Tag Archives: college

Plastic Paddy’s Wake (and Bake)

(to the tune of “Finnegan’s Wake”)

Plastic Paddy lived on Linden Street,
A mutt with a tinge of Irish blood.
His North Shore accent wicked sweet
and in his life, smoked too much bud.
So he had a sort of a tipplin’ way
With a love for jäger bombs he was born.
And to help him get to class each day:
Sambuca in his Dunkies ev’ry morn.

Chug, Chug, Chug, bro, let’s do shots
’til you hit the floor and your stomach aches.
Dudebro, it’s a rager here
At Plastic Paddy’s wake and bake!

One night he shotgunned too much beer.
His head felt heavy, which made him shake.
He fell from the second floor balcony
And they gathered around to help him wake.
They moved him to the futon
where they slapped him twice upside the head.
Someone panicked, “Call the cops!”
when they felt for sure that he was dead.

(Repeat Chorus)

His friends assembled in the living room
And Dave O’Reilly called for shots.
Whiskey, cream, and Guinness chugged,
then finished with a rip of pot.
Maggie McDonald flipped her shit:
“I’m so fucked up, but seriously
we should probably call the cops.”
“Yo, that bitch is tweakin’!” yelled Al Giovanni.

(Repeat Chorus)

Then Suzy Kaplan spoke up with haste:
“You’re killing the buzz, so there’s the door.”
Maggie then gave her a slap in the face
And left her sprawling on the floor.
Then the war did soon engage;
‘Twas woman to woman and man to man.
The kegger war broke out in rage
and a violent riot soon began.

(Repeat Chorus)

Then Teddy Davis ducked his head
when someone threw a can of Natty.
It burst beside the futon bed
and the beer exploded all over Paddy.
Paddy revives, see how he rises!
Paddy risin’ from the futon!
Says, “Whoa. Shit. I’m good now, bro.
Let’s do car bombs! Party on!”

(Repeat Chorus)

The Origins of Pumpkin Beer

It was nearing sundown on that late autumn evening, and soon the frost would settle in for the long winter months. Mordecai Willington III was tending to the last of his crops, surveying the remaining gourds that littered his field in a tangled mess of pulp and vine, like a spider’s web in orange, brown, and yellow, speckled with flecks of green. It was the end of the harvest season, and though his yield had been high this year, he wasn’t selling as strongly as he had hoped. Soon the gourds would go to waste, buried beneath the snow along the cold Atlantic coast. Without the money he had hoped to make, his family would be forced to ration their goods until the spring.

Mordecai was gathering the final fresh gourds when a blinding white flashed across the field. It was radiant and burned without pain, as if God Himself had come down from above to bless the land. Mordecai was then surprised when a young girl emerged from the glorious haze, wearing boots to the middle of her shins that were covered in the fur of what appeared to be some relative of a sheep. Her long hair seemed an unnatural auburn shade and her clothing was immodest: a form-fitting pair of slacks made of some material he had never seen, and a button-down shirt in tartan tones that clung tightly to her well-supported bosom. She did not appear to be a harlot, though her face was indeed painted, giving her an angelic glow.

“I’m Alyssa,” she said, and when she smiled, her teeth were neither yellow nor jagged, but rather like a child’s in a full grown mouth.

“The Lord knows me as Mordecai Willington III,” he said, and bowed his nod. “Are you a messenger from God? Have you come to tell me how I shall feed my family through this cold, dark winter?”

“I do, but not from God. I come Northeastern University, four-hundred-and-something years in the future. Well, technically I grew up in Jersey but now I’m studying marketing. This is my internship semester.”

Mordecai turned his head and looked curiously at the strange woman. “Your words, they sound like English. I know them, yet I do not understand them. There is something queer about them.”

The girl — Alyssa — rolled her eyes and let out an exasperated. “Ugh, it was one time after volleyball practice. I’m not like a dyke or — you know, forget it, that’s not the point. I’m here to tell you that you need to take those leftover pumpkins, and turn those into beer, so we can get fucked up in the future. Oh, and from now on, you should probably ferment at the start of the harvest, so we can drink them starting in like, August. Got it?”

