You don’t know how many times I’ve been sitting in Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville on the Navy Pier and heard tourists grousing “Oh man, they’ve only got a three man shotski!” or “Oh wait, they have a five man one too, but not two or four!” This is an epidemic of colossally drunk proportions that Jimmy Buffett is totally uninterested in remedying. So that’s where I jump in.
“Oy! You need a third on that shotski?” And next thing you know, I’ve got free booze and new friends! I usually travel with pals too, who also like that liquor, so if the tourists need a few assistants on their quest to get smashed, we’re good to go!
But this is just regular Saturday night behavior here. What I want to talk about is that sorrier instance – when it is required to bookend a tourist on a three-man shotski.
As everyone knows, Chicago is for lovers. Couples come to the Paris-of-the-Midwest to see our gorgeous alleyways and share a romantic bratwurst. But every so often, a lone sad sack comes wandering down the pier, sorrowful look in their eye, pocket full of dough they were going to spend on their good woman before she went all manner of bad. Or in the opposite, her purse is chocked with bread, intended for that kind-hearted fella before he went off flirting with the waitresses at RJ Grunts. Alone and distraught, they see the welcoming palm tree decor and scantily clad bartenders, and think how a loaded Corona or five would really hit the spot.
And maybe it does. But you know what they really want? Shots. But doing shots by yourself is step one to ending up shackled in the county, or floating face down in the river come morning. So they espy the shotski dangling overhead, and wish they had drinking companions.
That’s when I hit that gap like Barry Sanders. I’m slapping backs and ordering that shotski removed from its hooks and we start slamming ’em down. Me and my good pal Sanchez (who thankfully speaks no English), with this misty-eyed visitor crammed in between, hosting that goddamn shotski for all it’s worth. Next thing you know, we’re belting out “Cheeseburger in Paradise” while double-fisting doubles at the Billy Goat only a short jaunt away. Another success!
You see, I’m just bringing joy into lonely people’s lives. I’m putting smiles on faces and lightening wallets all at the same time. If I didn’t get involved, they might spend all their hard-earned coin on their own drinking, and that could lead to serious medical problems, irreparable decision making, divorce, crime spree, deportation, cab driving in Rangoon, crocodile wrestling on the Irrawaddy, cholera, dysentery, and insanity. I can’t let that happen in my local Margaritaville, can I? Not to poor, unsuspecting tourists who just need to blow off some steam before tracking down their loved ones and drunkenly berate them on the sidewalk!
So if you end up in Chicago, wandering down Grand Avenue some evening, and find yourself despondently shambling on the pier, and just wish you had someone you could buy drinks for who will laugh at your jokes and compliment your calves, bang a left into Jimmy Buffett’s and look for me. I’ll be the one in the I’m on the Navy Pier, Bitch! t-shirt. See you soon!