[Wrote this for publication in the ‘Spartan Daily’ in 1992, posted it on my blog when I first started it, so people would have something to read and I could practice my HTML coding. –MM/LBJ]
This column ran in the Spartan Daily on Monday, September 28, 1992. Ahhh, youth. If you’re interested, “Tim” is now a technical writer with Tandem. “Phil,” last I heard, does customer support for Netcom.
Fast night in big city with friends in low places
Has this ever happened to you?
You are sitting in the room of your best friend. Having arrived at 7:45 p.m. and noticing that your best friend and his roommate have sucked down the better part of a 12-pack, you realize that this will indeed be a night to remember.
You light up with your best friend and spend the next 30 minutes listening to him rattle on about Jungian psychology, his roommate (also a friend of yours) interjecting his own opinions.
Finally, 15 minutes later, the 12-pack is gone, the bowl is empty, and it is time to begin your Friday night revelry.
The three of you take your lives into your respective hands and cross 11th Street toward the beckoning light of 7-Eleven. They purchase another 12-pack. You purchase a pack of smokes, ignoring your friend who is bellowing something about “corn dogs for the house! Pass ’em around!”
Your purchases secure, your merry band of reprobates trudges down 11th Street to the apartment of yet another friend, who is having a party. All does not bode well when you arrive at 9:30 p.m. and are the first ones there.
A beer or two later, some more party guests arrive. Oh joy. The majority of the guests so far seem to be whacked-out art majors. One of them tells you that the little girl on the cover of the first Violent Femmes album is Brooke Shields. You aren’t sure if you should believe him.
After sticking around looong enough to finish all but four beers from the 12-pack, you and your comrades in filth excuse yourselves and stagger to the 7-Eleven at 7th and San Salvador. While there, you see people who also left the party early, and you feel a certain camaraderie with them. The ATM Interlink card won’t accept your Visa. Your friend buys more beer with the last $5 you have in the world. Six pack + four in hand, you get adventurous and climb up to the top of the 7th Street parking garage.
At this point, your main objectives are don’t pass out or get sick. Your friends don’t seem to share this objective, and while on top of the garage they each swill down two beers to your one.
It is now 11:20 p.m. You have all come to the realization that, in order to make it to the midnight movie at the theater three blocks away, you really have to book. A dilemma sprouts — how are you going to sneak five beers into Camera One? Your best friend hides three in the front of his jacket, his roommate hides one down the front of his pants, and you stick one under your armpit, wedging it between breast and arm.
Together you quite literally stagger to the theater. You purchase two tickets and slide your best friend’s $10 bill across the ticket window.
The ticket seller looks at you perplexedly. “Uh… you do know what you’re in for, right?” he inquires.
Yes, you nod, you know what you’re in for. You’re in for “Pink Flamingos,” the early ’70s John Waters film whose only redeeming (yes, redeeming) value is that it stars Divine. She/he/it plays Babs Johnson, owner of the title “Filthiest Person Alive.”
Uh… it’s a real art film…
Your blathering friends follow you as you forage for seats. You find them, sit down, take the beer out of the clothes of all involved, and kick one over. Oops. The couple in front of you giggles at the clanking.
The movie starts and you sober up enough to realize that it is even more filthy than you’d remembered it to be.
Halfway through the film, your best friend passes out. His roommate soon follow suit, and they slouch together in the ultimate display of unconscious male bonding.
The movie is over. You hiss across your passed-out best friend to his roommate. “Tim! Help me wake up Phil.” He groggily obliges, and the best friend jolts awake. “Huh? Has the movie started?”
Together you file out of the theater. You look at a man walking as he nonchalantly gets sick without missing a step, and are confused and amazed to realize that the man is your best friend’s roommate. You are now sober; your previous intoxication having drifted to your two friends.
It is now 1:45 Saturday morning. The three of you get as far as the 7-Eleven parking lot at 7th and San Salvador when you hear somebody hollering your name.
Ah, bliss. God has sent a friend of yours to the parking lot at the Sev to drive the conscious remnants of your previously merry throng back to your best friend’s apartment. You vow to go to church on Sunday to give thanks for divine intervention.
The three of you finally return to the beginning of the scene of the crime. Tumbling out of the backseat like clowns from a VW, your friends stumble to their living quarters and you, stone cold sober as judge, hop into your convertible and drive home, thanking God for your two wonderful friends.
No, of course not. Nevermind.