Cinco de Mayo. Another faux-holiday that gives thousands of Americans an excuse to become belligerently drunk. Please refer to Reid's post for further details.
I'm always reminded of that fantastic weekend back in the year 2000, when Cinco de Mayo snuck up on me and my buddies Kevin and Neil. We were en route from Greensboro to Boston to see Throwing Muses play one of their special annual reunion shows, which they call Gut Pageant. This was actually the first year the event was held, and it was simply a Throwing Muses show with all the original members, which was preceded by a (morning-time) Kristin solo show and some Q&A sessions or something like that. It has since blossomed into a weekend long thing with other stuff, but that's not the point here.
The show was late Saturday afternoon (yes, afternoon!), and we left on Friday afternoon, thinking we'd take turns and drive through the night to get there with plenty of time to spare. We experimented with a game called "silent road trip" in which none of us were allowed to speak. We actually made it about two hours before we had to call it off. Here's the real point. We made it to Baltimore and decided it was time to take a little break. We were gonna grab some food, a couple of beers and get back on the road. We parked in a parking garage and wandered out to the streets of downtown Baltimore thinking we'd find a place for a quick bite. It didn't even occur to us what the date was. We exited the garage to an absolute sea of people in the streets. All those people who were just Irish on the 17th of March were suddenly Mexican. I suppose it is possible that there's a huge Irish/Mexican population in Baltimore. I just wonder whether they chase their Negro Modelo with whiskey or their Guinness with tequila.
To be honest, I don't know if we ever got around to eating anything. We had lots to drink, however. At some point, we decided to put on phony British accents to impress girls. The flaw in our plan was that Kevin has a wonderful phony accent, but doesn't really have the vocabulary down pat. I have the opposite problem. Actually, my phony accent is pretty wretched, but I make up for it with knowing some of the lingo. Neil has a better accent than I do, but he wasn't really into it. To make this horribly boring story short, I'll jus say that we managed to get some girls to hang out with us, and they were pretty convinced by our accents. At some point we told them in our phony British accents that we could put on phony Southern US accents, which allowed us to talk in our normal voices for a while. They said that they didn't believe our "phony" southern accents. Who knows if they were just taking the piss out of us or were being sincere.
We stayed in frighteningly expensive hotel rooms, and we left way later in the morning on Saturday than we had planned.
We got to Boston just in time to park the car and literally run to the Middle East club, barely making it in time. The show was great, and was well worth the time and money we put into it. Somehow, however, it's the Cinco de Mayo celebration in Baltimore that I remember more. I don't reckon I'll have another 5 May like that one.
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