I thought I was done for the night. E and I had already been to Rubin’s farewell party where all the men compared cell phones and iTouches and little things, and all the women talked about the weather and gardening and how fun it would be to be able to buy a house for $139,000 (in rural Quebec, the sticking point). E and I were home on the couch, and I was contemplating writing a blog post about the fact that the iTouch has a ‘flashlight’ setting that is just a blank, white screen. Then my phone rang.
“What’s up?” It’s Morgan, and he sounds a little drunk.
“We just saw wrestling at the Russian Community Centre. It’s Daniel’s stag. Come out for a drink. We’re going to Dilby’s”
He asks the other guys what the name of the place is. “Darby’s.” Darby’s is a block from my house. It would be easy.
Inside my head: I’m kind of tired. And we’ve got the cane dance tomorrow. Hell, I don’t want to dance hung over. But I don’t have to be hung over. Go for a beer. Come home. It’ll be fine. Yeah, right. Like it’s always fine with Morgan. For your only friend who wears a suit, how come he’s the worst influence? Well, he doesn’t have to be, tonight. You can just take twenty bucks, buy Daniel a drink, and be done.
“...Okay. I’ll see you there in ten minutes.”
E looks at me.
“Morgan. It’s his friend Daniel’s stag.”
“Okay,” says the unflappable E.
At Darby’s, Daniel is wearing a shirt with a bunch of writing on it: Tasks to complete. Also, he has a blue and silver cape on. I drink some beer. Daniel’s cousin is deploring the miserliness of the women who won’t give Daniel their panties. One of Daniel’s tasks is to collect two pairs of women’s underwear. “In Victoria, we’d have, like, six pairs of panties by now,” the cousin complains. I had no idea Victoria was so liberal.
Time passes. Beer passes. Tequila rears its ugly head. I take pity on Daniel and run home to get him some underwear. “I’ll be back in a bit,” I tell E. “I just have to give Daniel some panties.”
He looks up from the TV. “You’re not giving him ones you like, are you?” (This is one of the best things about E. He’s not worried about me loaning some underwear to a guy, he’s worried that they’re a pair that I’ll miss.) Back at the bar, Daniel puts the underwear around his neck.
Tara and Allison, the woman who will be marrying Daniel, arrive just as I’m leaving. Tara gives me a huge hug and some Mardi Gras beads.
“I gave your husband some underwear,” I tell Allison. “I got them from home, so they’re clean. I hope that’s okay.” She assures me it is, and I toddle off home.
Miraculously, I do not have a hangover. Maybe it was panty karma looking out for me.