Tag Archives: Beer

Memoir – Draining, Spraying, Stealing, and Hiding Beer

These are the collected memories of my spent and misspent youth. Names have been
changed as some of the people involved now live respectable lives and I would
hate to sully their reputations. At times I will take liberties as in who did
what, or maybe combine a couple of stories together that really didn’t happen
together. I am seeking to entertain, not write a documentary. Hope you enjoy

Draining, Spraying, Stealing, and Hiding Beer

Old Style Coaster

I am going to come clean – we drank some beer during the teen years. I can try to justify it – “it was a different time”, “we just didn’t have the awareness we have now”, “it was more accepted”, “we were bored”, “it was there, who else was going to do it?” – but it doesn’t make it right. But it did happen, and it did generate memories.

Draining – The Sandwich Fair officially kicked off the social season. Each year, right after school started , the fair went on during labor day weekend. Harvesting wasn’t really  going yet but much of the summer farm work was done. Great time for a celebration. The fair was also one of the few times you could mingle with kids from other schools. This didn’t happen much otherwise, towns kept pretty much to themselves for the most part. Anyway, we (when I say we, I know it was at least Cisco, Hymie and I, but I think there were others involved) met some people we knew and heard about a party out in Somonauk. We followed our new friends out there to find a small, quiet gathering of teenagers. We doubled the size of the party and tripled the noise. This little party has a fresh case of beer in the fridge, and we had brought along a 6 pack. We turned the music up, chatted the girls up, and managed to drain all the beer in the house in under 45 minutes. When it was dry, we left.

Spraying –It was winter and we had gotten a hold of two cases of beer. We had no place to store it, so we kept it in a cooler in the trunk of my car (’73 Sprint/Duster, trunk so big I could sleep in it comfortably). The party season was a bit weak that year, so we had no place to use it up. Over Xmas break we went to a basketball game. At halftime, we had the bright idea to go out and down a beer or two. Hymie, Spanky and I headed out to the car. We each brought a beer in from the trunk and we say three wide on the front seat. For some reason, we did the one-two-three- Open! ritual, making it so we all opened at the same time. Big mistake. The beer had partially frozen, when we opened them, they sprayed all over the windshield, the dash, the front seat, and us. We piled out of the vehicle and into the school parking lot, sprayed in beer. Not to be deterred, we laughed and took a long drink of our beers. Beer that has been through temperature changes gets skunky, and skunky does not taste good. Then it dawned on me that the remainder of the beer in the trunk was also bad. Fortune smiled at that time, as a couple of sophomores came by and asked, “Hey, you guys got any beer to sell?” We made them a hell of a deal, and $10 later they walked away happy.

Stealing – It was summer and our beer sources had dried up. We kept a multitude of sources, older siblings, older friends, girls that looked older… but we had come up dry this warm night. We heard about a small party a guy was having since his parents were out of town. The rumour was that he had scored quite a bit of beer. He was not part of our regular group, more of a rival crew of good timers. While we were not antagonistic with each other, we did travel in different circles. But, they had beer and we didn’t. Something had to change. We devised a plan. Three of us, with girlfriends, went to the front door. Girlfriends was critical, since their girlfriends would talk to our girlfriends and give us an excuse to be there. The door opened and the talking started. Soon, everyone was out on the front porch having a good old talk. At this time, the remainder of the crew snuck around the back of the house, went into the kitchen and liberated two cases of beer from the fridge. Once we got the all clear sign, the guys out front made noises that we wanted to leave, so the nice little talk broke up. Thirty minutes later, we were out at Buef’s house, sitting around a bonfire and drinking some nice cold beer.

