Joseph: “Hey, I have an Idea...”
Bobby: “...Sounds good, just let me know.”
We've known each other for over twenty years, we went to high school and college together, we lived together, but how we became friends and somehow stayed friends is an adventure in itself...
...Here's a small sampling...
May 2008: Los Angeles, California (Oscar De La Hoya Fight)
Now we brought Becky the Red Head along cus we needed to rent a car and we were both under 25 at the time, I still drove anyway. We didn't have much of a plan when we arrived other than we were supposed to see Oscar De La Hoya fight in Carson. Did I mention it was also Cinco de Mayo? Armed with a piece of shit Tom Tom GPS and a Powder Blue Chevy Malibu, we hit the mean streets of Inglewood at around 2am...sounds promising. Not a single car on the road until we hit the only place open in the area...Popeye's Chicken. Nothing says fresh food like heat-lamped Catfish served thru a rotating drive up window sprinkled with bullet holes. The food was far more traumatic. As we discussed our plans the next day at the outside hot tub accompanied by a hairy Sumo Wrestler sitting across from us, we worked out a loose plan visit Rodeo Drive, Hollywood, Malibu and Venice Beach before hitting the fight on Saturday. It sounded like a simple plan, until our GPS turned against us...
Apparently, the early model Tom Tom's have a sleep setting for some stupid reason, this became apparent when the neighborhood became a bit too “Raider Hatty”. Thank Christ the California Highway Patrol was asleep at the On-Ramp, cus that Malibu hit maximum warp out of Compton. LA as a whole is rather useless, the financial district was filled with dudes selling oranges, Diddy's entourage blocked off half of Hollywood, leaving us to find an alternate route; which our GPS happily provided us with...via a Warner Brothers movie set being rigged for an explosives scene. It was a mess of a trip where the best part was the Peach Margaritas and Sizzling Fajitas at El Toritos in Marina Del Ray. Drunk and sunburned I guess is a good way to end that trip.
November 2009: Manhattan, NY (All Expenses Paid)
Two days later after leaving the Big Apple, I was heading back, this time with my partner in crime and we were on the company dime...hey, that rhymes.
Since my Supercharged Grand Prix was having work done, we took Bobby's ride, an Ice Blue Hyandai Accent Hatchback, which looked like an over-squeezed Testicle going down the rode, but in NYC traffic, it was unstoppable. With the Yankees preparing for a parade the next day, the city was a buzz with excitement, we were buzzin also, but it was from the Don Julio at Morton's Steakhouse. If this is how most white collar assholes live, then I'll happily sell out for corporate greed any day of the week.
About 500 dollars, several Tequilas and steaks later, we stumble to our free hotel room in Rockefeller Plaza. The next day as Bobby tells a DirecTV Executive to shut up during a training seminar, I'm down in Battery Park among hundreds of thousands of screaming Yankee fans, Jay-Z, Derek Jeter, and many others hit the stage under a layer of Helicopters hovering just above us, it was a true personal moment for me as it was my team, my city, my moment, but it was all thanks to Bobby that I was able to soak up such an experience that I'll always hold in high regard...as for the walk back to Rockefeller Plaza, that was almost fifty blocks in Italian Leather wing tips that didn't fit quite right, I had to stop every ten blocks to check my blisters. I also stopped every ten blocks cus the street food was calling my name. Kebabs, Gyros, Hot Dogs, Pizza, it made the pain irrelevant.
One year later, Bobby quit his job, I took off for family life (attempted) and we didn't speak for about three years...
November 2014: Boston, MA (The New England Championships)
It was definitely a surprise to see him at my first fitness show up in Maine, but this was the moment I burned myself to the core for. Once again, Bobby was right there, this time helping me with my tan and watching me nervously prep for one of my toughest challenges to date. There was more junk food in our luxury hotel room then at a movie theater on a friday night opening of Star Wars.
I've already written about that show, so I'll skip to the part where we hit the hotel lobby dancing and singing in victory, went up to the room, took care of some personal business (no, not gay stuff), then suited up and didn't come back until 3am wreaking of Espresso and Chinatown duck. I remember waking up in my hotel bed around 9am with a NPC trophy, a bar of chocolate and a sleeve of Pringles...breakfast of mutha-fuckin champions.
Lunch was even better as we dropped about two bills over at Modern Pastry and Sal's Cured Meats. It was a beautiful day and we were beautiful men walking the streets in some serious clothes. It was three years too long, but worth the wait.
August 2016: Charleston, SC (Pokemon Go)
We were clearly up to no good with this little adventure and that little Dodge Dart wasn't prepared for our arrival. The first thing I noticed was that the tire pressure in one wheel was ten pounds lighter than the others and that we were given a rental with Mass plates...not sure which is more of a safety hazard, from some half-ass parallel parking, to speeding over dipped pavement, the car was returned two days later and we were given a Ford Focus, which we drove only twice because hiding in my parents garage after finishing our business in Charleston was a five speed Mustang. Their wasn't a corner from Conway to Myrtle Beach that I didn't fish-tail. We were such children as the car rocked back and forth from my over-correction of the steering wheel and like some God-like intervention, not one cop saw us. I also received a crash course lesson in Pokemon Go. A small festival took place in downtown Charleston that Saturday and as I chased down bread trucks and Krispy Kreme Donuts, Bobby had a battle royale in the park as every Charizard Chaser (Pokemon Character) descended upon the park. Apparently chasing Pokemon is still safer than what I was doing, running thru traffic like a stunt double for Jason Bourne and getting bumped by a Toyota Corolla, still held on to the bread! When I say bread, I'm referring to Peasant Bread, it's large and round, like you'd see in a Robin Hood Movie. I had no bag for them so I just trotted down the street with my hands full, like a complete asshole.
Oh, we also rented Scooters...yes, two guys with Scooters. I don't care what it looked like, but the tour we took of the USS Yorktown couldn't compare to hitting an eye bleeding 35 MPH on a lime Green Moped around the Isle of Palms, shirtless. There is photographic evidence of this. Did you know that the most Luxorious Hotel in Charleston is called “Hotel”? Sprinkle on a little Thai food, Beef Jerky, Hand Rolled Cigars, plus a Secret Mission that we have yet to reveal and we can easily say that this most recent Bro-Venture was a complete success. There is a solid chance that we may even repeat this exact trip later next year.
...One Day, Bobby and I are going to save the world.
Tasty Thai - Mt Pleasant, SC
Port City Moped - Isle of Palms, SC
Menkoi Ramen Noodle House - Charleston, SC
Big Gun Burger Shop - Charleston, SC
Glazed Gourmet Donuts -Charleston, SC
Lianos Dos Palmas Handmade Cigars - Charleston, SC
Charleston House of Jerky - Charleston, SC
Sottile Theatre - Charleston, SC
Tres Gym – Charleston, SC
Beef Jerky Outlet - Conway, SC
Krispy Kreme Donuts – Myrtle Beach, SC
Pier 14 - Myrtle Beach, SC
Drunken Jacks Restaurant - Murrells Inlet, SC
Ford Motor Company