Scotch
From 2:00 until 5:00 we stopped in half a dozen bars and had anywhere from 2-3 drinks in each. These were beer stops. We walk form establishment to establishment, enjoy some liquid libations while enjoying the South Beach scenery. We have not yet found linen pants.
12:45-5:00 – beer beer beer beer beer beer beer beer
Around 5 or so, we find the only Belgian Beer bar south of the Carolina’s. The place is called The Abby. There is no sign less the one that says “BAR” on the outside. We stayed here for 3 very strong beers. Now it is dark out. We are hungry and call off the linen pants search. Our efforts have been futile. We also realize that we haven’t seen anyone in our group since 11 o’clock so we head back to the hotel.
On the way we find a cool looking restaurant. I don’t know exactly how we found it because it was underground but something tells me it is related to Big Steve’s fascination with palm trees and his desire to photograph them. This desire increases with his blood alcohol level. There were many palm trees outside at the entrance to this restaurant.
We sit down and order dinner….. and wine. Probably the last thing we needed. Merlot, not a very good one but I don’t think I was tasting it with a cleansed pallet.
sometime after the sun went down-sometime before 9:00 – wine
We get back to the hotel around 9 or so. Shit, shower, shave and go out to meet everyone else who are at a bar about 8 blocks south of the hotel. This is where I now wish that I had passed out and woke up the next day with my shoes and pants on, snoring in my hotel bed. If this were the end of my day, it would have made for and excellent one.
We get to the bar around 10 and join the liver destruction with the rest of the crew. Gin and tonics all around. Even drunk I was shocked to be asked for more money after handing the bartender $40 for the three drinks I ordered. Whatever…..it’s South Beach! I am a baller! A very drunk baller. Now let me say that I was obviously drunk but I was not out of control. I was walking and talking. Albeit probably slurring but not a hot sloppy mess.
10:00-2:00 – Gin and Tonics (quantity unknown)
It is now 2am. The bar is not closed and there is no indication that it is closing anytime soon. I am done. So I leave. No Murph, I say good bye to those I am with and walk out the door. I know which way to go but I am Miami Beach and walking on the side walk is just not acceptable. I am at the beach so on the beach I will walk. Now one of my guilty drunkin beach pleasures pops into my mind; night swimming. So I walk down to the surf (the beaches in Miami are narrow; I would guess less than 100 yards) and proceed to gear down to take a dip. I pile my clothes, all of them, 25 paces away from one of the life guard huts and hop it. I float around for 15-20 minutes and then hop out and walk up to my stuff…. or at least where I left my stuff. Nothing is there but i am not worried, I must have drifted down to the next life guard stand. So I start walking in the buff. No big deal. I am drunk and I am having a good time. Nothing could bother me. I arrive at the next life guard stand and find nothing. So I double back and check the lifeguard stand in the other direction. Still nothing. Still not worried. I’ll figure this out. As I am walking back to the original spot to do a more thorough search…. I find my shirt… all balled up… not how I left it…..not where I left it. I have a sudden, dense feeling fall over me…. I am FUCKED. I somewhat sober up from the shot of adrenaline that my body has just pumped into my heart and the gravity of my situation (drunk, wet, pennyless, ID less and naked) envelops me.
So now I am fucked. Really fucked. How the fuck am I going to figure this out? First thought is to start walking back to the hotel. Obviously along the beach because I don’t really have the body to be walking naked on A1A. On my way, I pass a lifeguard stand with 8-10 people on it. For all I know, they could have been the ones to take my stuff but I ask for help anyway.
Me: “Guys, I am in a world of shit. Will you help me?”
Them: <something in Spanish>
Me: “Please, I need help”
Me: “Guys, I really need a hand here”
Them: “Go away, naked guy!”
I start to walk away. I was really hoping on the kindness of strangers to help me out but I guess that is too much to ask a bunch of illegal immigrants who just took a 90 mile ride in a bathtub. This gets me a little perturbed so I turn and yell:
Me: “You know what?! GO FUCK YOURSELF!”
