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I am a college student

Donnie Darko alleges that the most beautiful phrase in the English language is “cellar door.” I’ll grant you that’s a fine phrase, but as for me, I’ll take “triple kegger.” No other series of words can so universally arouse college students into a fervor of orgiastic social behavior.

House parties have long been my preferred method of “getting down,” as it were, and last night was no exception. However, my prior experiences with the venue hadn’t prepared me for the well-oiled business machine of Richie Weiner’s get together. It’s like he and his housemates and fellow organizers took Drunken Gatherings 121, maybe even completed the series up through 123. The keggerator, adorned with retro-kitsch stickers, was tucked safely behind the bar, and staffed by two bartenders at all times. They sold bracelets for five dollars, and checked for one before refilling your keg cup. My mind reels to think of how much money they had to have made (supposedly it was for breast cancer, but let’s get real here). Well over 200 people showed up, overflowing the kitchen, living room, and bathroom and trickling out into the front yard and even the street.

I went with Chris Baker, and met up with everyone I’ve ever known. People I literally hadn’t seen or thought of in years turned up left and right, despite the fact that I wasn’t looking for them. I saw Stevie, a girl from my FIG; Jamil and Todd, from the dorms freshman year; Sarah, a hall council regular; Nick and Josh even arrived from their house sixty blocks away, Nick swaying rhythmically and clutching a bottle of Black Crow whiskey, the most vile alcohol known to man. Every time I bumped into him he greeted me ecstatically, as if for the first time that night, and thrust the bottle at me. By that late in the evening, every plug of the caustic stuff went down tasting like sweet, sweet candy.

When a party gets really packed, and I mean standing room only, you almost have to place it in its own category; the normal party rules just don’t apply. First, there’s no mobility: you move with the crowd in a vast sea of people, and if you want to go somewhere they don’t you’re out of luck. No amount of elbowing and shoving will change things; itís hop into a channel and hope for the best. Second, normal male / female ratio rules don’t matter. Once a critical mass of girls is achieved, everyone’s happy, no matter if the next 40 people who show up are sleazy guys in trench coats with three-day beards and beady eyes. Third, beer is on a first-come first-serve basis, so showing up late, while trendy, is bound to get you less mileage out of your bottomless keg cup and therefore unadvisable. Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, you only get one shot at getting that cute girl’s phone number, because after you go back to the keg you’re never going to find her again. Yes, I learned this lesson the hard way. (If you’re reading this, cute blonde in tank top and choker, I was the babbling but lovable guy whose jokes you laughed at while in line for the bathroom.)

The whole night, all anyone could talk about was how incredible it was that the cops hadn’t come yet. At first we were euphoric with our escape from the laws of the land. However, as the evening rolled on with no sign of sirens or flashing lights, the mood shifted to bemused, then indignant: “I can’t believe the cops aren’t here! Who the fuck do they think they are?! Itís one am, weíre out in the street, weíre being really noisy, whatís it gonna take?!” It’s like the Seattle PD was dismissing our mayhem with its tacit approval and lack of arrests. When you think about it, it’s a valid point. I mean, the least they could do was send a patrol car to park a couple blocks away and start a rumor that cleared the place out. Completely ignoring us was like a slap in the face, because let’s face it, every party worth its salt gets busted. Of course, maybe a SWAT team descended on the house in full riot gear right after I left, but the kegs were dry by then, so the danger was minimal.

Berkowitz and Jared literally dragged me out the front door to go back to their house, which they lovingly refer to as Narnia for reasons that remain unclear. It was late and cold, and there was no way I was walking the 35 blocks back to my apartment from their house, but they were so drunkenly insistent (and I was so drunkenly incoherent) that I had to play along until I found the opportunity to ditch them at Jack in the Box. I don’t completely remember the trip to Svenís house, the restaurant, and then back home, but I woke up fully clothed on top of my bed this morning at seven, so everything must have turned out alright.

Posted in Musings.

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