Saturday, May 23, 2009

"About a Bastard"

You people never cease to amaze me... When given the choice, you always pick the longest, most intricate of the stories. But alas... I did give you the opportunity to pick, so...

I was invited to a wedding reception of a college friend mine (let's call him Chief). It had been quite a few years since we'd seen each other and so it kind of became a reunion of sorts for the gang that I'd hung out with. It was also the first time I'd met Chief's new bride, and while she was busy visiting with some other people, Chief and I were talking about old times. My best friend from college (P) was also there beside us as we caught up.

About 3/4ths of the way through the trip down memory lane... Chief's bride appeared. Most people in my position would have switched stories in order to let him off the hook. I'm not most people...

And now for a little backstory.

As some of you know, I first entered college in the field of Electrical Engineering. Now as an EE, you take a lot of classes that are very number oriented. Math, computer science, physics, some digital circuit design courses... you know... very exact and technical.

After about 3 years of this endeavor, I decided it wasn't the field for me and I switched to business. Of course business was mostly accounting, economics, finance and all other things that were also extremely number oriented. As you can tell... those of us in these fields were not really exposed to the arts in order to develop a well rounded education.

The college mantra is of course, "a well rounded education", but we all know that's a bunch of crap. How many art majors do you know with a knowledge of advanced differential equations? Not many, I'll assure you. It was the same with us...

However, we country folk understood that our education wouldn't be complete without some self education if we wanted to become the renaissance men of our generation. We all audited our skill sets, and decided that we needed some further study in the arts and also some anatomy/physiology training. The major question then became... what do we do in order to rectify our shortcomings? The answer came in one of the most unlikely of locations.

Downtown there was a place that also saw the failings of the college education system. So what they did is to invite some young ladies from Salt Lake to come up every Wednesday evening and perform some erm... modern dance routines to some of the contemporary songs of the day. Now these girls had to drive nearly an hour and a half just to make this service available to us intellectually deprived students, and we felt sorry for them in having to do this. It was just understood that we should pay them something for the education that we were receiving, and so we'd give them our tuition when the dance routines were something educational. Being poor college students however... well... that limited us to paying with folded dollar bills, and they really appreciated it too.

This certainly satisfied our academic requirement for the arts (and some anatomy too), but we were still lacking in the physiology department. But they'd thought of everything there and served us with some libations that enabled us to understand the complex relationship between distilled barley, hops, and yeast and how it effected the physiology of the human being. Being good and studious... we dove right in.

The story begins during one of these off campus study sessions...

Chief, another friend of mine, C, and I headed down for one of the evening study sessions. It was a good night. The stri... err... performers were already in the middle of the dance when we arrived, and so we took our seats on the front row so as not to miss any of it. As I've already said... you can't really enjoy modern dance without studying physiology at the same time, and so we set out to test the tolerances of man to this particular libation. And test it we did.

Chief, being a good Mormon boy, declined to test the boundaries of human endurance, so that just left C and I to experiment with Chief remaining as the control. Four or five pitchers later... the class came to an end, but as studious folk, we didn't want our education in the arts to end for the night. Chief allowed as to how he knew a place down in Salt Lake where they educated the patrons nearly all night long, so the plan was made to return to my place so I could get something or other, I can't remember now what it even was, and then we'd head out to further our education.

Unbeknownst to me... my other roommates had been working P over something fierce about his ignorance of the arts and lack of desire to go to class with us. P had told them that if we came back... he'd go with us wherever we went regardless of where that was. He didn't lie.

We all came back to my place, and P was ready to join us for our continuing education. With a steely determination, all four of us went outside, jumped into Chief's car, and headed for Salt Lake...

(To be continued)


Today's mystery lyric: (Remember the rules folks, no online searching of the lyrics, if you don't know it, you don't have the answer!)

A strand of silver hanging through the sky
Touching more than you see
The voice of ages in your mind
Is aching with the dead of the night
Precious life (your tears are lost in
Falling rain)

Answer to last lyric: Piano Man by Billy Joel. Way to go fermi!