Mike Buzzelli

Column Mike Buzzelli

Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and published author. He is a theater and arts critic for 'Burgh Vivant, Pittsburgh's online cultural talk magazine, and an active board member of the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, the Carnegie Arts Initiative and the Carnegie Screenwriters. His book, "Below Average Genius" is a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column here in the Observer-Reporter.

Gremlin in the bottle

August 1, 2014

Earlier this month, it was National Tequila Day. I celebrated with friends and frozen watermelon margaritas at a Mexican restaurant. Basically, it was a smoothie with alcohol, and it was delicious. I had two of them, in fairly rapid succession. I’m not much of a drinker, and tequila is my Kryptonite.

I was besotted, blasted, blitzed, bombed and blotto (there are a lot of euphemisms for intoxication).

I was also extremely happy. I was already happy, but after poisoning my body with alcohol, I was euphoric. Once freed of my inhibitations, only happiness remained. I see why it’s so popular.

The only problem with the self-diagnosed freedom from those aforementioned inhabitations; I was kind of a maniac. My thoughts were very random. I sounded like Larry King in USA Today. I’m surprised I didn’t say things like, “In my humble opinion, that Tommy Lasorda was the greatest baseball manager ever.”

I did say, “I got a charley horse the other night, and it still hurts.” That sentence was followed by, “I need to eat more apricots.” They were slightly related, as dried apricots are high in calcium and are widely known as a natural remedy for muscle spasms. Of course, I didn’t explain my derailed train of thought to my friends. They just looked at me like I was a lunatic, which, unfortunately, I recognized immediately because I often get that face from them.

Two tables down, a woman and her friends came in. I didn’t know her. Also, I feel it’s important to point out she was more than 21 years old (but probably not by many years). Said female had an odd habit of sticking her long auburn hair in her mouth while her friends talked to her. She would place a cluster of it on her lips, while they all chatted away.

No one stopped her. No one said, “That’s really gross, Stephanie (or whatever her name was).”

It really bugged me. Even though she was a stranger and not involved in my life in any way, I had to say something. I might not have said anything sober, but the alcohol was riling me up.

I even turned to my friend (also named Michael) and said, “I have to say something.”

He wasn’t even sure why I was offended, because he was engaged in another conversation with the people at our table. He knew I was about to do something embarrassing. There was a high statistical probability.

He patted me on the arm and said, “Let it go.” I must point out, he did not sing “Let it go,” as I think we’re all sick of that song by now.

I proceeded to ignore my friend and said (to the hair-chewing stranger), “Hey. Cut it out. You’re in a restaurant, and that’s disgusting.”

And it was, but it wasn’t my place to tell her. She and her friends just looked at me, and then went back to their conversation.

Looking back, she could have easily retorted with, “So is getting drunk in public,” but she had a clump of hair in her mouth and couldn’t speak.

P.S. If you see me in a bar or restaurant, whatever you do, don’t buy me a drink.



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