Upon this brazen announcement, 6 of these guys stand up. And I am again struck with a realization. This is not a fight I am going to win against 6 guys while holding my dick. So I have to book it. I run for about 10 seconds, then duck and turn, scanning the beach for any moving shadows or Spanish laced battle cries. I hear none so I decide to carry on back to the hotel.
I arrive at the beach section of my hotel around 3:00. Now I have another problem. How am I going to get in? I don’t have a key anymore. I don’t feel I have to correct appearance or demeanor to walk in the front door and say “Hey, what’s up? I lost my key and I’m sure this happens to quite a few of your guest. How ’bout lettin’ me in the room that I cannot prove is mine?”. So I decide to try the shipping/receiving/employee entrance. There, I find a garage door (closed) and a steel door with no windows. I start banging. Then a security guard from a neighboring hotel walks over and ask me what I am doing. I tell him that while I cannot prove it at this time, I am a guest of this hotel and need to get inside. He says they probably won’t let me in. I yell at him to walk around front and get someone down here. Preferably with a towel. While he is gone, someone hears the banging and comes to the door. But they won’t open it. Now I am arguing with a guy thru a steel door. “Let me in!”, “No!”, “Let me in, NOW!”, “No, I will not let you in!” This goes on for about 10 minutes until a manager from my hotel comes to the door. They open it, but only enough to pass the towel thru. They keep it open long enough for me to talk my way in. Now inside, one guy insist he must hold my arm. For what, I don’t know. Maybe he thought I would run around the hotel naked, dry humping all the plants. I don’t really care. I am one step closer to getting pants again.
As we walk thru the bowels of the hotel, we cross a court yard. It is here that I hear Big Steve’s mouth, I look and I see another one of the knuckleheads. I motion for them to come over because I need help…I REALLY need help. 4 or 5 of my friends walk over with the most astonished look on their face. Less then an hour ago I was boozing it up with them. Now, I am soaking wet, being escorted thru a hotel wearing only a towel. They could have not been more surprised if they opened their front door to find Eddie had just emptied his RV toilet into their sewer and their head was stapled to the carpet. The hotel staff is a little more helpful now that someone who really does have a key, knows me.
I go up stairs, put some pants on and am decent for the first time in 2 hours. Big Steve let me use his phone to report my findings to my very unhappy wife. Unhappy because I woke her up at 3:30 in the morning but mostly unhappy because I had one rule when I left Philly; No Night Swimming. She earns some canonization points as she researches the phone numbers to cancel my credit cards. I do this and ask the hotel front desk to make a non-emergency call to the police so I can file a report. No officer shows after multiple calls. I go to bed around 6:30.
I wake up at around 9:30. I’ve never prayed for a dream so hard in my life. But my prayers were useless as I hear Big Steve answer his phone and the call is clearly for me. Now I have a bit of hopeless guilt that maybe I simply misplaced my belongings. So I start walking down the beach. Looking in trash cans and in bushes hoping that I will find my stuff in a neat little pile. Money in the wallet and all. Oh, I forgot to mention earlier. After I bought the first round at the bar and was surprised at the cost I thought it might be a good idea to go the the ATM. I did, and withdrew $300. I left the bar about 1 hour after this so one can assume I had at least $200 of the left, not to mention the $50-$70 I had in there before. I never find my stuff.
I know I’ll need something to get on the aircraft and the seating card I will get at tomorrow’s reception won’t be enough. I go to the police station to file a report. It is Saturday. There is one cop working the desk and he is tied up so I had to wait 2 hours to talk to him. I can tell he was surprised I waited so long but I had no where to go. He clearly doesn’t want to write the report. He tells me “everyone thinks you need an ID to get on a plane. You don’t! Trust me, you’ll be fine.” I am not buying it and reluctantly, he writes it out. He doesn’t state that my belongings are stolen though. Only that “I misplaced them and was not able to find them”. I guess they don’t like to report stolen property from guest as it makes the town look bad. I don’t have a whole lot of motivation right now. I just need some type of documentation that says I don’t have my stuff. Plus, you never really win if you argue with a cop whom you need something from.
