This American's Life
Police Keg Delivery

(They may take our keg, but they will never take our desire to drink!)

June 4, 2011

My phone buzzed that Friday around 3:30pm while I sat in my cubicle:

USA-Spain game tomorrow. Foxboro, MA.

"Well…why the hell not," I thought, so I ran home at 5pm, packed a bag, and hopped on a train up to Connecticut to meet my friend Ricky who was stationed at the naval base in Groton. He and his Naval friends had an extra ticket to the USA-Spain soccer match the next day and needed some help emptying the keg they purchased for the tailgate. I was happy to lend a helping hand…or stomach?

A caravan of 3 cars made its way up to Massachusetts on a glorious warm blue summer day. When we finally arrived at the Gillette Stadium parking lot we set up camp. We put ice in a bucket, lifted the keg in, and tapped it. The first cup of foam hadn’t even been poured when stadium police descended on us.

"No kegs allowed in the lot, sirs" The scrawny teenager in the bright yellow SECURITY shirt told us.

"Really? We looked it up online and it didn’t say anything about no kegs" My friend stated. "We don’t mean any trouble, we just thought it was the most economical and ecological option".

"Well, I understand, but I’m going to have to report this".

Damn. We’re not there any more than 5 minutes and the Foxboro Police Department swarms our small tailgate. The Massachusetts State Police join soon thereafter.

"OK guys, you can’t have this here, we’re going to have to take this"

"But Officer," Ricky pleaded, "We’re not doing anyone any harm, there’s quite a large group of us so it’s not a problem of over consumption". He was grasping at straws. Even with the 10 or so guys we had, if we finished that keg 100% we’d all be way to smashed to drive home even after the match.

"Well, that’s just too bad. Stadium policy is no kegs in the parking lot. You’re gonna have to load this in the back of our paddy wagon". This comment was especially ironic to me - this same paddy wagon would soon be home to anyone too drunk or disorderly to get home. Throwing a keg in to the drunkard wagon seemed like a poor life choice.

Ricky played the military card - he could see his deposit on the keg going down the drain. The cops weren’t having it. We loaded the keg in the back of the wagon.

"You can pick it up tomorrow morning," the officer said.

A blow was dealt that day to the cause of drinking at tailgates, but we were determined. We tracked down a local liquor store, purchased several cubes of beer, and began the time honored tradition of creating a Wizard Staff (pictured above). The goal is to eventually drink enough beers and tape them together so that they are taller than he/she who consumes them.

USA won the match (USA! USA! USA!) and we made our way to Boston to stay with a friend since we had to wait until the next morning to pick up the keg from the Foxboro PD. The night was more eventful for some than it was for others….

The next morning, we pull in to the Foxboro Police Department station, to see several mothers chewing out their underage sons for getting arrested for drinking at the match/getting underage drinking tickets that required a court appearance (“But officer, we don’t even live in Massachusetts!” Like that will work on the judge, lady…).

"Hi officer, we’re hear to pick up our keg" we tell the front desk jockey.

"We don’t have any kegs here" He blurted out.

Ricky and I were puzzled…and fearful for our full keg.

"We loaded it in the back of one of your vans yesterday at the stadium, we were told this was the address to pick it up"

"Nope. Try the State Troopers"

So we got in the car, drove over the troopers station only to find 1 officer in the empty station.

"What? We don’t do that sort of thing. Did you try the Foxboro PD?"

Were the cops trying to pull a fast one on us? Did they maybe…drink the entire keg the night before?

We drive back to the Foxboro PD. “You have our keg, sir. It’s in your paddy wagon”

"OOOO….was it a full keg?"

We answered in the affirmative. He radios back to someone. We’re told to pull around back.

What transpired next was something I hate myself for not documenting. We pull back to a garage where two police officers pull our keg out of a van and hand delivery it to our back seat. It was a great moment of triumph - gone were the days when cops would take our kegs, never to be seen again. Now, cops hand deliver kegs to your car…for you to then drive home with.

Party on, Cops. Party on.