Hiding – This was the year after high school on Xmas break. The first time we were all back together again since summer, and New Years Eve was to be our big time. Beav’s parents would be gone all night, so we had the blast there. It was cold and snowy that year. The New Years Eve temp was expected to be in the teens. We, being older, were more experienced and efficient at acquiring alcohol. We had a lot to be exact, and there were probably 20 of us at the party. We were having a great time, until around 1 am when a car pulled up in the driveway and Beav yells “It’s my parents, hide the beer!” We quickly organized a line of people who emptied the fridge and hauled the coolers out the back door. A few of us stayed inside to explain the cars out front. Beav’s dad was in the bag and his mom was feeling pretty good. They rambled through the house, on some unknown errand, but they made it clear that they would be leaving again. 20 minutes later, as they were headed out the front door, Beav’s dad yells out “We’re leaving, won’t be back until morning. You can tell everyone out back they can come back in. They’re probably getting a bit cold!”

I still say it was a different time then. Today, someone would snap a picture of this activity, post it, and kids would get suspended or worse. I feel bad for kids now in some ways, they don’t have as much room to make the little mistakes that helps to develop the judgement to avoid the bigger ones.

Memoir – Drinking Story, New Years, 1982

These are the collected memories of my spent and misspent youth. Names have been changed to both protect the innocent and to subvert any statutes of limitations that may still apply. I will also take liberties with the truth as in who did what, or maybe combine a couple of stories together that really didn’t happen together. Such is the nature of a memoir. I am seeking to entertain, not write a documentary. Hope you enjoy.

Drinking Story – New Year’s 1982

                This was halfway through our senior year of high school. We were really coming together as a class. Our daring, arrogance, and ambition grew with each passing day. The fall party season had been pretty good and we were all looking forwards to New Years, but nobody had announced a party yet. Xmas break approached and still no notice. Things were getting tense. It was winter, and a field party was out of the question. In the cold, without the corn all around, sound carries for miles in the flatlands. Setting up in a field or on a desolate road was sure to be too loud for safety. We needed a venue. Then on the last day before break, our fortunes turned – a girl in our class (known at Toots for the remainder of the story) announced that her house was open and everybody was invited. We had 8 days to prepare.

                Beer was our drink of choice most times. It was cheap and you could get it down. Wine, for us flatland rednecks, always had screwcaps and tasted like hell. Hard liquor was expensive and had serious risks. Each of us had at one time or another had a go around with cheap Vodka or Southern Comfort in the past and we were not eager to repeat the experience. The problem with Beer was threefold though. 1) you needed quite a bit of it for a group, so it was hard to conceal and transport, 2) It really, really smelled on your breath making post party detection a problem ( I carried grape bubble yum in my coats and in my car. I could have eaten a road kill skunk and grape bubble yum would still cover the scent) and 3) the biggest problem was that a lot of girls wouldn’t drink it. And how are we going to get them to believe our lies if they are sober? We needed a solution. Here is where having older siblings paid off.

                Cisco’s older brother was 22 or 23 at this time, and we always thought he was pretty much the epitome of cool. He had a cool big truck (33’ monster mudder tires on a Ford with a short stepside box. Bright Yellow. Yes, cool.), he had girls always calling, and he always came home late. We talked to him about our issue and he proposed something we had never heard of: Cocktails. He gave us the recipes for three different drinks, each with strong content and a fruity taste. Give a girl two or three of these and we had a good chance to become both interesting and attractive to her. We spend the next week working our sources to get the money and alcohol. When the day of the party came, Cisco, Hymie and I spent time in my garage mixing up a gallon of screwdrivers, watermelons, and kamikazes. We were set.

                Toots’ house was in the middle of town in Oswego. Remember, in the early ‘80s downtown Oswego is one main street not 4 blocks long, with a river on one side and about 5 blocks of residential on the other. Here was the police department, the fire department, the local bars, and couple of struggling local businesses. She was two blocks away, on the busiest road in town, on the busiest intersection in town, and across the street from a church. Perfect quiet secluded place for a hundred or so under aged partiers to spend New Years Eve. We pulled up, (the whole gang, Beave/Buef/Frito/Boss/ Cisco/Hymie… maybe 8 or  9 of us + girlfriends) in several cars. The rest of the gang had a couple of cases of beer while the three of us had the super hooch. Hymie, Cisco and I parked in the church parking lot. Hey, what? They weren’t using it! We got inside and the place started jumping.

