Monday, March 31, 2008

Final Round: This Room Is Not a Bathroom

I didn't drink this night, but some of my friends did.

Part 1: If I'd Known She Was Getting Married, I'd Have Gone to the State Store

One night during my senior year of college, my friend Matt learned that an old flame from high school was engaged. This was upsetting news for him; doubly so once he realized that his fridge held only two cans of Busch Light with which to drown his sorrows.

At the time, the only place to buy decent hard liquor was the state store, aka the Mi-T-Mart, an establishment conveniently equipped with a drive-thru lane. However, I seem to remember that you had to make all your liquor purchases by a certain time, and it was too late to head uptown and replenish his supply. Ironically, we had actually talked about going booze shopping before he got the phone call, and had decided against it. Thus, his lament: If I'd known she was getting married, I'd have gone to the state store.

This is about when I remembered that I had half a bottle of vodka in my room, so we headed over there to partake. Well, he drank and cried a bit lot over this girl while I abstained and tried to read this book that I had to write a paper on . . . said paper being due at noon the next day.

At some point, my friend Billy (the one who says I'm going to hell for lying to the preacher's wife on Easter Sunday) showed up, with some moonshine he had swiped from his dad's stash. That was great for Matt, because the vodka bottle was almost empty. I took a whiff of the moonshine and a small sip, and that was enough for me, especially after my experience with the Everclear.

Billy and Matt continued drinking while I tried to organize my thoughts for my paper. Since it was getting pretty late and the computer labs were closed, I told Matt that he had to let me use his computer to type up his paper. He agreed, so we planned to head back over there before he was unable to walk, and I left Billy to his own devices. Most of the time, he just took off his cowboy boots and fell asleep on my floor, so I figured he'd be okay on his own for a few hours while I was at Matt's.

Once Matt managed to get himself in his room, he laid down on the couch while I sat down at his desk. I had my back to him, but I could hear him being rather violently ill in the trash can while I worked on my paper. After a while, he decided he wanted to put on his jammies and go to bed. I'm typing away, and I hear a series of thumps. I'm almost about to turn around and see if he's okay when a voice near the floor calls out, Don't look! I'm naked!

I concentrate on the computer screen and try not to laugh too hard as he explains that he lost his balance and fell over when he was putting on his boxers. He staggers to his feet and clambers into the top bunk. I turn out the overhead light, but continue to work on the computer while he snores away.

Now, to borrow a phrase from Bill Cosby, I had to tell you that story in order to tell you this one.

Part 2: This Room Is Not a Bathroom

I'm not sure how much time passes, but we were both startled when the phone rang. Since Matt was in no condition to answer the phone, I did the honors. I was surprised to hear Kristen, the girl who lived across the hall from me, on the other end. She sounded really agitated, and there was a lot of noise in the background, so I could hardly hear her. She told me I had to come home right away. I'm like, I'm in the middle of doing this paper. What's going on? She's like, Billy's locked out of your room, and you need to come let him in. I said, Okay, well, give me a few minutes.

I take Matt's keys with me so I can come back to finish my paper, and I head for my building, which is co-ed by floor section. I'm walking through the guys' section on my floor, and almost every guy is awake with his door open or is milling around in the hallway. It's pretty late on a weeknight, so I'm kind of surprised by the amount of activity. I'm also wondering why some of the guys are pointing at me and whispering, but I ignore it.

As I come around the corner to my end of the hallway, I see Billy in a white t-shirt and pair of shorts that are not what he was wearing earlier that evening. I also see Kristen and the RA from the guys' section, my friend Rollie. Billy is understandably anxious to get into my room and get dressed in his own clothes. While he's doing that, Rollie explains the situation to me. Between that and some stuff I hear later, this is apparently what happened.

After I left, Billy stripped off more than his cowboy boots. For some reason, he stripped all the way down to his underwear, which happened to be tiger-print bikini briefs. (!! I had no idea!) Later, when he had to go to the bathroom, he stumbled down the hall in said underwear, pushed open the door to the bathroom, and began to use the facilities. Except he wasn't in the bathroom.

The guys who lived in the room across the hall from the bathroom had discovered that if you put one of the freebie magnets from the local pizza place over the strike plate on the door, the door would be closed, but not locked. Instead of digging out your key, you could just push on the door to open it . . . the same way you could just push on the door across the hall to get into the bathroom. So, if you've been drinking heavily and can't tell your left from your right and you push on a door and it opens, you think that you're in the bathroom and act accordingly.

When Billy came in the room, Jason and Jeremy were each asleep in their respective lofts. They both woke up when they heard someone come in, but they each thought it was the other coming back, although they hadn't heard him leave. When they heard Billy start to answer the call of nature, they each sat up, turned on some lights, and started yelling.

Jason and Jeremy summoned the RA, who recognized Billy as a friend of mine and decided that the next step was to find me. This is when they went down the hall to my room and discovered that the door had closed, so Billy couldn't get to his clothes. That is when Kristen donated some of her stuff for Billy to wear and called me over at Matt's.

I'm listening to Rollie patiently lay all this out, and Billy — now fully dressed — comes out into the hall. Rollie apologetically explains that he's going to have to write me up for failure to control my guest, and thus he'll need to see both of our IDs. I hand mine over, but Billy gets kind of squirrelly and says that his wallet is in his truck. I start to say, No, it isn't, it's in your jacket pocket, but he interrupts me: NO. IT'S IN THE TRUCK. I say, Okay, well.... and Billy says he'll go get it. He walks out the door, and I don't see him again for six weeks.

I don't know that at the time, though, so Rollie and I stand there like saps for about fifteen minutes, until Rollie suggests that maybe he's not coming back. While he fills out the forms, I go talk to Jeremy and Jason about cleaning up and making amends for any of their property that was damaged during the incident.

Luckily, while I was waiting for Billy to come back, they'd already cut out the affected portion of their carpet and done some of the other basic cleanup. So, all I had to do was run some of their clothes through the wash and replace an umbrella. When I came back from the laundry room, they were re-enacting the incident for the amusement of the other guys in the hall, and I noticed that they had posted a large sign on the door to their room:

This Room Is Not a Bathroom!
Severe Beatdowns Will Be Administered to Anyone Who Disregards This Notice!

I saw Billy again the next quarter. He was with some other friends, and apparently wasn't expecting me to be there, because he got really embarrassed and tried to leave. I teased him a bit: Hey, long time no see! Did you find your wallet?

He finally explained that at the time he thought it was better if he just got out of there, and he had been avoiding me because he thought I'd be mad at him. I said, Hey, I don't care: You didn't take a leak in my room, so it's all good.

Oh, and I think I got a B on my paper. Not bad for waiting until the last minute and not really reading the entire book.


Anonymous said...

Classic. Really cute. Sounds like a true OU memory. btw, this is Ron from the AA.

Amy said...

Maybe you should have spelled out "alumni association" -- now it looks like you're from Alcoholics Anonymous (which is maybe what an alumni meeting could pass for sometimes, but .... ) : )