In early 2019, I gave birth to my parents’ first grandson.
One would think that that event would epitomize the year as the “biggest thing to happen” in the Bauer-Barrett family.
But, alas, it just wasn’t so.
For my brother, Kyle Bauer, although perfect, was starting his first full year working at Barstool and had what is now dubbed the Cocaine Incident which cemented its place as the “Biggest Thing to Happen” that year to our family.
I’ll never forget that day. It was a glorious spring day. I was still reveling in maternity leave when I decided to take my son in his stroller to an evening Wine and Sip event at a local open air shopping and dining plaza.
I was deliciously sipping on the sweet peach and pear aromas of a Selbach’s Incline Riesling, my first wine since the pangs of labor and delivery and wistfully staring at my beautiful cherub asleep in his pram. Soaking it all in figuratively and literally.
Suddenly the vibrations of my IPhone rattled me out of my dreamlike state.
It was my mother.
“Lauren. It's your brother. Please pray for him,” she said.
My Mom’s Origin Story
My mom, although very talented in her own way (She has quite the eye for design), has always been lackluster in the content creative and athleticism departments.
While that might sound harsh to you, when you come from or marry into a family who is constantly doing bits, writing blogs in their heads, or plotting their next scheme, lack of creativity will get you ridiculed.
And my poor mom was no exception. When we played board games that required well thought out, creative answers, we would scoff at her one-word bland answers that oozed with her trying to be funny and risqué like her “poop” to our “Carter Huffman peeing his pants during the SVS Bomb Scare” in a game of Salad Bowl.
“I wonder who wrote poop?” We would say dripping with sarcasm.
Or we riddled her with insults when we discovered she couldn’t even paddle during a white water rafting trip because she was too uncoordinated.
“Hey, mom, what college sport did you play again? Oh wait…none. Hahaha.”
But we accept her because she is exceptional at cooking and cleaning.
HOWEVER, before you start to pity poor Mrs. Bauer, know this, my mother would not be deterred and was tenacious in her own sense, especially when it came to her precious, perfect boy, Kyle.
Despite her lack of ability in both athleticism and creative content she makes up for that in her desire for us to pursue athletics and creative content.
She cried when Kyle and I decided to quit baseball and softball/basketball to focus solely on wrestling and running respectively.
She lamented the fact that for years Kyle's Twitter humor, pranks, and gags were going unnoticed by big name companies like Barstool itself.
"Why won't anyone hire Kyle? He's so funny."
"Kyle deserves to be more than an intern. He's hilarious."
"I just want Kyle to be happy and do something he loves. Why can't other people see how funny he is?"
"Did you see Kyle's latest Twitter post, Lauren. It had me in tears."
She would bemoan all those sentiments to me on the phone as I tried to inject quips about my own day of teaching.
"I tried to teach my students the how to use context clues in reading, but it fell on deaf ears. Ha ha. Did you find that funny, Mom? Mom? You still there?"
But my comment was brushed away only to be reminded about the Craigslist ad Kyle had trolled. I was no Kbnoswag to my mom.
For she was Kyle's biggest cheerleader and ultimate Momanger at that time.
And like any good Momanger and their children, there bounds to come a time when the two come to blows (pun intended).
And for our mother and son pair that time was the Cocaine Incident.
Kyle is Hired to Barstool
Kyle was hired to Barstool in the fall of 2018 and the whole family celebrated his accomplishment.
And they also began to live and breath Barstool over the next few months.
"Lauren, are you watching the Rundown? Did you read Kyle's latest blog? I think Big Cat likes Kyle. This is the best news."
"Mom, I'm in labor. Can we speak about this later?"
But as January turned into February and February into March, my mom began to pivot. If you know my mom, you know that she can pivot better than any NBA player.
"I'm worried about your brother. I just want him to settle down, find a nice girl, and move to North Carolina to be near us."
"I'm concerned about Kyle. I hope he isn't getting into drugs."
"I don't like all these people commenting mean things about my son."
"I hope Kyle is always staying humble and kind. Lauren, will you text him to remind him that. See if he is still going to church while you're at it."
"Did you see what Kyle wrote in a blog, Lauren? He mentioned drugs. He told me that he doesn't do them. Do you think he really meant that?"
"Kyle should just stick to the Craigslist blogs. People like those. I don't know why he has to write about p****y and women like that. It's disgusting."
"Lauren, Kyle has a chance to win a trip to Vegas with Dave. Let's hope that he doesn't win. I don't want him going to that city and partying and all that debauchery. Also, you know your brother, he's shy. He doesn't like all that attention...."
The Cocaine Incident
Well, as the story goes, Kyle did, in fact, win a trip to Vegas.
Things went well from the start for our little hero. His quirky, weird brain antics were winning his boss and the rest of the fans over.
Once again my mom pivoted faster than my husband walking into Harrison, Arkansas.
"Did you see Kyle? He wore the same shirt as Dave. How funny. People thought he was funny."
"Did you see the video of Kyle copying Dave's moves? Hilarious. About time people see what we see. Your brother is funny."
"When Kyle gets back to New York, he needs to put himself out there more. He needs to be on camera."
Kyle's schticks were pinging my mom's dopamine levels and making her higher than...well, Kyle was about to be.
But then she got The Call on March 29 and she performed better than Chen Meng at the 2021 Summer Olympics with the way she was pinging and ponging back and forth.
“Lauren. It's your brother. Please pray for him,”
My wine hazed brain tried to muddle through every possible scenario about why I would have to pray for Kyle.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have come up with that he got kicked out of his hotel for cocaine residue and his subsequent phone call to Dave telling him that he got kicked out was posted on the internet.
I was trying to comb through the details my mom was sobbing on about.
Cocaine residue. Women. Security. New hotel. Pay for with his own money. Phone call posted on the internet. Pleaded with her that it wasn't his cocaine. Women. Met at pool. Partied in Kyle's room. Left the Cocaine. Will he get fired? Pray. Find God.
It didn't make sense, but it should come as no surprise to me that out of all the tomfoolery in the Sin City that, of course, Kyle would be the one to get caught.
"So, he's saying that the cocaine that he absolutely didn't do came from someone he met at the pool?"
"That's what he saying. But I don't know what to believe."
"He should just tell everyone that the cocaine came from a Pool Flooze."
But just at that moment the band struck up Gold Dust Woman by Fleetwood Mac and my mom couldn't hear me.
"What did you say, Lauren? A Pool Flooze? Apool flooze? April Fools! That's it, Lauren. You're a genius."
She then quickly hung up the phone to do damage control for Kyle's return to the office on April 1.
And the rest, as they say, is history...
My mom has always been the best Momanger to Kyle.
Although the two can sometimes be at odds with one another, she is always looking out for his best interests and is currently on a ban from watching anything Barstool related with Kyle in it because she was providing too much input.
However, I'm sure the guy who keeps texting her is giving her updates (shout out to him!)
But we all know that she'll be back. Like any good manager.
In all seriousness, though, my mom, like my dad, is the best. She has an extremely generous heart, and we are just as much part of her coaching tree as we are Doug Wanoy's.
And to end, let's all join my mom and collectively say a prayer for Kyle tonight.
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