Spring break recently drew to a close, and I can think of no place I’d prefer to be less than New Haven, Conn. Frigid Connecticut is a step up from prison or Siberia, and the ‘Have is a pretty dismal place right now. Twenty degree temperatures and snow on the ground in late March? Is this some sort of cruel joke? Expectations that I would’ve actually opened a book during the past two weeks? I’m baffled.
What is it about spring break that instead of rejuvenating you for the pressure-packed end of the semester, it simply saps you of all your faculties and squelches any academic motivation you may have once had? Not that I’m not excited to be analyzing political philosophy or calculating the luminosity of Polaris, but doesn’t that all pale in comparison to sipping fruity drinks from novelty plastic glasses shaped like naked women? Maybe I’m wrong, but until President Bush nominates justices named Misty or Amber or Krystal or Chesty to the bench, constitutional law just won’t have the same appeal.
But enough whining. Complaining that I’m at Yale is like lamenting that I’m having trouble spending a million dollars.
Spring break is difficult to leave behind. Turning 21, traveling all over the country, meeting famous people, sipping pink drinks with umbrellas in them, basking in warm weather, ogling scantily clad girls, picking cherries on the family farm, and passing other important milestones characterized my own spring break, one with stories from which I will most likely oppress future generations of young people 50 years down the road.
A few highlights:
New Orleans. The Crescent City. A delightfully palatable shithole. I like to think of it as the dirtiest city in America. And it’s wild, so wild that if you leave behind your drinking hat, you may end up overwhelmed by the legions of dirty people and fat tourists and toothless wonders imploring you to stare at the transsexual strippers for a small fee. It’s like Larry Flynt, the black sheep of the Anheuser-Busch family, NASCAR, the Cash Money Millionaires, and Napoleon mugged P.T. Barnum and pitched his circus tent, with a few twists, along the mighty Mississippi.
Bourbon Street is a mecca for the manufacturers of novelty plastic glasses shaped like naked women or weapons. Holes in the wall fill these glasses with tasty secret concoctions that dull the senses within minutes. Which sets the stage for something I excel at: acting like an idiot. My group of friends met some other Yalies in the French Quarter for some of that idiocy. Almost immediately, a few girls were ushered onto the balcony of the bar outside of which we were standing. The mulleted employees of the bar exist solely to pressure girls into following them upstairs. And they’re pretty successful, given the fact that most do not possess a full set of teeth.
I chose to stay on the street with a few of my buddies so that we could just scream like drunk rednecks at those in the balcony. Ardent feminists may not have enjoyed what we were yelling, but the girls in the balcony sure did, as they obliged to our query — er, queries. You won’t find too many ardent feminists on Bourbon Street.
Anyway, it was great to return to my Midwestern hillbilly roots; I was almost upset that I had cut off my mullet several months earlier. Friends of mine were coerced into taking body shots from a very pushy bartender, Vicky. Somehow she managed to shoot liquor from between her breasts, while my not-so-lucky other friend imbibed from her … nether regions. This may not be in the latest sex education curriculum, but shooting liquor from Victoria’s Falls is not a prudent thing to do. I’ve never laughed so hard in my life. Being a drunk redneck really has its perks.
The Carolinas. The Smokin’ Southern Twins. I turned 21 during a visit to Duke, and continued the celebration in Hilton Head. I had never been to Duke before. It seemed as if Mr. Duke had visited Princeton and Yale, then decided to build replicas in North Carolina. I was mildly afraid that I would spend all night searching for a Women’s Table to slide naked across in a 21st-birthday haze. Anyway, despite my confusion about my surroundings and the apparent presence of barbiturates in the drinking water, I managed to enjoy a night of revelry.
I even met Chris Duhon, the Duke basketball team’s point guard. I took a picture with him, and I’ll choose to construe the scowl on his face as a pose of toughness rather than a forecast of murderous rage. The celebration continued in Hilton Head, where state law requires that liquor at all watering holes be served from tiny bottles like those on airplanes. Odd, inconvenient, bafflingly stupid, but also extremely fun. Our hostess was graciously serving as my sugar-momma in honor of number 21, much to the chagrin of the annoyed bartender. I struck up a conversation with a man who had $5,000 riding on the NCAA game on the bar TV; he almost decked me when I unwittingly cheered against his team.
I ended up splashing about in the ocean with all my clothes on, a slightly more refined drunk redneck, while my buddies chatted with imagineers from Nova Scotia. Imagineers? Sounds like the best job ever. People pay you thousands of dollars to accomplish weird stuff. You say, “I want a thousand novelty plastic glasses shaped like naked women,” and they do it for you. Perhaps that’s my career path.
That, or I’m sure Vicky wants an apprentice.
Robby Schrum loves orange-cherry Ocean Spray.