Only a few days ago, Dave Scheurer moved out of our house. The date snuck up on us, though when it hit, it was like a kick to the solar plexus. I present this… in mourning.
In January of 2009, my life changed. A self-described “man” with a penchant for blowing people’s minds moved into our quiet, unsuspecting, drunk household. His name is Dave Scheurer. After a financially and emotionally tumultuous winter and the recent deserting of my house by two of my roommates, the remaining roommate and I were contacted by a young gentleman named Dave with the interest of moving in. He had recently moved from Toledo, Ohio and was a friend of a friend of one of the deserters. In spite of the negative premise of our meeting, we were immediately taken in by his terrifying and magnetic persona. After some standard interview questions, a few disinterested shrugs, a “Sure, that’s cool” and a “Yeah, man, whatever”, we were sold. He moved into our home and began chipping away at our cultural and philosophical preconceptions, completely changing our views on everything funny, terrible or arousing. He immediately acquired a ludicrous amount of nicknames, usually in the form of fake middle names. When he wasn’t busy ushering the elderly across busy streets or tutoring at the local school for the blind and deaf, he had often invited me to his room to watch videos on the internet of police officers being beaten and/or shot. Until we had met this stranger from a mediocre land, we had taken life much too seriously. Without his guidance, we very well could have perished of stress or boredom. He opened up our eyes to the absurdity of responsibility and would encourage drinking and/or smoking before heading off to work. One could say he keeps us on our toes. He has greatly influenced my sense of humor and I am forever indebted to his sway over my positive mental attitude, despite his apparent danger to my physical well-being. One time, we took a two-day trip to Seattle. We may not have known it at first, but it was his trip. We were merely ants clinging to the sleeves of a stupendous god. We quickly learned to let go of our inhibitions and fly by the seat of our short pants. The sheer power of his persuasion and his inclination toward fun that weekend is unparalleled. This was to be a lesson in spontaneity. It wouldn’t be a walk in the park. It would be a trial by fire.
We went to Seattle to enjoy a day’s worth of free music hosted by a local radio station. It was Dave, Judy, Mikey and I. The plan was for us to watch the last four or five bands play a park in the middle of Seattle and then cross the Puget Sound by ferry to stay in Indianola with a friend of Dave’s named Jason Sprolls, cleverly and affectionately called “Sprolls”. The ride in Judy’s truck up to Seattle from Portland was relatively uneventful. However, we could tell by Dave’s maniacal smile and the way the light shone in his eyes that we were in for an adventure. He repeatedly mentioned how drunk we should get during and after the show and formulated a few crude strategies for attaining this goal. This was initially met with nervous laughter and rolling eyes. We had every intention of having fun, but did not expect to drink for eight hours straight that very night. We didn’t expect a lot of things, but behold the power of Dave “Women-and-children-first” Scheurer. We arrived at the show with nearly-empty stomachs, but rather than search for a reasonably priced place to eat, he insisted that we stop at a liquor store. We were dubious, but succumbed to his request, trusting the important decision between food and alcohol to him and leaving ourselves vulnerable to the application of his “fun-at-all-costs” philosophy. Besides, when the reactions of those around him are generally the shuffling of feet and mutterings of “I don’t know…”, he just gets more persuasive. All it ever takes from Dave is a simple “Aww, c’mon man. Then why are we here?” We each purchased a handful of small, plastic, shot-sized whiskey bottles. At Dave’s behest, we then procured some large but overpriced fountain sodas. We found a few inconspicuous places in downtown Seattle in which we took cover while we poured our whiskey shots into the soda cups. We mixed these thoroughly, went back to the show and drank them as fast as we could while we watched an excruciating but popular indie rock band. Something about “eating their instruments” or something. The whiskey-sodas disappeared at an alarming rate and needless to say, by the time we watched the headlining band (Dinosaur Jr.), the gentlemen were nice and tight (Judy had taken a brief side trip for a family event that she may or may not have been nice and tight for as well). The set was awesome. Mikey’s friend from Seattle narrowly escaped a thorough beating from a balding monster of a man in a shirt with cut-off sleeves. Luckily, security for the event arrived just as the man (consciously or not) took the “fighting Irish” stance that we all know Notre Dame’s mascot for. He was escorted from the area and we were summarily relieved of his fashion sense. None of this, of course, phased Dave. The show wrapped up shortly after the near-fight. Dave “Hot Hoops” Scheurer didn’t hesitate. “We need to get to Sprolls’ house and keep drinking” he said. The ferry was to leave in ten minutes and there was quite a distance between it and our location. To much grumbling, he rallied the troops, herded us into the truck, and we got moving. There wasn’t much time. If we missed the ferry, we would have to wait for another hour until the next one left. This was unacceptable to all of us, especially Judy. She sped up, weaving in and out of traffic gracefully while we hollered directions from the back seat. It seemed like an impossibility, but we pulled onto the ferry the very minute that it was scheduled to leave. Judy could apparently drive the fuck out of a truck and Mikey could apparently give the fuck out of some directions. Upon arrival at the other side of the Puget Sound, we exited the ferry and drove through a small town known for its irritable police and their high tendency to pull over drivers for completely arbitrary reasons. This presented a problem, as Judy was excited and was showing signs of having a bit of a “lead foot”. We were doing a bit of speeding when a squad car passed us, going in the opposite direction. The car’s brake lights went on, while we watched out the back window. These were grounds for panic. Normally, this would not have us so flustered, but Dave--being the incorrigible young gentleman that he is--decided that he should make short work of a beer in the back of the truck. He made this decision and opened the bottle just before the squad car rolled past. We were convinced that the cop saw Dave drinking out of an open container and nearly lost our collective “cool”. Judy sped up and dodged down a few country roads and we ended up at a beach that Sprolls frequents. Under Dave’s approving gaze, we drank until we could barely speak English. Judy, a human being with no less joie de vivre than our leading man and every intention of partying hard, took off her clothes and leapt into the water. The bioluminescent plankton scattered and the Puget Sound lit up like a great battle was taking place under the surface. We basked in the glorious burst of light and it seemed to visually convey the magic we all felt that night. Judy then surfaced and called us all pussies for not jumping in. Touche. We played with the phosphorescent marine life and told terrible, unconvincing ghost stories long into the night, pounding beers all the while. When we spoke of how good this trip was turning out, Sprolls--as if truly understanding that it couldn’t have happened without Dave’s guiding hand--told us about Dave’s previous stay at his house. He had tried to start a fire in the backyard without a pit and could have started a rather large forest fire. We spent the rest of the night on Sprolls’ deck, smoking and drinking, wishing this night could go on forever. It couldn’t however, and we eventually retired. We made it back to Portland safely the next day and recuperated in anticipation for Dave’s next call to adventure.
I often try to analyze Dave Scheurer and pick apart his past in order to find out why he is so driven to wreak havoc and all that I can come up with is his traditional upbringing in a small city in the Midwest. He may have unconsciously countered this lifestyle imposed upon him with his own version of “right” and “wrong”. We may never know what contributed to the development of Dave as we know him. We can only be sure that this short trip illustrated so clearly Dave Scheurer’s persuasive personality, guerilla partying tactics and his desire to show his friends the beauty of being wasted. Because of this effect on his friends, we all relish in failed jokes and awkward situations. We can take any mundane event and make it absurd or surreal. We can most definitely say only a word or two and crack each other up. Most importantly, we can take lemons and make some sort of cocktail. Dave Scheurer, seriously, may you long outlive me.