NYC Unsuitable Sublet

September 2011 -

The following is a rant. If you would like to see something cheerier here’s a puppy:

     Due to a series of unfortunate events, mainly two friends backing out at the last moment in the apartment search, I was forced in to finding a sublet for the month of September. Since I was left with precious little time to find a sublet, I responded to pretty much every Craigslist sublet posting I could find that didn’t include the phrases “Female Only” or “Submissive Male”. Finally, I got a response at a location nearby to my old apartment (read: easy move) and for a reasonable price (read: under $1,000 - reasonable by Manhattan standards). After meeting with the guy who was subletting the room, Vik, who was moving to India for a month, we shook hands, I wrote a deposit check and we parted ways. Things seemed to be unfolding smoothly and in my favor.

     About 2 days before I was to move in, the guy subletting his room called me and asked if we could meet up. I agreed and we met up. He proceeds to tell me that “someone has offered more money for the room” and that he “wanted to know how high I was willing to go”. I of course was unhappy to put it politely (F#*K THAT S#*T). Seeing as how my back was now against the wall and I had pretty much 0 time to find another sublet, I negotiated something in between the two offers, got it in writing, and planned on moving in on August 31st.

     August 31st rolls around and Vik informs me that he’ll be around “all day” and I can move my stuff in at any point. After getting everything ready I text him around 11:30am asking if I could drop off a couple things. No response. One…two…three hours later….no response. After 4 texts and 3 phone calls, Vik finally responds at 3pm with “Sorry, at the US Open. Will be back around 7 maybe”. I am irate. You’d think he’d know he was going to the US Open in advance. I took the entire day off of work to make this move, and now I had to just sit there in my box filled apartment and wait for him to come home. He finally calls at 8pm to tell me he is back. I move my stuff. He tells me to get the keys tomorrow at 7pm before he leaves for his flight.

     September 1st and I’m ready for the key exchange. I show up at 6:50pm to find that he is essentially walking out the door already for the flight. He says “O, glad you got here I was about to just go”. I was 10 minutes early and he was about to go. THANKS. I move my stuff in with the help of 2 friends who sat there waiting for this guy with me for an hour. As I unpack my things, I see a mouse.

     So here’s the catch about this sublet: It’s a 1 bedroom apartment…and there’s a guy who sleeps in the living room. I’m subletting the 1 bedroom and normally this wouldn’t be so bad, however the only way to go in to the bathroom (which has a door that can’t close all the way) is through my bedroom (which has a door that doesn’t lock). Like I said, I didn’t have a lot of time to be picky. Also, I couldn’t understand his name when he introduced himself, so I’ve decided to nickname him “The Hound” since our only conversation has focused on him picking up girls.

    On my first day I see that Vik had left a note above the stove which said “Gas does not work. Plz plz plz call landlord and get fixed”. Now seeing as how I wasn’t gonna be living there full time and the guy in the living room was, it was decided he would handle it. He waits around all day Saturday for delivery of the new stove. The stove comes, but is not plugged in. On Monday (Labor Day) he asks me if I can wait around. I didn’t really have plans and wanted to be helpful so I agreed. I wait around all day. No one comes to install the stove. THANKS AGAIN. When The Hound returned he said “O, I guess he isn’t coming because of the holiday”. Again, this is something you think he would have known in advance. The Hound then asks if I could take a day off of work and wait for the stove guy to come again. I refuse saying I can’t miss work. He says he understands.

     The next day rolls around, the Hound leaves for work at 7:45, I plan on leaving at 8:15. At 7:55 there’s a ring at the door. Guess who it is. That’s right. The stove guy. Knowing that I had work, the Hound scheduled the repairman to come anyway. AWESOME. I’m now left with the decision of whether or not to leave this guy in the apartment alone. Luckily for me the decision was made for me. The stove was 24 inches across. The opening for the stove between the counters was only 20 inches across. He says he can’t do anything, I thank him for his time, and he leaves and I’m on time for work. 12 days in and the stove is still sitting in a box in the living room.

