Smell that in the air? Delicious, isn’t it? I’m talking about the splendiferous aroma of blossoming trees, unshowered engineers (emerging from the library for the first time in months), frat boy barbeques and burning organic chemistry books. Every April these familiar scents herald the coming of spring and the death of those lingering brown snow mounds on sidewalks. More importantly, though, these smells remind college students that summer is fast approaching.
Summer freedom means different things to each of us. For some, summer is the perfect opportunity to catch up on drunken debauchery with old friends. For others it’s a time to make some extra cash at a shitty part-time job. Still others are trying to get a head start on their resumes by doing that whole “internship thing.”
However you choose to spend your it, you need to make the most of summer because you only get ten weeks of respite before Midterm Season starts again. So don’t waste your freedom, kids. Learn from the mistakes older, wiser upperclassmen have made—upperclassmen with mad math skills like myself.
Two summers ago I returned from my first year at Cornell. I was a fresh-faced greenhorn who needed animal experience (for vet school) and a paycheck. Maybe it was the Buffalo humidity, but for some reason I decided to work at an urban animal shelter called HomieYoPathic which shunned traditional veterinary medicine in favor of “natural therapies.” When my boss Julio Guglio—true story—interviewed me, he said that the job would involve some unsavory tasks like cleaning up vomit and poo. Being a frat boy, this did not scare me.
What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was the faux therapy of homeopathy. For those not familiar with homeopathic medicine, it is basically a great way to con people out of money. All you need is medicine-y-looking bottles and sugar pills. Now charge $40 dollars a bottle for fancy placebos. Okay, maybe that’s an oversimplification, but the bottom line is that a lot of animals died under Julio’s care. In one instance he refused to take an animal with a bladder infection to the real vet. I quit because I couldn’t stand to see such negligent cruelty.
Even though I quit half-way through the summer, I made a decent amount of money. What does a young lad like me with a pocketful of cash do? Obviously I went with my friends to a strip club in Canada! Our enlightened neighbors to the North allow drinking and friction dances to any gents (or lasses) over the age of nineteen. “Jiggles” happened to be the name of this fine establishment where I experienced my first $7 dollar beer. Losing money seemed to be a trend at Jiggles. My friends and I were greeted by a bouncer who had three chins…entirely made of muscle.
So I sat at a table in Jiggles with my crew: Lance, Preston, and Gabe. Waitresses and bouncers alike cleared bottles from our table faster than Jeff Purcell at a recycling rally. One of them tried to take a half-full Labatt from me while I sipped it. This served as an object lesson in economics: If you keep patrons from finishing their beverages they must buy more at the low, low rate of seven dollars American. Dancers approached me and put their arms around me, propositioning me for dances. I had no idea what was going on, but one lovely performer whispered something romantic in my ear: “Twenty dollars gets you one song.” I was sold.
Lap dances are probably the most awkward thing I’ve ever experienced. The actual “dance” was basically a naked person writhing on me while conversing with me about my major at Cornell. I was blushing while she groped my member and asked “So you want to be a vet? That’s so cool. I love animals too! I’ve always wanted to be a vet, you know.” Little known fact: All girls wanted to be a vet at some point in their life.
I left Jiggles down forty bucks, but my friends fared much worse. Preston “fell in love” when his girl Candy gave him her number, which he assured me was real. I guess that explained why he got suckered into buying five dances that night. Lance bordered on alcohol poisoning and Gabe was the Designated Driver, so he was a sour grump. Thanks, Jiggles, for ensuring I never visit a strip club ever again!
A few weeks after the Jiggles incident I ran my family’s Ford Taurus—a standard stunt vehicle—over Preston’s lawn in an attempt to “burn-out” the tires and leave wicked looking tracks in the street. The brakes locked up, I hit the curb, and I tragically mowed down two rose bushes. Embarrassed, I parked the car two streets over and then went to his house anyway and tried to play it cool. His mother saw the tracks in the lawn the next morning and screamed, “Preston, some drunk asshole ran over our lawn last night and nearly hit the house!”
No, I wasn’t drunk. Yes, it was a stupid and pointless stunt. Yes, my parents nearly ended my life that night. And my parents lost $3,000 on the trade-in value of their car.
Now, dear readers, you’ve probably taken nothing from this column other than, “Wow, Eric’s a pretty big dumbass.” I’d actually agree. This summer, remember this: Ford Tauri (the plural of Ford Taurus) can NOT be used to reenact Gone in 60 Seconds.
Keep an eye out for my column next week, where I explain how to live the life of a millionaire with mail-order credit-card scams!
P.S. Don’t worry, Mom and Dad, at least 70% of this story didn’t not happen!
P.P.S. Yes, I’m aware I didn’t mention thirty-seven ways not to spend your summer. I never claimed I was good at math.