My apologies, but the headline is a farce. I don’t care about your sweetie snookums. The fact that you call them “sweetie snookums” automatically makes both of you awful. If your snookums was speared through the buttocks by an antelope, I’d laugh because that’s exactly what I expect would happen to someone named “snookums”. It’s a comic relief name. “Here lies Snookums, with two holes in his butt.”
I also assume that anyone referred to as “hubby” lost their leg in a boating accident. Not sure why.
Every year on Valentine’s Day, bitter single people write articles about how the holiday was “created by Hallmark” or “makes love into a transaction” or “if your wife really loved you, she wouldn’t wait until a holiday to bang you.” But single people don’t want to read negative or positive things about Valentine’s Day. Even committed people just want to move past this tedious holiday and enjoy their lives again. So I’m going to ignore Valentine’s Day this week and tell a completely unrelated story about how I once tried to drunkenly stumble across the Blatnik Bridge. You’re welcome.
It was 20 degrees in Superior, WI. Quite pleasant for 2am in the middle of January. Ice covered the empty roads like thin sheets of glass, invisible to anyone with more than four drinks in them.
As luck would have it, my friends and I had seven or eight beers in us. Plus four or five shots. A few mixed drinks as well. There may have been drugs involved, but I don’t recall. There comes a point in an evening of drinking when you realize you’re going to forget everything anyway, so you stop keeping track.
We had just stumbled out of our fourth or fifth bar of the night. My roommates and I had been drinking like it was our job. If it had been, each of us would have been promoted several times. This was not entry level drinking. This was Wisconsin drinking. People like to frown upon that because there’s a lot of Schlitz and MGD involved, but the beer doesn’t matter. Trying to stay on your feet is the fun part.
The bars had just closed on the Wisconsin side of the river, and per usual, we were too broke for a cab and too drunk to figure out how car keys worked. I don’t remember who came up with the idea to walk across a mile and a half long bridge that doesn’t have sidewalks. Adam wasn’t that stupid. Mike turned into a bit of a mush mouth while drunk, so I doubt we would have understood the suggestion. John was . . . was he there? I think he was there. Was Tom there? Ugh. This is the problem with stories about drinking.
The Blatnik Bridge is a cruel mistress. It has a thin shoulder wide enough for a few people to walk along it, but the shoulder ends halfway across the bridge. It keeps getting thinner and thinner until you and your friends find yourself hugging the side of the guard rail in the righthand lane while drivers – some of them intoxicated themselves – race past you honking their horn and screaming at you out the window.
A concerned cab driver put on his hazard lights and picked us up, dropping us off at the first exit on the Duluth side of the bridge. No charge. I don’t remember exactly what he said as we got out, but it was something along the lines of, “You boys is dumb as shit. Now get the hell out of my cab and have a safe night.”
Over the next few hours, we slogged along on foot from the bridge to the central hillside. Six miles, mostly uphill. Six miles of slippery sidewalks covered in a fresh layer of ice. Six miles of frequent stops to urinate upon seemingly anything and everything. It was nearly 5am by the time we got home.
I fell down at least four times. I know this from counting my painful injuries the next morning. One fall caused a large gash on my elbow. A second fall led to my bloodied hand, which appeared to have been scraped against pavement at high speeds. My third fall was the painful bruise on my hip, which caused me to limp for a few days. The fourth fall was the most impressive, tearing a huge hole in the knee of my jeans. My pants still had a thick layer of dried blood soaked into them when I woke up fully clothed on my bedroom floor the next morning. It took nearly 15 minutes to remove all the gravel from the wound.
You’d think walking six miles uphill through the snow, like every fake story your grandparents told you, would negate the body’s need for a hangover. You’d be wrong. When the nausea finally subsided around 9pm, it felt like a rebirth, like I was a new person with a fresh start. There was a new energy and positivity running through my veins. Perhaps that’s what all of us single folks need this Valentine’s Day: A horrid night of drinking followed by the gratefulness that comes only when the room stops spinning.
Let’s do it. Let’s get drunk so our afternoons will feel amazing! Just make sure to take a cab home instead of walking the bridge. Trust me. I have some experience in this area.