     September 9th was a fairly typical day and when I got home from work I took a nap. I was awoken to the sound of several shuffling feet in the living room. I debated for a moment whether or not to open the door and determine if a group of burglars were making off with all living room’s possessions (none of which were mine) and finally decided to check it out. I open the door and in the living room is the Hound, his 2 parents, and his brother. They had just flown in from India to surprise him and would be staying with him…in the living room. Knowing I couldn’t really tell them no since it was obvious they had no plans to leave, I said “O GREAT! THAT’S SO NICE!”. So for this past weekend there has been a family of 4 sleeping in the living room, going in and out of my room to use the bathroom.

     Today, the Hound wakes me up in the morning as he’s getting ready for work and informs me that his family had convinced him that he needed to move to Long Island and get his own place. This way he would be closer to work and wouldn’t be sleeping on the floor in his friend’s apartment. He would be moving out today and tomorrow. So, it would seem that at the moment that this situation is turning around. When I got home, his family was sitting in the living room. For the past hour, no one has said a word, but everyone is awake and just sitting there. No TV, no books, just sitting their quietly.

     I’m sure this can’t be the end of this situation so look forward to more about my life as a sitcom. (Cue Laugh Track and Applause. Fade to credits)

Mascot Musings - Part 4 of ?

(Successful steal of Duke’s school flag)

     The start of another year of college football and coming off a great Northwestern victory over Boston College had me thinking back to days of yore and working as the mascot at football games. There were several shticks I picked up along the way, many of which are standards, but some I like to think were somewhat uniquely me. And so, in the particular order that my stream of consciousness dictates, I give you a random assortment of tricks and gimmicks I used as a mascot:


    One thing I learned pretty fast was that fans love it when you steal the opposing team’s stuff. I suppose it must be the inner-klepto in all of us. If you can name it I probably stole it. Giant flags, bullhorns, hats, signs - all of these added a bit of excitement not only for the crowd but for me as well. Obviously not every action of mine was sanctioned by the opponents, so I’d have to wander over to the other side acting the fool to lull them a bit, then, when they thought me but a harmless cat, I’d pounce. Flags I would drag on the ground or maybe use it to wipe an inappropriate area or two. If the other team’s mascot had our flag as well, we’d usually roll them up to look like lances and charge in to one another before doing an exchange. Bull horns I’d sit on, use as a dunce cap, or maybe as a telescope. My personal favorite, and hardest to pull off, was taking a cheerleader. That’s right, as in a whole human being. Usually they played along with it as it was obvious I wasn’t really going to be doing much since I was so noticeably taking them. There were definitely times, however, when they would freak out and start kicking. That hurt. But I would throw them over my shoulder and run back to my sidelines with the prize.


    Creativity, or at least a semblance of it, played a big role in customizing shticks to your opponent. For instance, when we played the Syracuse Orange in 2008, I went to the store and bought an orange and a manual juicer. The NU crowd ate up the image of me slicing the orange in half in front of the stands and smashing it to smithereens with the juicer (pictured below). Or when we played Penn State on Halloween in 2009 I was able to procure a mask of their coach, Joe Paterno. Joe Pa is probably about 500 years old, having played the game of football himself back when the ball was made of stone, so there was a lot of old-man esque images to work with. With Auburn in the Outback Bowl on New Years Day 2010, I got a small stuffed tiger I put on a purple rope and dragged along behind me all across the stadium.


    Since you can’t talk as a mascot, when you make a sign you have to make sure it says the right thing since it’s all the words the crowd could really be able to attribute to you. Again this is something that you have to customize for every game or it gets old FAST. Signs that were specifically geared to the opponent that week were much bigger hits with the crowds than generic “Get Loud” or “Let’s Go ‘Cats” ones. The one sign style I was able to keep going for a little was the “Endangered Species List”. Pretty much every football team in the country is named after an animal (Yes, I know there are exceptions). So each week I’d put on the opponents’ animal on a giant list that included all our previous victories over animal teams. The crowd loved it and loved it even more after each victory when a football player would cross the week’s opponent off the list with a giant red marker.

