Oedipus Rex, performed by all women. ‘
How We Decided To Go
Sarah: We decided on this outing because we had previously toyed with the idea of going to Shakespeare in the Park, but then I remembered once in like 2002 I saw Zach Braff in ‘Twelfth Night and he was wearing a blonde wig and it was nutz. And by “nutz” I mean “stupid.” So I was looking for something a little different. I ‘looked up free theater and there was an all male Oedipus Rex playing in the East River Band Shell and I was like, “By law this must be better than Shakespearean Braff, SIGN US UP,” and Noah was all, “We don’t need to sign up, we just go,” and I was like “FINE.”
Noah: This was the least involved I had ever been in deciding where to go for Drunk Girl / High Guy. ‘ While I certainly like Drunk Girl / High Guy as a concept and take pleasure in being a part of it, there is, to be certain, something about it that is taxing and making me feel burned out. I think that “something” is dumping psychoactive poison down my lungs in a whirlwind binge just before going to an event I will likely not enjoy in a place where I will likely not be comfortable. I'm pretty sure that's the “something.” So, this time, when Sarah asked if I wanted to go to an all something Platypus Hex playing at the West Water Brand Hill, I was like “Yeah, whatever, I’m sure it’ll be awful. Let’s suit up.”
How Sarah Got Drunk
I picked up a white wine that came in what looked like a juice box or a coconut water box. I did this a) because it would be easy to drink in public b) I would be able to use one of my Swizzle straws and c) because it had sort of a placebo effect in that it made me think that I was hydrating, and of course I was doing the exact opposite. ‘
We were walking back to my place from the wine store so Noah could smoke and we heard a lady yell at her friend, “I’ve sucked every Dick, Tom and Harry!” Thank you, Avenue C. Brilliant, as per usual. ‘
As Noah smoked, I drank some non-juice box wine and waxed nostalgic about Barenaked Ladies until I was like, “Screw it! I’m downloading Old Apartment (live), right now!’ And Noah tried to stop me saying, “Don’t do it! Don’t give them the money!” And I was like, “How much money do they have?” Because they can’t be that wealthy, I mean, they’re no Smash Mouth, who I assume is the richest band in the world (think about it). But Noah said, “They have more than eleven dollars, which is too much.” So, BNL, I would like to apologize that Noah is a dick and didn’t want you to have my $1.29, that being said, why the eff is Old Apartment (live) $1.29 instead of 99 cents? I mean, I bought it, but relax with adding thirty cents of value to your song, BNL. Maybe it’s Canadian dollars?
Then I formed a very loose, but very forcefully delivered theory, that Jay-Z and Kanye’s Watch the Throne is bullshit because instead of competing against each other they’re forming a monopoly, which we all know is illegal in these United States.
Noah then filled an empty wine bottle with water and drank from it, so he was like a reverse Jesus. In other news, check out my new death metal band, Reverse Jesus! Our songs are $1.29 (American) on iTunes! I play tambourine.
How Noah Got High
After Sarah purchased her wine, we went to her apartment. I smoked from one of those tiny pipes that is painted to look like a cigarette so, in case anyone sees you, it just looks like you’re smoking a hollowed out metal cigarette with weed inside. It’s like being a stoned spy. ‘ They call me Blunt. James Blunt.
At some point, Sarah started playing Barenaked Ladies. which, at the time, felt like the worst thing that had ever happened to me. ‘ First of all, I do not like their music. And then to add to that, I also have this weird compulsion whenever I hear the Barenaked Ladies to tell whomever I’m with that I used to think the lyrics to that one song were “Chickens in China are Chinese Chickens.” And, guess what? No one is interested in that fact. Ever. So, every time someone brings up the Barenaked ladies, I tell them this thing, and everybody hates it. Every time. ‘ But, I can’t not do it. It’s like an itch that makes everyone hate you. ‘ So anyway, I told Sarah the whole thing, and she hated it. Then she drank a lot more, and I smoked a lot more. Shortly after, we remembered we had to go see the chain mail production of Pedicure Sex or whatever, and we got sad and left.
How We Got There
Sarah: The East River band shell is a twenty-ish minute walk from my apartment, but we got lost because Chinatown is like a different world. Oh, also we were both effed up and I was almost incapable of reading which way the tiny dot on my phone map was going. ‘
Noah: What should have been a short stroll to East River Park turned into 45 minute ordeal. You know, because Chinatown is like a different world. Oh, yeah, and also because we had both just POISONED OUR BODIES with SHIT THAT MAKES YOU DUMB. We stood on the street staring at our iPhones, arguing about which way north was. ‘ We eventually got it together. Well, to be more accurate, Sarah got it together. I was actually doing a whole thing in my head about how maybe I put too much pressure on my heels when I walk.
