by Mr. Nobel

These two stories are recounted here, to the best of my recollection and ability, for posterity (i.e. whoever cares).

The Boston Trip (November 2010) involving Mssrs Er, Ja, Jo, Mo, Roger and myself and Mmes Di and El. 

Back in halcyon days of 2010, a couple of friends proposed an expedition from our home in swampy Maryland to visit some of our friends in the frigid climes of Boston. “Shipping up to Boston” featured prominently in these discussions. It was decided sometime in October that the group would embark on the first weekend of November on some god awful bargain airline.

Two problems prevented me from signing up at the time. One, my course schedule prevented me from taking the same flight as everyone else. Two, I didn’t want to blow $110 riding Air Tran, because seriously fuck Air Tran.

However, a conversation between Roger and myself convinced me of a potential prank I could play on Mo. I had, at that time, already told Mo that I could not make it to Boston that weekend, and Roger pointed out that Mo’s reaction to my sudden appearance outside his door would be worth a hearty chuckle and the price of transport.

I ended up booking a much later flight into Boston for about the same amount of money when Roger also suggested that we end this prank on the rest of the Boston group. He would serve as my point man on the inside and covertly direct me to wherever the group was when I arrived.

We managed to keep a lid on the prank all the way up until I landed in Boston. I called up Roger, and he gave me some very non-committal directions before hanging up. I took the first T I could find and set off vaguely in the direction of Cambridge. I tried calling Roger up a few more times to no avail until Jo wound up calling me.

Roger’s cell phone had, apparently, fucked up, and he also didn’t have a solid enough grasp of Boston geography to guide me towards his current location. Instead, he improvised.

Roger had successfully convinced everyone else in the group that I was actually sending a proxy around Boston while calling up Jo and the others from Silver Spring. He suggested that I was trying to send the group on a wild goose chase for shits and giggles, because, he claimed, I am a terrible person. Roger was pretty convincing.

So, Er halfheartedly sent someone to go find me, while Roger kept running interference. When I got off the T at Harvard Square and met up with everyone else, I got punched in the arm. After some ice cream, the truth about Roger’s improv emerged, and he too received retribution.

I’d like to say that we set off on our merry way to prank Mo, but Ja posted on Facebook that I was part of the Boston group. I remain bitter to this very day.

Birthday at Roger’s (August 2013) involving a lot of people but primarily Mssrs Er, Roger and myself

We barely a plan going into the party. In fact, I was convinced the day before that I wouldn’t be able to attend.

On the day of, I ended up having the time to go to Roger’s bash, but no way of getting there or back. I asked Er if he was willing to drive me there and back home. He graciously agreed and also casually suggested that I come wrapped up in wrapping paper. Or, more precisely “gift within a gift.”

I told Roger earlier that I couldn’t make it, and I had already skipped a previous, Archer-themed birthday party. We had the element of surprise; no one would suspect me to arrive, let alone me inside a giant gift box. Unfortunately, Er had this stroke of inspiration about an hour before he drove over to pick me up.

So, the gift within a gift idea quickly fell by the wayside, as did putting me in a box (too heavy). He did, however, find “the pansiest gift wrap.” It was, indeed, very emasculating.

The closer we got to Roger’s house, the more apparent our lack of preparation became. Er and I disagreed on a lot of the particulars. I was dead set on being wrapped far away from Roger’s house, while Er wanted to do it right outside the house and borrow the duct tape as well. I wasn’t convinced that we had enough wrapping paper. He wanted to wrap every part of my body. I wanted to be able to actually move in the wrapping paper. He wanted to take pictures.

After some more debating, I won the argument about where to wrap. We drove over to a 7-11 and bought some duct tape and Twinkies, before settling on an empty church parking lot as the wrapping station. As I got out of the car, it started to drizzle.

The actual wrapping process took a lot longer than either of us expected. Getting wrapped is an uncomfortably intimate experience. It was awkward having another man wrap me out in the open while buses and cars whizzed by. I’m positive someone posted a picture somewhere on the internet.

Memorably, an incredibly desperate driver asked to borrow two dollars from us. We were obviously his last option.

When the wind started picking up, Er put the finishing touches on my head and shoulder. I could only see the inside of the outrageously colorful wrapping paper, so I had to trust Er not to abandon me in the middle of a parking lot looking like a cut-rate male stripper. He didn’t have time to finish the back, but everything else looked pretty convincing. Er had to guide me by hand to the car and, later, to the front door.

He rung the doorbell. Someone answered it. That person brought Roger upstairs. The rest can be found on Facebook.

In retrospect, Er probably should’ve run away after ringing the doorbell. Maybe next time.