Stolen Keg Tap Incident

The sun was a big red bull, not a big red ball, in the stifling summer air of my third floor apartment. This is a drinking story, so stop if you have heard it before.

Mike called his neighbors a bunch of faggots before he ever met them. This was because they had a shitty Japanese car and more so because they occasionally would park the rusting wagon too close to the basketball court. It would interfere with play. Mike thought of himself as a very good ball player for a white guy. He was big, with big hands and bigger shoes. He chewed with his mouth opened. When he was in a good mood, he expressed himself in ways I found offensive.

I worked with him at the university, where we both stocked vending machines. I have been in this situation more times than I can count, but this one was particularly unpleasant. I am speaking of the unfortunate situation of being trained in a new job by an asshole. There is a pattern. He tells you its a pretty good job. He then tells you whos a fag and who is not, who is cool and who is not, and how to steal from the till or how to eat the food without anyone finding out or caring. He shows off for you. He then expects to be thanked for all the insights.

He boasted he once did his girlfriend in the backroom. And another girl got it back there too. But that one was in between times he and his girlfriend, whom he said he loved, were arguing. So it was technically legal for him to bang this other chick because they were half-way broken up anyway.

It was great; we met at a party, super drunk, and tried to do it in the bathroom. It didnt work, so we promised if we ever met again, wed try again. So there I was stocking hamburgers and there she was nuking some popcorn. She walked in the room, I lifted up her skirt and she bent over that table right there! He raised his hand in a gesture to slap mine. I kept my hand right where it was. When you are 18, 21 is pretty far away. I knew better than to listen to him too closely. I was biding time in social jail cell when I was with him. He was definitely bull material and I think he saw a little prison wife in me. My skin crawled.

Ah, parties. I went back and forth, wondering if I was missing something and loathing myself and the scene when I was there. I couldnt win. I should have known better than to wander down to Mikes one night when he had a party. But, I was already drinking 3.2 and caught enough of a buzz to want some of the malt liquor keg that he bragged would be flowing from the tap. On my way I passed by Pauls house, a friend of mine. He had just run out of vodka. After a two minute conversation we left for Mikes. Pauls roomy, Jeff, was with us as well. He was always fun when he was drunk. Jeff had this way of making others think there was an inside joke going on, like he was perpetrating some sort of long and complicated scam. But it was all bullshit. There was no joke, and that was the joke. The fun was in the poor victim who thought it all up herself. The more complicated the interpretation, the funnier the joke became. He was harnessing the natural neuroses of people for his pleasure. He usually chose women to play with him. His charm was often lost on men, or misinterpreted. He meant no ill will. He liked to show people that they make their problems bigger by their own devices.

It was one of my earliest celebratory experiences in college. I drank way too much with my buddies, looked to hook up with someone, but gave up and walked home alone. I lost Paul and Jeff after they got drunk and fled the scene. They didnt like Mike either. I was a little embarrassed for bringing them along. But then, they wanted the alcohol and they tolerated the abundance of idiots long enough for them to fulfill their mission.

I left, walked home in the summer heat, and went up my three brutal flights of stairs to the attic where I lived. It was converted to a shitty apartment few would tolerate. I stripped off articles of clothing on my way up. I sat in the recliner in my briefs, thirsty, but without the will power to rise and drink water. I fell asleep immediately.

I heard the bump and then the pounding commenced. I could tell it was Mike and I could hear that he had two people with him. One was his room mate, the other, a friend. The room mate and Mike were looking for the tap; apparently some one had stolen it. The friend was just looking to kick some ass. They were all as drunk as I was.

I could hear Mike telling his posse that he didnt think I stole it, but that my friend Paul did. He pounded so hard on the door that things were falling off my walls. Just tell us where he lives! Maybe they saw someone take it.

It was a moment of weakness when I actually relented. They pounded for twenty minutes before I made the mistake of opening the door. They did not take it. Well, maybe they saw someone walk away with it. Come on, it was fifty fucking bucks! They didnt take it. They have no reason to take it. Sure they do! They can get a keg any time they want and skip the tap fee AND the deposit! Mike had stolen a tap two years earlier and it was used until recently. When it was destroyed after they threw the empty eight gallon keg around and hit it with aluminum bats in the wee hours of spring break. Come on! We just want to ask them if they saw something.

In my haze, I wanted to believe Mike. I was too tired to put up the fight and do the right thing. Call me what you will. There are so many different right ways one could have solved this problem and really only one wrong way. Of course I chose the wrong way. In my defense, I was ignorant of many things back then. I had little experience being drunk and less being interrogated. I was only eighteen, alone with three big seniors, and I was out of ideas. We arent going to do anything to them; we just want to ask them if they saw anything. Come on, man! It is fifty bucks to rent and another fifty for the fucking deposit! Mike the business major remembered in his drunken state that I did not know that they already made the first fifty back on charging for the cups, so he raised the ante. What a bunch of shit.

They walked around the neighborhood until they stumbled upon Paul and his friends, also very drunk, on the porch of their house. The idiot contingent attempted to pull my friends into the street for a fight. After some harsh name calling and threats, Mike and his posse left, promising to kick asses if they ever see you faggots around again! Fuck You! And so on.

Paul later chastised me. You dipshit! But, he let it go after that. What a relief. Mike distanced himself from me, confident that my friends had indeed stolen the tap. He thought of me as someone a little shifty. I can imagine him talking between bong hits," Yea, there was this shifty little fucker I used to hang out with at work. Had these friends who stole our tap and wouldn't help us get it back. Made you think he was cool, but he was not, man. Had this long curly hair." It ended as a blessing in disguise. It was like going through a ring of fire or something. I had this shitty experience, thought I was going to get the shit kicked out of me, pissed off a friend of mine, and then I end up being shunned by one of the bigger assholes I knew at the time.

Evan, Apr 11 2005 1:28PM

so you DID steal the tap, eh?
well done.