Monday, June 27, 2011

In the Lot

She was busty and bubbly and all sorts of feisty. Along with her menthol-smoking meathead boyfriend who supposedly knew Tanker, she had stopped by our after-party tailgate tent. Char was her name. I especially remember that because I jokingly called her “Charcoal” upon meeting her. She scowled and snapped, “the last asshole to call me that was in 7th grade and I knocked him in the nuts so hard he had to go home for the day.” I was in love.

It was week 5 of 2005 and the Packers hadn’t given much to cheer about up to that point. The Saints came into town and we took out our 0-4 frustrations on them by lighting them up 52-3 on a pleasant early October afternoon. The game felt over well before halftime and the Packers put it on cruise control the rest of the way, giving Tanker and I plenty of time to get back to the tent and get things ready for the usual run of maniacs who liked to stop by and have a few and maybe dance and little, too.

“Just look for the boxers!” This is what we told people to look for – the XXXL pair of yellow Packer boxers we strung up atop a twenty-foot pole by the tent. “Or listen for the G&R!” I added, already thinking about popping in Appetite for Destruction as soon as we got back.

Soon, I noticed Char bouncing toward the tent and singing along to “Sweet Child of Mine,” a good sign if there ever was one. She pounded the last third of her beer and flicked the can ten feet whirling into the garbage, another good sign. I popped another one and handed it to her, which she graciously accepted. We introduced ourselves and after she told me about her famous middle-school swift kick to the testicles of yesteryear, we eventually bonded both over our shared appreciation of Tony Fisher catching balls out of the backfield and our hatred of BJ Sander and the pathetic punting situation.

The normal crowd was there, too. Creeper, Lefty, Bowler, Stiffy, Big Pop, Sandypants and Candy Corn had all stopped by as planned and imbibed and ingested and altogether consumed the party at hand. Normally, this would’ve suited me just fine but the bright prospects of this new chick called Char fixated all my energies. Thankfully, the guy she came with seemed more interested in bean bags and beer bongs that he left Char fend for herself among a crowd she didn’t know. But she handled everything like a deep-fried sprinkled cupcake – that is, nice to look at, easy to get along with and tons of fun all over.

I had just cockblocked Creeper’s sloppy advances toward her by blaring “The Bears Still Suck” and motioning her to dance. She started swinging my way and things were looking good with makeout potential when all of the sudden her douche-canoe Newport 100 Neanderthal stepped in and said it was time for them to leave. It was clear Char was bummed because of all the fun but they were late for something else possibly just as great. I got a hug and she told me to stay cool and she hoped to see me down the line. I stood there as she walked away listening “the Bears still suck, the Bears still suck, the Bears still suck” taunting and couldn’t help but think that guy is the one who sucked and her relationship with him sucked and now this tailgate party sucked and now I was going to have a sucky time the rest of the sucky afternoon.

I got ripped and barked around the parking lot for a Roman knuckles match with some beer-bellied bruiser and maybe some pickled perch – something powerful to distract me from the heartbreak I was experiencing. But the buzzkill burned and I scared away the kid from Kimberly by beating my chest like a crazed gorilla. I eventually lumbered back to the tent where Tanker had picked up and was ready to go.

“Where were you?” he asked. I had no response. It didn’t matter. “I’m supposed to give this to you.” And Tanker handed me a receipt for hamburger buns from the Piggly Wiggly.

On the back was a hand-written number, a smiley face, and “Charcoal” written in cursive.


  1. If I had a dime for every lady I've met at a Packer game, I'd have 86 cents. (one was short)

  2. I love this post, it had everything. I laughed, I cried, but mostly I got hungry for pickled perch.


Google requires us to state we use third-party advertising, who may use information (not including your name, address, email, or phone) about your visits to provide ads of possible interest. For more information or to opt out, click here.
To contact us or to advertise, email packerranter {at}