Gainesville Ramblings

This is a blog, and thus it barely qualifies as writing, let alone formal writing, so I'd not let it bother you.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

"Folsom's been closed for twenty years."

In this post: Thoughts covering the Florida/Georgia weekend, which due to new restrictions, will now be called "The World's Largest Outdoor Coke Orgy."

Dave and I arrived in Jacksonville with weapons ready. There was a bottle of rum in our hands, barbeque in our stomachs, and a love of drinking and the Florida Gators in our hearts. Our base was the Holiday Inn Express, which was filled to the brim with Florida Fans, while a few hesitant Georgia fans slowly crept the halls, praying for a win or even a touchdown the next day.

As we prepared to go to the Landings, we discovered two things:

1) A group of Phi Siggers was staying at the hotel next door, meaning it would be cheaper to get to our ultimate destination.

2) A storm of pure hatred and malice was sweeping across the state and promised to bring nothing but wetness, cold, and misery to downtown Jacksonville about an hour after we got there. There was much anxiety, but still we persevered, confident that the amount we would drink would make everything alright.

Our arrival at the Landings was met by good omens. The first was coming across attractive girls in the back of a Monster Energy Drink truck. For some reason, they were sitting in a dark side street, so were very excited when they saw a large group of college kids desirous of a much needed caffeine pick-me-up. They gave us what seemed like three each. The drinks may have been disgusting, but they were helpful towards the completion of our goals that night.

The second good omen took the form of a Georgia girl. A very very drunk Georgia girl. She stumbled out of the morass of people, and made a straight line towards us. I think I was the closest male to her, so she immediately came for me. Normally, I would have been OK with a girl coming on to me, but two things dissuaded me this time: The first was that she was so drunk she could barely stand. Though it would amaze some people, I do have moral standards, and one of them is not blindly making out with random girls who are too drunk to make those decisions, let alone being able to do complicated things like walking or standing or talking. The second was the fact that she was a Georgia fan. Eww. Thank the Gods that Dani came over and pretended to be my boyfriend, as extricating myself from that situation would have been difficult. This girl then proceeded to rub up against just about every other guy in our group, eventually falling to the ground which forced the paramedics (who had been watching this) to come over and make sure she was still breathing. Eventually some of her friends arrived and took the poor girl away.

Knowing rain would soon be arriving, we forced our way upstairs to the food court and claimed our spot next to the best place in the whole Landings: The Cheap Beer Stand. Cheap beer, in this case, being 4 bucks for 24 oz. Not the best, but much better than anything else in the place.

Its at this point that things become fuzzy. I remember meeting Bethany (Grace) and her friend Kristin. I remember walking around with them for a bit. I found my group again, drank more beer, and got separated again. The crowd, by this time, was tightly packed as everyone had retreated into the Mall area to escape the rain. I got more beer, and found Katie Newman. I remember very little of our conversation, other than that it was drunken and probably funny. I'm sure I was suave and debonair. I'm sure.

By this time, my group was long gone. I finally noticed that they had sent me 12 text messages telling me to get my ass over to the statue of Andrew Jackson, our agreed upon meeting point. I bid my goodbyes to Ms. Newman and pushed my way through the crowd. This is when something that I will remember for quite a while, in spite of the alcoholic fog that had descended over my brain. As I was walking, I heard the guy in front of me say "I've been in prison." A smart man would have let this go, but I was drunk and feeling friendly. So I decided to make conversation. Plus, this guy looked all of 22 and about as frat-tastic as you can imagine, so I figure I could have some fun.

"What prison were you in?" I asked.

"Folsom," he replied. Now, I know my Johnny Cash, so I know two things: Folsom is in California, and it's closed (this last part was wrong, it ends up). So I said, most likely with a drunken attempt at a skeptical look, "Folsom's been closed for twenty years."

He turned, and that's all I had time to register before I discovered that he had elbowed me in the throat, throwing me back into the people behind me. He continued to glare at me, so I quickly put up my hands and tried to look as small and insignificant as I could. He turned back around and stalked off. I briefly considered trying to find a cop and file a complaint for battery, but decided against it as my friends were waiting.

When I arrived, we started looking for a taxi. It was raining pretty hard, and there was little to no cover where we were forced to wait, so we continued to get soaked. I thought it was awesome, I'm not gonna lie. Dubo's probably not in agreement with me, as she got pretty sick the next day. But eventually we got back to the hotel, where sleep eventually came.

The rest of the story will be posted tomorrow. Until then, Go Gators (oh, and they did).

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