                This was the biggest party we had up to that time. 100+ people, lots of loud music, everybody happy. We supplied everyone (everyone with XX for chromosomes that is) who wanted one of our dinks with a small cup and a solid shot of heaven. As the night went on, people got more and more drunk. It is amazing what a two ounce drink can do to a 100 lb teenager who isn’t used to drinking. Midnight came and we made it a point to get a kiss from every girl we could. It was the best time ever.

                Well, until the true effects started to kick in. Those fruity drinks went down way to easy, then came back around later to take a toll. That, and despite Cisco’s brother’s wise advise (never, ever, ever mix alcohol and beer were his sage but unheeded words), we did mix in a couple of beers. So, by one or so people were starting to drop. Running out back to throw up, getting someone to take them home, or simply falling asleep in the living room. Soon it looked like a refugee scene. Hymie comes up to me, bleary eyed, unfocused and slurring – “Hey, dude, I need some air. Lets go for a ride”. We went out and got in to his car (a Le Car by the way. Closest thing to a motorized red wagon I have ever been in) and headed out to the country. The countryside on a cold clear night can be quite lovely, with the snow covered fields glistening in the moonlight. We didn’t notice. I was staring at the road trying to decide which one was the real one while Hymie just drove with his head out the window (it was Jan 1st. The temp was not above 10 degrees. The antifreeze in his blood probably helped avoid frostbite). Halfway through he stopped the car, turned to me and said “You have to drive. I don’t know where we are.” Mind that we had lived here all of our lives and had driven around in the country for countless hours. We switched seats. By the time I figured out the controls, he was asleep with his head against the window.

                We made it back to the party. I parked at the church and woke Hymie up. He told me he was going to sleep in the car for a while. Then he opened the door and threw up. I made sure he was wearing gloves then went back into the party. Things had deteriorated while we were gone. There were people in the snow in the yard, people crashed on couches and chairs, people sleeping in closets. Buef and Boss were working to get Beave out to a car, but he was in no condition to walk. They dragged him out and took him home. Cisco was in a chair with a sophomore girl sleeping on his lap. He was as happy as I had ever seen him, ever. I stayed inside for a while, then decided to leave. Eventually, parents would be home and I didn’t want to be there. I went back out and checked on Hymie. I sat in the driver’s seat while he sobered up. A big guy with a couple of friends came up to his side of the car and started pointing at him and laughing. They were yelling at him, calling him a loser, a lightweight and several other choice names. They were mocking his sorry condition. Now Hymie is not one to put up with this, but the truth of the matter was that he was in poor shape. He straightened up and rolled down his window. The groups outside laughed even harder when they got a good look at him. They started in on him again, but he raised up his hand getting them to stop. He motioned for them to come closer and took a deep breath. They shuffled closer to the car. “Thanks, now you are all standing in my puke”. They looked down to see the wide puddle of sullied snow next to the car. They yelled then left. Hymie told me to get out, he was going home. After that, every time some one was a dick to someone else and make themselves look bad doing it we would use the line “Thanks, now you are all standing in my puke.”

