I arrived in England on St. Patrick's Day and immediately set about trying to turn my friends into Americans. This was not at all on purpose. Before setting out on my journey, I had solicited from all my friends their requests for things they'd like me to bring over from the colonies. Apart from the hairdresser who had responded "Your country has nothing to offer me, woman", I had gifts for nearly everyone: Doritos for MrBalls (I gave these to him as something of an apology - I'd had a t-shirt I'd ordered shipped to his house which was posted in packaging more translucent than I had anticipated, causing his postman to say "I wanted to hand this to you personally" whilst giving him my new shirt, the words "I am someones fucktoy" clearly visible through the plastic. My bad, dude), Peeps for the Evil Lesbian (she'd asked me to bring her "something fun" and I luckily saw the Peeps on the shelf at CVS before going off in search of "something fun" for her at the adult toy store), and graham crackers for Sulu (which she adorably calls "Graeme's crackers"). Sulu had discovered S'mores last summer when she was in Boston. Neither Peeps nor S'mores are a thing in England, so I set about explaining the origin of Peeps and the fact that while everyone gets them in their Easter basket, almost no one actually eats them. The Evil Lesbian had already eaten half of them before I'd finished my explanation. We managed to wrestle a couple of Peeps away from her long enough for me to introduce the sport of Peep jousting, which everyone was quite taken with, apparently having never put marshmallows in the microwave before. The Peeps fought valiantly, but in the end, their melted carcasses were inhaled by the Evil Lesbian as soon as they'd cooled enough to touch. Sulu and I cut the heads off a few more of them and made everyone what I'm calling Peep Murdering S'mores TM.
Later that evening, we headed down The Vic for some St. Pats debauchery. Having been advised by the mutineer that wearing a "Fuck you, you're Irish" t-shirt may be more trouble than it's worth, I chose a different green t-shirt which read "I'd fuck me" which everyone seemed to agree with, especially Booth who expressed this by tongue raping my nose shortly after our introduction. I unfestively spent the night drinking Strongbow, mostly because I haven't got nearly enough patience to wait for a properly poured Guinness. This would prove to be the drunkest night of my entire trip, a trip I miraculously managed to get through without a single hangover, despite the best efforts of my alleged friends. I remember accidentally inventing a game called Tits or Knees? by zipping my hoodie up with my legs inside because I was cold and then waiting for people to do a double take, a drunk mutineer repeatedly taking his jacket off that everyone might admire his "swans", a photo of the Evil Lesbian and me taken under the sign for the ladies looking skeptical about being labeled as such, and I will never be able to forget the nose rape because, seriously, what the fuck, Booth?
The following evening, Sulu and I got the all clear signal from our darling Steve and drove out to visit him in his pub. Steve's pub is a mostly laid back comfortable joint in Luton filled with an assortment of characters and as such I did not wear vinyl trousers. I managed to draw attention to myself anyway, though, as no matter how hard I try to blend in over there, my accent makes me stand out, particularly in Luton which is not known as an international tourist mecca. Several grumbly men at the bar asked me where I was from and when I told them I was from Chicago and on holiday, I was met with disbelieving stares and incredulous questions: "You're on holiday from Chicago, and you came to Luton?" I didn't of course, I was only there to see Steve, but they didn't seem to think a holiday in Hitchin was a whole lot more sensible either.
Steve had been warned in no uncertain terms that he was NOT to get me drunk because I had unspeakably filthy plans for the next day and absolutely could not be hungover. He decided it was best to get the serious drinking out of the way at the beginning of the evening. "You have to try this, it's awful," he said, pouring me a shot of something I could smell from across the room that tasted for all the world like battery acid that had been fermented and distilled in a bathtub, an accusation he neither confirmed nor denied. Sulu was driving, so he wrapped her shot in a bunch of plastic wrap so she could dissolve her tongue with it later when we'd gone home. I switched to my standard amaretto after I'd regained my ability to speak and breathe.
Apparently, St. Pats weekend wasn't over yet. After Sulu and I tried out our snake handling skills on the snake Steve keeps in the bar these days we were ready to go, but Steve insisted that we had to stay for a while as "something" was going to happen that we wouldn't want to miss. This something was Barry the Leprechaun. Nearest I can tell, Barry the Leprechaun is just a drunk Irishman named Barry who had happened upon some green velvet trousers and a matching jacket in a thrift store which he bought for £10 and decided to pair said outfit with an outrageous wig and head to the pub. Barry had just returned from a rather long stint in Germany, so, already in his cups, he spent the evening talking shit and counting in German or occasionally slipping into a German accent and arguing with Steve over the value of foreign currency. Steve watched in wonder and amusement whilst Sulu and I spent the better part of two hours alternately taking the piss out of him. "I can't even see you tagging each other," he told us. "I don't know how you two know when it's time to switch." When we'd had our fill of that, we finally got up to say our goodbyes. Barry hugged me entirely too long and I eventually had to say "Barry, please sit down before you fall down." I hugged Steve goodbye without breaking his neck (he thinks I hug too hard, I think he should shut up and take it like a man) and demanded that he go to the Double Down Saloon in Vegas and drink the ass juice as if there were some chance of him giving that adventure a miss. He went, of course, and even tried the bacon martini because he does that sort of thing.