Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The Fine Art of Office Party Crashing
Yesterday, after forcing several of my coworkers to down Irish Car Bombs at O'Whateverthefuck's downstairs from our office, I crashed a party.
It's not something I do. But a friend of mine crashes it every year and he gave me the rundown. Free liquor and bands! Posh skyscraper with wraparound balcony and a view of the parade! No need to vie for space with piss-drunk Sigma Delts from U. Southern Newark, who took the bus in with the express purpose of throwing up on your streets!
I'm still not even sure where I was. Some kind of Irish hedge fund. There were framed pictures of autumnal Irish golf courses on the walls. Cherry wood desks and low-pile corporate carpeting. The average age was somewhere around 60—which pretty much corresponded to the age of the band, who spent a lot of time singing about the hills and the heathers and fair ladies with emerald eyes. I was about to high-tail it outta there with my Solo cup full of Dewar's when I met this guy.
That's right, the legendary Father Pete: hard-livin' priest to the hard livin' Times Square set—shepherd to lost whores, junkies, celebrities, longshoremen, and everything in between. Savior to Mickey Rourke! A bona fide New York icon, and a relic of a happier, grittier time when peep shows still outnumbered wine bars—and when, with the right password and a crisp Benjamin, you could probably still procure an actual human hand.
Here's a guy who'd seen it all—including his own imminent death at a very early age: "When you have a heart attack at 27, you fuckin' die," he said to me and some total strangers out on the balcony. But Father Pete—61 now—did not die. He just kept on keepin' on, with his steady time-proven diet of burgers, cigarettes, and whisky—that's right, whisky.
So how does one act around a priest who slugs Dewar's, smokes butts, and drops F-bombs? Clearly I had no clue. Because at one point in our conversation I got a little excited and let slip a loud, "JESUS CHRIST!"
"That's great," some drunk lady laughed, "Take the Lord's name in vain in front of a priest!"
"Yeah, sorry about that, Father," I said. But ol' Father Pete just took another drag and smiled. A knowing smile. The kind of smile that says, "Kid, I got far bigger things to worry about than some blaspheming party crasher."
Then he said what all of us had been thinking but didn't have the courage to say.
"I gotta get outta here," he said. "I'm shitface drunk."
Father Pete, we salute you.
Posted by Ian at 10:43 AM