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Remember That Time

If you’re reading this, then you already know. I’m finally writing another column for the site, a mere seven months after the last one (not counting the essay I wrote for class that I shamelessly posted on here as well). In fact, the day before I wrote the last column, I had actually set a goal of writing a column a week for the entire summer. I had just finished a monstrous cup of coffee, and I was stuck in traffic, and it really seemed feasible at the time.

Well, clearly it was not remotely feasible, but I don’t think any of you guys were losing any sleep over the fact that I hadn’t written anything in a while, so I’m not sweating it too much.

Anyway, now that we’ve gotten my usual spiel out of the way, it’s time to get started on one of my most ambitious columns ever.

Over the next few months, most of my friends and I will have to come to grips with the fact that college is coming to a close. In less than five months, this crazy experience will be totally dunzo. (If you’ve never heard the word “dunzo” before, then you obviously didn’t watch every episode of Laguna Beach for the last two years like I did. And for that I applaud you. And I swear I’m not watching next season. Seriously.)

Now, I’m not a big fan of all those nostalgic “these are the best years of your life” clichés, because I hope I'll be having a good time my entire life. However, these have been the three and a half most ridiculous years of my life. Years from now, whenever I get back together with the friends I’ve made over the last four years, I guarantee the phrase “remember that time” will be popping up all over the place. There are just so many stories, things you just can’t predict and you can’t make up later on.

And everyone involved can’t forget them, even if it takes a “remember that time” to jog a memory or two.

So I got to thinking, of all the insane and ludicrous stories I have to tell from the last few years, which were the best? And since I have a web site that needs a shot in the arm, why not count down the top stories of the first three and a half years of the Wake Forest experience? Who wouldn’t want to read that? Except for that one guy.

To determine which stories were truly worthy of my list, I used two main factors: ridiculousness and universal appeal. The really good stories are always the ones that are completely shocking, but the best ones have to appeal to just about anyone that hears them. For the sake of this list, if it’s too much of an inside joke, it’s not truly a great story.

Also, this list only includes events that involved me and at least one friend who attended Wake at the time. Therefore, stories from such legendary weekends as the “Mountains Trip #1” and “The Dartmouth Weekend from Last Year” don’t count. The stories also can’t incriminate anyone for anything worse than just being drunk and stupid. So, of course, I won’t mention that time we had the four hookers living at our apartment for three weeks until we found out one of them was a guy. You just can’t put stuff like that on the internet.

I compiled a list of about 70 different stories, and of those I narrowed the list down to 15 legitimate contenders. I then picked out the top five stories and ranked them in order, while the other ten contenders were relegated to honorable mention status.

These honorable mention stories are all damn good stories under the right circumstances, but they just couldn’t crack that elite level of the totally bananas stories. For these, I’ve just written a brief description, long enough to elicit a hearty laugh for those who know the stories, but just short enough to freak people out who don’t know the story.


HONORABLE MENTION:

The time my freshman roommate Vince sleepwalked and climbed into bed with me (FR year)

The time I tried to dip and spit into a plastic bag that leaked onto everybody’s stuff the way to the Kentucky Derby (FR year)

The time we slid down the hills during the monsoon at the next Kentucky Derby (SO year)

The weekday afternoon when the 40-year-old couple who lived below me came up with their son to watch the World Series, and they both brought up Natural Ice 24-ouncers (JR year)

The trip to Jonathan’s mountain house that had no upstairs floor, no downstairs ceiling, no running water, and virtually no heat (JR year)

The trip to Virginia Tech where I had no place to sleep and stayed up all night, at least until everyone else got up to start a power hour at 9:30 a.m. (JR year)

The last day of class junior year, which included me drinking a warm Busch Light in Benson and ended with at least 10 people singing at IHOP at 3 am (JR year)

The original belly flops day, which concluded with Thomas cutting his head on our walkway (summer before SR year)

The time Branson and I put up a giant “Happy Birthday Jeff Malarkey” poster on the Mag Quad (SR year)

The time I skunked Branson in beer pong at 3 in the afternoon, forcing him to take a naked lap later on that evening (SR year)


Now, these top five stories are all worthy, at the very least, of a couple of paragraphs worth of explanation. These are the types of stories that everyone can tell, but yet are so important that only the one who “tells it best” should explain it to those who’ve never heard it. And while I probably am not the one who tells each of these stories best, I’ll do my best do each of these babies justice. And now…


5. This past summer, Thomas and I were talking to a few people at a party who mentioned that they were headed back to the pool at their apartment when they left the party. We decided that seemed like a good idea, so we left shortly after them and drove over to the pool, after the requisite trip to the gas station to pick up a couple 40’s. We also took the liberty of inviting a couple friends.

