Before I tell you the tale of my St. Patrick’s Day nightmare of 2000, the picture next to this is not me. There isn’t any photo evidence of this event and I thank God that the invention of the “camera phone” wasn’t around yet. I didn’t change the names of any of my friends in this post, because I am the only one who looks like an ass in this story. I hope young men will read my adventure and note what I learned during my first drunken St. Patrick’s Day.
The first time that I got drunk was in October of 1999, just a few days after my 19th birthday. I was a freshman at Ball State University and was still trying to figure out the world. I came from a very small town in Indiana and I looked like I was 14 years old. I just came off a growth spurt and I started to shave once a week…things were looking up for me.
My dorm floor was full of guys who were very experienced drinkers and I learned a lot from those guys. I was still having a hard time figuring out my tolerance and when I was “officially drunk.” I would end up being sick at the dorm and/or on the stumble back to the dorms.
I was pretty naive, but I never knew that St. Patrick’s Day was an Irishman’s Mardi Gras. My heritage is Irish and Native American, but a large portion of my family does not drink. Everyone was asking me what I was doing for St. Patrick’s Day. My answer was usually, “I’m going to watch the NCAA Tournament and stay in town.” That answer was not good enough for anyone. My friend Jack, who went to Indiana University, decided to come up from Bloomington to hang out. A few friends from high school went to Ball State with me (Nathan & Johnathan) and I was close with a guy from the Tacoma, WA area, Eamon. You’ll hear more about Eamon later, he’s the funniest guy that I know.
Jack arrived into town and took Nathan and I out. I was a poor college kid and this was the first time that I had anything other than dorm food in a long time. We ate at the Olive Garden and I filled up on bread sticks and chicken fettuccine alfredo. I was in a euphoric haze from the Italian feast, but the anticipation to get drunk was coming to a boil. We get back to the dorms and I ask the guys on my floor where the parties were at. This was back before most people had cell phones. Word of mouth and AIM were the two main ways of communicating. We hear that a house party will have 6 kegs and that is all we needed to hear. Everyone puts on their green attire and head out in that direction.
Jack, Nathan, Eamon, and I arrive to the house party with some other guys from my dorm. The place is really packed and we pay our $3 for a cup and head to the basement to get in line at the kegs.
Getting your cup filled at a college keg-party takes talent and/or boobs. Since I lack mammary glands, I had to learn skills. I attribute my current people skills to things that I have learned around a keg. First, you scope out the group and mentally determine where you fit in the hierarchy. There will always be a girl next to the keg with 8 cups, because she has taken all of her guyfriends’ cups…she is aware of the rules. If a “house cup” doesn’t appear, she will always be the first in line. You figure out who’s next and you start talking to him about sports, girls, and/or jam bands (most college kids either love jam bands or pretend to enjoy them). You pick one and you say something that will garner yourself a “high-five.” Once you’ve obtained a high-five, he’s going to give you the keg hose next. This is when you gain all of the power. You can hand the hose off to the next person, which is either a friend or the closest girl to you. This depends on which stage of inebriation that you’re renting at that time.
We all have all of our cups filled and this is the part of the party that guys huddle into a group and look around. You’re not drunk enough to talk to anyone and neither is anyone else. Eamon was looking for a cigarette and asks a group of guys for a smoke. One guy answers with, “I only have clove cigarettes.” Eamon doesn’t really know that there is a difference, so he takes one. He only smokes when he drinks, so it tucks it behind his ear for later.
We are a few cups deep at this point and we all head up to the living room to watch some of the NCAA Tournament game. A guy next to me hands me a bottle of Jagermeister and tells me to take a drink. I’m not a huge fan of black licorice, so I take a small drink. He calls me a “pussy” and tells me to “chug that shit.” I oblige, because I was not aware of the after-effects of Jager at this point in my life. We talk to these guys for a few minutes and we head back down to the basement.
