Everything I Like Causes Cancer

Where we've been convinced to write a new post on Dec. 2. Stay tuned!

A couple days ago Fancy was talking about her collection of Christmas ornaments and lamenting having to pass them down to her son. She said, "When he's 21, he's probably going to be living with a bunch of guys who's idea of decorating a tree is throwing empty beer cans at it. Believe me, I've seen that. And you probably have, too."


I genuinely laughed out loud, because I have.  In fact, I helped make one and her comment flooded me with the memory of the dorm room on the corner of Jane Hall First stuffed with drunk undergrads reveling under Beer Can Tree.  I wish I had pictures of it, I know some were taken.  I was able to find pictures of the brain trust that brought us Beer Can Tree, George and Jason.

Wasn't my dorm room cool?  No?  Then look at all the beer!

These two were numbskulls.  Unreliable, maddening, funny, sexy numbskulls.  Being bad boys, I dated them both.  I dated George when I first arrived at Mac.  Well, to say we dated may be revisionist but go with me, I have a reputation to manufacture.  George wasn't a student, but he had been, and for some reason he was back in town, mostly hanging out with us on campus.  

And then one day he was gone.  Though there were rumors he was living in New York, I was never sure.

And then one day he was back and this time he had a friend with him, Jason.  I fell in love with Jason on sight.  These two were fucking Frick and Frack, I tell ya.  We got in so much more trouble with these two around.  Again, not enrolled in classes but essentially base-camped in our rooms.  They came and went with no warning or explanation and one blustery frigid night in December, a night much like tonight, they showed up outside the dorm dragging a live Christmas tree across the lawn and regaling us, between howls of laughter, with a tale of near-death at the hands and shotgun barrel of the angry farmer who formerly owned the tree.

See what I mean?  Lovable dirtleg numbskulls.

The tree was huge and barely fit in Vance's room.  I don't know how we got it in there, and there was very little room for us once we did, but there was much rejoicing and Christmas cheer.  Someone put in a Christmas tape and we had ourselves a first-rate Christmas party, finals be damned.  

We were practically required to decorate the tree with empty beer cans as there was only enough money for beer.  Back then you could get a case of Keystone Light for $6 so it was our obvious drink of choice.  Mmm-mm, bottled beer taste in a can.  Anyway, in less time than it takes Santa to press his index finger to the side of his nose and whoosh up the chimney, we had our first Beer Can Tree.

As redneck as the whole affair sounds and probably was, it makes me misty and nostalgic.  Those years were tough - I was on my own and paying for school and working 2-3 jobs - but they were the years and the people that made me who I am today.  We were rotten and loud and did some crazy shit, much of it illegal, but I learned spontaneity and how to not take myself so damn seriously and how to love and so much more, like how to get rid of crabs.  I'm kidding.  I swear I never had crabs.

This story ends as you would expect it to, we were all written up the next day for open alcohol violations even though the only alcohol left in the room was backwash.  C'est la vie.

25 comments:

LegalMist said...

Did that write up for an open alcohol violation go on your "permanent record"?

pistols at dawn said...

Magical times indeed. It's funny how nostalgic I can get for living in a crappy house with 5 people who would regularly come in drunk at 3am and scream, "Let's go break some TVs!"

It's also hard to describe what a great idea that sounded like at 3am.

That damn expat said...

I love your Christmas story! George and Jason sound like someone I'd hang out with too.

~E said...

My parents forced me to dorm my first three years at college. (I went for 5...double majors and a minor...so sue me!)

I should be on my knees thanking them everyday because living in the dorms were the BEST YEARS OF MY LIFE EVER!!!!

P.S. I know it doesn't do you any good now, but we used to hide our beer and alkyhol by putting them in empty tampon boxes (the large ones can hold two!)and storing them in the [private] bathroom. The RA's musta thought we were all raging pms-y biatches because of all the tampon boxes...but whatever, at least they stayed away from us :)

~E said...

My parents forced me to dorm my first three years at college. (I went for 5...double majors and a minor...so sue me!)

I should be on my knees thanking them everyday because living in the dorms were the BEST YEARS OF MY LIFE EVER!!!!

P.S. I know it doesn't do you any good now, but we used to hide our beer and alkyhol by putting them in empty tampon boxes (the large ones can hold two!)and storing them in the [private] bathroom. The RA's musta thought we were all raging pms-y biatches because of all the tampon boxes...but whatever, at least they stayed away from us :)

Scope said...

