Thursday, April 20, 2006

Sometimes Even Saints Are Sinners: Part I

You, Valedictorian of your class, winner of the prestigious Bernie Saggau Award, Student Council President, member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Club, Quiz Bowl Team, Drama Club, Pep Band, Concert Band and numerous other organizations, are being suspended anyway just for spite. Or at least that is how I imagined "Smiling" Bob said it. In the end, I was suspended for two days my senior year in high school.

Let me first set the scene for you. It was my senior year in high school and being the only senior having a role in the school murder mystery play, I was asked to drive a few underclassmen to one of their houses to make some punch for the third scene. I looked incredulously at the teacher, two years removed from a private Catholic all girls school to this public institution of red necks and farm boys, at what she was asking or rather trusting us to do. She didn't seem to catch my look and so I agreed and off we went. About two minutes later, we pulled up to the house and the under classmen went inside to make the punch. I stood outside admiring the night sky and shooting the breeze with a friend of mine who happened to walk by on the way to the play. After about ten minutes, I began to wonder what was taking so long and looked inside just in time to see the last of a couple liquor bottles being filled up with water and stowed underneath the bar so that father wouldn't suspect anything later. Mrs. Private Catholic teacher was in for a surprise that had been no surprise to me.

As we drove back to the school hurriedly because the play should have already started, I had to roll down the windows of the car because the punch reeked strongly of alcohol. We pulled into the parking lot and quickly made our way to the door at the back of the gymnasium near the state where Mrs. Private Catholic teacher greeted us.

"Did you spike the punch she asked?"

"No," the underclassmen answered while I suddenly realized that their jig was up.

"Let me taste it," she said. We poured her a glass, she sipped some and said, "This tastes awful, what did you put in it?"

"We put in several different kinds of Kool-Aid."

"Well alright. You're late so put it on the table and get to your places."

And with that, we were in. Whispers were quickly passed and soon, everybody knew about the punch, except for maybe the audience and the teachers directing the play. During my first scene as I was out on the stage, I noticed about one hundred camcorders focused on us and knew that this secret was bound to get out. We were playing with fire. I vowed to not drink any of it hoping that I would be absolved from the scandal that was sure to arise.

Because my duties were light between the second and third scene because I didn't have to do a costume change, I was in charge of carrying the punch bowl out to the table for the final party scene. As I walked back to where we had left it, I found a half empty punch bowl and one very tanked Waif Girl whose only scene was in the final third act. She slurred the words as she told me how good the punch was as I took what was left onto the darkened stage and took my place. Lights, camera, action.

The lights came on and we went through our lines but everyone, especially the underclassmen were eying the bowl while I was eying the videos being recorded. The script had my love interest offering me a drink and was supposed to be me taking a drink and offering everyone to help themselves. But no sooner had she handed me the first glass than everyone else on stage pounced on the bowl and started chugging punch left and right. I hoisted my in a cheer and instead of drinking it, lost my self in some adlibbed conversation with another actor and then set it up on the mantel. The play ended minutes later with a very empty punch bowl and twenty or so actors with some warm bellies from two or three shots of hard alcohol now sitting in their stomachs. Yes sir, the cast party later was pretty interesting.

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