(page 9 of 14)
When I finished getting dressed and combing my hair, I went out of my room, through the kitchen and into the dining room. There was already a party going full blast. Some had turned on the television in the living room and had put on a video of Animal House. It was near the beginning of the movie when Flounder and Pinto were getting their nicknames. I’m so glad we didn’t do that. It’s not that none of us acquired nicknames, hell they called me the chicken man, but it wasn’t so formalized. I’d hate to have a name forced on me like that. It was bad enough having to live with a name your parents gave you. There was some music playing on the porch. It was the new Van Halen album, the one all the DJ’s were calling Van Hagar since Sammy Hagar joined the group. I liked the new sound, especially that song Dreams. It spoke to me.
Everyone was eating chicken and drinking beer. One of the bags of food had been torn open and splayed across the dining room table, and people were eating Roman style with their fingers, grabbing anything edible. They were also playing a raucous game of Quarters, the game where you try bounce a quarter off the table into a glass of beer so the person next to you has to chug it. We often got drunk pretty fast playing that game. I was happy to be home, happy to have pleased my friends. This party wouldn’t have happened without me, I realized. We weren’t like a lot of fraternities in some of the big state schools or the Ivey League universities. We weren’t rich. We were just a bunch of guys pooling our resources trying to make it through college. I really liked that aspect of fraternity life, the mutual investment. I was happy to have done my part.
When I walked out on the porch, there was another drinking game going on. Mick and Jimmy had managed to get a whole keg of beer, and there it sat, iced down in a big trashcan, Rodney pumping air into the container to keep it pouring. He filled a glass for me, a big cup with a naked woman on it complete with 3D contours. We called it the titty-glass, and it always went to the man of the hour. I was the man of the hour. When he handed it to me I noticed the contours of the woman were placed on the glass to facilitate someone’s grip.
“Chug it! Chug it!” the crowd of young men and women chanted. I lifted the glass to my lips and started drinking. The beer ran down my throat, but it was too foamy, and it kind of rested there like a log jam. I coughed and sputtered, leaned forward. At that point, the titty-glass slipped from my hand and shattered on the concrete floor of the porch. The guys grew silent, but the Gaputaters kept talking, laughing.
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The Chicken Man continues...