    More to come later, but for now, just enjoy the season and root for NU! Go ‘Cats!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, I know. It is summer after all and I’m in the midst of the hellish process of moving in NYC. In the meantime, here’s a picture of me pretending to know how to fish in Lake George, NY

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, I know. It is summer after all and I’m in the midst of the hellish process of moving in NYC. In the meantime, here’s a picture of me pretending to know how to fish in Lake George, NY

My First Hangover

[Me at 16 getting my swerve on]

This serves as a prequel to previous entries revolving around everyone’s favorite subject: Me Vomiting. August 2004 – It was the end of the summer before junior year in high school. I was dating a girl at the time who had just graduated and was waiting to go off to college. Her group of friends and I had hung out a lot that summer and since they were seniors they brought me in to the world that was heavy underage drinking. At the time I was a very lean cross country and track runner – about 5’10” and 155 pounds – so at 16 my metabolism was unmatched. I had done my fair share of drinking with them over the course of the summer but had never woken up with a hangover or thrown up as a result of over drinking.

After a couple months of this I must have decided I was invincible and one night I decided to double down and really push the limits of my tolerance. After accompanying my older friends to the local dodgy liquor store (affectionately known as ‘Hole in the Wall’ as there was a literal hole in the wall of the store where a man would watch you from above – they’re form of a security camera) I was the proud owner of my own fifth of Southern Comfort. The plan for the evening was to go to my friend Drew’s house, as his mom was out of town, and down the whole thing by myself. Clearly, at the tender age of 16, I was capable of making some really great decisions.

The night wore on and the bottle began its steady march to Empty Town. This was evident from the fact that the drunker I got the more buttons became undone on my shirt. By the end of the bottle I was swaying back and forth, lip syncing to “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole – the straightest thing a young lad could do – and throwing my shirt around my head. All and all it was a great success. My girlfriend, a sober observer to these shenanigans, gave me a ride home and I face planted on to my bed fully clothed.

And of course, the next morning, I woke up feeling absolutely horrendous. My head was pounding, my body ached, I felt nauseous, and light seemed to burn straight to my core. I had not, however, thrown up during this whole experiment.

‘So this is a hangover’ I thought.

I spent the entire day in bed, in the dark silence, hoping to recover by 3pm. And why 3pm? Today marked the first day of cross country practice, and missing one of those practices was a sure fire way to get on the coach’s bad side. In my youthful arrogance I thought I could down a fifth and go run a couple miles the next day. Mistake.

My mom, who was probably on to why I was holed up, got me out of bed and drove me up to the track. It was a bright, warm, clear day and I was not in a good state. The coach went through the normal first day spiel and told us to jog two laps (half a mile) around the track. I shakily stood up, went to the start line, and began a sorry excuse for a first lap. After completing this first lap I kneeled over and vomited…right in front of the coach standing in lane 1.

“Go home” he irritatedly said with suspicion.

And so began my tumultuous love affair with drinking and vomiting. Ours is an on-again, off-again relationship, but I will always remember how awful it must have looked for me to throw up after just 1 lap, the look of disgust as my coach looked down on to the contents of my stomach that lay at his feet, and the puzzled sound of my mom’s voice when I called her to pick me up less than 15 minutes after practice had started.

Acts of Heroism in My Sleep


(This is the most heroic picture I have of myself…)

Monday, July 18, 2011 -      

           After being awoken by a drunk dial at 2:30am Monday morning, my slumbers were disturbed again at 5:30am by a far more disturbing noise. The sound of a cat screeching, yelping, and hissing in tandem with a woman screaming in horror and pain. I wasn’t sure if this ridiculous exchange was coming from my apartment building or the alley behind it, so I just sat in bed for about 10 minutes listening to this, hoping it would stop since I had to wake up at 7am for work.

But no such luck.

          After being kept up by this absurdity for way too long I got up out of bed, got dressed and went to my door to investigate.

            Fearing that some sort of feral bobcat had been let loose in my building, I opened my front door slowly with the chain attached to determine the source of the screams. I figured the noise was coming from my next door neighbor’s apartment and stepped out in to the hall.

“Is everyone OK?” I quietly asked as I knocked on the door.

