Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Pubie's Last Stand

Ah college. The mere mention of that word brings back fond memories of co-eds who wouldn’t give me the time of day, late night discussions over cigars and beer on the top floor of Agnes Arnold Hall, and the occasional bout of semi-criminal mischief. College is also the time where I began to understand the joys of drinking and no one did more to demonstrate this to me than Pubie. Pubie was my tragically coifed and nicknamed roommate my sophomore year at the University of Houston, and while he was a year younger than Mr. TunaCan and myself, he embraced drinking with an élan that was unrivaled by any of our other compratriots.

Pubie, so named because of his incredibly short, curly hair, taught me many things. At this point in my life I did not like beer and had only been drunk a couple of times, both in response to problems with the fairer sex. I am not sure how much drinking he had done before arriving at UH, however I know once we discovered you could trade meal-clicks for pitchers at Coog’s Café our livers were never going to be the same. Pubie was on a National Merit Scholar scholarship, which at the time meant a full ride to UH with the seven meal-clicks a day eating plan. This added up to a lot of beer and junk food. Added on top of the fact that we could get beer for free from the university was the Honors Program parties. These always involved a couple of kegs and the person manning the door would traditionally ask whether you were drinking or not rather than asking to see I.D. If I ever feel the need to sue someone over my drinking UH is so going to get it.

The final drinking straw, as it were, was the fact that Mama-san’s was less than a five minute drive from campus. Mama-san’s was a drive-up liquor store that would sell to you as long as you could get your money on the counter. I saw kids who could not have been more than 11 or 12 riding their bikes away from there with a forty or two stashed beneath their arms. To this day I do not know the actual name of the store and I have no idea who found it. I suspect that it was one of the frat-rat’s who shared the dorms with us. Forced to guess who it was I would blame the TKE (Tau Kappa Everybody) who lived on the 4th floor and managed to pull off a GPA somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.0 his first semester. This guy would START the day with, I believe, a Tang and vodka.

Throw in a bit of boredom with all these factors and shake vigorously and there you have the recipe for drunken antics the likes of which take place on many campus’ across the nation. Anyways, you get the picture, here we are, a bunch of kids of above-average intelligence with nothing to do and copious amounts of alcohol available to us. Stupidity ensued. Sending frozen oranges sling-shotting down the hall was a drunk idea. Freezing the rubber mallet was probably a drunk idea.

Now, I have told you all this so I can share the single funniest moment of Pubie’s freshman year.

He had finished his finals sometime that morning and then came back to the room and packed all of his stuff since his parent’s were picking him up the very next morning. As soon as he was done packing he headed out to drink and play cards with the boys. He was already upstairs and drinking before I bothered to get out of bed in the morning, which means he was able to drink a heroic amount of beer before I headed upstairs after dinner that night. At this point he was already laughably drunk.

Pubie was what we refer to as a six-pack homosexual in that as soon as he was drunk he started to give everyone hugs and tell them he loved them. You were fine as long as you hugged him back and told him you loved him, too, but if you rejected his affections he would get MAD. He also got very good at cards when he was drunk. Like scary good. He was already in his hugging stage when I wandered off, ostensibly to pack some more of my crap, but most likely to play on the computer (I was 100% loser in those days). Around 1 or 2 in the morning it occurred to me that I should try and track Pubie down and get him to bed since his parents were going to be there in a few hours.

I headed upstairs again and began my search. He was not in any of the usual hangouts and I was beginning to think that he had either sealed the deal with one of the girls he had been pursuing all semester or that Olga, the scary Turkish girl, had found him passed out in a corner and was having her way with him. Either way I was not going to interrupt as I was either proud of him or not willing to sacrifice that much of my sanity for him. Then I heard him laughing like an idiot and the sound was coming from Mr. TunaCan’s room. I poked my head in to see if he was actually in there and lo and behold I found him.

Pubie was standing on one of the desks in the room facing the window. The windows at UH did not have screens on them and they opened at both the top and the bottom. In this case the window was open with the top down. Pubie had his business in hand and he was peeing out the window and laughing the maniacal laughter of someone who needs to visit the nice men in the white coats for a while. I am sure there was some cussing involved in coaxing Pubie down from his perch but eventually he was convinced to pack up his junk and get down from the desk.

To say Pubie was trashed is to be way understating the fact. Quite frankly to this day I am amazed that he was still conscious, let alone ambulatory. As near as I can figure it he had been drinking for roughly 14 hours at this point. 14 hours! Truly this man had a liver empowered by the gods.

After we talked him down from the desk I escorted/carried him to our room. As soon as we got there he let me know he had to pee again but that he was having trouble standing. I guided him into the bathroom and shut the door behind me, letting him know that he was on his own. While he was in the loo I worked on getting his bed ready all the while wondering how we were going to get him up to the top bunk. He let me know he was finished and I made him promise he had his pants on before I opened the bathroom door.

Sweet Monkey Jesus.

In the dorms we used to joke that Mr. TunaCan approached urination like many people do a piñata, blindfolded and swinging for the fences. It appeared Pubie had taken this to heart this night as he managed to pee on everything in the bathroom EXCEPT the toilet. Everything. Including himself. At this point I was beginning to get a bit exasperated with the shenanigans and so I pushed him into the shower and turned it on him on cold, hoping it would sober him up a little. After his shower he changed into some clean clothes and started to climb into his bunk. About halfway up the ladder gravity started to assert itself and he almost fell off. I managed to stabilize him and get him into bed where he promptly fell asleep.

I quickly followed, thinking that I was glad his bunk was not over mine.

The next morning I dragged him out of bed and forced him into the shower, knowing that I had to act quickly since his parents were arriving at any moment and the room reeked of piss and beer. Fortunately I was able to gather all of his clothes and bedclothes from the night before and get them into a trash bag and into his stuff before they arrived. Once Pubie was out of the shower he was looking a little more human and we conspired to frame our third roommate Carlos, who we hadn’t seen for weeks but had left a couple of Olde English bottles around, for the smell in the room.

His parents came and collected him and his things and that was the last time I saw Pubie for several years as I chose not to return to the University of Houston. Truly Pubie is one of the greatest drinkers I have personally known and I am glad his last stand was worthy of retelling.


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