The First (And Final) Andy Rooney-Thon

I WENT TO A SMALL PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGE in the Northeast that I shall not name, and I attended it with various characters that I will also leave nameless, in order to protect the innocent and harbor the evil from the even greater evils. The minute I set foot there, I lost my own innocence, but I also got a shot to the arm filled with that crazed adrenalin that changes your life and sets off the explosion that turns your childhood development to dusty rubble that in turn makes you cough for some years after, as you recover from entering this wretched flaming multi-level adulthood. It’s funny and it’s sad, the following story, and it’s also true--from what I can remember. The campus of College X was the office cubicle in the copy room to the executive office suite of your U.S. News and World Report five star university. And it was filled to the brim with the outcasts from your local high school: geniuses, assholes, drug addicts, ex-dictators of small island nations and anything else that is downright absurd and makes this world seem smaller than it is. So of course, we threw some interesting parties. There were many terrible ones, but there are a few that do stick out in my unreliable memory. This brings me to the night of the first and only Andy Rooney -Thon, which was advertised on campus for some time in a dorm with a reputation as a palace of inspired debauchery. Weeks prior to the event, various images of Mr. Rooney from 60 Minutes/- graced fliers that decorated trees and other wooden surfaces campus wide. With a cover charge of five dollars, one could enjoy keg beer and three musical acts. It had nothing to do with Andy Rooney, and it also turned into something different than the fliers advertised.

I went through a pre-party ritual rivaling that of Kid n Play in the original House Party movie, teasing my already ridiculous mop of hair and putting on a shirt with loud wall paper patterns, as well as my blue tinted sunglasses, While trying to find myself, I would normally join congregations of friends in various dorm rooms for hours, even after the party started, as it was much cooler to wait at least an hour after the listed time to arrive. We would smoke pot or drink beer, and I did both on this occasion when a drug- addled acquaintance of mine told me that she loved me and that I was "a bright, shining light." Wow, I thought, people love me way too early today.

She produced a bag of colorful pills with cartoon characters printed on them. "This is beyond Ecstasy--it’s the pure thing, MDMA, and I want you to experience this with me." Being naturally impulsive, I dolled out the twenty five bucks for my taste of this temporary sunshine. My pill had a roller skating elephant gracing its seal. I gave my beer away and hung around in different circles of people when the elephant began to slowly have that bubble-brained effect on me. During that moment, and the ensuing night, I advocated having a Big Fuck across America. “Fuck the hands shit!” I’d said. “Or at least an extensive cuddle cluster from coast to coast, which is safer and cleaner.” I had a grinding jaw and a seemingly good perspective on love, hate, good and evil, genius and mediocrity. With perfect timing, I made my way over to the Andy Rooney-Thon.

The First (And Final) Andy Rooney-Thon continues...
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About Kevin Ridgeway

Kevin Ridgeway is a writer currently living in a shady bungalow in Southern California with his girlfriend, menagerie of mangy cats, and old books. He wasn't meant for these times, should have been born a century ago and often daydreams in black and white. When not writing he haunts the local graveyards, more lines and sends letters off to his imprisoned bank robbing old man, who looks like George Clooney on acid and once took a prison pottery class with Charles Manson. Mr. Ridgeway also enjoys strip Scrabble and is an amateur avocado farmer.
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