Eight months ago Duncan scheduled for us to see the German heavy metal band UDO at the Trocadero here in Philly. Duncan lives in Charlotte, NC. Apparently, he likes to make plans far out into the future. I’ve known Duncan for twenty years now, and when he says he’s going to do something, he does it. Especially when it comes to seeing rock shows.
He loves UDO. His full name is Udo Dirkschneider (born 6 April 1952 in Wuppertal, Germany) is a German heavy metal singer who rose to fame with German heavy metal band Accept. After leaving Accept in 1987, he formed U.D.O., with whom he has enjoyed commercial success as well.
Duncan loved the band, Accept back in the eighties. I only remember Accept from seeing their video, “Balls to the Wall” on MTV back then. Other than that one video and the image of UDO riding on a wrecking ball while seeing the song, that’s all I remember. But Duncan loves the songs of Accept. I only know that one. But that’s why he flew up here to hang out with me. I haven’t seen him in over a year.
We’re going to see UDO Saturday night.
Duncan is thrifty with his money. He will always spend money on things he likes or other people, but when it comes to himself he’s cheap. Normally in the past when he came to Philly he’d always stay at my place. A week before his arrival he texts me to check in.
Duncan: “Dude. Can I crash at your place?”
Me: “Dude. My daughter Lorelei lives with me now. There’s no room.”
Duncan: “Cool. I’ll stay at the Ritz Carlton.”
What? That’s Duncan. He’d love to crash at my place for free, but if that’s not happening he stays at one of the best hotels in the city. Crazy, right?
So Friday rolls around, his flight gets in and he settles into his hotel. I text him and tell him I’m on my way. I took the day off so I can hang with him. He loves my sacrifice. I get there, and he’s already sipping a cocktail at the bar. It’s eleven o’clock in the morning, but it is Friday, and it is Duncan. (Oh, and he did not bring the giant bottle of vodka that he was supposed to give me for Xmas. (See: The Case of the Missing Bottle of Vodka)
Like I’ve said before, Duncan is not much of a drinker but this is a special weekend, and I haven’t seen my buddy in over a year. He’s sipping a version of a White Russian but instead of two parts vodka he asks the to make it with rum. It really is a creamy delicious drink, but I prefer my booze hard and dry. I order a glass of champagne to kick off our day of fun.
After a couple of rounds, we decide we’re hungry and head out for some food. I decide to take him to a local sports bar in Rittenhouse. My friend Ann Marie works there and I know Duncan will love her. She’s Vietnamese and cute as a button.
We get there and we realize that we’re actually starved. We peruse the menu and start out with their sampler platter of all of their appetizers. I intro Ann Marie to Duncan, and she takes the rest of our order. I think Duncan orders another one of those drinks like he had at the Ritz, but they don’t make it so he describes it. Ann Marie says she’ll do her best to create something as close as possible. I go with their spin on a Manhattan. It’s not very good, but it’s spirit forward and that’s all I care about.
So we obviously destroy the sample platter which I hadn’t had before and was actually very good. We both ordered cheesesteaks. It’s philly. I have to feed Duncan all the fun philly foods. I went with a side of fries and Duncan chose the tater tots. Who doesn’t love tater tots?
During lunch and more drinking we decide that we’re going to go down to Columbus Blvd., by the Delaware River and go play games and drink at Dave & Buster’s. I hope if you’re reading this you know what Dave & Buster’s is but if not I’ll explain. It’s a national chain of family and adult entertainment centers. It’s a huge building that has a restaurant and several bars, and in the back is all kinds of cool arcade games you can play. There’s tons of stuff to do.
Check it out: http://www.daveandbusters.com/
I call us an UBER and off we go from Rittenhouse to Penn’s Landing.
We head in, power up our playing cards, grab a couple of rum and cokes and hop into this zombie killing game. It’s actually scary. We didn’t want to hog the machine away from the kids that were there, so we jump out after awhile and go to my personal favorite, Jurassic Park. Pretty much the same thing. Me and Duncan, shoulder to shoulder, blowing away all of the dinosaurs that are pursuing us throughout the game. After that we hit up the Transformer game. It’s pretty much all of the same shit. Just dudes shooting, killing, and blowing up stuff. We laugh and play like children, but drink like men.
We burn through $40 of gaming each. I suppose we were there for a couple of hours. When we go outside I decide I want to smoke a little grass. I don’t smoke very often, and when I do it’s normally a little skinny joint with very little in it mixed with tobacco. I never did drugs, and never liked marijuana, but I like to drink. Certain substances work differently with each persons physiology. But a little weed at my age is nice. I offer some to Duncan. He used to be a HUGE pot smoker. But he gave it up. He says he did so much weed and drugs when he was younger, that he wants to hold onto what little he has left. He realizes now that when he would be drinking and getting high, it would change his personality. I like the drinking Duncan way better than the high Duncan.
I smoke up my skinny doob and he says he loves the smell, but just can’t do it anymore. I toss the roach and we’re on our way.
We wander up South Street and so much time has passed it’s time for more chow. I bring him to Lorenzo’s. Lorenzo’s is one of the most famous pizza places in philly. They only serve plain slices, but they are HUGE. It’s what they’re known for. Duncan is blown away at the sheer size of these monster sized slices. But they’re just what we need at this point.
When we finish we make our way west on South street. We have so many fond memories of South street. We’ve been coming down here for twenty years when he visits. We stop in a few of the sex shops and look at some of the toys and gear for shits and giggles. Because I’m half in the bag and high, I can’t help but pick up the rubber dildos and hit Duncan in the face with them. Mostly around his mouth.
I remember talking to some crazy woman in one of the stores and she was going on and on about how she dominates her man. Whatever keeps the marriage alive!
We leave,and we’re walking along, and this guy that is walking towards us. He walks past us and we don’t think anything about it. We get to about 12th and South and suddenly we hear, Pop! Pop! Pop!
“Dude, that’s gunfire!”
Duncan looks back and sees the guy that passed us running in a different direction. We spring into action, and take off at a dead run. We run north on 12th street up to Pine. Once we round the corner, we slow down. We both look back and with no one there we just keep going. We head west and north zig zagging away from whatever that was behind us.
We decide we’ve had enough excitement for one day and head back to the Ritz for a final nightcap. Great thing was, every drink I had at the Ritz that weekend was paid for by Duncan!
Tomorrow we’ll be on to see UDO!
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