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The Pub Crawl

There's nothing quite like a girl's night out.

But here in the Gutter, the hangovers are deadly.

The Pub Crawl by Nancy Cole Silverman



I didn’t think it was strange.  I mean, Gail called to tell me Bethany was going to come with us.  I’m not wild about her. She’s not really one of us. But Gail said she’d just broken up with her boyfriend and, well ... what are you going do?
Once a month, on a Saturday, we get together.  Usually, it’s just the three of us, Gail, Karen and me. We do a pub crawl down the boulevard. That’s me in the picture, in the center. My name’s Allison. This is a selfie, taken outside the Key Club, right before – Oh, don’t worry, I’ll get to that later.
You see, the three of us, we’ve been friends since college.  I suppose you could say we’re close. I mean, close as women in LA can be anyway.  We’ve seen each other through all our firsts; loves, jobs, baby, divorce – and, now…I guess murder.
It all began innocently enough.  All we wanted to do was have a little fun, check out some of the clubs on the strip, flirt a little and let our hair down.  We weren’t really looking to hook-up.
Only thing is – the three of us - we didn’t exactly fit in –were not what you’d call the clubbing type - but then, if you’re female and past thirty in LA, who is? And the bouncer at the Sky Bar, I’ll call him Jake, he was a real asshole. He wasn’t going to let us in. Told Gail, she was too fat, Karen she was too old and Bethany was….well, she was a maybe, but since she was with us, a bunch of basic-bitches, we could all just forget it.
Do you even know who I am? I can still hear her, jiggling her head side to side as she poked a finger into Jake’s chest.  That’s how Bethany is, loud and insistent.  She was dressed in a sexy little black number that was cut as deeply to her navel as it was short above her knees, and she was wearing a pair of those hot red-bottomed Louboutins. 
And then, I guess 'cuz she was with us, Jake grabbed her finger and pointed back at us.  Look, I know who you were - and what you’re looking for inside, Ladies – isn’t looking for you.  Not here.  Why don’t you just head on over to the marina, try Jerry’s Deli.
That hurt, everybody knows that on a Saturday night the crowd at Jerry’s is at least sixty-five and using a walker. I thought Jake’s response to Bethany was cold. Truth be told, Bethany’s a late eighties-tweener – way too young to be a boomer and too old to be a Xer. In the nineties, she did a bunch of low budget TV shows and a few movies here and there.  Unfortunately, she hasn’t aged well. At least not by LA standards.  But on a good night, she had facial recognition. She was somebody people would point to and think they knew, and, the fact was, we were using her to get into the clubs, but nobody deserves that. 
And that’s when Bethany suggested we get even.
Funny thing is we were actually at Jerry’s when we got the idea.  It was close to two a.m. and there’s this big screen TV on and we’re all watching a bunch of fraternity guys are tossing this dwarf around.  It’s called dwarf tossing. Ever heard of it?  Crazy idea, but then Bethany suggested something even weirder.
Let’s go back to the Sky Bar and teach Jakey-boy a lesson.
I think it’s because we were all drunk – that is everybody but Bethany cuz she was our designated driver – that the idea seemed innocent enough.  Next thing I knew we were back in the car. Bethany has this high-end black Lexus, an SUV that’s tricked out with leather seats, tinted windows, and one of those navigation devices that actually talks to you. 
So we go back to the Sky Bar and there’s Jake, just getting ready to leave.  We followed him around out back.  He didn’t see us cuz we were in the car and he was probably drunk as we were, or, at least, the three of us girls, cuz Bethany was driving, and like I said, she wasn’t drinking. But then she started to follow him, real close.  And she bumps him, with the fender. It was just a little a first, but enough to startle him. So then she hangs back and he starts walking. Ignoring us.  I think he thought we’d go away. After a few a minutes, driving real slow behind him she speeds up and passed him, and nearly knocked him over. Then yelled out the window.  Asshole.
I thought it was over.  We all started laughing and high-fiving each other. But then she turned the car around and went back.
This time, she hit him. Head on. He fell onto the front of the car and then off onto the ground. I thought that was it. That maybe she was done. I didn’t think he was hurt that bad, but then she backed-up and ran right over him. Crunch!  I could hear his body roll beneath the car.
Oh, my god! What did you do?  Why did you do that?  We all started yelling at her, but Bethany, she just pulls forward and tells us all to get out and put him in the back of the car.
I don’t know why we did it.  Maybe ‘cuz we thought it was an accident and we were going to take him to the hospital.
But somehow we managed to get him in the back seat and then he came to.  He took a look at us and started mumbling something about us being his basic-bitches and Bethany yelled back at him.
Oh yeah, well, not for long.
I had no idea what it was she was going to do so I put my hand on her arm, ‘cuz I was riding shotgun, and, I thought we ought to at least stop and discuss it.
What are you going to do? I asked. 
But Bethany, she didn’t even stop.  She told Gail and Karen to bind his hands with his tie, and then she floored it.  Said she had a place we could take him. 
Don’t worry, Jakey-boy, you’ll be just fine. 
 I’m not sure who asked, maybe it was Jake, maybe one of the girls, but somebody asked where we were going. It’s kind of all a blur.  Bethany says the first time always is.
Next thing I know we’re headed up the Fourteen Freeway, past Santa Clarita to the high desert. Then Bethany stops the car and tells Gail and Karen to push him out. 
What? You can’t do that!  Jake’s going all kinds of crazy in the back seat, but his hands are tied and he’s drunk and maybe cuz he’s concussed, he’s not really much of a problem.  So we get him out the car and left him standing there by the side of the road, yelling about how we couldn’t do this.
Then Bethany starts yelling back, Oh yeah, well, we know who you are Jakey-boy, and what you’re looking for…well, I’m sorry, but what’s inside this car isn’t looking for you.
We all laughed.  I guess cuz we were nervous and then Bethany put her foot on the gas and we speed away.  I remember looking back out the window.  It was black, the road kind of glossy and slick looking and the sky dark, and Jake was like this grey figure standing with his hands tied in front of him, his hair in his eyes. He looked a mess.
But he was alive.
Except then the next day I started to hear on the news about how somebody was driving up along the Interstate when they see this thing lying next to the road and they stop and find a body. 
It was Jake. He was dead. 
So, you see that’s how we got started.  Our monthly pub crawls became opportunities to equal out the playing field.  Find those mean-spirited men who didn’t appreciate a real woman.  We decided it was our responsibility, to do what we could to thin the ranks of Neanderthals, like you. So,’case your wonderin’ that’s why you’re here.
Let’s see, what was it you called us?  Oh, yes, botoxed-bitches with Champagne taste and stretch marks.  Not quite what you’d call politically correct, is it? 
But don’t worry. We won’t leave you by the roadside.  We know what we’re doing now.  Kinda like the dwarf tossing.  It gets better each time.  I think you’re the tenth, or maybe the eleventh.  You’ll have to excuse me now.  I need to join the others.  We’ve got a hole to dig.

Nancy Cole Silverman is a former radio executive living in Los Angeles, CA. She's worked both as a reporter and writing commercial copy for better than twenty-five years and now writes full time.