When we arrived, only two of the girls we had talked to were there, along with a male friend of theirs. They were just relaxing by the pool; this was hardly the party atmosphere we were hoping for. So we decided to start doing belly flops, immediately scaring everyone there. Moments later, about ten more people who we had called showed up to the pool (these friends did not know the two girls and one guy originally at the pool). Thankfully, they shared our excitement about belly flops, which had become a phenomenon among our group of friends in recent weeks.

The belly flops continued for the next hour or so, escalating to the point that some attempted to belly flop off of the poolside tables. A competition between myself and Sawyer broke out, which was capped by the legendary “tap the stomach with both hands just before you hit the water” move by Sawyer.

Within the next 20 minutes, we scared off all three people who were initially there, the ones who had invited us over and the only ones who lived at the apartment complex. The male among them made the mistake of claiming he had to leave to “go play with some kittens,” which naturally drew a flurry of insults from our crowd as he walked back to his apartment.


4. Midway through our freshman year, Vince and several of our friends became engaged in a war of practical jokes. Vince, always the wordsmith, coined the term “sonning” to describe these practical jokes (the reason for the terminology was never clear, but presumably the word “son” was used because figuratively you became someone’s father after executing one of these jokes).

Anyway, Steve, a 300-pound football player capable of terrifying feats of strength, had recently “sonned” Vince by sneaking into our room and dumping ice water on Vince at 6 am (admittedly with my assistance). Vince, who weighed in less than 180 pounds, decided to respond with one of the most bold and elaborate “sons” in history. After managing to steal Steve’s keys, he hung them from the ceiling in the hallway just past Steve’s room. Then, he planned to hide in the room across from where the keys hung and spray Steve with shaving cream when he reached for the keys.

The plan ostensibly worked, but Vince had neglected to plan an escape route, and after hitting Steve with a modest amount of shaving cream he attempted to outrun Steve through the halls and back to the safety of his room. The rest of us looked on as Vince, wearing an unforgettable expression of both laughter and sheer terror, was tackled from behind by Steve and slammed to the ground. Steve held Vince down and smothered him with his own shaving cream for the next 60 seconds.

As legend has it, after Steve finished exacting his revenge, a wounded Vince took the blood from the cut on his forehead and wiped it under his eyes as “war paint.”


3. Early in the second semester of my freshman year, a few of my friends who were pledging Dekes asked Vince if they could borrow his car on occasion in exchange for a reasonable sum of money. Vince allowed them to use it and even gave them an extra key to it, but he soon became angered about the fact that they were getting the car dirty and the fact that he was often unable to use the car himself when he needed it.

However, since he had given them a key to the car, he basically had no control over when they used it. After several failed attempts to simply ask for his car back, Vince took matters into his own hands. Vince returned one night from a party at Dekes and decided it was time to steal his car back.

The rest of the story is not firsthand, as I was not there for the actual theft, but this is Vince’s account of the story, which has been corroborated by several others: Vince rode with a couple friends drove around the back of the fraternity house to the parking lot, at which point Vince got out. He then proceeded to drunkenly yell at the guys who had taken the car in front of basically the entire fraternity on the front porch, and at one point threatened to stab one of the guys in the stomach, even though he had no knife.

Meanwhile, one of the others who had driven Vince back to the frat took Vince’s car and drove it around front. Vince then ran from the front steps, hopped into passenger seat, and headed back gloriously to campus.

However, less than 30 minutes later, from our third story window, Vince and I watched as the pledges stole his car back from the campus parking lot. The plot, although executed flawlessly, had been almost entirely meaningless.


2. Late in my sophomore year, Arby asked me and Steve to go to Kentucky with him for a massive field party that was held just outside the campus of Georgetown College (NOT Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.). We arrived on Friday and slept at his house, then headed to Georgetown the next day for the party. Word on the street was that there were TEN kegs, so all three of us bought 52 oz. mugs at Wal-Mart on the way.

