Friday, April 25

The Friday (Semi-)Random Ten+5 relives the good times.

For the third time in four weeks, I'm heading out for the weekend -- this time it's back to Athens for an unofficial reunion of folks who worked at our student newspaper, The Red & Black, while I was at UGA. I'm pumped as hell about this, but at the same time kind of apprehensive, because I know that 48 hours of laughing and boozing it up with my best friends from school are only going to lead to the inevitable come-down in which I ask myself why, oh why did I ever graduate from college in the first place.

Nah, fuck that. College was a straight-up blast and I'm not gonna let any of the depressing stuff about real life intrude for the next few days, particularly since numerous people have told me my current, supposedly "real-world" lifestyle is barely distinguishable from that of an unreconstructed frat boy as it is. This is a weekend for throwing the usual cares about "the real world" and "my job" and "obeying the law" straight out the window and just enjoying the good times, both past and present. But since y'all can't come with me to Athens this weekend -- or at least you better not, 'cause seriously, that's on some stalker shit, seek help -- you're gonna have to content yourself with the past. My past, that is. Not that you give a crap, but this week's +5 is My Five Favorite Memories From College, At Least The Ones I Was Sober Enough To Recount.

April 1, 1999: The Jim Harrick double-switcheroo
During my last semester at Georgia, I was the editor-in-chief of The Red & Black -- don't get excited, I was the only one who applied for the job that semester -- so every other night, alternating with the managing editor, I would have to read every last word on every single page to check for errors and then stay at the newspaper office until the whole thing had been sent out the door to the printer. On the morning of April 1 -- yup, that's the actual date all this stuff went down -- we got the official word that Jim Harrick was leaving the University of Rhode Island to become the head basketball coach at UGA, and immediately began assembling the splashiest front page possible to announce the news. Later in the afternoon, we got the unfortunate news that Harrick had changed his mind, he didn't want to leave URI after all, he wasn't coming. So we tossed the first front page and started laying out the "Not coming after all" spread. And then around 7 in the evening, if memory serves, we got yet another surprise: He'd changed his mind a second time and was coming to Georgia. So we flushed yet another front-page layout and started all over again, and still managed to get the thing out just a few minutes after the midnight deadline. It was a wild afternoon, to be sure, but it made for a great story afterward, and it was really great to see everyone in the newsroom pull together to roll with the considerable number of punches we all experienced while Harrick dicked around up in Providence. This would be just the first on a lengthy list of instances in which the Harricks screwed Bulldog Nation and left us a dazed, whimpering mess, but this one, at least, we could laugh about later.

Summer 1998-Spring 1999: Going to "church"
Part of what made the Day Of Many Harrick Shenanigans so much more tolerable than it otherwise would've been was the fact that we could all get together and laugh about it (by which I mean "get drunk about it") afterward at Boneshakers. Georgia grads of a certain vintage will remember Boneshakers as Athens's most popular gay bar, which it was, but the '80s Nights they did every Wednesday were popular enough amongst the straight crowd to bring the sexual-orientation mix to about 50-50, and the R&B crew's attendance on Wednesdays became so regular that my dear friend Alice Coggin started referring to it as "church." During the summer of '98, when I failed to lock up an actual internship and instead spent my time doing the opinions page of the R&B's weekly summer edition and working graveyard hours at DialAmerica, we'd send the paper out the door on Wednesday evening and immediately head over to my friend Chandler's apartment to prime ourselves with liberal amounts of grape Kool-Aid spiked with Golden Grain before making our weekly church trip. (This soon came to be called "Golden Girls Kool-Aid" since reruns of that show always seemed to be on when we were over there) I'm sure that my regularity as a Boneshakers patron ratchets up my quotient of Teh Ghey even more than it already was, but who cares, it was a blast. And I'm not convinced we're all not going to get plastered on Saturday night and dance around in the middle of Hancock Street to Dead or Alive's "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" just to try and recreate the good ol' days.