When I was a perspective student visiting that self same college, the guy I bunked with that night had a Christmas tree from the local golf course. And the popcorn strings he decorated it with had started to go south.

Good times. Good times.

And as a former Nazi, umm RA in Jane, you must have REALLy pissed someone off to get written up for open alcohol. "MAC" doesn't stand for "Maximum Alcohol Consumption" for nothing.

Scope said...

Oh, and Pistols, smashing TV was a SuperBowl halftime thing, not a Christmas thing down there.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

What would life had been like without those lovable, adorable, numbskulls. I had a few of those guys myself and gladly still friends with them. We get together every summer and tie one on with our significant other's. There's alot of pawing and fawning and, "I love you man"'s going on.
I consider them to be some of my best friends as an adult. (no wonder most of their wives hate me)

McGone said...

Have you tried Keystone since college? I honestly don't know how we didn't go blind drinking that piss.

It was also the beer of choice for Northern Illinois as it was $7 a case. We should have taken that low price as a warning of quality, but no... our backwards baseball caps were too tight and we couldn't think properly.

Whiskeymarie said...

No "beer can tree" here, but we did made hors d'oeuvres out of balogna & cheese sandwiches on white bread in an attractive wreath shape one year for a party. We used the bread bag as the bow.

I still have a few Georges & Jasons in my life. Growing up in Duluth, that was pretty much 95% of the guys we knew. One of them peed his pants on my friend's couch at her yearly bash last year.
Good times.

Anonymous said...

I made you a beer can tree, and I'm sitting here with a case of Keystone hoping you'll come over and keep me warm.

Will you?

Please?

Yours in Christ-
Brian

mike said...

I like how there was a "2 mullet minimum" in that picture.

Mermanda said...

We had very different collegiate experiences, Gwen. I was the RA who poured perfectly good beer down the drain, while sobbing students asked, "Are you going to tell my parents?" Good times.

Some Guy said...

You never had crabs!? You obviously weren't trying hard enough, Gwen!

Just kidding. I've never had crabs either, but I hear they make lovely pets.

Dr Zibbs said...

Our campus had a dorm decorating contest. Since ours was so lame and we were going to lose anyway, I had everyone gather trash. Then, when the judges were in the quad of our dorm and everyone was to drop confetti like snow, we dumped trash out and threw crap at the judges. Good times.

Bacon Lady said...

Christ, I miss college. Sounds like we had much of the same experience.

I never got caught with beer or...um...other stuff though. One time we snuck (sneaked?) a party ball of Killian's Red up to my dorm room in an empty television box.

We thought we were fucking GENIUSES!

Stacie said...

ah what a wonderful memory....

my one year of college (cause that was about all the drinking my parents were going to tolerate) was very memorable as well.

What I do remember of it anyway. ;)

Alice said...

I never saw a beer tree but I used to help hide all the beer cans at my friends dorm in the drop celling... I hate to think what would happen the next year when some one else moved in... we prob put at least 500+ beer cans up there.

mike said...

Oh yeah, I also used to love Keystone Light. A Coors rep. told me one time that their slogan about "specially lined cans" to make it taste better in fact referred to the horizontal lines across the outside of the cans. That was truth enough for advertising.

I got written up one time for the RA "hearing" us bounce quarters... no actual booze was seen smelled or found. Then I got written up again for calling her a cunt. Good times.

Sausage Mechanic said...

Numbskulls? I highly resemble that statement!

Giggle Pixie said...

Awwww...who doesn't dream of sugarplums and beer can Christmas trees every year at this time?

*sigh* Good times.

BeckEye said...

I see you had the dorm room staple there - the multi-purpose egg crate. You're so girly...yours was seafoam green.

MelO said...

GREAT story, gwen!! Ha ha... I think I would have slept with--oops, I mean--DATED George and Jason too.

MelO said...

Also... umm... I got really excited when I saw my name in the title of your post... so... if you're not handing out awards or talking about how wonderful I am... can we please keep that to a minimum?

I have a reputation to manufacture! (lol... that was totally my favorite line of the post!)

Fancy Schmancy said...

Totally awesome post!!!!! I'm glad I'm not the only one who has seen that. One redneck (that I thankfully broke off the engagement with) would also create a "tree" of sorts on our kitchen counter out of empty green chewing tobacco containers.

Hey, and good job not blowing your story in my comments. I see you're learning.

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