Have You Ever? If Not …

Have you ever lived someplace where the magic in the air is almost palpable, like a thick mist of wistful excitement and concentrated energy that seems to keep the place alight and glowing even in — or especially in — the dead of night? A place where you never know what will occur from one day to the next? A place where it is hard to tell right from wrong, day from night, nimtopsicality from sobriety?

If not, you should.

Have you ever lived someplace where you sometimes feel cleaner entering the bathroom after a hard, sweaty workout then exiting a refreshing shower with its grungified confines?

Have you ever awoken after another night of boisterous partying to find a real, live, hair-shedding cat perched on the foot of your bed, staring you down with a look akin to that of a demon from the deepest depths of the bowels of hell? Mind you, this is especially disconcerting if you don’t even own a cat.

Have you ever subsisted for weeks by eating nothing more than barbecued meat and drinking keg beer? Have you ever perched on your roof during a patriotic moment and belted out “”The Star-Spangled Banner”” with the help of your fellow revelers?

If not, you should.

Have you ever woken up, gone to the kitchen to heat up the leftovers of last night’s roughage and found a ski pole in your sink? Or a hole in your wall? Or a whole slew of drunkards passed out in every nook, cranny and corner of the entire house? Have you ever been one of those drunkards?

If not, you should.

Have you ever lived in a place where the other inhabitants go by the sobriquets of Boxleg, Sauceman, Beershoe and M.C. Cren?

Have you ever lived somewhere that has been a flophouse, a crackhouse, an outhouse and a halfway house?

Have you ever listened to that one profound speech from “”Any Given Sunday”” — you know, that one given by Al Pacino about how life is a game of inches — at full volume over and over again in the middle of the night?

If not, you should.

Have you ever had your neighbors form a coalition against you, then craft a letter to your landlord accusing you of living in a perpetual party-hosting dump, using illegal narcotics in the front yard, and once furnished the outside with random pieces of furniture, simply putting them in the middle of the street?

Have you ever had the police summoned to your house because you were watching “”Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”” at full volume on the television directed toward the couches in the front yard?

Have you ever found a homeless man on said couch watching said television with a glass of beer in his hand? Have you ever given this man a cup of vodka? Have you ever found a huge, forgotten bag of cans in your front yard, as if they were left behind by a drunken homeless fellow? Have you ever recycled these cans?

If not, you should.

Have you ever had friends captivated for hours by the random stuff on your walls? Has this stuff included rare, original Neil Dennis photos, wacky band posters, sombreros, the aforementioned letter to the landlord, and stolen sorority composites, the pictures scribbled over with things like, “”fat,”” “”slutty,”” “”kinda dumb”” and the like?

If not, you should.

Have you ever lived in a place where the front yard was furnished with not one, not two, but three couches? Has one of these couches gone down in a huge, violent fire? Has another become home to a bevy of crawling critters and other creepy wildlife? Does a three-hour, mid-Tuesday nap in the sun on one of these snail-filled couches in your front yard still feel like a night at the Four Seasons?

If not, it should.

Have you ever gone out to buy 40s at 10 a.m.? Have you ever tried to order a pizza at 10:30 a.m.? Have you ever come up short on money for the pizza man, and instead given him a picture of Neil Dennis and a stolen cell phone for a tip?

Have you ever gone on a weeklong bender of booze, drugs and raucous debauchery without ever leaving the house, except for the occasional trip to the local burrito joint with pint in hand? Have you ever been to Taco Motion?

If not, you should.

Have you ever been somewhere where the barbecue is always on and firing, the drafts are always cold and flowing, the music is always loud and bumping and the people are always faded and friendly? Have you been to our house?

If not, well, you know the rest.

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