Mordecai laughed and said, “Others have done the same with their leftover gourds. It tastes retched compared to true ales! But it does indeed get you through the winter. But if we were to use our pumpkin harvest in the summer months, before the crops are ready, it would taste so green, and soiled. And then we would not have the crops to use in the fall!”

“That’s why you just dump a bunch of nutmeg and cinnamon and crap in, and you’ll be fine. And then you just sell that and you’ll make like a million dollars and you won’t even to worry about selling more crops in the future. I’m telling you, I’m marketing major, and I’m doing all kinds of alcohol brand ambassador stuff at  my internship now. I totally know what I’m talking about.”

Mordecai took a step towards her and peered at her with squinted eyes. “Why would I waste such valuable spices? We do make ales from pumpkin at the end of the harvest, but only out of necessity, never for flavor, and certainly not with pride. Why should I listen to you? How do I know that you are not sent here from the Devil?”

“Ugh, why does everyone hate Jersey so much?” the girl replied. She crossed her arms beneath her breasts and said, “Just trust me, okay? Think of me as like, the Ghost of Frat Parties Future. Or something. I don’t know. I never read that book, just the SparkNotes.”


The next summer, Mordecai took his entire pumpkin harvest and did precisely as he was told. But no one would barter or pay for his beer, and without any other crops to sell, his family went cold and hungry, and over the course of the winter, his entire family succumbed to the elements. But their sacrifice made for some like, totally sweet parties in the first few weeks of the semester.

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas Break

Twas the night before Christmas break, when all through the web.
Not a tweeter was tweeting, not even your Aunt Deb.
The blog posts were scheduled to autopost with care
In hopes that the readership soon would be there.

The college kids were passed out all drunk in their beds,
while visions of potential high school hook ups danced in their heads.
And mama implores them to help her with chores,
but they’d rather sit around the whole month and be bored.

The news cycle trickles out with hardly a clatter
And we habitually check Facebook to see what really matters.
But everyone posts the same holiday status
of seasonal greetings and some New Years gladness.

The impending threat of the first-fallen snow
gives a nostalgic glimmer to objects below.
And then once it snows, what instead should be appear
But wet muddy roads that make it hard to steer

For every little drink driver, so lively and thick —
but really, you should have had a DD, you dick.
How rapid you spun when to black ice you came
but you’ll come out unscathed, and still find someone to blame.

“Well yeah but so maybe I had a few beers.
I was just fine to drive, there was nothing to fear.
I was typing a text to see who else was home
when I don’t know, man, I just swerved on the road.”

And the mornings you spend with your family feel quaint
but by mid-afternoon, it’s clear that they ain’t.
Your parents have so many answers to seek
when they don’t realize that you just want to sleep.

But you’re still looking forward to seeing old friends —
forgetting, of course, their own holiday plans.
So you look back to Facebook, but nothing is new,
so then you check twitter to find something to do.

But your parents have cable, so hey, that’s still cool!
With eight thousand channels, and you feel like a fool
for watching some network crap you don’t like
but that’s better than just surfing channels all night.

Then you see an old ex on the way to the store,
And she’s fat, or he’s married to that old high school whore.
And the comfort is fleeting, but at least now you’ve seen
that your life didn’t peak when you’d just turned eighteen.

So you get drunk with dad and discuss politics
and realize that hey, maybe he’s not such a prick,
and wine works much faster than cheap, shitty beer
so you start to rethink your plans for New Years.

Then you remember your plans for a productive week,
and the things that you wanted to watch, write, and read.
But instead you fall down a Wikipedia hole
and learn all about the agricultural benefits of voles.

And you watch with your parents an childhood great
which washes over you with a sentimental wave
and those annual plans you had made with your friends
are now spent at home with more emails to send,

checking twitter, and updates on Facebook for news;
you find nothing, and so open a new bottle of booze.
But when the time comes to leave, you drive off with a grin
because you can’t wait ’til next year to do it again.

