Getting back in touch with my old friends Chris and Jayne in the last year has made me think back to a long-ago time in my life.
I went to college at UMass at Amherst back in the day, when if you said you went to UMass everyone knew it was at Amherst. Back before the 5 campus system it is now and everyone asks you which campus.
My roommate at the dorms was Pam, who was one of my best friends in high school. We had zebra finches for pets, lived on too much coffee and bad DC food, and had the kind of dorm rooms that people would stop by and take pictures of because it was so messy.
The year was 1987. We'd moved from one dorm to another and had a pretty good floor. We were all a little dorky but like all kids that age were trying to figure out who we were and what the heck we were gonna do with our lives.
We did all hang out together and stuff, and one week we decided we were going to have a a Round Robin floor party. The gist of it: Each room served a different alcoholic concoction. We charged everyone $5 to get on the floor. I'm pretty sure we all got about $8 which didn't really cover the outlay on booze and mixers.
I used to have this thing about pink flamingos. I collected stuffed ones, tee shirts with pick flamingos on them, stole pink flamingos from people's lawns (really, I was just doing them a favor), had an inflatable keychain pink flamingo dangling from the rear-view mirror, and yelled "BAWK" every time anything to do with pink flamingos came up in conversation, which was more often than one would think.
So, naturally, our featured beverage was The Pink Flamingo.
It was disgusting. Cheap vodka and pink lemonade with too much melted ice in it.
Of course, since it was our floor party, we had to make the rounds. So, we took turns serving while the other sampled other concoctions.
We were wasted. Music was loud. The floor stunk like spilled booze, cigarettes, cloves, incense, and other stuff that burns. People were everywhere. Drunk. As were we.
The party was winding down. Pam was running around like a crazy girl. Someone chased her in the room and that's when it happened.
The Indoor Skiing Accident.
She ran into the room, straight into the pink flamingo that was hanging from her cross country skis, placed at the top of our wardrobe closets.
Down came the skis. Whacked her in the head. Knocked her out COLD.
When you and all your friends and floormates are wasted it's really hard to be rational about serious injury and getting someone to come to.
Eventually she comes around. It's about 1:30am and we're all like, We gotta go to health services. She just wants to go to bed. Someone actually had the presence of mind to announce that she can't go to bed 'cause she might have a concussion.
So we drag her to health services.
They ask what happened.
Imagine explaining that one to the nurse.
She wound up fine, with a mild concussion, but I've always wondered if that kind of stuff ever gets deleted from your health record.
Anyway, lesson learned. Never party with pink flamingos when skis are overhead.