After a few beers in the afternoon, we made it to the party around 7. The party was in an extremely remote field behind one of the Georgetown football players’ house, and at first there were only around 15 people, and of course I knew none of them. But we got to drinking anyway, and by 10 the party had somewhere around 100 people – and I was getting to know plenty of them.

Around 2 in the morning, it started to become apparent to me that we were going to be sleeping AT THE PARTY. Since we hadn’t brought any blankets or sleeping bags, I made a few failed attempts to sleep on the grass, and Steve tried to pass out beside the empty kegs in the bed of a pickup truck. Although the temperature was around 80 when the party got started, it was down to the low 50s now. So I headed back and sat around with the 20 or so people who were still awake. There were some fantastic stories during the discussion of “most embarrassing moments,” and without going into detail, I will say that 90% of them involved getting caught during, uhh… personal moments.

Anyway, around 4, everyone else in the circle decides to retire to sleep in their cars, leaving only Steve, myself, and a dying fire. For most of the next three hours, Steve traveled back and forth from the woods gathering firewood while I tried to sleep. Unable to get comfortable, I put two lawn chairs facing each other and tried to stretch out. I still was unable to get warm enough to sleep, so I decided to try and inch closer to the fire. Well, while I tried to execute this brilliant plan, the bottom of the chair stuck and I tipped over. Into the fire.

I got up quickly thinking I had escaped disaster, at least until Steve looked at me and said calmly, “Hey man, I think your shirt’s on fire.” Fortunately, I was able to put it out without looking too ridiculous, but I was left with a sizeable hole in what was one my favorite sweatshirt.

I never did make it to sleep, and the rest of the morning was fairly uneventful, save for the amusement of watching another early riser try to get the fire going by covering a log in Jack Daniels one shot at a time.


Drum roll, please…

1. I think anyone that knows my sophomore year roommate Rob probably knows what this next story is.

Late in my freshman year, Rob, Ryan, and I headed up to Virginia Tech for a night to visit some of Ryan’s friends. I had been with Ryan to Tech earlier in the year, but apparently we came on a “bad weekend,” and things were a little boring, so my hopes for this weekend weren’t all too high.

From the start, this was better. We took shuttles to a frat party which turned out to be an altogether good time, including the part where I was shamed into drinking a swig of Kentucky Gentleman by a girl who stepped into our circle of friends and immediately pounded some straight out of the bottle.

Anyway, when it was time to leave, the shuttles were packed, so I ended up on a shuttle ahead of Ryan and Rob. When we got back, I had to wait on Ryan’s friend from Tech to let us into his dorm, so I ended up sleeping up against the door in the hallway, which is always a way to leave a good impression on a foreign campus. Ryan made it back about 20 minutes later and let me in, and we quickly fell asleep.

In the morning, Ryan woke me up around 10 asking stupid questions like “Do you have any idea where Rob is?” Rob was not in the room and never had been. We called a few people we had been with the night before to no avail, and then called the next most logical place. Ryan’s friend called the local jail and uttered the now famous phrase, “Hello, jail?”

Unfortunately (or fortunately), Rob was not in jail. We walked to Ryan’s car to see if Rob had chosen to sleep there for some reason, but again, no luck. So we headed to the dining hall for some breakfast, hoping we might run into Rob along the way. We made it back to the room around 12, and although we had not seen him on the way, we opened the door to find Rob now asleep on the top bunk. Hmmm…

Apparently, Rob’s night ended something like this: Rob ended up on a shuttle by himself and couldn’t remember how to get back to our dorm when he got back on campus. He walked around trying to find a place to stay, and for some reason, he ran into a girl who allowed him to sleep at her place. (Legend has it Rob may have done more than just crash with her, but details are unclear.) Around 10 in the morning, Rob bolted out of the room. Without a shirt.

It is unclear at what point the shirt was lost, but Rob walked shirtless across campus for quite some time, and with a clearer head than he had several hours earlier, he was eventually able to find the room. Just the image of what Rob must have looked like, wandering between the Virginia Tech freshman dorms, shirtless, in the mid-morning still cracks.

That night earned Rob the “Will Ferrell in Old School” Award for Most Drunken Act in my freshman end-of-year awards column, and it has now gained my vote for the best story of my college career.


But I do have four months left.


Anders Larson Archive