“No, no! Please, please help us!!” the woman answered as she swung the door open with her bloodied arms and hands.

Great, I thought, I’m walking in to a homicide in flip flops and shorts…

“Our cat has its paw stuck under the bathroom door!” she said as tears streamed down her cheek in pain and sadness for her cat’s painful position.

I walked in to the apartment and assessed the situation. The cat’s paw had somehow gotten lodged underneath the door jamb nearest the wall. It’s paw was stuck on either side. Trying to open or close the door to free the cat was impossible since closing it would just clip the paw clear off and opening it would only hit the thicker part of the leg and not budge any further. The two women in the apartment, whom I could see were both covered in their own blood, had clearly received their injuries by trying to slide the cat’s paw to the wider side of the opening or from pushing and pulling on it to free the cat.

I sure as hell was not about to do that.

We first attempted to grease the cat’s leg and paw with oil, but that didn’t help. The cat also decided that the oil needed to be licked off instantly, so it wasn’t doing anyone any good.

I thought this must be what it’s like for firemen who save cats out of trees - “Damn stupid cats. Never see me saving dogs from trees. I’m supposed to be putting out fires, not playing George of the Jungle up here to save this old lady’s cat”. Plus, I wasn’t supposed to wake up for another hour.

Finally I told the women to wait there while I got some tools from my apartment. I came back moments later with a hammer and a screwdriver. They looked a little confused and scared, probably thinking my plan was to chop off the leg completely. Instead, I removed the hinges from the door and lifted it up off the frame.

The cat sprung free and darted under the bed, cowering.

“Oh my god, thank you! Thank you! We owe you big time!!” The women were ecstatic to have their cat freed.

I reattached the door and told them “It’s cool. I’m gonna go back to bed”.

I’m hoping that Karma should see it that my good deed, early on a Monday morning before my alarm was to go off to get up for work, will net me a free bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label…but my guess is that I get a note.

[UPDATE] (7/20/2011) - In appreciation for my efforts and sacrifice of sleep, my neighbors gave me a card, featuring a cat’s arm stuck in a fishbowl, with $20 to Starbucks. Neville, the ham-handed cat in question, is doing fine (after a $680 vet bill). His paw is currently about 6 times the normal size.

Making an Impression in Class

(Blurry…like my vision)

Winter Quarter Freshman Year -

      I had dropped my bid with my fraternity a week before and so the glorious and time honored tradition of hazing was to begin. They try to start out slowly so as not to scare everyone away all at once and also to build bonds between the brothers and the pledges. Thursday nights were “Call Hours”, when an older brother would call a pledge and have them complete some task or do some activity which usually involved drinking copious amounts of alcohol.

     My first Call Hours I received a call from a senior member of the fraternity telling me nothing but ‘Meet up with pledge Jimmy, find 2 cinder blocks, and meet two brothers on the third floor’. Of course my mind ran wild: What the heck are we gonna do with 2 cinder blocks?? Why are there going to be two of us? But being a good pledge, I ran up to the house, met up with Jimmy, found 2 cinder blocks, and went to the third floor.

      All the worry was for naught, we were just going to play a friendly game of caps, which is like beer pong but with a single pint glass on either side filled with beer that you shoot bottle caps in to one at a time. The cinder blocks were simply back boards, nothing sinister here, just a quiet game to get to know one another over. I had never played before, however, so I was pretty god awful. And accordingly, we lost, and had to drink who knows how many beers. I have a vague and fleeting memory of being asked if I could make it home, to which I replied “Yaaaa *hiccup* of cooouuurrseee…”. I can’t really recall the walk home or the most assuredly utter and complete collapse on my bed, but I did have the foresight to set an alarm for my 9am lecture the next morning. Since it was my first year I still had the foolish optimism that made me determined to make it to every single one of my classes.

      I awoke with a pounding headache, blurry vision, awkward-toddler-like coordination, and a stomach that was cursing my name. I was committed to make it to class, so I took a quick shower, got dressed, and soldiered on. I walk in to the 60-80 person lecture hall and take a seat on the aisle. I’m not sure what happened for the first 30 minutes of class, I probably lazily took notes as I tried to keep myself together and awake. But around 30 minutes in to class, my internal alarms were going crazy.