                Side Story: Beave made it home with help and went to bed. His folks knew what was going on, and let him sleep in until easily 8am. At that point, dad barged in his room, opened the shades and turned on the lights. “Hey there Beave!” he boomed. “Hope you had a good time last night. It’s a bright sunny morning and it’s time to get up! Just a question though, I need your keys to move your car so I can leave.” Beave was barely able to breath. His head pounded and his tongue felt like an old felt boot lining. “Keys in the car…” was all he managed. Dad left then came back in a couple of minutes later. “Your keys might be in your car, but the car is not in the driveway. It’s not out front either. Where’s the car Beave?” “It’s not our front?” he replied. “Nope, nothing but snow and a set of car tracks running through the yard.” “Oh shit.” At that Dad started laughing, loudly. “Honey! Honey! It seems like Beave lost his car last night!” Dad’s humor subsided and he got all serious “You have until noon to find your car or you will not have a car once it is found.” He burned up the phones and we found the car at 11:45am. For years afterwards, whenever someone couldn’t find something we would say “Hey, where’s the car? Honey, Beave lost the car!”

Memoir – Drinking Story #1 New Years Eve 1978

These are the collected memories of my spent and misspent youth. Names have been changed to both protect the innocent and to subvert any statutes of limitations that may still apply. I will also take liberties with the truth as in who did what, or maybe combine a couple of stories together that really didn’t happen together. Such is the nature of a memoir. I am seeking to entertain, not write a documentary. Hope you enjoy.

New Year’s Eve 1978 – We were spending the night at my house, Cisco, Hymie and I. My house had the most separate basement, the Atari 2600, one big couch and a fold out couch, which made it the most comfortable spot for all three of us at once. However, the most important feature was that it was the easiest house to sneak out and get back into. In addition, we had the field behind the house to walk through without being seen. My mom was nice enough to make some mini pizzas and share a huge box of chocolates. One of those five pounders with every variety under the sun, even the ones nobody eats. The three of us ate most of it, with my brother polishing off the crumbs. We played Space Invaders until long after Mom had gone to bed, then we put our coats and boots and headed out. Our objective for the night was a “lock-in” at the Brethren Church where we knew several of the young ladies. We would be showing them how cool we were by showing up around midnight. The capper was that Cisco has managed to get three little airline-sized bottles of alcohol. One was vodka, one was Southern Comfort but I do not recall the third. It was cold that night, like 5 degrees, and very clear. It was one of the two years of heavy snowfall, so the snow reflected the bright moonlight so the night looked like day. Not the best night for an underage walk. We headed through the field and across the Con Ed land towards the School/Church land. We got to the church and surveyed the situation from atop a snow pile. Cisco broke out the little bottles of forbidden adulthood. I took one swig of the Vodka and one of the SoCo (that what the cool kids called it, I think). So, sum total of about an ounce and a half of liquor. We were surprised when the church opened up and the group filed out and started shooting off small fireworks. We managed to meet up with the girls, but it was an ill-advised plan – they weren’t dressed for cold and they were very chaperoned. The chaperone told us to leave and that he would be calling the police to say that we were out. Despite our cool ways and distain for authority, we were scared. We were a ways from home and easily seen. We headed back, jogging through snow in heavy boots and coats. This churning action turned made the mini-pizza/chocolate base and alcohol catalyst start to work a chemical magic in my not quite 14 year old stomach. As we crossed Circle Drive East to get to the field, we heard police sirens in the neighborhood. We sprinted across the street and all the way to my house, probably a little less than a half mile. We got back in the house and settled in for sleep. An hour later, I woke and knew that my stomach was full of a hundred angry flaming spiked moles all trying to get out at the same time. I made it to the bathroom and had a noisy prayer session with the porcelain goddess. Then another, then another, then another. Hymie and Cisco bailed out around 6am, having been kept up all night by my wretched dialog. Mom came down around 8am to check on us. I was in no shape to deny, no shape to obfuscate, I couldn’t even manage a minor fib. When she asked “were you drinking?” all I could managed was a weak “yes, two sips”.  She muttered something about “smells like chocolate in here…” and took me up to my room. She woke me up around noon looking very stern and disappointed with me. That look is one of the Mom super-powers, such that it weakens the will and makes any physical pain you might have extend to your very soul. She gave me a glass of water and asked me how I felt. “Terrible” I managed. “I think you learned a valuable lesson last night. I expect you to remember it the next time you are tempted to do something stupid.” I nodded my head. Oh, I learned a couple of lessons that night. First, she didn’t hear us get out or come back in. Second, make a plan to get around the chaperones. Third, you can throw up long, long after you think your stomach is empty. Finally, Chocolates and alcohol don’t mix.

