When you’re in college, you’ll do anything to be one of the bad asses who can drink like a fish. I think I got that confused with swallowing live fish. They sound really similar, right?
My first semester of Sophomore year at Bradley University was my most alcoholic semester. It was also my highest GPA semester. Go figure.
Bradley frat parties always trumped ISU frat parties. Where ISU frat parties were selective with their entry, Bradley frat parties welcomed anyone and everyone. Where ISU frat parties were mostly frat guys and select chicks, Bradley frat parties had lots of dudes (not all frat guys) and lots of chicks. Where ISU frat parties were BYOB, Bradley frat parties provided libations to those of age (with wristband proof). And if you knew a guy in the frat, wristbands weren’t hard to come by.
I suppose that’s why Peoria police started cracking down on frat parties at BU pretty hard core as of my Junior year. Lucky for me, I had a fake ID (well, a “real” ID that had someone else’s name on it) by then and was drinking at bars, not parties.
But this was Sophomore year…and Bradley parties were in their prime.
Our little group of friends planned to head over to the SAE party known as Rubber Ducky. Now, SAE at Bradley had a pretty bad rep, but they were loads of fun. I always had a great time when Katie and I would trek over there. Gin and Tonic night is the precise reason why I don’t drink tonic. Ever. Gin and I are still friends, but mix that bitch with tonic and memories of weekday morning hangovers are plentiful. Plus tonic tastes like shit.
So Rubber Ducky. A party in which the frat boys celebrated safety. And ridiculous amusement. A giant bowl of colorfully packaged condoms adorned the front table like a bowl of candy on Halloween. A brother in a duck suit wandered around greeting guests. And a huge baby pool filled with water and goldfish dominated the back yard.
The thing about those goldfish–people swallowed them. Live.
So before we went out, I made Katie, Sheila, and Mark promise promise promise that they would not let me eat a goldfish. They promised. Several lemon drops later, we were on our way to the party.
As soon as we arrived, I ran into Porno Steve, a man who was the single biggest reason for my lush-like freshman year of dare drinking.
Porno Steve yelled to me, “Hey! I’m at a frat party!” He didn’t do frat parties. Ever. He was the pre-game captain, but never made it to the main event.
“Awesome! What’s goin’ on?”
“You should eat a goldfish!”
“Yes! I should!” I responded immediately. Where was Mark? Where was Katie? Where was Sheila? I didn’t even think. We walked over to the kiddie pool where I squatted down, cupped my hands, reached in, and caught a tiny little fishie. I brought the squirmy fish to my mouth and I downed my first goldfish in one full swoop.
Yes, I said first.
I looked at Porno Steve with drunken, glazed over eyes, searching for admiration, but all he said was, “I didn’t see it! Do it again.”
So I did.
Again, searching for his approval, I looked at him and said, “I did it!”
“I didn’t see it! Do it again!” I was about to reach down into the kiddie pool again, when Mark pulled me up.
“Hey Chrissy, you’ve already done two. He’s full of shit and messing with you. I think you’ve had enough.” Mark reminded me that I didn’t want to do one in the first place. But it was so easy…and I was so drunk.
Then while I was sitting on a bench, Jack, one of the frat brothers that I knew came over, dangling a little goldfish above my face. He held it by its tail fins and I didn’t think. I looked up, opened my mouth, and swallowed the squirmy fish that fell into my throat.
That was the last thing I remember about Rubber Ducky.
The next morning, I was so hung over that I couldn’t even eat potato triangles. And I loved potato triangles.
All I could say to Cletus and Robbie the entire day was, “Poor little fishies.”