Thursday, December 6, 2012

Wait Wait... Which Bar is Next?

*Disclaimer: This post is entirely about drunken antics.  If you don't like reading about mindless drunken antics - or if doing so makes you want to reach for a bottle of Jack right now - give this post about grudges and forgiveness a chance instead.  If you love reading about drunken buffoonery - read on!*

If you’ve been reading my posts for the last couple of days, you know I’ve been planning to tell you about Saturday and the fun times that ensued.  But now I’m sure I’ve built it up too much and when I tell you about it you’re going to be like “Really, this is what people do for fun in Iowa?”

Yes, yes it is.

I won’t get into all of the details because for the most part you just kind of had to be there.  But what happened is that 8 friends and I competed against 30 other teams in a downtown Pub Crawl/Scavenger hunt this last Saturday afternoon. 

Teams could be 1-6 people but we had 9 total so we decided to split into two teams and that we’d work together and then split the $500 grand prize.  Sure, $500 split 9 ways is only about $55 but we figured that if we won we’d at least be able to write the money spent at the bars that day off as a business expense.  Because drinking is a business when you do it the way we do.

Pretty much all day Friday was spent with mass emails racing back and forth about the plans for Saturday.  We decided that I would make lunch and have everyone over to the barpartment before the hunt so that no one would be drinking on an empty belly.  By the end of the day Friday, we were all so ridiculously excited.  I barely slept.  If you were checking the Facebook newsfeed for any of us Saturday morning you would’ve seen that we were all up early and taking care of our normal Saturday business so that we could devote the rest of the day to the mission.

At lunch, our typically boisterous group was subdued, like a group of soldiers preparing for battle.  We then carpooled downtown and went to the downtown bar, The Hub, to register at 1pm.  The next hour passed in flurry of activity as we registered, got our first beers of the day and The Hub filled with more teams for the hunt.  By the time it was all said and done there were about 30-40 teams.  Our teams were numbers 15 and 19. We had originally planned for both teams to go together but the rules sent us in different directions so we planned to meet up and compare answers before the closing ceremonies.

In case you’ve never participated in a Pub Crawl Scavenger Hunt (this was my first time), here’s how it works:
  • Rule #1 – No driving.  Everything was within about a 10-block radius and you’d be walking no more than about 3 blocks between bars so taxis weren’t even needed.
  • At each bar you would get a clue telling you what bar to go to next – This was very easy as they gave you a picture of the bar and a clue.  They knew they were creating a scavenger hunt for drunks.
  • You also get a piece of paper with approximately 10 trivia questions at each bar.  These trivia questions could be about the history of the bar, about sports, about music – anything that relates to the bar itself.
  • Then you have to take a picture with your team and one of the bar’s icons (for instance the giant painting of JFK on the wall at The Hub) and email it to the event organizers.
  • We also had to take a picture of our team on the walking bridge across the highway (this is how they prevent you from just running across the highway while drinking – smart people organized this)
  • They gave each team a mylar M&M balloon that they had to keep alive the entire night, this lead to many interactions with other teams trying to break each other’s balloons.
  • They also spelled out the words “Bud Lights” (the hunt was sponsored by the local Anheuser-Busch distributor) and for extra credit you had to collect something that started with each letter. 

The extra-credit items were the most fun to collect.  We started off collecting somewhat mundane things but in the end we had some rather hilarious items.  Since one of the letters was “U” every team we ran into had at least one person who would come up to us and say “I don’t have any underwear on! I donated it to the cause!”  Oh, well, thank you for sharing. 

We opted not to go for underwear.  We went classy and got a urinal cake instead.  No no, we didn’t pry it from a urinal.  We asked our bartender friend to give us a fresh one.  At least I’m pretty sure that’s how it went down.  I wasn’t part of the process of procuring the urinal cake. 

I went classier and bought a Lifestyles Condom from a bathroom condom vending machine so we would have an “L”.  That’s me baby - all class, all the time.

Throughout the course of 5.5 hours, our team visited 10 bars, answered all of our questions, ate greasy bar food and came up with some great extra credit items. 

The highlights of the event:
  • Seeing old friends I haven’t seen in years.
  • Meeting new people.
  • Playing with a lightsaber.
  • My buddy Phin getting a tattoo in the midst of our hunt.  (We used “Tattoo receipt” for our extra credit “T”)  No seriously, this really happened.
  • Running away from my team at one of our last bars.
  • Finding our other team while I was running away from my own.
  • Using the fire exit and setting off the alarm at one of the bars.  Twice.
  • Sitting under a table with our other team’s Team Captain at the closing ceremony talking about what horrible Team Captains we are - right as they announced - 


You would have thought that we had won the lottery with the way we were cheering. 

We collected our prize and ran outside to leap up and down with joy and count out our money.  And I mean we stood outside screaming out “20-40-60…” and on until we got to $500. 

We also might have set a world record for quantity, quality, and volume of "Woo"s in a 15-minute time frame.  Oh, who am I kidding? I didn't stop "Woo"ing until I fell asleep.

Then we went to the local karaoke bar to drink celebratory shots and to lift our voices up in joy.  I sang.  I don’t remember what exactly.  But I definitely sang. 

We were back to the barpartment by 11pm, enjoying leftovers from lunch and ready to pass out fall asleep. 

I’m sure this day doesn’t sound that extraordinary to a lot of people, but the all-day camaraderie and teamwork was just freakin fun.  Running all over downtown on our mission, meeting people we’d never met before, going to new places, spending time with people I love – it was just all freakin fantastic – all topped off by winning. 

And damn, do I love winning.

Annie Jay


  1. You're way cooler than me. I don't think I could drink that much anymore if I tried! Congrats!

    1. Thanks! But I'm not sure if "cooler" is the right word for this hahaha. And if there is one thing we do well in this town, it's consume massive amounts of booze in short spans of time ;-)

    2. I think you midwesterners can all put away some serious booze. I have a bunch of family in MN and I have to detox my liver for weeks after I visit. It's awesome.

    3. LOL Yeah, it might be a Midwest thing. I know my town personally takes a special kind of pride in its alcohol consumption per capita...

  2. That just sounds like a blast! I'm glad I'm not the only one who loves the combo of bars/booze, new people, trivia, and prizes! I miss being in business school and doing more bar crawls (though my liver is thankful). :)

    1. I feel like singing "These are a few of my favorite things" after your comment haha. And my liver actually wasn't feeling too badly after it all. Maybe it was just in denial.

      Or maybe I'm STILL drunk.

    2. Haha! I feel like being just a few days shy of 30, I shouldn't love bar crawls and day drinking. But I do. :)

    3. I'm only a little short of 30 myself so I am in the same boat. But you know what? I'll have fun however I want to! LOL

  3. "Because drinking is a business when you do it the way we do." Ain't THAT the truth! Sounds like it was a flipping blast; oh how I miss drunken shenanigans with all you crazy wonderful peeps.

    1. Oh if only you and your boy had been there, that would've been the only thing that could've made it better. Although we probably would've just ended up in the bathroom crying about how much we miss each other - as usual ;-)

      I still must get out to DSM again. I'm thinking January. I like DSM in the winter!

  4. I did one of these for my friend's 30th and it was CRAZY! so fun!

    1. We definitely decided we won't be missing the next one that goes on!