Memoir – My First Beer

 These are the collected memories of my spent and misspent youth. Names have been changed to both protect the innocent and to subvert any statutes of limitations that may still apply. I will also take liberties with the truth as in who did what, or maybe combine a couple of stories together that really didn’t happen together. Such is the nature of a memoir. I am seeking to entertain, not write a documentary. Hope you enjoy.

My First Beer

A person’s first beer isn’t always a memorable experience, mine was. An guess what, Cisco and Hymie were both there. It wasn’t their first beer. Go figure.

We were hiking along the Con-Ed land between Codorus and Circle Drive West on a cold spring morning. We were freshman and happy to be out after one of the cold, wet, windy winters that the flatlands are known for. As usual I was dragging on behind of the other two, being as it was morning and I am not a morning person. The long weeds were bent over with the cold dew, and the ground was soft and slick. Something clanged against boot. I reached down and pulled out a 6-pack of Miller High Life from under the weeds. “Hey, check this out”. Hymie and Cisco came running back. “Holy shit, we found someone’s stash! Is there any more?” We searched for any more beer, but stopped when we realized that we were probably within eyesight of the stash owner’s house. We divided up the cans, stuffed them into our coats and kept hiking. So, for the next three hours we hauled two beers in our pockets as we hiked down and back along the train tracks. Along the way we talked about the beers. They were golden chalices of the near ultimate forbidden fruit. They were where the party started, they were cool, they were the gateway to the high school experience. And we really didn’t know what to do with them. We didn’t think we could just crack them in broad daylight. We were worried about storing them in or around our homes. We were also not so sure what would happen when we drank them. Both Hymie and Cisco had had a beer, not just a sip, but a beer. Both had older siblings, that helps. But it is not like it was a regular occurance. What a beer did was still a bit of a mystery to us.

Cisco came up with a solution. He knew that there was a basketball game that night at the high school. Cisco would be the one to keep our social schedule for the next several years, keeping us abreast of the football/basketball games, the homecoming activities, and the parties. He was also the one that kept us meeting girls seeing as he was the first one to figure out how to talk to them. He had a gift. Cisco suggested that we keep the beers in our coats, leave them in the garages. Then, we would tell our parents that we were walking to the basketball game that night. On the way we would have plenty of time to drink and a good excuse to be gone for a few hours. We could actually go to the game if we wanted to, also. Cisco was worth his weight in gold.

It was starting to get dark when Hymie and Cisco showed up at my door. We had around and hour and a half to get to the game. We were all dressed in our hiking gear; Military surplus jackets, flannel shirts, old jeans and hiking boots. You could take us out but you couldn’t dress us up.

We walked behind the houses on my block along Circle Drive East. This lead us to the fields behind Thompson Jr. High.  Here is where we decided to crack the first beer. We decided to do one beer at a time and pass it back and forth. Hymie took a long slug and gave a bit of a shudder. Cisco took a drink and made a bit of show of choking it down. The Golden Cylinder of magic was in my palm next. “You have to just go for it, you cannot expect to sip it and like it” Cisco said. Just for the record, now if someone hands me something to drink and says “you cannot expect to like it” I don’t drink it. That was wisdom I lacked then. I raised it to my mouth and took a big gulp. Let me stop know and review. We found beer in some wet high weeds  and reasoned that walking the 4 miles at night to the high school was a good time to drink them. Now, let me stop a second time to talk about beer. Beer is good, but poorly cared for beer is awful. If you drink beer too warm, it sucks. If the beer has been frozen at any time, it sucks. If it is allowed to get really warm, then cooled, it also sucks. The beer we had was outside in the spring time, and we have no idea for how long. It had probably been frozen, thawed, heated, frozen and thawed multiple times. So for my first beer I was gulping down something that had been more abused than Keith Richard’s central nervous system. I had no idea what beer should taste like, and I just ingested what tastes like a big mouthful of fermented donkey piss. But, I am with my buddies and I am not going to look bad. So, despite the protestations of my pristine throat, over the mournful cries of my tender stomach and completely ignoring the extremely sound advice coming from my brain, I swallowed the beer. “Smooth” was all I managed to say.

