So, my next adventure in the brave new world of college came the beer bash. My last entry, “Smoking in the Boys room … and the Classroom” will bring you up to this point.
I was invited to a beer bash. Keep in mind I emerged on this new college scene as a relatively sheltered kid. Coming to a University from a very strict Catholic High School was a culture shock to me. The freedoms now offered were unthinkable just a year prior. Now, here I was, smoking in the classroom and loving it. Next, an invitation to a Beer Bash….. right in the student lounge…. on Campus! Unthinkable!
Please also Remember that the drinking age was 18 at the time, so nothing illegal taking place. But still… drinking on school grounds? Beyond belief for me.
So, off I went that fateful evening, to my first Beer Bash. Up to this time, I had relatively little experience with alcohol. Sure, on holidays we would get to have a sip of mom or dads Gallo wine…usually with some coke added, but that was all that was allowed. A few times when no one was home, I would open my dads “not so secure” liquor cabinet in the Television stand and sneak a sip of his Seagrams Seven.. or was it Four Roses? I don’t remember. I do remember I didn’t like the taste, but felt very cool and “grown-up” taking a swig. The “liquor cabinet” was really not much of a liquor cabinet. It was merely a shelf with a door in the Television stand. It was also not exactly stacked. The obligatory gallon of Gallo Red wine for pasta dinners and the Seagrams were about it. If my Uncle Frank were coming for a visit, dad may have added a small bottle of Scotch. Mom and Dad were not drinkers at all, so this meager supply was usually good for the better part of a year. Dad probably knew each time I snagged a shot of the whiskey, in that unless we had company, no one else touched it very often.
So, here I am, off to a Beer Bash. Beer is the other thing we have to talk about for a second. I really didn’t like beer at this point in my life. Primarily because I had very little experience with it. Some of the “tough guys” in the neighborhood would somehow get beer and hide it in various places for the occasional drink, and perhaps once or twice they offered me a sip, but that was about it. Dad wasn’t a beer drinker unless it was in the summer working on some building project with his friend Charlie. Charlie loved beer and Scotch and drank them both with a gusto that made one want to partake as well. I believe Rob has chronicled this in a previous post. He made beer “look attractive “, though, at this point in my life, I had not come close to developing a taste for it.
Nevertheless, Beer Bash, here I come.
It started at 7 PM and we had to be gone by 11 when the student lounge would shut down. As I had been alerted, there were a number of kegs of beer and for one “entry fee” one could partake until the kegs were gone. I paid my fee, secured my solo cup and poured my first cold Ballantine beer. I sipped on it while trying to make small talk, trying to act as if I were on familiar ground. I didn’t have many friends, so it was a bit awkward, but the low lights and the music made it do-able. As I tried to blend in one of the guys I knew came by and said;
“This is great, eh!!”
My ingenious reply:
“Yea man, this is great!”
“How about this Keg, right?”
Me, lifting solo cup;
“Great keg! Great!”
“Have you tried the Bash yet”
“Umm, no I haven’t “
“Ya gotta try it, man! it’s a trip!”
….. and off into the darkness, my acquaintance went.
“Bash?” I thought to myself, “what the hell is Bash…? I thought Beer Bash was just the name of this function.
Nope. Bash was a special concoction brewed up by a group of the upperclassmen and women. It consisted of a lot of fruit juices, a bunch of ripe, fresh fruit and ample amounts of vodka and gin. Neither of which I had any experience with. However, not really enjoying the beer, I thought I would try the Bash. It was wonderful! Sweet, cold and delicious. It was like drinking fresh fruit juice with just a little “kick” added. The music began to sound better… I was friendlier and so was everyone else… even the girls!
This Bash stuff was wonderful … I had many more!
I think it was when The Doors “Touch Me” began blaring that I realized things were a bit out of joint. The room began to spin in a way that made me feel quite “queasy”. I kinda’ lost a sense of direction and had to sit down. I was certainly not feeling very good.
My Acquaintance comes strutting by and calls out to me;
“Tried the Bash? Great right?”
“ freggin’ great… yup…. great”
Acquaintance struts off with some girl.
Surprisingly, I had enough sense to know that I had to get out of there fast. I was feeling ill and not sure how long I would be able to avoid getting sick. Miraculously, with Zeppelin’s “Whole lot of love” picking up in volume, I somehow found my way to the front door and back on to Fordham road. The cool, fresh air helped a bit… but not much. As I began to stumble along the six-block trek to the elevated train station, I passed a few other guys from one of my classes. I remember one laughing and calling out something along the lines of;
“Hahahaha… I see you went to the beer bash, eh, hahahaha”
I believe my response was an inaudible;
“Oh, slut daflug up…..”
I made it to the elevated subway station and managed to fall into a seat for the ride back to the 14th street station. Of course, no sooner than I fell into that seat, I passed out.
I woke up four or five stops past 14 street and was totally disoriented for a few moments until I realized what I had done. Still feeling quite unsettled, I stopped at a White Castle hamburger stand in the subway station, thinking some food would help. Well, my “some food” turned into an eating frenzy that saw me devour 12 of the little burgers. The “some food” helped for about 3 minutes. Then the “some food” became my sworn enemy. I raced to the closest men’s room and left all my “some food” there.
I finally navigated my way back to the proper station and crawled ( not literally, but close) back to our apartment on West 17st.
The only other things I recall about that night was being roasted by mom for being so late ( it was 1am) and I had promised her I would be there by 1130). Mom didn’t even discern that there was something odd about the way I was behaving because she was so mad. She had no clue I was hopelessly “drunk”. Dad, on the other hand, knew. He didn’t even have to see me, just heard me babbling some dumb excuses to mom. He called out from their bedroom;
“THE JERKY KIDS BEEN DRINKING! I’M TELLING YOU!!!”
It was almost 2am when mercifully, I crawled into bed.
Then last sound I remember was low, stifled laughter coming from my brother’s bed and his very encouraging words:
“What a dufas”….
“Oh, Slut daflug up…….”