Wednesday, June 01, 2005

the james p. audubon memorial bash

The last night of ITF 2005. We've just heard Delfayo Marsalis and Steve Turre give a hell of a jazz concert, and the general consensus is, there must be celebration. It's New Orleans, it's summer, the night is young.

As was a theme across the few days Chuck and I had been there, actually getting celebratory events starting required a little...let's put it tactifully...patience. Gabe wanted to go to Bourbon Street, and we were up for that but wanted to get drunk first so as not to spend too much money on drinks down there. Plus, taking the trolley was a pain and not reliable time-wise.

Eventually we ended up at a alcohol-vending Rite Aid and purchased: One bottle of Bacardi Limon, a 12 pack of Abita Amber, ice, Sprite, and a four piece tumbler set (green). In line to check out a nice man talked our ear off about his abusive band director from high school and wished us all the best in our drinking endeavors.

Returning to Loyola's campus we find, even though the hour is past midnight, the front desk of our dorm is still occupied by ID checking employees. This is trouble for Chuck and I, as we are mooching off Jason's room for the last evening. Entry requires a plastic ID similar to a credit card, and while Chuck has a convincing substitution, I do not. We settle for a study hall in Gabe's dorm instead. Promptly upon setting up shop in said room, we are interrupted by two housefellows warning us of the noise...and asking us if we weren't breaking curfew (see, a gaggle of high school quiz bowl participants had also descending on NOLA for the weekend, and we shared their dorm space).

Eventually we grew tired of restraining our natural inclination to rowdiness, and left Gabe's dorm for more noise-friendly climates. Beers were had outside of the dorms. The party was then moved, via various spots en route, to the park across the street.

Chuck and I participated in tree climbing, before doing another much-need beer run.

Our return from the store to the agreed meeting location (the playground) yielded no sign of Jason and Gabe. On the phone, Jason very mysteriously stated he was being pushed in a baby carriage around a fountain by Gabe. In the dark, finding a fountain you've never seen, and then coming upon it unawares, is quite a neat experience. This town has a sort of magic to it...even when you're somewhat drunk and hell-bent on chaos.

Jason and Gabe appear. We harrass the fountain a while longer, running in circles, manuevering each other in the carriage, being rambunctious. Gabe and I are talking on one of the benches when Jason and Chuck screech up in the carriage carrying a new prize: 200 x 3 ft of pink paper, rolled up and nicely placed for us in a protective cardboard box.

After that we hung out around the trolley stop for a while, drinking beer (out of bottles...illegal! but plastic's okay), lolling, etc. Gabe got on a trolley.

It being nearly 4 in the morning, we felt at this point it would be certain that the ID folks had left the dorm.

They had not.

Now we were not only two illegal people, but we were also in possesion of a baby carriage, a cooler, and 200 feet of pink paper. Drunk.

This might not have been the smartest plan, but somehow, it worked. I figured that me going up with one of the boys might cause suspicion, for while there were girls in our dorm, they weren't related to the trombone festival. So we agreed that Chuck and Jason should go up with the goods, nonchalantly, and toss the key down to me through the window.


I saw them through the door and then ran around to the window in question, waiting and hoping that they'd made it through the first barrier.

And then I see Jason's head, followed by Chuck's, peering over the window ledge. They make motions for me to get ready. I do so. The key falls, gracefully, down four stories and lands nearly at my feet in a perfect ten landing.

Going through the ID check, I swear I saw that one girl's eyebrows race about twenty feet. But she let me through.

Up in Jason's room it was just a question of wrapping up the night. Chuck did some damage to the Loyola septic system with some gastrointestinal acrobats, thereby failing his test to become a master of the Jedi Drinking Team. Jason and I agreed on our Jedi identities, sealing for all time our Wisconsin heritage into an inarguable package. We agreed James P. Audubon Memorial Bash, with patron goddess Miss Cleo, was a good summation of the events in question.

The next morning we rushed to get packed up before noon, checked out, and proceeded to stand in the parking lot for half an hour. We were dirty, hungover, and most of all entirely pleased with ourselves.

And all that remained was an 8 hour drive back to Dallas.