Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Walking (and Drinking) with the Lord - A Story of Survival

Send your kid to a Catholic High School and they are sure to get a great education - especially in drinking and pot smoking. You will also get a taste of charitable fund-raisers which your child will be asked (forced) to participate.

Despite the hefty tuition our parents paid for our strict religious education, Parker and I were asked to participate in a number of fund raisers including the yearly Cheese Drive, Blood Drive and the dreaded "Walk A Thon".

The Walk A Thon was a mandatory 4-mile walk in which the entire Senior Class marched from the school to a park and back in an effort to raise money for the Boosters Club. Since Parker and I did absolutely no extracurricular activities (except occasionally get high in the parking lot) the idea of coming to school and walking 4 miles in the Arizona heat was certainly not appealing. 

In order to make the Walk a Thon more bearable we came up with the genius idea of chugging a few 2 liter bottles of orange-flavored Bartles and James wine coolers beforehand. We met in a parking lot near our school and proceeded to pour said coolers into 32 oz "Big Gulp" special edition Nascar cups. Surely no one would suspect liquor was hiding behind the mug of a race car driver as I stumbled into my homeroom smelling like Dean Martin on a bender.

At age 17, we did not  know the meaning of the word "moderation" and the big gulp o' wine was empty before we even started to walk. No worries, as our bulimic cheerleader friend Carrie had a backpack filled with more. At 8:15 we began our torturous walk. Our drunkenness immediately caused us to lag behind our more spirited classmates and pious educators. Good thing because our plastic cups had runneth empty and we needed to refuel. We came across a small park with some restrooms where we guzzled down more glorious orange fizzy wine. Never mind that we were in the middle of town  at a creepy bathroom most likely surrounded by homeless pedophiles. We had our priorities. Pedophiles be damned, we needed to get our groove-on.

A mile behind everyone with alcohol sweating out of every pore and our stomachs sloshing with orange, carbonated, fermented beverage, we managed another mile or so before I knew that I could not go on. As I stumbled down Ft. Lowell Road in my dusty, lace-up Madonna boots (I did not own athletic shoes in High School) I saw in the distance a bus with my school logo on the side. I knew that hot, exhausted and drunk was no way to go through life and I was going to flag down that mutha-of-a-bus if I had to lay spread eagle in the street to do so. The bus was returning with the marching band members (who were all evidently sober an on their way back to school to greet the returning walkers with a brass performance of the latest Thomas Dolby song). The band bus was my saviour as it pulled over to pick me up. Despite the fact that it was filled with band geeks and driven by our evil Chemistry teacher, I was willing to risk suspension just to rest my drunk ass for a spell. I called out to Parker and Carrie to join me on the bus. They pretended to follow me until I was on the bus and turned around to see them running in the opposite direction, sloshing off into the distance

Alone, drunk and wearing Madonna boots, I plumped down next to Tony Alanzo, who weighed approximately 73 lbs and played the cymbals. I might have actually given Tony a woody when I sat next to him and said (in a slurry Kathleen Turner voice) "If you tell anyone I've been drinking I will whip your puny ass."

My secret was safe with Tony and I returned back to school alone and exhausted. I found a resting place behind the back tire of my 1974 Oldsmobile where I settled in for a siesta while I listened to the marching bands rendition of "She Blinded Me With Science." 

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