“An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with fools” -Ernest Hemmingway
Someone once told me that a drunk man’s words are a sober man’s thoughts. My only thought after tonight is: NO MORE HENNEY FOR ME…ever! For those that don’t know, “Henney” is the name that people often use when referring to Hennessy Cognac. The lethal combination of Henney, Women, a Hood-ass club and my crazy frat brothers…and it was destined be a night that I’d never forget.
I attended a game night with my frat brothers in Philadelphia. After a competitive game of Taboo-where the Ques-with the help of an Alpha, soundly thrashed our sister sorority-the ladies of Delta Sigma Theta. We shared a few more jokes and we were off to the Houlihann’s Restaurant for a late meal and drinks. When we got there, the kitchen was closed, so the plan was to get stupid drunk . After a few drinks, the question on the floor was, “Ok. What’s next?”
Someone proposed the idea of crashing a Birthday Party at The Stinger, a club located at Broad Street and Belmont Avenue. My Spidey-Sense was tingling. The Stinger was located in North Philadelphia, which is probably the worst part of an already infamous city.
For those that aren’t familiar with “North Philly”, imagine one of those CNN reports where they show the after effects of US missile attacks on Iraq. Now, add a bunch of black people to the wreckage and assume that they actually live there; that is what some parts of North Philly look like. Perhaps in my old age, I’m becoming a bit “uppity” with my reservations about going into the hood to party; especially crashing a Birthday Party in North Philly. I always pose this question to my frat brothers who can’t seem to stay out of the hood: What is the point of coming from the inner city, going away to a college or University, working hard, graduating, then searching for a great job to make enough money to move out of the city…if you’re just gonna keep going right back into the city to hang and party with the same negative people that you worked so hard to get away from?!? To this day…no one’s ever given me an answer to that.
I pleaded with the group to instead think about doing something in Philadelphia’s Olde City area, an area located Downtown, with a much more diverse crowd, less violence and strict dress codes enforced at several locations. After all, dress codes are like kryptonite to thugs in Philly. They may have guns, knives and criminal records…but bet you a million bucks they don’t own a pair of dress shoes or a tie…so their asses won’t be partying with me that night! Hahahaha! Now, some may call that “uppity” or assume “he thinks he’s too good.” I call it smart and proactive. I just wasn’t in the mood to get shot that night. After all, only 10% of Americans go to College; an even smaller percent graduate! We’re elite…and I figure that we should act like it. Too bad the group didn’t see it the way I did, because minutes later, we were on our way into North Philadelphia to go to the Stinger. Damn!!
After a twenty-minute drive, we found parking about a half block from the club’s doors. Two Police Cruisers are parked on the curb outside-not a good sign. We enter and show I.D, as well as receive a thorough search from the police. We climb a flight of stairs and I mutter to myself about the stupidity of crashing this party. We enter a room on the 2nd floor and immediately I see that I’m waaaaaay overdressed for this club. I’m there in a sweater, dress shirt with a tie…jeans and shoes. I look around and everyone’s wearing Timbs, hoodies and white T’s down to their ankles. I realize that I’m wearing the same expression that Kayne West would have if he were shopping at Target. Shit, just call me RON-Ye West! Usually the underdressed man or woman feels embarrassed, now I’m embarrassed for being overdressed.
My frat brothers have a natural knack for being the life of any party, so they’re working the room, flirting, meeting people…even though we’re CRASHING the damn party! No one knows us, and we’re not supposed to be here, but there they were…eating food in the buffet, cutting birthday cake, and dancing with the birthday girls’ sister! LOL Never a dull moment with the Brothers of Omega Psi Phi. I on the other hand, felt outta place…so I hit the bar up for a drink. Followed by another. One of my frat brothers went to the bar to get me another drink. He came back with a small glass with a dark colored drink with a lemon in it. “Try this”, he said, a devilish smile forming on his face. The taste could only be described as…well…piss. “It’s Henney,” he said. I finished the Henney and tried to have a good time. Minutes later…the buzz had kicked in full swing. I no longer felt dumb as shit being overdressed, or gave a flying fuck about that girl’s birthday party. My alter ego was emerging-the alter ego that my friends playfully named “The Jamaican Sensation.” After two more shots of Henney, I was drunk-and conversing with a bunch of hood-ass chicks that I had absolutely no desire for...
I remember us waking up to one group of females. We go around and introduce ourselves to them. The Big One is looking at me, smiling from ear to ear…like I’m dinner! There’s always that token loud friend and even though I’m drunk, I’d swear she was staring right at my dick.
I tried my best to be friendly as I was introduced to the group. The tallest one said very bluntly, “You are cute. You look very nice tonight.” My eyes surveyed her. She was covered with tattoos and one of them stood out. On her left arm was a large tattoo, which read: Man-Man. As she fired off compliments, the alcohol running through my veins made me wanna ask, “Whooo the fuck is Man-Man?” Instead I smiled sheepishly and continued to listen. Somehow she was asked by one of my friends about her assortment of tats. She began to explain them, each story seemingly dumber than the last. After a few minutes, one of my frat brothers whispers to me, “Yo…She’s on you!” With my patented sarcasm, I whisper back, “Well…get her OFF Me.” He seemed confused as to why I was not interested in this girl, who appeared to have the I.Q. of French Toast, but would probably be more than willing to do my bidding by nights end. “She got a fat ass though,” he retorted. My mind wandered, wondering what else she probably had. He offers me another drink, and my dumb-ass accepts. What else but…the Henney!
I decided that I didn’t wanna end up in an alcohol-induced coma that night; nor did I wanna wake up naked and handcuffed to that strange girl’s bedpost…so I was done drinking that night. Philly clubs close at 2 a.m. and shortly before 2, looked like they were trying to make plans to actually leave with these girls! A few female friends of ours showed up, foiling those plans and saving me the embarrassment of being in a stupid situation that night. Thank God for Deltas! LOL No more Hennessy for me!!! Ever! But I can’t lie; we had LOTS of fun that night. Fun in Philadelphia with zero problems? Wow. Perhaps Philly has some potential. I’ll keep you guys posted…
…These Are The Random Thoughts of Ronald Gray…