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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Drinking for Charity

This last weekend I rolled down to Hermosa Beach for the 7th Annual Hermosa Beach Pub Crawl. The theme, like last year, was Hawaiian. My costume was Dawn, the Head Shark Trainer for the Grand Wailea Resort in Hawaii. The costume featured a golden fanny pack, a tank top ripped to shreds and three laminated fish hanging from my waist.

As I mentioned the purpose of the pub crawl is to raise money for a select charity. This year the charity was Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America ( Every year the charity changes to fit what is going on with the organizers. The Crohn's Foundation was chosen because the grandfather of one of the wives of an organizer passed away from it last year. Previous charities have been Locks of Love, Mattel Children's Hospital, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation and The Lance Armstrong Foundation.

That meant at the first bar you provided $10 for the charity and received a raffle ticket for prizes at the last bar. The first bar was called Shark's Cove and the featured drinks were $4 Apple Kamikazes, $11 Domestic pitchers and $14 Premium pitchers. As you enter the bar you can order drink in the back right area and then the rest of the bar consists of a spread of tables and a couple of booths. We snagged a booth and proceeded to play drinking games for the hour we would be at that bar.

After a couple of pitchers I realized it was my turn to buy the next round so I headed over to the ATM to get cash out. I went through the whole process and then failed to get my $40! AHH! I hate bar ATMs. They are so worthless! I complained to the bar manager who mentioned that they'd been down all morning. I then suggested MAYBE YOU SHOULD PUT A SIGN ON IT and stormed back to our table to apologize for coming back empty-handed. One of the guys got up and went to purchase a pitcher. He came back with $40 in his hand and handed it to me. "I found this in the ATM," he said (apparently the ATMs had come back online). So nice of him! This kid didn't even know me and he was that honest??! Sweet! To reward him I gave him one of my fish.

The fish-giving would soon become a theme of the afternoon. Anytime someone did something nice or clever they would receive a fish. If they made a bonehead comment or did something stupid they had to give it back. The last rule was that anyone could try and steal your fish so you had to guard it with your life (yes we are lame).

After an hour we headed to the next bar, The Lighthouse. We were greeted by a small band. The singer was entertaining to be sure and was happy to take our song requests (some of which she sadly refused to play). Of the bars on the crawl, Lighthouse, was one of the few I'd already been to as my friend's band, Shaimus, plays there often. They have pretty good food too! Unfortunately, the pub crawl drinks here were $5 SoCo Lime Shots. Ick. I drank a few beers instead. This bar wasn't nearly exciting enough so we went to the next bar a little early. But, not before we grabbed the first card for our poker hand.

To keep crawlers entertained, the organizers had arranged a little game to play as you went from bar to bar. At each stop, starting with the second bar, each team would select a playing card from the deck. They would use this card, and the four cards from the last four bars to create a poker hand. The best poker hand won a prize.

Fat Face Fenner's Fishshack or FFFF was across the street and upstairs. This was by far my favorite bar on the crawl. It's a tiny little bar made up of two decks and an indoor area to order drinks. The decks were great because it was a hot day and you could stand outside and heckle people walking below. It also allowed for you to get some air. Plus, the bar just had a lot of personality and $3 Bud Light Drafts... mmm. It was here that I lost my second fish. One of the guys had walked by me and said, "Smells fishy," which got an involuntary chuckle out of me so I had to relinquish the second of my three prizes. I would have to guard the last one carefully. Before leaving we grabbed our second playing card.

The fourth bar was Sangria. I have to say at this point that all the bars in Hermosa look exactly the same. The pub crawl was being held on the Hermosa Pier Boardwalk which is just a giant line of bars. And as I said they all look the same - wooden-walled, spacious, sports bars. So there wasn't much to say about Sangria other than I was forced to take a $3 Mystery Shot. Thanks to the mystery shot I somehow also lost my third fish. I assume someone must have stolen it.

The fifth bar was Patrick Malloy's and it was standard too.

The last bar was the Poopdeck, which is the only other bar that I'd been to before. It's actually located on The Strand, which is the sidewalk along the beach. An ideal location. This bar was elevated above the others in my mind because it had fooze ball. I'm a sucker for fooze ball. Best of all it had $6 32. oz beers. I'm also a sucker for beer. It was the perfect end to the pub crawl. Unfortunately, it was also the perfect end to my memory.

The night ended at my friend's house watching "I Love You Man" as I contemplated what my hand of poker would've been had I remembered to grab cards from the last three bars. Oh well.

At least I helped a charity right?

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