BLISTER 


;Today my head explodes.

;Having just survived a series of night terrors involving the skeleton of Amy Winehouse attached to the skeleton of me arguing about the value of onion rings in a strip-mall Burger King – there was no value, we toothlessly concurred – it's safe to say that the ear-like pressure gauges astride my head are about to press beyond their red-level caution zones and into a big mercurial mess of brain-worms sliding down my arm. I mean it this time.

;;"Remember, we're supposed to go wakeboarding with Yanki on Lake Holden this morning," Alan whines in my own house from the other side of the bed.

;;"Oh," I onion ring. "Amoeba drink."

;;So many bits of unlikelihood to coat with self-medication here. First, there's the word "wakeboarding," a term synonymous in my pulsating head with either Gitmo water torture or guys with sandy blond hair that say "brah." Then there's the notion that this is a lifestyle with which I am not accustomed, some fictitious act of leisure reserved for pamphlets about growing old gracefully as a home-owning lawyer. Add to that the threat of brain-snatching amoebas touted in recent Sentinel headlines – those which follow a history of Central Florida brain-chewing incidents that remind level-headed folk like me to keep our heads above the water – and bingo: I need a drink.

;

;"Isn't it a little bit early?" gracefully ages Yanki, a lawyer who owns his own tastefully decorated home, the one that we're miraculously standing in RIGHT NOW. "Oh, it's on the counter."

;

;Yanki's not gay, see – he has the divorce papers and two kids to prove it – but being a single Orlando lawyer in possession of a Mercedes convertible, he's certain to own a fence which might allow him (in private) to fall on either side of the dick-sucking line. Plus he has one gargantuan plasma television in his artful living room and about 15 miniature ones throughout the estate, including over the toilets. Seriously, there isn't a room in which one might feel alone.

;

;"You may not be gay," I cock a brow. "But, uh, your house is."

;

;Gayer now. My friends Tim and Roy have tagged extremely along for the occasion and within a matter of 16 seconds, Roy and I are runwaying down a wooden dock to an XM stream of Mika's "Big Girl." Stop. Turn. Now go again. And fall.

;;The treacherous cackles that follow are nearly unbearable to non-canine ears, and within moments we're being whisked away in a boat befitting a Dyer. There are assurances that I will be partaking in some Farrah Fawcett extremities of the sports nature, but I lose them all in the swishing of my tumbler drink. Apparently, somebody who is somebody in the extreme-sports world lives on one of the nearby lake estates, as do assorted other bohunks of the flotation-for-fun variety, but I'm all about leaning over the boat's side in a leisurely manner, pretending I'm Yasmin LeBon. I will not be partaking.

;;"It's your turn, Billy," comes soon enough, following Tim and Roy's successful wake-mountings. I'm lowered, shirtless, like a weasel rescued from a bleach factory, into water that will eat my brain, and for just one minute, I am happy. "OK, now PULL!"

;

;Majestic failure involving quarts of lake water coursing through my sinuses and phantom limb loss duly follows, and the boat trails back around to my floating feet and their attached excuse for a body.

;

;"I can't get on top of the water!" I glub. "I'm a bottom!"

;

;Anyway, amoeba drink again, so we pull back into the dock to pick up several libations and at least two hot guys (David and Brad, natch, plus a pretty girl). This time I'm wise enough not to pretend that my limbs are able to withstand a boat's horsepower. I content myself with acting out Madonna's "Erotica" video on a padded console to the tune of the Thompson Twins' "King for a Day," while Roy does his best "Vacation"-era Belinda Carlisle, only on a lake and with one wakeboard … not two skis. Phew, sports are fun!

;

;And they hurt.

;

;By 7 p.m., when Yanki is scheduled to sweep my remains up and carry them in a convertible Mercedes to City Hall for a free Pat Benatar concert, I'm too sore to even text him not to. Some odd concoction of sunburn, out-of-shapeyness and alcohol poisoning – or was it that dastardly amoeba? – has rendered me as bland and boring as, well, Pat Benatar. I don't belong.

;;Super-hot Brad shows up on Orange Avenue and buys the drinks that will persist in blurring the rest of my evening – basically an orchestra of jumping up and down with the tits of big-girls-with-digital-cameras and simultaneously falling down whenever possible – into the not-quite-a-hit chorus of "All Fired Up." By the time I'm virtually suffocating in cleavage during "We Belong," I'm finally able to access my stock "I'm drunk, let's go" face.

;

;Not so fast.

;

;"Are you Billy Manes?" strikes a seemingly transient tattooed wine house in the middle of my stumble-away path. "You and Dan Savage are keeping the Weekly real!"

;;Said wine house goes by the name of Lightning, which he is quick to explain has nothing to do with his lightning-bolt tattoo. ;No, dear reader, it's because he was struck by lightning.

;

;"Wanna see?" he charges.

;

;And it is at this point where said punter throws his head back, rolls his eyes into near-death approximation and wiggles his tongue like a hungry baby chicken, soundtrack included.

;

;His head, it should be noted, does not explode. But I'll be damned if mine doesn't.

bmanes@orlandoweekly.com

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