Why I Hate Journey (the band)

I get asked this question all the time, so I think it’s important for me to finally come clean and set the record straight: why do I hate the band Journey so much?

‘Cause they fuckin’ suck, dude.

Okay no but seriously, there’s actually a number of legitimate reasons for this. And it’s not their entire catalog (that lick from “Anyway You Want It” is pretty good, even if the song goes on too long), so I don’t hate the band themselves per se. It’s mostly “Don’t Stop Believin’.” And it’s not just because I’m trying to be contrary or anything — there are plenty of other equally popular pop songs that I do enjoy with no shame at all. In my mind, “Don’t Stop Believin'” is the most hackneyed, cliched, and derivative anthemic pop/rock song of all time, like someone mashed the parts of every other rock anthem into a calculator, stripped out the emotions, found the mathematical mean, and then put it on the radio. It doesn’t help that people ascribe way too much personal meaning (in my humble opinion) to the song when they’re shitfaced at last call and screaming out nonsense about “Streetlight People,” whatever the hell that means. The lyrics are generic meaningless drivel disguised (very poorly, I might add) as poetry, when in fact, they say nothing at all. Nothing but, “Don’t Stop Believin'” which sure, okay, fine, that’s a good message. I guess. But does it actually mean anything?

My good friend Layne was also a huge Journey fan, and this served as a major point of contention throughout the entire tenure of our friendship. Still, as a friend, I was always willing to overlook her shortcomings. We all have flaws, we all make mistakes. Hers was Journey (to say nothing of her N*SYNC obsession, which I was totally okay with).

Layne passed away a few days after her birthday in April, 2011. It was about 4:30 in the afternoon on a Friday and I had just finished speaking at an event at Emerson College, our alma mater, so I slipped into Sweetwater Tavern for a beer with a few other alumni friends. I received a phone call from our friend Eric, who was always particularly close to Layne. I stepped outside so I could hear him better, and that’s when he delivered the news.

I went back into the bar and sat at the table with my other friends, the color drained from my face. They asked what was wrong and I told them, insisting that we keep drinking and not really talk about it right now, because I was still processing it. I slammed back the rest of my beer, and I realized that “Don’t Stop Believin'” was playing over the speakers in the bar. For a brief moment, I swear I could have seen Layne’s ghostly visage sticking her tongue out at me and waving her fingers, teasing and taunting as if to say “Gotcha, motherfucker! I win!” (which, to be fair, is something she would totally do, especially in a posthumous state).

So that’s why I don’t like Journey. Plus, you know, they suck.

Lobe Lobe Lobe

It wasn’t until she moved to the city for college that Kelly realized anything was wrong with her. As far as she was aware, back in her small little town, everyone was the same as her — or if they weren’t, no one ever made a big deal over it.

She first noticed the seething contempt from her roommate, Ashlee, as they moved their bags into their shared dorm room on their first day there.  There was a brief moment of shared excitement between them as they shook hands for the first time. Looking into each others’ eyes, Kelly was certain they had both found companionship, but when she took her hand and tucked her sandy shoulder-length hair behind her, she noticed an immediate transformation. Ashlee’s smile faded, the glow of excitement dissipating into the stale dorm room air and hiding away beneath musty twin-sized mattresses.

They’d make shared friends in classes and events, but girls and boys alike both turned on her as quickly as Ashlee had on that first day. She’d see them whispering sometimes, secrets softly spilled into the ears of those who hadn’t yet caught on. Every syllable sent signs of recognition and disgust across their faces. Afterward they’d giggle and cup their hands around their ears, keeping the secret inside. Kelly couldn’t tell what she had done, or how she came to be such an abomination. They all seemed to like her well enough at first; what could be so bad as to make them all turn like that?

Kelly discovered the truth at a party over Columbus Day weekend. She had met an upperclassman brother that night named Glen, and the two of them hit off well enough to spend the better part of the evening making out on one of the second-hand couches that furnished the frat house living room. The kissing grew increasingly heavy as the party raged around them. Glen, with his left hand caressing her breast over the low-cut silk shirt she had worn that night, brought his lips down to her clavicle, gently sucking and kissing with his mouth, letting his tongue slip out in snake-like flares to lick her gentle skin. He worked his way up her shoulders, to her neck. Kelly’s head rolled back against the seat of the couch, giving him more space to work. His tongue traced its way up her jawline, inciting soft squeals, until it came to the back of her ear.

