In this chapter of The Hammadown, we gather for the final game of the decade, eat like it’s the final meal of our lives, please our ears with some hidden funky treasure, and celebrate the numerous one-liners that keep us coming back for more…
(Game Day: December 17, 2019)
It was the last EBPG of the decade and, to quote The Four Seasons, “Oh, what a night!”
Adding to the particular specialty of the eve was that it was entirely catered! Freed was the first through the door at the House of Hav and he brought with him 17 pounds of “friends” in the form of pork ribs, pulled pork, seven other kinds of pork, a pet pig on a leash, 3 dozen sporks, and pretty much everything else even remotely related to swine. He also had a couple cheeseburgers, what I believe was a 5-gallon drum of coleslaw, enough mac and cheese to feed an army of bears, and a container of beef ribs each of which looked like it could flip Fred Flintstone’s car over at a drive-thru. Yes, it was all courtesy of Freed’s employer, Dallas BBQ, but kudos goes to Freed himself for making it all possible.
Adam “Cockman” Abramowitz and food.
Not letting the door hit their dicks on the way in were Eddie, Hank, Pat, Cockman, Joe and (robot voice) clay-TON, with a relatively rare appearance by Nate Fridson who patiently waited on stand-by for an open seat. He got what he wanted before long.
We ate like global warming was going to kill us all tomorrow rather than in 20-to-30 years, and then it was time to bid farewell to the 2010’s with a hoot and “enanny.”
Eddie, Cockman, Hank, Pat, clayTON, Nate and yours truly from an
angle that I personally find extremely flattering. No? Yes? Right?
Photo credit: Freed
Equipment: iPhone 11-pro
How I Know That: Freed told me
How We All Got William’s Groove Back!
While I was setting up for the evening I very fortunately stumbled onto three random, homemade CD’s very clearly marked “Weeyum Poker Mix,” “Weeyum Poker Mix 2,” and, you guessed it, “Weeyum Poker Mix 3.”
William used to stay at the House of Hav whenever the Family of Hav went out of town, and he would always welcome us back with a mix CD of whatever funk he was feelin’ that week. These little gems were a product of that thoughtful generosity and they were… on… fucking… point.
Earth, Wind and Fire, Curtis Mayfield, The Commodores, Chaka Khan, Michael (of course), Prince (double of course) and a song my old friend always knew was one of my main groovy grooves: “What is Hip?” by Tower of Power, feat. Rocco Prestia carrying the funky load with a bassline that’ll give you permanent stank-face if you listen closely enough. So listen closely.
Having this funk “fill our earholes”, as Wee would always say, leant an auditory vibe to the game that had been sorely missed. It was almost as if the dearly departed was sitting right there at the table laughing out some serious snot bubbles and bitching about everybody being on their phones. (Happy sigh.)
Play started, as usual, with a round of “Dollar Bob” (hi-lo Omaha) but unlike usual, the first 3 hands were one-winner sweeps enjoyed openly by me, Eddie and clayTON in that order of winning as well as handsomeness. Our fortunes could easily reverse, but in that moment there’s nothing quite like the feeling of raking all the chips in the middle of the table DI-rectly into the warmth and temporary safety of your own well. Enjoy the warmth, I always tell myself. Winter is coming.
The cover of our next album entitled “Want Some?”
One of the ridiculous but fun games we play was brought to us from The North by the one-and-only Jay Brown, which I say with my fingers crossed because the thought of having two of him would be horrifying. 😉
It’s called “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” In a nutshell…
– 2 rows of 5 cards face down on the table, top row is “The Good,” bottom row is “The Bad.”
– Each player gets 5 cards down: “The Ugly.”
– Before each round of betting, 1 card each from The Good and The Bad rows are revealed. If a card from The Good row or The Ugly (player’s hand) shows up in the The Bad row, they have to be discarded and can’t be used in the final best-five-card hand.
Terribly confusing, right?!
