The conversation

It goes a lot like this

My phone rings.

The Conversation ensues. It never fails. Neither the caller nor the particulars matter much; the gist is always the same.

Hang around my place eavesdropping on any given weekend; at some point, you'll hear this, or something almost exactly like it.

"What's up?"


"Eating a cold hot dog and wondering where I put that videotape of SciFi Channel movies that Jenny made for me."


"Naw, I'm not feeling it. I'm still ganked and broke from last weekend. I'm gonna get some wings from that place by my old pad, and take half a Percocet, and watch Raptor Island and Snakehead Terror or whatever's on there."

[Pause — farty sound of the last of the spicy brown mustard being squeezed from the bottle]

"She's going to Georgie's with Cindy; she's not exactly all about the sci-fi."


"Yeah, I know there's a ton of shit going on tonight — "

[Pause — noisy chewing]

"I haven't seen them yet, but I really like the CD. But that's one of those art-opening things, and I haven't seen any of the artists' stuff, and there's going to be bad house-DJ music in between everything, and the other band sucks."

[Brief pause]

"Yes I have, I saw 'em at The Bank a while back. They suck. SUCK."

[Long pause — sounds of refrigerator rummaging, glass tinkling, keys jingling, a Corona being opened with a poorly constructed keychain bottle opener]

"What? WHAT?! I can't hear you, dude — "

[Long pause]

"Ha! You can't pull that 'professional responsibility' shit on me, my man. That's not how it works. Only I can choose when to exploit the concept of 'professional responsibility' as it applies to off-the-clock activities, and I will do so only when it works in my favor, like if I want to go out and stay out until last call on a weeknight when I know I shouldn't. It's only to be abused for opportunity, not guilt. You don't get to do that."

[Pause — belch administered directly into phone]

"I can't afford that fuckin' place tonight. And I don't know the door guy."

[Pause — sound of zipper going down, followed by streaming liquid]

"Yup. What? I had to go. And this might be the longest phone conversation I've ever had with anybody."


"Get somebody else to go, I didn't stay home after work all week. I'm beat. Where's your roommate?"

[Brief pause]

"Where's that girl you were with on Friday?"


"That's cool. Do I know her?"


"I'd probably know her if I saw her. Where are you meeting her?"


"Well, why don't you just stay in Clearwater then? I don't wanna go out. I've drank every night since Labor Day. I'm not going out. I'm old. I just wanna — "


"No they're not. That was last week."


"Are you sure? I could've sworn it was last week, and I forgot about it."


"No, I believe you. I do that all the time 'cause I'm always working on next week's paper, and thinking that shit's going on this week."


"Two-dollar PBRs? I bet Andy Beerschool's gonna be there, too ... Naw, forget it. I'm not going out."


"But I don't have any money."


"How about, instead of that, you loan me 20, and I'll buy my own?"


"And you'll pick me up?"

[Long pause]

"All right, I'm in. Just promise me we're not going to be out all night."

[Brief pause, much laughter]

"Fuck you, too. But seriously. I didn't even want to go out tonight."


Since 1988, CL Tampa Bay has served as the free, independent voice of Tampa Bay, and we want to keep it that way.

Becoming a CL Tampa Bay Supporter for as little as $5 a month allows us to continue offering readers access to our coverage of local news, food, nightlife, events, and culture with no paywalls.

Join today because you love us, too.

Scroll to read more Tampa Bay News articles

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.