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A Winding, Mostly Pointless Story About Booze

Some time ago, between the time when Jurassic Park left theatres and Dummy hit the airwaves, we acquired a case of Bud Light through the aide of some false identification and some liquor store clerks who could be described as “less than vigilant.” Sitting on a tree stump by the froggie pond knocking back twenty four Bud Lights (the 30-pack and the wide-mouthed cans had yet to be invented) seemed to be the right thing to do on a summer’s eve as we looked back at high school and forward to college. For a night, we would be kings…

Our driver and booze procurer Jim drops us off at the entrance to the woods and makes us solemnly promise not to start drinking until he has found an inconspicuous parking space and has made his way back into the forest. Naturally, as soon as we’ve disappeared into the woods, the first of the mellow gold is cracked open. We’ve scarcely reached the trusty drinking spot and sat down before we hear rustling in the woods.

“Is that Jim? It can’t be Jim already,” wonders Ryan allowed.

“It’s probably an animal,” I posit.

“Animals don’t carry flashlights,” replies Tim.

Shit. Very calmly, very slowly, we set down our hoard and walk in the opposite direction of the light, back towards the other, more public side street that abuts the wood. Just seconds after exiting, a cruiser pulls up behind us and starts coasting slowly. “Just relax,” said Ryan. His words are quickly interrupted by WOOP WOOP.

That’s the sound of the police.

The flashlight-wielder emerges from the woods and catches up with his cruising buddy. Along with his torch, the Standard Issue Street Soldier has brought with him our beer. After several denials by the party of the first part, Office Crothers makes several threats ranging from arrest to calling our parents, gives a passionate and lengthy speech about the dangers – and illegality – of underage drinking, and finally decides that we have learned our lesson and lets us off with a warning.

Naturally, while all this is happening, Jim is in the woods wondering where the hell we all were. He comes to the conclusion that we’ve fucked him over, so he drives home in a sour mood (and apparently watches cartoons for the rest of the night), leaving us without a ride home. Ryan decides to have a little fun with him.

“Jim,” he says into the phone the next morning, while we sit in his living room giggling like schoolgirls. “This is Ryan. Yeah. I bet you’re wondering what happened last night. Yeah, well… no, we didn’t dick you over… no, listen… oh FOR FUCK’S SAKE THE COPS CAUGHT US. <silence> Yeah. Uh, we have to go to court, probably community service. <silence> Yeah, I guess you did sidestep that one. Heh. Funny thing… about that. Uh, the cop asked us who bought the beer, Jim, and I had to say it was you. <silence> JIM, HE MADE ME SWEAR TO GOD. I HAD TO TELL THE TRUTH! Yeah, well, anyway, the cop said they were going to stop by your house today, and you’ll have to go to court, too. The cop mentioned something about taking away your car or suspending your license or something.”

At this point we are rolling on the floor like we are comic geniuses. The reason for this is because Jim’s summer job is delivering pizzas, and believe it or not, without the income from this bustling, high-profit industry, he has no way to pay for Syracuse. So telling Jim he couldn’t drive was like telling him that college was right out.

After about two minutes of Jim cursing him out with every possible swearword and swearword derivative, Ryan gets sick of it and interrupts him.

“Jim…. Jim…. JIM!” He pushes the speakerphone button, and we all gather around. “Just kidding!

We all laugh loudly and obnoxiously as Jim realizes he’s been had. He swears a few more times and is clearly planning on launching another tirade when Ryan interrupts him again. “Basketball at Magnolia. 1 o’clock,” he says and hangs up.

Jim didn’t show up for basketball and threatened to boycott our company indefinitely. That is until we offered to pay for his share of beer the next night. So yeah, we bought his integrity for about five dollars.

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