I was going to throw up.

“Keep it together, Jamie. You won’t actually vomit in class, that just won’t happen”.

      All the self pep talks in the world weren’t going to stop this cookie-tossing train from pulling in to the station. I began to dry heave. Those unlucky enough to have taken a seat next to me began to peer over, trying to make it seem as if they weren’t looking at this kid who looked the worse for wear and was lurching forward from time to time.

      Finally, I knew where this routine was going. In the middle of the professor’s lecture I jumped up from my seat and sprinted down the aisle. I violently threw open the double doors and let loose on the trash can placed right outside of them. Unlucky for me, those double doors to the lecture hall were made to close slowly and so everyone in the class had watched me jump up, run all the way out of the room, and vomit, all before the doors met again to close.

     Concerned for his puking student, the professor came down off the stage and out of the room to ask if I was alright. The sheer embarrassment of the event coupled with my weakened, hurling self could only muster a pathetically weak thumbs-up in response as I hugged that plastic sanctuary. After I had the strength, and to avoid further embarrassment, I got up and left the building before class was over. Immediately upon entering my dorm room, I logged in to the course management system, dropped the class, and went to bed.

And that’s why I ended up not taking Introduction to Moral Philosophy – I was too hung over.

Man v. Curry…and Trips to the ER

Memorial Day Weekend 2011 –
My good friend Ricky, an officer in the navy, decided to come down and stay with me this past Memorial Day weekend in New York City since it overlapped with Fleet week. We were in the East Village along with another friend of his from the Navy and it dawned on me that we were close by to the infamous Brick Lane Curry House on East 6th and 2nd Ave. This particular curry house was featured on the Travel Channel’s epically awesome show for fatties Man v. Food, where the host attempted the Phaal Curry Challenge – quite literally the SPICIEST curry in the world. If you don’t believe me, check out this terrifying clip from that episode (

     So since we were so close we thought “This can’t possibly be THAT bad. We both like spicy foods, no problem!” Good God how we were wrong. When we ordered the curry challenge the waiter had to show us a written waiver and we had to give him verbal recognition that we would not hold the restaurant liable for any physical or emotional harm that may result from attempting the challenge. In hindsight maybe eating food prepared by a chef in a gas mask and given by waiters who warm you against the harms of eating it might have been a mistake.

     The second the dish was placed in front of us we each broke out in a sweat. The fumes alone opened up the sinuses and made you drip with sweat. We had 30 minutes to put our bodies through this unforgivable torture so we three dug in. The first bite was probably the worst thing that I’ve ever eaten. It instantly set my whole mouth on fire, destroyed my esophagus, and gave me instant indigestion (and I never get indigestion).

“Great, now I only have the whole thing minus 1 bite to go….”

     The other Navy guy took two bites and had to stop. “There is just no way I can do this. This is a terrible, awful thing and you guys must really hate yourselves to continue”. Nothing like a little morale boosting…

     Ricky finished like a champ in about 15 minutes, eating this inferno and the whole super spicy 10x chili pepper. I had somewhat more of a struggle on my hands. My whole body was ablaze and it felt like I was going to throw up this ungodly dish.

     I got down to the last two bites: “Ricky, if I eat these last two bites I am confident that I will throw up. And I can’t imagine that throwing up this would be good for me – deathly spicy curry and stomach acid coming up my throat and maybe out my nose sounds like it could really do some permanent damage”. But he refused to see me fail completely after coming so far, so he quickly leaned over and shoveled down the last two spoonfuls of this liquid fire.

Real. American. Hero

     After we received our certificates of completion and free beer we had to just sit in silence for about 45 minutes. Moving and talking became almost impossible as the fires raged inside us. Finally, we were able to make a move for the door. We only made it about a block before Ricky doubled over, “I think I’m gonna throw up”. I could commiserate with this feeling, as my stomach felt like it wanted to jump out whole and make for the exit in a ‘This is the last straw!’ move. So as Ricky stood there clutching his stomach trying to heave, he just passed out flat on the ground. I went up to him thinking he was exaggerating and gave him a nice shake asking him if he was ok.