November 1, 1997: "We Believed"
More commonly known as the day we beat Spurrier's Gators for the first time in eight tries; this one's pretty self-explanatory. I watched the game over at my friend Meredith's house and I distinctly remember all of us going out later that night and strutting around like we ourselves had picked Florida off four times; in true Jim Donnan fashion, the Dawgs went right out the very next game and laid an ostrich egg against a lesser-ranked Auburn team that had just gotten shut out at home by Mississippi State, but neverthless, neither that glorious night nor the 100-point "WE BELIEVED" headline on the front of the following Monday's R&B are things that anyone can ever take away from me.

February 13, 1999: Being a journalist finally pays off
The one and only time in my life I've had a date in the remote vicinity of Valentine's Day came, ironically enough, after a column I wrote for the R&B about how much Valentine's Day sucked. This girl in one of my journalism classes whom I'd always thought was cute e-mailed me saying she liked my column and did I want to go out sometime, and we ended up going to dinner and then a party at my friend Kristen's house on the 13th. I can honestly say it's one of the few times in my life when being a writer or journalist ever resulted in something tangibly positive; not only was she smart and fun, she was the spitting image of Drew Barrymore. (And I'm not just making that up out of thin air -- nearly everyone at the party told me "She looks like Drew fucking Barrymore!", usually followed, of course, by "What the hell is she doing here with you? Did you drug her or something?") Sadly, as a later-than-late bloomer who'd only had two, maybe three girlfriends my entire life up to that point and thus didn't know a good thing when it dropped right into his fucking lap, I managed to screw this relationship up royally after only a couple months, but still, it was nice while it lasted.

Sometime during 1996: Preaching the Seuss Gospel at the Tate Center
Being both a major college campus and and a festering den of the worst kinds of iniquity, UGA got plenty of visits throughout the 1990s from "confrontational evangelist" Jed Smock, otherwise known as "Brother Jed," and his toady "Brother Ken." Bros. Jed and Ken would get up on the free-speech platform at the Tate Center plaza and basically rail away for hours on end about what whores and drunkards and masturbators all of us students were; this didn't convert a single person that I'm aware of, but it did give us some rollicking good entertainment between classes. One afternoon, as Jed took the stage -- and I don't know what got into me that day -- I went to the Tate Center bookstore and bought a copy of Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham; I then jumped up on the platform and started "preaching the Gospel of Dr. Seuss," mainly just to see if I could yell louder than Brother Jed. I don't think I even made it through the whole book before Jed and his entourage left in righteous disgust. But I didn't know what an impression this sermon had made until years later, when my parents happened upon another Brother Jed appearance while doing a campus tour with my sister. While they were standing there marveling at Jed's holy fury, some kid next to them said "You should've been here a few years ago when some guy got up there and started preaching Green Eggs and Ham to the crowd," and my parents were like, "Oh my God! That was our son!" and soon everybody wanted to meet the parents of Green Eggs and Ham Guy. I won't say that's the proudest my parents have ever been of me, but I'll bet it's in their top five.

Ah, good times, good times. My blood-alcohol level has jumped a couple points just thinking about it. Anyway, this week's Ten is composed of stuff that I was listening to back in college, not that that's all that different from what I'm listening to now:

1. N.W.A., "Gangsta Gangsta"
2. The Chemical Brothers, "Playground for a Wedgeless Firm"
3. Underworld, "Rez"
4. De La Soul, "Tread Water"
5. Pet Shop Boys, "West End Girls" (Acid House mix)
6. R.E.M., "Walk Unafraid"
7. Beck, "Today Has Been a Fucked Up Day"
8. The Farm, "Golden Vision"
9. Beck, "Ramshackle"
10. Underworld, "Confusion the Waitress"

Oh, and what the hell, here's the obvious 11th --

11. Avenue Q cast, "I Wish I Could Go Back to College"

Got any college stories of your own? Can you even remember any, you sad old farts? If so, put 'em (along with your own Random Tens) in the comments thread.


NCT said...

Ah, Brother Jed was a frequent visitor to campus back in the '80s, too, but with Sister Cindy. Good times.

In my seven years as a student in Athens I had some amazing experiences, but alas, most don't translate all that well.