We passed them back and forth with increasing speed as we walked. Again, we were walking through a ploughed farm field during a wet spring wearing hiking boots. With each step we added to the accumulated mud on our boots. We passed the can and walked, passed the can and walked and soon the six golden chalices were drained of their goodness.  Though beer might be skunky, rancid, or otherwise unfit for human consumption, it will still get a 15 year old legally drunk. By the time we got to the high school, the mud was up to our knees and the buzz was up to our brains.

We trudged into the school leaving a sloppy trail behind us. We walked up the bleachers, leaving footprints on every coat, jacket, and hat we found. The game was uneventful, and uninteresting. We couldn’t even find any girls we knew. At halftime we went to the bathroom and got a look at ourselves. We each had mud on our faces as well as all over our clothes. Our faces were bright red, and our eyes were little bloodshot slits. Several adults passed us by, giving us suspicious looks. We decided to leave before we got busted.

About half a mile from the school, a nice spring rain started. Nice if you were a young Blackberry Bush, Sugar Maple, or Day Lilly. Not so nice if you were coming down from a buzz and had three more miles to walk. The jovial talk that marked the trip there was replaced with a sour, hungover  silence. It was a long, surly walk home.

The epilog here is that when I finally had my next beer, one that had not been so abused, I thought it was pretty good stuff.

Memoir – The Beer Throne

ImageThese are the collected memories of my spent and misspent youth. Names have been changed to both protect the innocent and to subvert any statutes of limitations that may still apply. I will also take liberties with the truth as in who did what, or maybe combine a couple of stories together that really didn’t happen together. Such is the nature of a memoir. I am seeking to entertain, not write a documentary. Hope you enjoy.

 

 

 The Beer Throne

As our senior year approached we felt the need to do something significant, something with meaning. In today’s world, that would refer to making a positive impact on the community through some sort of charitable works. In our world, semi-rural Illinois in 1982, it meant some show of authoritorial defiance combined with fun. Through the summer we gave it quite a bit of thought, hell we weren’t doing much else with our time. We knew that it was tradition to TP the school before homecoming. That was nice, but as far as we were concerned, it had been done. We wanted something different, something inappropriate, and something memorable. Inspiration doesn’t neccesaruly come when you call, but you needed to be ready when it hits.

 The three of us (Hymie, Cisco and myself) were trying to find a place to throw away a case of empty Old Style cans. Too big to hide in any home garbage and we weren’t about to dump it out in the country. Our 70’s grade school environmental indoctrinations had been quite effective.  We pulled up behind the Buy Rite Supermarket  intending to use their dumpster for the deed. We slowed down, but something did not feel right. Hymie was driving. He always insisted on driving. Control freak. We decided that we were just too exposed so we passed on the illegal dumping and headed back to my house. We sat in the shop room in the garage pondering our situation. The room had an electric space heater, a garbage-picked lazy-boy chair, a console TV converted into a cooler, a radio, a bunk to sleep on and a workbench. It was a great place to bullshit or sleep one off. Hymie held the case and he commented that it was kind of like a lego without the bumps. (The case in question was really heavy cardboard, nothing like the materials today.) While I didn’t actually see the light strike, I did notice his face begin to glow with an inner light. We’d been friends for 6 years, I knew that something great or dangerous, or both was about to happen. He proceeded to dump out the cans, then duct tape the case shut. I protested at the cans all over the floor, but he held up a finger and said “I have an idea”. He hid the case behind the Lazy-boy as I put  the cans in a garbage bag. He turned to Cisco “where is the garbage pick up tomorrow?” Cisco replied “East village, the newer section” without even thinking about it. Long ago we figured out that people put their garbage out the night before it is to be picked up. In our sprawling housing development, there was garbage out each night of the week somewhere. When we were younger we used to ride our bikes and check out the garbage looking for what we considered good stuff. Over the years it had yielded many, many treasures including the Lazy-Boy, two 8-track players, lots of 8-tracks, a couple of lamps, and one smoking black velvet painting. Garbage picking was one of our oldest traditions.

