>My Friend Joins the Ranks of Kidder, Downey, & Heche

by jvaragona

>It used to be more commonplace to hear of celebrities found wandering in delusion like when Robert Downey Jr. was found asleep in a neighbor’s house that he wandered into under the influence in 1996. He was in a club with Anne Heche, Margot Kidder, and even Martin Lawrence for similar episodes.

The genius behind TV Funhouse on SNL, Robert Smigel, satirized this phenomenon well back in 2006 with the short “Kidder, Downey, & Heche–Private Trespassing Investigators” (try this link, but due to copyrights, it may not last long and you may have to seek it out). I’ve always wondered how people can get to such a point…until a couple of weeks ago.

My wife was working the graveyard shift and I hadn’t spent much time with my friend and best man, Dan, lately, so I invited him over for some beers. I only drank a few in a couple of hours. I thought the same for Dan, but he apparently had done some prepping for our low-key man night. I think I witnessed him drink three beers. He did however smoke a bit of the doobage, of which I did not partake in, but it really didn’t seem like enough to drive a man to what I would witness.

After what seemed like a few tokes, he lost his bag and began searching my yard in the dark for it. It certainly was a bummer. Days later, I realized my puppy found the bag, which didn’t have much besides stems left in it anyway. I convinced Dan to give up, that maybe he smoked it all and the celophane evaporated.

We came inside and listened to some music, but within a half hour he was asking to crash on my couch. I obliged and hit the hay shortly after around 1 AM.

Around 8 AM, my wife arrived home asking what happened to Dan.

“Well, he had a bit too much and passed out on the couch.”

“His shoes are on the floor and his phones on the table, but he’s not on the couch,” she told me.

“Maybe he’s outside smoking.”

“But both doors are locked.”

Puzzled, I looked around. Knowing this was my friend that wandered onto the field after the Cardinals won the Series in ’06, I considered every possibility. I looked in closets and under the bed. No Dan.

I saw that the basement door was open, so I thought maybe he escaped through there, but the doors to the outside were locked as well. And why would he go far without his shoes? I looked around every nook and cranny of our dingy city basement to no avail.

We sat in our front room to ponder the situation. I then heard footsteps above me in my landlady’s unit. It was a tad early for them. Half jokingly, I suggested that he got upstairs and they discovered him.

The footsteps got faster and went back and forth. My wife and I followed the commotion with our eyes and heads like curious puppy dogs. There was some fast running down the stairs and then Dan appeared at my front door.

In disbelief, I could only keep saying “What the fuck?!” and “You have to leave.”

He claimed that they were cool about it, but also thought we were involved with this as some sort of joke. I thought the same of him, but I know better.

He left after we kept pushing, then we frantically thought about how to handle our neighbors. Do I call? Do I text? Do I play it off or consider this a serious problem that will be taken care of? What were they thinking at the time after discovering a strange yet unassuming hippy asleep on their couch?

I texted her to meet me on the porch to chat. I walked out back where they have a screened in porch and looked up at my landlady and her boyfriend. They looked like two pissed off parents after you get home late from a night of partying. Then the busted into laughing. I nervously joined in.

When he awoke, seeing their faces, he asked “Where am I?” Luckily they were nice and explained what they figured was going on. They considered lying to him and making him believe he was states away…Laramie, Wyoming…yeah, that’s the ticket. Around 3 that morning, our boxer, Sadie was at their door to the basement and it got the attention of their dog who began wimpering. The landlady simply told Sadie to go back to bed, but didn’t realize that my dog was there to tell her that a hippy had wandered into her unit. He must’ve quietly sleptwalked onto their couch, unnoticed until their 8 AM discovery.

My wife and I laughed with them for awhile about this, which was strange enough, but even moreso considering how early it was for us. I couldn’t go back to sleep, so we walked the dogs and avoided the homeless.

Dan’s been calling, but I am without words. How did Robert Downey Jr.’s friends handle him after he was found asleep in some kid’s bed that he wandered into?