Last night, Joel and I went to a popular sports bar and grill and chose to sit on the patio to get away from the noise and visual assault of all the surrounding t.v. screens. Our hostess showed us to a table next to a sprawling hulk of a table with about 12 college students lounging around it. They had taken all the seats from our table, so the hostess had to go inside to retrieve two chairs for us. We stood awkwardly next to our table, waiting.
After we were seated, we began to look at our menus, but became distracted very quickly by the table beside us. Most of the patrons were clearly buzzed, and not in a way that says, “I’m high on life and isn’t life great?” but in a way that said, “I was drunk last night, I’ve had a house party at my house all day today, I’ve been drinking beer and carrying on, throwing horseshoes, tumbling into bushes after losing my balance playing beer funnel, and oh, man, am I HUNGRY and need some WINGS! GIVE ME SOME WINGS! WORLD, DO YOU HEAR ME, I SAID I’M HUNGRY AND NEED SOME WINGS!!”
That kind of buzzed.
They continued to holler as loud as they could, with fuck being the operative word. In fact, if they were not allowed to use ‘fuck’ as part as their vocabulary, I’m not sure if they would have been able to communicate. The well-groomed girls sat interspersed throughout, giggling at the boys’ loud voices. I have some tolerance for being loud; it’s a Saturday, the weather is awesome, and life is good. But. There is a limit to how much I can tolerate – and I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m getting older, that I was never one to hang out in large obnoxious buzzed groups, or if it’s the knowledge that any one of them could be my students (given their age).
If you are offended at explicit language, turn away now. Go look at the puppy pictures.
“Aw, fuck man, geez, fuck. I mean, that was fuckin’ awesome, okay dude, I mean really fuckin’ awesome.” “Shit dude, that’s so fuckin’ awesome.” “Yeah, dude, I know, right? I was like, fuck.” At this point the loudest one raised his chin to the sky, pounded on his chest and said something like, “OH MAN DUDE, I WAS LIKE FUCK, I’M GOING TO SHIT IN YOUR MOUTH ASSHOLE! Tracy, wasn’t I like that?! Yeah, it was awesome!” His girl turns and giggles and says, “Shhh…!! Hehehe!!” He continues, “Oh, yeah man, fuck. I was like, FUCK, I am going to SHIT in your MOUTH, FUCKER! LITTLE MOTHER FUCKING FUCKER!!”
Joel and I stared at each other during this whole exchange, as we had given up on audibly talking to one another. We had lost track of our waitress, but we caught another waiter and told him we were moving to an empty table across the patio. We took our menus and walked over purposefully to the empty table. The loud table started cackling and cooing, the girls giggling, and the guys whooping and hollering even louder. They turned to look at us once more, and then drunkenly carried on.
We had just been served our drinks when all of a sudden, my eardrums started bleeding and fell onto the pavement. No, I’m kidding. The loud table had caught wind of the outside speakers’ broadcast of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’.” Here, let me reenact it for you.
“She’s a GOOD GIRLLLLLL, loves her MAMA!!!!!!! Loav;lksjdfl;sdkfj asdf AND AMERICA TOOOOO!!!!........long drunk pause….AND her boyfriend too!!! FUCK!!.....shit dude, be quiet, no SERIOUSLY BE QUIET!! Hahaha…..oool…. FREE ….FREE FALLINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN….yeah I’m FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, free FALLINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN.”
They grew tired of themselves after about 2 choruses, thankfully. I learned two things: don’t go to that grill on a Saturday night, and two, I will never be able to think of that song the same way without picturing the polo shirt wearing, highlighted hair, aviation glasses donning undergrad with some very loud vocal chords, leaning back into his chair, and SCREAMING his love of this song to the world.
“I’m FREE!!!!!!! FREE FALLIN!!!!!!”