Friday, August 14, 2009

See-Ya Week Pt. 1: Cruisin

Hmm…words. On an electronic page. It feels so…strange; but yet, familiar. It’s been…so long.

I’m sure On the Rocks’ legions of followers have noticed how quiet the page has been in recent weeks. It’s been 21 days since anything new has appeared here, and it’s been even longer since a story of drunken revelry has debuted. The answer, quite simply, is that it’s been that long since I have engaged in any revelry. [Or, at least, it had been that long—I was rudely reintroduced to the blackout arts this past weekend. But that’s for another post.] Most of those close to me know the reason for my absence from the World of Pourcraft (*bows*…thank you, thank you), and I won’t be going into it much right now. I’ll just sum it up by quoting something I said to my cousin during a recent conversation about life: “It’s a lot easier to fall in love with someone than it is to fall out of love with them.”

I’ll climb back onto the wagon soon enough; in the meanwhile, I’ve decided to write up a series of quick tales to help soothe the ache that my absence has caused. This being August—with “back to school” sales being pitched from every angle and Ikeas, Walmarts, and Targets all teeming with college students and their parents looking for the right personal touches for this fall’s dorm rooms—lately I’ve been thinking about my college days. This, inevitably, led me to reminisce on our Senior Week.

Senior Week is a spring tradition common among colleges (and even some high schools) across the country. It’s a way for the outgoing class to end their undergrad careers with a bang (or with several of them). Mine, in particular, was well-constructed. Our student council had planned several worthwhile events, including a river cruise around Pittsburgh and a Pirates game at PNC Park (which was brand new at the time). The week was seemingly non-stop—just when you had fallen asleep at 5 a.m. after a long night of post-event partying, you were getting a phone call at 10 a.m. to get ready for either an event or pre-event partying. No rest for the wicked, I suppose. I have long since forgotten at least 40% of the proceedings. The highlights that haven’t been slowly erased, though, will be recounted here in several installments. Starting with the booze cruise.

River Cruise

The inaugural school-sanctioned event of our Senior Week drew a remarkable crowd of W&J’s finest, dressed to impress for a night of dining, drinking, and dancing on the rivers of Pittsburgh. Esq and his roommates hosted a pre-event party at their off-campus apartment, which meant almost all of us were rocked by the time we gathered at the Student Center to board chartered school buses. The ride to Station Square would take about 45 minutes, so most of us brought beer and other drinks onto the bus with us, stashed away in various purses and pockets. In anticipation of the trip—not to mention the high price of mixed drinks on the boats—I brought along a flask-sized bottle of Hennessy. You only graduate once, right?

One of us, however, had gone one step further in his preparations. “Lab Rat” managed to get his hands on a large plastic pickle jar from the snack bar in the Student Center. This was due, in part, to him being ridiculously drunk/high and craving some dill deliciousness. However, he had also understood that this would be a long bus ride for approximately 400 people who were full of beer and liquor; bathroom “facilities” would be a vital need. Lab made use of the pickle jar first, and it quickly became a popular commodity, traded up and down the aisle of the bus for beers and good faith.

Esq then called for his turn. The jar was passed to him, and he made use. However, the container had quickly become nearly filled, and we were only about halfway to our destination. If you’re on a school bus that’s barreling down the freeway, though, where are you going to pour it out? Esq is one of the smartest people I know—you don’t graduate from a top law school and get hired by a top law firm by accident. But the booze had gotten the best of him, and that intelligence was null and void. His thinking had reverted to primitive form: “Jar full. Bad. Need empty.” And the only option he had was the window.

A quick physics lesson: If a bus is moving at a speed greater than 35 mph and you send something out one window, it’s likely returning through one of the windows further back. This is a concept that, if he knew of it at the time, Esq couldn’t quite grasp at the moment. Anyone who rode a bus in grade school could see what was coming next. Unfortunately, the girl sitting two rows back from Esq didn’t.

He extended the jar out of the window, and turned it over, with an instant wash of briny, yellowish-green fluid spraying out of it…and in through the window of our ill-fated friend, “M.C.” Sitting by the window, she was treated to a faceful of horror. She was doused by the pickle juice/urine mixture in an impromptu golden shower.

You know, if one of the pickles left in there had come in and smacked her across the face too, it probably would’ve been strangely poetic.

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