We took the bag full of cans and went back out to Hymie’s ultra small car. In the East Village the houses were pretty close together, so the garbage can per block number was high. Hymie drove slowly along scanning each can. He stopped, hopped out, rushed up to a garbage and pulled out an Old Style case. He dumped the garbage from inside the case back in the can and slipped in his bag of cans. He came back to the car with the empty case. He looked at both of us and smiled his excited 6 year old smile. “We are going to build a throne out of Old Style cases!” To three high school seniors, the beauty of the idea was self-evident. It was not a question of should we, or could we. It was a question of where to stash it, and how big to make it.

All through the rest of August and September we picked garbage every night looking for cases. The house at the top of the hill on Fernwood Drive was good for one case every week. Brand loyal I guess. Overall, we could find maybe two per week. We also spread the word that we were looking for cases, so friends would bring us their empties. Our laundering of party evidence helped out more than one panicked high schooler. All in all, were getting about three cases per week. It wasn’t without risk though. First, where do you hide them? The shop held the majority of them, under a tarp in the corner, but I had to keep tabs on my mom so she didn’t wander in there and get snoopy. Second, homeonwers in our working class neighborhood did not take kindly to people messing around with the garbage. More than once we had a homeowner come barreling out of his front door, not quite dressed but holding his beer, yelling for us to get the hell away from his garbage. One night in late September the guy on Fernwood really helped us when he put out two cases. As we slowly drove by I leaned out the window and grabbed the cases. Only I didn’t realize that they were full of garbage. At the same time, Hymie hit the gas because the porch light on the house flicked on. So, I am hanging out the window with 30 lbs of garbage in each hand and I cannot get back into his ultra small car. He turns one corner then another, all the while yelling at me “Get your ass back in the seat, I can’t see out that side!” As we rolled by a court (like a culdesac but not as deep) the bottom of the cases gave way leaving a trail of garbage along the road. The headlights from a car in the court flicked on and it started after us. We were sure that it was police. Hymie pulled over. The car pulled up next to us. Smoke billowed from the window. (smoke with that particular acid-sweet smell that will forever define the 70’s . Wink, Wink). A head poked out. “What are you dudes doin? What’s with the garbage? It ain’t cool!” I recognized  him and the driver as two guys who graduated last year. “The stuff fell out, I didn’t mean to do it. We just wanted to cases.”

“Is there beer in them still?”

“No, were are building a throne out of beer cases for homecoming”

They looked at each other. “Cool. You are gonna pick up the garbage.”

As we picked up the garbage I realized that these two were sitting across from the house of the passenger’s ex-girlfriend. Sitting, smoking, and drinking. We didn’t have a word for it then, but today you would call him a stalker. I was at their wedding several years later strangely enough.

The gathering went on through October. Somehow, Hymie managed to convince his parents to let us use the garage for the final assembly. I just think they were happy to see him doing something remotely constructive. Half a mile of bailing wire and a few thousand feet of duct tape later we had a throne. On the TP night, we set it up at the main entrance of the school for all to see. The next morning the school was a buzz about the TP job, the excellent string of bras/panties that was strung up the flagpole, and the Old Style Throne. Mission Accomplished.