The basement is filled with a fog of smoke and DMX. A cute brunette asks me if we’ve met before. Still today, a lot of people ask me this while they’re drunk. I either have a lot of doppelgangers in the Midwest or I’m secretly Tyler Durden. She says that she goes to Ohio University and she is in town meeting friends. I didn’t know of the reputation that Ohio University students have until much later that night. We talk about very forgettable things as I sit down and she sits on my lap.
As I am chatting up the brunette, my friend Eamon is in the corner of the basement talking with guys from our dorm. He is getting drunk, so he lights up his clove cigarette. He takes a puff and thinks it tastes amazing. He really likes how it smells and determines that he’s going to only smoke cloves from this point on. One group over, a guy asks my friends, “Hey, who is smoking cloves?” Eamon was mid-drink and was about to say, “Oh, it is I who is smoking this delicious clove!” Then the guy starts to look angry and says, “Who is the fucking pussy who is smoking cloves?” Eamon freaks out and throws the clove cigarette down on the ground without anyone seeing him. He then joins that guy in the hunt for the person smoking cloves.
This is the point of the night when everything becomes extremely hazy. I remember talking to the Ohio University girl more and possibly whiteboy dancing to Paperboy’s “Ditty” I used to have a reputation for high-fiving people when I was drunk, it was a key in knowing how drunk I was. My friends called that guy “Sweetbob”…it was when my nickname turned into a persona.
I start to look around and the population of underage college kids was at maximum capacity. I head up to the living room and watch more college basketball with a bunch of strangers. I haven’t seen any of my friends in a half-hour or longer. I end up sitting down on the couch and exchange shots of Jameson with a fellow University of Kentucky basketball fan. This is one of the last memories that I have…until a group of large men carried me outside.
The reason that these large men carried me outside, was because I was puking up fettuccine noodles all over their couch. They carry me outside to a small pine tree. I doubt that this was healthy for the tree, but I am not a horticulturalist. I remember the guys asking each other if they should leave me outside or throw me in the garage. I don’t remember hearing what their decision was, but I woke up in a patio chair next to a Chevy Cavalier.
Where were my friends during all of this? My friends from the dorm went to another party, Nathan went back to his dorm, and Jack & Eamon went to the gas station to buy cigars. They arrive back at the house party and they don’t see me. They start asking people about me and start describing what I was wearing. They reply with, “Yeah, the drunk guy in the tech-vest is in the garage.” I probably should explain my affinity for wearing tech-vests, but it was a thing back then. Jack & Eamon help me to the car and I get sick a few times in the car. I attempted the “roll-down-the-window puke,” but physics was not my friend that night.
I end up back in my dorm room and was getting ready to pass out. Eamon storms in my room after he visited a friend on the floor below us. He screams, “Sweetbob, I can’t even describe what is going on, just come with me.” I follow him and slowly descend down a flight of stairs. I look down the hallway and there is a group of people surrounding a doorway. Guys were laughing and pointing inside the door and girls would peep in and scream. I was curious as to what was going on inside this dorm room. Eamon tells me to look and I was starting to second-guess the decision to follow him. It’s like when a person says, “This tastes really bad…you have to try it!” The door to the room was propped open and I look inside. Two guys were having sex with a girl and she was on her period…blood was everywhere. I step back from the door and I start to head back to my floor knowing that I will never un-see that. I then hear the girl yell, “This is how we do it in Athens!” I vaguely remember the cute brunette saying that Ohio University is located in Athens, OH. This peaked my interest because the voice sounded familiar. I looked inside again and focused on the girl’s face…it was the girl that was sitting on my lap a few hours earlier.
I learned a few things on my first drunken St. Patrick’s Day. First, my life is a long, deleted Tucker Max story. Secondly, never drink green beer and eat fettuccine noodles. The aftermath could be epic and no one wants to see that. Lastly, I started my hate/hate relationship with Jagermeister that night…bad things happen when I consume Jager.
To this day, if anyone mentions that they went Ohio University, the image of that girl receiving a “bloody Eiffel Tower” instantly pops into my mind.