But fun once you get it.
Unfortunately, clayTON didn’t get it. More unfortunately, Pat volunteered to explain it, but he purposefully fucked it up with the express intention of further confusing him.
“The top row is ‘Good,’ the bottom row is ‘Ugly,’ and the cards in your hand are ALL wild. You can use as many as 10 cards in the final hand.”
We all laughed. clayTON immediately folded.
At 9:30, we dug up a long-absent classic EBPG standby – a half hour of Straight 7, hi only. It’s a great chance to keep from straining ourselves trying to remember which cards are wild.
EBPG: Where hilarious 1-liners go to be greatly appreciated
Our nights are always filled with unforgettable 1-liners and the occasional “several-liners,” that I’m almost always too high to not forget, but this time I had a pen and paper…
Follow the Queen is dealt – Queens and the card that “follows the queen” are wild. In this case, 7’s. J.R. wins with 5 Kings. He perhaps over-excitedly takes a picture despite the relatively small pot leading Pat to sarcasticallariously supply the caption…
“That time I won 28 dollars.”
In the beginning, the EBPG was almost exclusively comics playing after a night of running around town doing sets. That make-up has changed a bit, however, leading Pat at one point to ask the purposefullariously insulting question, “Is this the game that used to have a bunch of comics in it?” (big laugh) “I quit show business to be in this game.” (bigger laugh)
A relatively Jazzy Marcus Miller song comes on and stays on for what seems like an inordinate amount of time leading J.R. to describe Jazz as “getting enough guys together who are all willing to commit to playing a song until one of them opens their eyes.”
Pat leaves for a bit to take a walk and think of other mean things to say to us. After about 5 minutes, clayTON texts him the following: “Don’t even THINK about coming back without cookies.”
And he meant it. He’s that hardcore.
To his credit, Pat stopped at the nearby Insomniac Cookies and obliged.
To our debit, he charged us all for them.
Eddie Brill reminding us of an EBPG table classic movie title…
Human Resources 2: This Time It’s Personnel
(Coming soon to a theater far away from you)
For some reason, Eddie blurts out: “Mr. Toad’s Wild Stool.” Nobody knows why he blurted it out, but it made us all laugh nonetheless, which is the opposite of everythingthemore.
Pat, who was on quite the comedy roll this particular eve, follows Eddie’s blurt with his own random blurt in the form of a possible book title: “How To Not Do Shit and Influence No One.” After involuntarily releasing ice cold Heineken* through my nose, I felt compelled to tell Pat that I’m actually currently working on a parody of a book very similar to the one he was referring to and that if I use his title I’ll give him 2% of my earnings. He reluctantly agreed, probably realizing that even 90% of what will probably be nothing still equals nothing.
* I used to always bring a 6-pack of Heineken to the EBPG to split with William. I would put 2 at a time in the freezer until they achieved what Wee and I considered optimal colditude. Then I’d open them and we would toast to the memory of my father, “Dollar Bob” Havlan.
Somebody used the phrase “At the end of the day,” which rarely leads to anything truly insightful, but this time it prompted clayTON to chime in with “At the end of the day, it could be as late as 11:58 or even 11:59pm.”
It’s the exact level of silliness all members of the EBPG embrace without judgement.
J.R. after losing a big hand: “Papa needs to return a new pair of shoes!”
The small showdown went to Cockman who quite somberly declared, “Needed it.”
The big showdown went to clayTON who somewhat excitedly declared, “That’s the first time I’ve ever won the big showdown!” to which Pat responded that it must have felt just as good as when clayTON won $248K at the World Series of Poker… which he actually did. Maybe if they played Follow the Queen at the WSOP we would all have a chance.
The next game will be on a date TBD sometime in the next decade. The proper parties will preemptively receive a punctilious proclamation.
Happy Holidays, y’all!
The Hammadown is brought to you by the word “Impeachment”
Impeachment: Letting presidents know they fucked up since 1868