“What? Are you serious? Are you ok man?”

He began to hyperventilate and all he could blurt out was “AMBULANCE”.

     Fearing that something may actually have been seriously wrong I pulled out my cell phone and called an ambulance. They pulled up and I had to recant the entire story to the EMTs as they strapped him in to a gurney and placed an oxygen mask on. The EMTs just sort of laughed. Then since my friend couldn’t really talk I had to give them all his information. When they asked for his name I said “O here, it’s on his certificate of completion”. Laughs were had again.

     When we got to the ER and were given a room, doctors would just file in to have me retell the story. They were shocked that he was sober, as I guess most of the people who come into the ER during Fleet Week in uniform are just totally wasted. “No,” I said, “we only had 1 beer; he just ate some really spicy food…” One doctor, laughing at the absurdity of someone coming to the hospital for curry-related injuries, snapped a photo of Ricky’s certificate of completion saying he was going to put it and the story in a book he’s writing.

     But this whole time Ricky was just left on the gurney untreated. After about an hour or so a nurse came in and gave him Maalox and Pepcid AC. Three hours after our entry Ricky felt good enough to leave with a prescription from the doctor which turned out to just be for Pepcid AC and Maalox. Then, in all our infinite wisdom, we decided around midnight to rebound and go out.

Great life decisions brought to you by Jamie.

Donating Blood & Vom

The first time I donated blood was a breeze. I was 18 and swaggered in to the mobile blood drive on campus ready to get stuck. The exact moment I walked in to the mobile donor RV a girl who was just finishing up her donation sat up too quickly, all the blood rushed out of her head, she went completely pale, her eyes rolled to the back of her head and she fainted on to the floor.


Mine went much smoother though, I got stuck with the needle, lost a solid pint of blood, and was feeling good enough to even go to track practice later that day.

So in October of my freshman year at Northwestern when I saw there was a blood drive on campus I thought “I can do this no problem, one time clearly makes me an expert”.

So I go in to this campus blood drive feeling overconfident. I walk in, fill in the forms, and spend the rest of the time shoveling the free Oreos and juice boxes down my mouth (I mean, who can turn down unlimited Oreos, Animal Crackers, and Apple Juice?). After about 20 minutes of doing this they call my name and I walk up to get started. I was feeling fine during the whole thing until the very end. They take the needle out and I immediately start to feel woozy. The room started to swerve, my head started to move back and forth and then:


I threw up ALL over myself and probably a little bit on the nurse who was removing my blood bag. And when I say all over I mean my shirt, pants, arms, the chair, the whole shebang.

I guess I should have put more thought in to the fact that eating a lot right before donating blood, which helps digest food, might lead to a poor ending.

A lot of Food – A pint of Blood = Less Blood to Digest Food.

And to continue the equation:
Less Blood to Digest Food = Food has to go Somewhere….ergo……vom.

My first thought out loud though was “Can you still use my blood?”. The nurses laughed and said that so long as there was no vomit in the bag then I was good to go. Woozily I got up, and after a few minutes realized I was standing in the middle of this auditorium in front of about 60 other students covered in my own Oreo colored vomit. AWESOME. And everyone of course had seen/heard the commotion that surrounded my awesome display of blood donating fortitude, so they were already staring directly at me. Half were chucking (understandably) and half were horrified/sickened by the site of the Amazing Oreo Vomit Boy. The only thought I had was to take off my shirt and just leave immediately.

In hindsight it might have been even stranger walking down and out of the student center shirtless in late October. It was probably even more strange walking back to my dorm through campus, vomit shirt in hand, in the cold of an late fall/early winter night in Chicago…with no coat either. Kid with vomit on his shirt and kid with no shirt in 40 degree weather both seemed to attract odd stares, who would have thought?

Mascot Musings 3 of ?

September 8, 2007 - This video was taken the 2nd time I ever performed as Willie. I swear it only got better from there…