Sarah: The description online said that the show was all male. But when we got there, women were on stage, nay, there were only women on stage. So I assumed that we were at the wrong place. I was like, “Noah, we have to go, the Oedipus Rex that we want to see is all male, and this is an all female Oedipus Rex, there must be a separate production down the street.” It honestly took Noah a bit to convince me that there was not another production of the exact same play down the street in a similar band shell. I begrudgingly accepted his logic, but didn’t fully believe him. I still maintain that we missed the all male production somewhere. ‘
Here’s the thing about Greek tragedies: A main element of them is the Greek chorus, which is a bunch of actors saying the same lines at the same time. This, it turns out, is cool for a second, and then it becomes incredibly annoying. Like, the most annoying thing, ever. I’m going to write Sophocles a very strongly worded letter later. ‘
Here is end of Oedipus Rex (spoiler alert): Oedipus figures out that he killed his father (who he didn’t know was his father) and married is mother (who he didn’t know was his mother) and upon learning this, his mother/wife hangs herself and Oedipus takes the gold brooches from her dress and FUCKING STABS HIMSELF IN THE EYES WITH THEM. The plus side of this is that Oedipus married a much older lady, which I think is cool. ‘
We kept thinking the play was ending because every line was delivered like it was the climax (shouted) and neither of us could follow along very well. I don’t remember crying, but this photo seems to show that perhaps I shed a single tear. I assume because of the tragedy of us not knowing when the fuck the play would be over.
Noah: As we walked into the amphitheater, the show was already in progress. Sarah squinted and looked towards the stage. “This isn’t the right show.” I looked down at the stage. It seemed a whole lot like the right show. But because I was all high, I thought it might be possible that I was wrong. After some careful inner-deliberation, I decided I was correct. I confidently laid out my case to Sarah. I’m not really sure she believed me, but I’m positive she was drunk enough to want to sit down. We settled down and began watching the play.
Let me tell you a little something about the play. It suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked. I mean, I’m pretty sure it sucked. I can't say for certain because couldn't pay attention for more than no seconds at a time. All these women kept shouting stuff at me in unison, and then other women would come out with big masks and shields that looked like those Smucker's Uncrustables sandwiches they sell now.
It was all very scary. Another problem is that I’m just not good with any kind of old-style English. My brain is just not good at processing archaic syntax. Whenever I hear or read something in that style, my brain feels like its cannibalizing itself. ‘ I’m bad with Shakespeare, I’m bad with The Canterbury Tales, and I’m just barely able to make out the I Have A Dream Speech. “Getting” Oedipus Rex while stoned was just not going to happen for me. I might as well have been watching Telemundo. But that’s on me. That’s not the play’s fault. What is the play’s fault, however, is that it is a thing that existed. ‘ It shouldn’t have done that.
Sarah kept wanting to leave, but being high made me afraid of people judging us for skipping out early, so I just kept telling her it was almost over. And I wasn’t lying. I believed it was probably almost over. But it just kept not ending. In fact, It kept not ending for so long that I was able to entirely overcome my fear of being judged, and we left before it ended.
Sarah: I then remembered that I hadn’t eaten, and being drunk and hungry is the perfect excuse to get General Tso’s Chicken (did you know that chickens in China are Chinese chickens?). So we walked to Congee Village and I ordered General Tso’s, except I only had a credit card and I had to order a minimum and I spent at least five minutes asking the poor lady whether sweet potato or scallion pancakes were better. “No, but, like what would you order personally??” I then caught Noah texting shit about me on his phone. Despite all of this, I gave him three dumplings and four scallion pancakes. I’m such a good fucking person.
If I may take off my Drunk Greek Tragedy Mask for a second and put on my Responsible Girl Skirt, I would like to say you should be 21 to drink, 18 in some countries, and OBVIOUSLY not ever drive, and just be smart, godammit. You have your future to think about, kids. You could be the next President or Prime Minister or Gwyneth Paltrow, so just exercise some judgment if you drink. OK?? Good talk.
Noah: A fun thing that I learned from Oedipus Rex is that drunk Sarah is terrible at ordering Chinese food. She would ask for “dumplings” and leave out important modifiers such as “pork” or “steamed” or “six.” The lady taking her order had to virtually interrogate Sarah to find out exactly what she wanted. I texted my friend, “Drunk Sarah is terrible at ordering Chinese food.” Sarah caught me texting this, and she was unhappy about it.
Before Sarah Caught Noah Texting Shit About Her:
But I stand by that text because it was the truth and, really, what texting is all about is truth.
And as long as we’re doing disclaimers to kids at the end here, I’ll say this: Don’t get high before you go to stuff that is going to be terrible. It just makes the terrible feel longer.