“The only reason why we ask other people how their weekend was is so we can tell them about our own weekend” – Chuck Palahniuk
GABF is the ultimate weekend for thousands of people. We as a species are natural archivists of memories and relish being able re-hash our greatest moments utilizing easy access to cameras and numerous outlets to share our moments. Others will pack away the technology and immerse themselves in the experience, putting themselves fully in the moment to describe their experiences later. Beer n’ Loathing’s time at GABF falls somewhere in the middle of these categories.
It was now Saturday morning, and I awoke noticeably hung over. I checked to see if Pete was just breathing extra shallow or was a corpse on my futon. Satisfied that he wasn’t decomposing, I texted Matt to make sure he wasn’t dead and being eaten by his cats. Satisfied that he wasn’t cat food, I began mentally prepping for what we had to accomplish today. It was 10 am, and the awards ceremony was already under way.
I almost floated the idea to try and make the second half of the ceremony but before the words left my mouth, a tiny voice inside my head whispered something. It repeated itself over and over until it was screaming “ORDER A FUCKING PIZZA.” We already had pizza at least 3 times in the previous two days, so I knew continuing the trend would be key to this day’s success. We had about 4 minutes worth of video footage nothing remotely interesting could be created with this amount of video. Up until this point we’d been too chicken to actually get the most important component: the people of the festival. We got our equipment in order and finally went down to the convention center.
We made it about 15 or 20 minutes early and were able to actually watch the crowd flooding into the session. Lots of people. Lots of bagpipe. Once in the convention center hall, we were mostly interested in finding short lines and interesting beers. This would have been the best day to go in with a firmer plan of action but we were there and in the moment so we stuck with the “fuck it” attitude. Since the breweries are all organized in the convention center by region, we just picked a brewery we knew, figured out what region that would be considered, then invaded that region.
This story is fucking boring, isn’t it? How many ways can I say we drank beer and wandered the crowd? The problem with three days of drinking is it’s better enjoyed in the moment. Maybe trying to work up the balls to talk to complete strangers in a formal matter prevented this session from being a boring re-hash of the two previous nights. However, that constant rush of nervous adrenaline every time we said “What about that guy?” kept our nerves limber and our senses sharp.
After we’d spent almost two hours trying to grow a set of balls, we picked the most non-threatening looking couple we could find and made Pete ask them a few questions. It went well. Next we found a brewer from Rockyard Brewing Company and made Pete ask him some questions. He was also cool and suddenly we were asking just about anyone that could stand up under their own power if they wanted to chat on camera.
We all found our niche that night. Turns out Pete knows how to put on an interview despite never doing it before in his life. Matt can rock a camera and keep a steady hand after three days of liver torture. My skills lie more behind the curtain and involve taking all this footage and putting it together into a semi-cohesive product. This segment will be revealed soon it all its vulgar glory, and I don’t think it will disappoint.
Saturday night ended a little more how I remembered it from past years; drunk people roaming the halls like drunken zombies mumbling “beers!” and looking for a place that will indulge them in one last pour after last call. The crowd after the event was massively entertaining. We didn’t hang out by the convention center much on Thursday or Friday, but a sudden piss emergency on my part led to Matt and Pete hanging out in the after crowd for nearly 30 minutes. The footage was pretty spectacular.
We went out on the town feeling pretty good about what had been accomplished over the course of the weekend. We had collectively grown a set of balls, drank all the beers and ate a metric shit ton of pizza. It was about a perfect ending to the weekend as I could imagine, which makes us feel better about telling you our stories without the inconvenience of having to ask how your weekend was.