Tuesday, March 3, 2009

State Tournaments

This past weekend here in Madison was one of my least favorite weekends of the year: State Wrestling Tournament weekend. It's my on my shit list for several reasons: it means that it's the start of all the state tournaments (basketball after this), it means that the spring thaw is coming (I like warmer weather, but mud and flooding run rampant), and most disturbingly, it means that the streets are flooded with mouth breathing troglodytes that have never seen a building more than 30 feet tall (unless you include silos). I mean, don't get me wrong, I grew up on a farm, but Madison was 30 minutes away. We spent every moment we could up there, getting away from our small town. But these people are looking at Potbelly's and Noodles & Co like they are restaurants they would "treat" themselves to (whereas they are a weekly staple for us here).

I don't care that these people come to Madison per se, nor am I trying to be condescending (but I am being condescending), it's just that they all flock here on the same damn weekend. And I see the same thing every time: the parents try to relive their "glory days" by bringing their kids here, watching their one match, then heading to the bars at 11 am to start their day and be drunk by 5 pm. And every year when I was working at a bar, I would have to ask a group of 45 year old males to get out because they were either too drunk or were creeping the college girls out. As they would look at me and call me a punk or say I was on a power trip kicking them out, I would remind them they were old enough to be my father. Maybe they should take a long hard look at their life and realize that someone that could be a result of a high school one night stand is kicking them out of a bar. I just can't stand it.

And to make matters worse, you have packs of slack-jawed teens walking around in their letter jackets, thinking they might be able to pass for college kids. No person ever wearing a letter jacket on a day besides Halloween got in to a bar in Madison (unless it's The Pub). So you have to kick them out with their bad fakes. But this leads me to an entertaining story that happened a couple years ago on one of these state tourney weekends...

As a friend and I walked down State Street (the main thoroughfare in downtown Madison), we were confronted by a passel of teens. They asked my friend and I, "Are you guys 21?" We informed them we were indeed of that magical age, so they asked us what every 21 year old loves to hear: "Can you buy us beer?"

What any good law abiding citizen would have said was no, but we decided to say yes. They looked at us with glee and admiration. Someone was going to buy them booze illegally! And strangers off the street no less! What fortune they had. We explained to them that it was of course going to cost them a little extra, which they said was fine (it had better be), and asked what they would like. They told us a "30 pack of cheap beer and a bottle of cheap vodka". We said that would be about $30 bucks with our carrying fees, and they said that was acceptable. We told them to wait just off State Street for us because it would be a little obvious if just handed it to them in the parking lot of the liquor store. We showed them where to wait, gave them a phone number to call if we were taking a little longer than normal, and took their money and went off to the liquor store. On that day, those high schoolers learned a valuable lesson:

Never, EVER, trust random college kids you meet on the street. We of course, walked towards the liquor store with their money and turned and went home. It was the perfect crime. The students didn't know where we lived, so they couldn't track us down. We had never given our names. We gave them a bogus phone number to call. They couldn't go to the cops because they were trying to illegally procure booze. And they probably felt pretty stupid anyway. My friend and I walked to my apartment (which was a 20 minute walk from State Street), went to a liquor store over in that area, bought ourselves some decent booze with the $30 bucks we had just made, and sat contentedly in my living while enjoying the fruits of our labor. I love naive high school kids.

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