I walk back to the hotel with my case card (I couldn’t get a report because they don’t generate them on the weekend). I need some cheering up and Big Steve is there to help. We decide that I now have to be his bitch as he is the only one with a wallet and phone between the two of us. Where ever Steve wants to go and drink or eat….I must follow. We go to a sports bar to watch Penn State lose to Ohio State. While we are there, Mary sends a text stating that I should probably call T-Mobile. I forgot all about doing that. I call T-Mobile to report a stolen phone and an overly chipper Alex is at the call center, overly eager to help me.
Me: “Yes, my phone has been stolen, I need to cancel it until I get another”
Alex: “No problem Mr. Jenkins. I’ll take care of that for you right now.” This guy is referring to me with a proper “Mr.”, he must not know my recent past.
Me: “Thanks. I am on vacation and someone took it”
Alex: “Aww, Mr. Jenkins that is too bad. I am sorry to hear that. Let me just turn that phone off. Even if the person is holding it in their hand, it will be WOAH!…….. <Alex enters a prolonged pause>
Alex: “They’ve been using it! A LOT!”
Me: “No Shit!” (I feel that Alex and I are close friends now and I can use obscenities with him considering the cause for our conversation) “Can you locate them with GPS or something so I can go kick this guys ass?” (remember, we’re buddies, curses are cool!)
Alex: “Unfortunately the phones don’t have that capability. There is a lot of international usage on here. I looks like they were calling Cuba…. All of Cuba. And they’ve racked up a substantial charge to your bill. Over $800.”
Me: “That is crazy. I don’t have to pay that right? My phone was stolen. I didn’t call Cuba”
Alex: “Unfortunately Mr. Jenkins, you are responsible for any calls your phone makes until you notify T-Mobile that is was stolen”
Me: “Alex, how can I CAAAAALL you if my PHOOOOOONE was STOOOOOOLEN?”
Alex: “Here is what I can do. I can reduce the rate of $1.99 a minute down to $1.29. That will reduce your bill to $579.29.”
Me: “Alex….that doesn’t help. I am not paying that”
Alex: “I am sorry Mr. Jenkins. That is all we can do.”
I decide I’ll take care of this when I get back so I hang up with Alex. Fuck you, Alex!
For the remainder of the weekend, I was more popular than the groom. Everyone wanted to meet me and hear the story first hand. I was in line for food at the reception and was talking to the grooms brother about it and the women behind us says “You’re the guy?! Hold on! I want you to meet my husband! Honey, come here! This is the guy!” Everyone was offering to help. People were calling their friends who work for anyone from travel agents to the post office trying to get advice. Guys were doing research on their smart phones at the bar looking for answers. People I never met were coming up to me and wishing me luck with airport security.
Oh yes…..airport security….the TSA. It wasn’t all fun and games after all. I was pretty nervous about the airport. I realized that TSA wasn’t going to completely deny me entrance but I know they don’t give a shit if I missed my flight but the last situation I was looking forward to was hanging out in an airport with no id and no flight, waiting for someone to come and get me. Someone put it “there is no way you are the first guy ever to go on vacation and have their wallet stolen”. We had a 9:00 am flight and I had Big Steve up and out the door to get there by 6. All was for nothing though as I simply had to answer a few questions about my identity and sign a document stating that I was me. It took an additional 10 minutes.
So I did eventually get home. Some of me is still somewhere in South Beach. I was greeted by a very unhappy wife whom I am still making strides to overcome. On a serious note, I hope this story makes you laugh. It should. Honestly, I’ve been using others humor about this as therapy. I realize that I put myself in quite a bit of danger. For the most part, I’ve always been responsible when I drink and when I get drunk. This time I was not. I let myself get into a position where I was not aware of my surroundings. I was fortunate that I wasn’t jumped while walking to the beach. I was lucky I did not walk back to my stuff when the person(s) were taking it. They obviously had intention of taking what was not theirs and who knows how far they would have gone to get what they wanted. I am embarrassed about this entire incident but again I realize how lucky I was that this was the worst that happened. I hope Pike County does not have a large Cuban population.