When I was a senior, some guys in the fraternity decided it would be fun to organize a "pub crawl" of sorts. Participants (all seniors) were divided into small groups consisting of guys who didn't normally spend all their time together. The little sisters were enlisted as designated drivers. That evening was my only visit to the Night Owl Lounge. Downtown wasn't quite the densely entertaining li'l French Quarter it was soon to become, so we were all over the place. We went to the Foundry, some place out in East Athens, Harry's, T.K. Hardy's, the Odyssey, and (I'm told) several more places before each and every one of us was carried, blacked out or unconscious, by the very hand of God safely to our beds (or somewhere -- but we all survived).

Then there was the time I was in law school and went as a guest (not as a date, mind you) to a Halloween date-night party at a friend's fraternity house (not mine). And we loaded up on mushrooms for the occasion. That night was full of magic and wonder. I won't even try.

1. Jane's Addiction, "Ripple" (Dead cover)
2. Elton John, "Your Song"
3. Tory Amos, "The Waitress"
4. They Might Be Giants, "Sapphire Bullets of Love"
5. The Who, "Pinball Wizard"
6. Chicago, "Colour My World"
7. Dwight Yoakam, "Home For Sale"
8. The B-52's, "Song For A Future Generation"
9. The Beatles, "Julia"
10. The Stories, "Brother Louie"

RusDawg said...

Seriously, you are the Green Eggs and Ham guy? I heard rumors of that when I was an undergrad from 2000-2004.

That is freaking awesome.

--Rusi Patel

Universal Remonster said...

It seems that every major college or university has a "brother *insert name*" as an institution. At FSU we had a guy who was famous for stopping mid-sentence, sticking his ear up to the bible, and then proclaiming that the apostle Paul was telling him something incredibly important.

You really took me back. Now I'll spend all day recalling the time my friend and I punked a whole party by getting into a fistfight and then breaking "stunt bottles" over each others heads.

Anonymous said...

I was starting to worry about you, Doug. It seems that you never have any girlfriend, but yet you always have a LOT of friends who are girls, that you talk with, watch football games with, but that's about it. Then there is your revelation about your fondness for Boneshakers. I was beginning to wonder if all this "Chancellor of the Sexchequer" bragging was just over compensation taken to a new high.

Then, we got the Green Eggs and Ham story.

Nice save. ;-)

LD said...

I'm not sure how you could do your list without mentioning that "it was Gangsta Gangsta at the top of the list, then I played my own shit; it went somethin' like this".

I mean, if anything, this blog tells us that those who come talking trash will get their card pulled and that you want nothing in life but to be legit.

Nicole said...

1. "Devil Went Down to Georgia" - Charlie Daniels Band
2. "Low" - Cracker/Leftover Salmon
3. "Treat Yo Mama" - John Butler
4. "Gonna Make You Love Me" - Ryan Adams
5. "The Remedy" - Jason Mraz
6. "Bow Down" - Westside Connection
7. "What Happened to You" - The Offspring
8. "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" - Jet
9. "Leave the Pieces" - The Wreckers
10. "Day Tripper" - The Beatles

Anonymous said...

I've always admired your style, Doug, but preaching green eggs and ham? That is golden, sir, and you are a man among men

As for stories...

I graduated from USC in 1992, about a week after the Rodney King Riots - when we were buying beer at the local supermarket, there were National Guard Humvee outside with armed and nervous looking guys from up north.

Anyway, two nights before graduation I met up with some friends I hadn't seen in a while for some festive consumption of beer. In the wee hours (the time details are a little hazy) someone decided to go on a Tommy's run for old times' sake. Tommy's is (or was) a local chain of burger places that make a truly vile chili burger; the nearest one to USC was used almost exclusively by USC students and Mexican gang-bangers (actual and would-be).

After driving past block after block of burned out and looted stores, we got to Tommy's to find there was no-one there except for us and three Mexican guys in their 50s. About 10 minutes later, a National Guard Humvee rolls in. I had lost the will behind to eat, so I accosted the driver of the Humvee and asked if we could get a picture with them.

I should note that not only was I comprehensively refreshed, I was wearing a t-shirt that had the old Burger King logo modified to read "Burger Christ."