He nibbled sensuously  at the cartilage, down to the back of her earlobe, when suddenly, he leapt from the couch in disgust, wiping the wretched taste from his mouth. The whole room and stopped and turned as Glen pointed an accusatory finger in Kelly’s face. “Attachee!” he screamed, throwing the rest of the guests into chaos as they felt her filth cover their bodies. “You sicko earlobe freak!” he yelled as he pulled her off the couch and shoved her out the door without her coat.

By the time classes resumed on Tuesday morning, it seemed the entire school had known about Kelly’s attached earlobes. Even the faculty avoided her.

The social leprosy was too much for her to bear, so Kelly stole a steak knife from the dining hall, took it back to her dorm room to perform her own cosmetic surgery. Ashlee returned to the room after her Student Council meeting to find her Kelly unconscious, bleeding out on the hideous grey carpet. She spent a half hour in the bathroom throwing up at the sight of Kelly’s remaining attached earlobe. But the time she was done, it was too late to call an ambulance.

Freshmen Weekend

The crisp, pre-autumnal
scent of perfume, vomit
and underage drinking
wafts through the air
on Huntington Avenue.

Wherefore art thou pants,
sweet maiden? Why dost
thou mate lie incontinent
along the gutters of the bridge
on Massachusetts Avenue?

Cellphone screams, the
clumsy click and clack of
stilettos slice the stillness
of the early morning light
on Commonwealth Avenue.

While I nestle softly in
my bed off Centre Street.


Love Letter to My Liver

I  woke up on a stripped college dorm mattress sometime after ten. Something smelled like vomit. I quickly realized it was me. Naked and bleeding slightly, I squinted hard in the sunlight pouring over me like cheap Canadian whiskey.

Is that what I drank?

I was a gas tank last night, match-ready and full of potential. I was far from sober and somewhere around enlightened, or at the very least contented. Somewhere between drinks, or quite possibly, that girl’s legs, I found something wonderful. Although, I’m pretty sure I lost it along with my sunglasses.

Why I was wearing them in the dark is beyond me.

A black guy with a name I can’t pronounce asked me what I wanted to mix my drink with. I responded by doing my best impression of John Belushi. Southern Comfort is a poor substitute for Jack Daniel’s. It’s a little too sweet, but it burns a lot less and goes down fairly smooth, so I think I’m okay with my choice.

I spent some time talking politics with a girl who had been with four men that day, although I’m fairly sure I was one of them. She held her own quite well. Take that as you will. I try not to pass judgement though, since if it wasn’t for girls like her, guys like me would have nothing interesting to write about.

I noticed a while back that I tend to romanticize self-destruction. A recovering alcoholic that I know told me that one day, after he retires, he wants to buy a big house out in the desert somewhere in New Mexico and drink himself to death. It’s strange, but somehow I find that heartbreakingly beautiful.

When I was younger I would write poems about the way light filtered through the glass of empty beer bottles and how different colored glass made me miss the different girls that I had loved. Now it just makes me miss the beer that was in them.

They tell me that peeling the labels off bottles is a sign of sexual frustration. When I’m peeling the clothes off women I often wish they were bottles.

I liked the color of her glass and her label said, “Taste Me”, so I was happy to give her a try. A little hoppy and not enough head, but well rounded and full bodied. Not an all-together unpleasant experience. At the very least, I’d certainly drink one again if it was offered.

I think my perfect woman is a good glass of scotch. Aged eighteen years. Smokey, without all the burn. Smooth going down. Always on the rocks.

That may have been more direct than I intended.

It’s hard being wordy when you’re this hungover. Almost as hard as being pithy when you’re twelve deep into a thirty rack and gaining momentum by the minute.

I should probably shower and wash last night off, but for now I’ll let it stick with me. At least I think that’s what that is.