This tale, like many bro-nominal tales involving alcohol, starts with a cigarette.

I was walking down Del Playa doing my weekly anthropological survey of Isla Vista’s finest madness, when the beer in my belly began to speak to me: “Smoke…Smoke…”

Well, when your beers speak, you better listen, so I walked to El Nido, where I knew some honorable tobacco aficionados who would probably have a cigarette or two. They were on their way to a party, and asked if I wanted to come.

[media-credit id=20135 align=”alignleft” width=”147″][/media-credit]We got to the apartment. A patio, big kitchen, ocean view. Two kegs of Natty’s finest right as you walk in. Bingo.

Pour. Drink. Repeat. Don’t want those beers in my belly to get lonely. Having dealt with the social needs of my liquid friends, my attention wandered to the gathering surrounding me. In the kitchen, a coagulation of heavily made-up girls huddled in the safety of the relative darkness, looking like sheep awaiting certain slaying. The beers offered up their collective opinion that this behavior was a bit strange, and I agreed.

I shook the thought off. With a little effort, I focused my eyes on the gradually growing group of figures outside, silhouetted by the flood lights. The beers were uncharacteristically wary, but I casually dismissed their mumbling. Despite my vision threatening to make the permanent move from blurred to blacked, I started to notice that the crowd outside seemed unusually uniform. Men, mostly muscular, all at least six feet, wearing a variety of pastel-colored polos. My calm started to slowly fray.

I looked down at my own skinny 5’1” frame. White Asics, brown herringbone pants and an oversized beer stained sweatshirt from Jeff Clark surf shop. The beers shouted suddenly, and the message hit my brain like an ice cold shotgunned Busch light. “Bro-deo!” I had stumbled onto a full-fledged bro-deo.

I panicked almost immediately. What would happen when they discovered an interloper in their midst? Hairy bro arms, tearing apart the intruder like a pack of crazed chimpanzees delivering vengeance on some unsuspecting gibbon? I looked at the beer pong table and noticed what had to be blood — I saw myself being hoisted up onto the beer pong table, my chest ripped open in some dreadful parody of ancient Mayan ritual sacrifice. I had to escape.

It is in critical survival situations like these where your best bet is to let your instincts, or your beers as the situation might be, take over and do your talking for you.
Camouflage is essential when attempting to evade large predators, so the beers winked at the least offensive-looking sorority girl in eyeshot, grabbed her waist, and used her well-formed body to break up the sight-line between myself and the pack of bros outside.

It’s also a well-known fact that bros have poor eyesight, but a keenly developed sense of smell. This is commonly offered as an explanation for their poor taste in clothes and love of body spray. Knowing this, the beers reached into the bathroom, grabbed the nearest bottle within reach, let it rip, stepped into the cloud, then wasted no time in hustling to the door. 30 feet. 20. 10. We were almost free.

We were seven feet from the street when the bull bro stepped out in front of me. His eyes were wild, his mouth foaming, his impressively large arms furiously beating his chest. He laid down his challenge with a snarl: “Bro!” I was screwed.

Luckily, my little brother speaks fluent bro and I’ve picked up quite a bit. If I could pull this off, I would probably walk away. I carefully prepared my response: “Bro..?”

Wrong answer. “Broooo!!!” As the roar left his mouth, the beers acted without hesitation. I jerked hard left and went hard right. Pandemonium erupted behind us, but we were already running down the street like we’d been discovered in our ex-girl-friend’s bedroom by her new man. We faded into the night’s madness, and welcome relief flooded through me like dank beer through the tap at your favorite bar. Bro-tastic.