You probably know this already but Brad’s Bi-Annual Beach House Bash is the most exclusive event of the summer.
For nine consecutive years since turning the legal age to consume cold beers, the closest I’d come to attending the bash was from an oak tree on the adjacent property. Through the lens of binoculars perched up on a tree branch thicker than Brad’s bicep, I witnessed a scene that is typically reserved for PG-13 coming-of-age movies—dudes with strong jawlines tossing pigskins to guys named Brock on passing jet skis and sun-kissed women sipping on fruity drinks while dancing shoe-less in the grass. Brad even hires a DJ.
I’ve pleaded with a higher power countless times, offering my entire pog collection for just one pity invite. I’d even throw in the slammers. A small price to pay for a Summer of Clout.
Then, in the summer of 2019, just as I was going to climb down from the tree and wallow in pizza rolls and self-pity, my prayers were answered.
As Brad, Scott, Kyle, Brock, Blake, and Jake were gathering around in a circle for the bi-annual ceremonial beer shotgun, they ran into a catastrophic problem: none of them had a mechanism to puncture a hole in the can.
“My dad’s car is a push-to-start, doesn’t require a key,” Kyle said, voicing his inability to assist while also kind of bragging.
Brad was growing increasingly frustrated at how one of his party’s most prestigious bi-annual traditions could be squashed over something so seemingly inconsequential.
“Well if no one can crack these cans, this party is ove–”
“I have one,” I said, reflexively, from a tree. I tried to swat the words out of the air, but it was too late.
Brad and the Boys looked over in unison, as I reached in my back pocket to reveal to them the best thing I own: a fully-customized Deejo pocket knife.
My desperate hope was that the Deejo’s beautiful titanium finish and a handle made from precious wood would distract The Boys from the fact that I had been unsuspectingly watching them from afar. I prayed that the most elegant pocket knife on the market would divert their attention away from my felony.
My prayers, yet again, were answered.
“Get out of that tree and bring that knife to us,” Brad said tentatively.
“Really, Brad? Isn’t that the kid who peed himself in middle school?,” Scott lied.
I made my way down the tree and walked through the lush Bermuda grass of Brad’s backyard and into the shotgun circle, typically a place reserved for living legends.
Doing my best Confident Guy impression, I handed Brad the Deejo, the blade shimmering in the July sun. Brad took a moment to inspect its beauty, and the silence from the others indicated they were doing the same. There are few things men love more than examining supremely-crafted tool.
Trying to capitalize on the interest my knife elicited, I said:
“All knives are fully-customizable. You can choose everything from the blade finish to the weight to the handle. You can even add a specific tattoo to the blade to really make it yours.”
For once in my life, I was starting to feel myself.
“Brad, the anchor blade tattoo could suit you as an homage to your epic beach bashes,” I said. “It pairs nicely with the olive tree handle.”
Without acknowledging me, Brad brought the tip of the Deejo to the bottom of the beer can, the blade piercing with the ease of a chainsaw penetrating warm butter.
Brad’s silence began sucking the confidence out of me—“I should get my knife and go. I don’t belong here. I am a mere mortal among gods. Go back to your tree,” I told myself.
Dejected at squandering my only opportunity with Brad and The Boys, I turned away from the shotgun circle to return to my small life.
“Hey Tree Boy,” a familiar voice said.
I turned around to find Brad’s outstretched arm holding the pierced can in my direction before delivered a demand I won’t soon forget.
“You’re not leaving here until you shotgun a beer with me and The Boys.”
The rest is history.
Brad eventually named me Vice President of the Party Planning Committee and we’re even talking about getting matching Deejo pocket knives.
Not a bad upgrade from Tree Boy, if I do say so myself.