Our first stop with Research Assistants Scott and Shawn was Kelly's for Jell-O shots. The front bar was sparsely filled with semi-hootched-out chickies in empire-style, spaghetti-strapped tops and micro shorts; prep-hole guys; and meatheady types rocking the muscle-shirt-and-sunglasses-atop-the-head look.
We noticed that the back section had been curtained off for a private party. Naturally, we needed to crash it. Inside we saw an array of people in cocktail dresses and suits and wondered if it was some sort of rehearsal dinner. Then we spotted a familiar face: our friend Joan, who invited us into the party lair and hooked us up with large plastic cups of Boulevard Wheat. It's very KC when you can't crash a party without recognizing someone and getting invited in. She told us that the event was a benefit for the Jennifer Ireland Foundation, named for a young woman who recently died of colon cancer and left behind two daughters.
Feeling slightly guilty for cadging beers, we turned our attention to the room. The transformation was amazing. Tall frames draped with black curtains enclosed the entire space, blocking the windows and the Joe's Pizza order counter. White Christmas lights hung from the frames, adding a warm glow to the room. We decided that if we ever got married, it would be in the back room of Kelly's.
We chatted with a guy who had taken to heart the "creative black tie" dress code. Brian sported a white tux, an orange ruffled shirt, a fuzzy orange hat and a white cane. He said he'd done a little shopping, inspired by Lloyd Christmas from Dumb & Dumber. Spotting his cane, we asked if he would do a little dance. "No dance," he said.
We finished our crashage with a rubbery $1 Jell-O shot. It came in one flavor — red — and was served in a small plastic container with a toothpick, which Shawn deemed "fancy."
Scott then informed us of an interesting sociological phenomenon he had witnessed in the men's bathroom. Apparently, the urinals are arranged in a U-shape, and while he was in there, he encountered a couple of guys who had no qualms about just whipping it out and talking to him while they peed. "You don't see that at gay bars," he concluded.
"Young, straight guys are open like a yard sale. It's all on the driveway, all marked down," Shawn said.
"I didn't look — I swear — but out of the corner of my eye, it seemed like one guy wasn't peeing. There seemed to be a lot of fluffing going on," Scott said.
After we snorted beer out our noses, we made a quick pizza stop at Joe's. Then we went across the street to Harry's Bar and Tables, home of one of the best patios in town. After scoring a table, we started eavesdropping on the lively conversation between four women at the table next to ours. Continuing our party-crashing theme for the night, we joined 26-year-old Heather and 21-year-old Gabrielle, who work together at the LattéLand on State Line Road.
"We're out getting fucking drunk!" said the vivacious Heather, who sported a pink top with an asymmetrical zippered strip right above her left breast. We asked if they had any funny barcentric stories to share. Heather volunteered that she had a dirty one, whereupon Gabrielle added the disclaimer that they had a designated driver.
Unruffled, Heather told us that before she and her husband got married, they went to see Fugazi at El Torreon. They decided to make out by the piano by the bathroom. One thing led to another, and they ended up doing it up against the piano.
"What kind of piano was it?" asked another friend at the table.
"A crappy one, like the kind in kindergarten class," she said. They leaned up against it — giving new meaning to upright — and didn't care that people who were coming out of the bathroom stood around and gawked.
She's been with her husband seven years and married for two. We asked how they met. "I'm not going to tell you — it's even dirtier." She paused briefly, then said, "OK, I'll tell you."
Heather and her future husband were at her ex-boyfriend's birthday party, where she and her best friend decided to strip to their bras and panties and jump on a trampoline. Her husband-to-be had the same idea, and together, they started a trend of nude trampoline jumping. Hello, new Olympic event! Eventually, Heather and her future husband ended up in the ex-boyfriend's parents' guest room. She concluded by saying, "We blamed the stain on another couple."
All of our socializing foiled our plan of hitting every bar in Westport. We did make it to one more spot, Buzzard Beach, which made for a good end point of the night. We huddled by the jukebox on the crowded lower level. A group of guys in leather Tevas shot pool while another guy glommed onto two men who were waiting to play. We went over and met 43-year-old Emmanuel, who told us that he frequents Westport for, as he put it, the "pool, smoke weed, ladies and drink."
Well, we had gotten our fill of drink by that point, so around 2 a.m., we left and entered the circus that is Westport between the last-call times. Three women teetered precariously down the hill. One was clad in a short denim skirt with a weird ruffle at the hem. "It's like an upside-down cupcake," Shawn observed. "Her berries almost came out."
At the corner of the alley by the Harry's patio, we spotted a guy throwing up. His shorts and boxers had slid down enough to expose his butt crack. He leaned over to try to grab onto a yellow traffic pole but missed and nearly fell down.
Ah, Westport. It's like a yard sale where the goods are all on display and everything goes at the end of the night.