Still, the Guardsman took it in his stride and we all lined up - he said that mostly what they had been doing since they arrived was driving around and taking pictures with the locals. Just as my friend took the picture, I replied, "That must be better than having to shoot innocent by-standers!"

The pictures shows me and four out of five Guardsmen with shit-eating grins, and the driver looking at me like it's time to enact an off-the-books deportation. My friends removed me at high speed.

I don't know precisely when I got home, but I do know that when I rode my bike up the middle of Hoover (for any SC alums) there was no-one out there or anywhere to be seen on the Row, and that I vomited with some vigor on the lawn of the day care center next door to the Resident Honors Hall I lived in, before calling it a night. The next day counts as one of the top 5 most appalling hangovers I've ever had.

Good times.

Anonymous said...

And yes, I know living in a resident honors hall as a senior is to hit thetan levels of dorkiness, but the flea-pits thereabouts didn't come with catered meals and house-keeping.

beast in 'bama said...

With newspapers going the way of the Dodo, it's sad that so many young adults of today will never enjoy that life experience. And when you are the editor of a newspaper for any length of time, you learn how to prepare for anything that life can throw at you.

Erik Tylczak said...

I fucking hate Brother Jed. He seemed to think ASU was a hive of scum and villainy for some strange reason.

Will said...

Damn, the best moment I can remember from my R&B days was covering the Provost (Karen Holbrook, she of the bright "let's change it from 'freshman, sophomore' etc to 'first-year' and so on) leaving to become the President @ Ohio State.
I got to spend a little time at the snazzy new office though, which clearly beat the old office when it comes to safety, but not in proximity to Topper's.

And Twilight weekend is a damn good time to come back and visit.

Holly said...

A guy in my dorm got stabbed walking out of the Swamp after we upset the Gators in December '01, true story. Not even in a fight. Dude just stuck a knife in his ribs and strolled along. We all believed his story because we figured if he were going to make something up it wouldn't be that embarrassing.

1. ABY - Scars of Love
2. DJ Ayres - Fadar Freestyle mix
3. Rodrigo Y Gabriela - Diablo Rojo
4. Calexico - The Ride, Pt II
5. Phosphorescent - Cocaine Lights
6. Emmylou Harris - I Will Dream
7. Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Pussyfooting (Mariah Carey cover)
8. Hybrid - Just For Today
9. Hollertronix - Them Words
10. Holy Fuck - Lovely Allen

Anonymous said...

Boneshakers is the best gay bar name since Woody's.

Will said...

Oh yeah, forgot the tunes:
1. Aesop Rock - "None shall pass"
2. Minus the Bear - "The game needed me"
3. Coltrane - "A Love Supreme"
4. Chiodos - "Lexinton"
5. Second Shift - "Bethany"
6. Method Man - "Tical"
7. Lupe Fiasco - "The Cool"
8. Flight of the Conchords - "The Most Beautiful Girl In the Room"
9. Between the Buried and Me - "Three of a perfect pair"
10. Beastie Boys - "Paul Revere"

Anonymous said...

My best college memory: My roomate and I met a couple girls and brought them back to our house. Two were cute, 1 was HUGE. Anyway, my roomate passed out and I was out talking to the other two when I realized that the "larger girl" had dissapeared. Anyway, I walked back to my roomate's room and it was there I saw the funniest thing in my life. My roomate was passed out on his back on his bed and the girl was strattling him and grinding away on him. She was so big I could only see his feet sticking out from under her. They were fully clothed but it was still boarderline rape. Boarderline funny as hell/my roomate's getting used by a 200 lbs women kinda rape. I couldn't even stop laughing enough to stop her.

Rob G said...

We used to do the equivalent to the Green Eggs and Ham thing as an improv game at UF. We'd go out to Turlington (where our preachers and Jesi would be) and preach about random shit. Always awesome.

Unknown said...

I mean, dude, seriously ... you were the Green Eggs and Ham guy? I know I'm beating a dead horse here, but that was the stuff of legends, and he's been at my tailgate?


- Jmac

Anonymous said...

My favorite Bro. Jed moment came my freshman year when he called a group of girls standing closeby "sperm-eaters." Yeah, he was so legit up until then...