The economy: it has devastated our nation’s housing markets, rapidly shrunk our school’s endowment and played ping-pong with gas prices. These are only a few consequences of the recent financial downturn, but they are neither the only ones, nor the most important. For instance, with the recent recession, my ability to purchase large quantities of high-end alcoholic beverages has dissipated rapidly. Since not writing a “Bottoms Up” article was not, nor ever will be, an option, I figured I had to get creative and kill two birds with one stone, or more accurately, kill one big bird with a relatively small and under-priced stone.
Anyway, I found the solution to my dilemma in the form of the 100 Days dance this weekend in Paresky. Even purchasing my ticket the day of the event, $3 surcharge and all, I figured $15 most definitely would be the least amount of money I had ever spent on an article for you all, and the open-bar would give me all the research material I would need to deliver a quality review. Once at the dance, I muscled my way to the bar and got my first cocktail, a gin and tonic. Upon turning around, I came across fellow writer, co-event planner, semi-professional spades champion and alcohol enthusiast, Kevin Waite ’09, who calmly clicked his plastic cup to mine, took a sip and with a smile, leaned close to me and chuckled a quip about the bartender’s motivation, explained below. It became immediately clear that one more thing I couldn’t afford was to write this week’s article without Mr. Waite’s assistance. Without further ado, we proudly present to you “Bottom’s Up: 100 Days Edition.”
When the first taste of gin and tonic hit our lips, one fact became immediately apparent: the bartenders were looking for an early exit. The sooner the booze ran out, the sooner they could leave, so why not make each drink extra strong? We couldn’t argue with the logic and we didn’t complain about the results. Hell, in 100 days our class will be tossed into the worst job market the U.S. has seen in two generations. What ’09 couldn’t use a stiff drink right now? Plus, the heavy doses of gin gave us a sense of solidarity with our grandparents’ generation. With the specter of depression rearing its head, we’re already experiencing at least a taste of the financial turmoil weathered by our forebears. We simply added to this cross-generational common ground by enjoying a drink that tasted as if it was pulled directly off the booze cart at a retirement home.
The rum and Coke was no less satisfying than the other stiff concoctions served at 100 Days celebration. Heavy on rum and light on Coke, the drink catapulted us rather forcibly – but not unwillingly – into a Caribbean seascape. We momentarily forgot that what was once the lawn outside Paresky is now a glacial ice sheet, dotted with former snow sculptures that now look like the burial mounds of some ancient Scandinavian civilization. Instead, we were on a Bacardi booze cruise – perfectly warm, perfectly comfortable and perfectly oblivious to the bone-chilling temperatures outside of our warm venue. Rather than reminding us of what Williamstown has been blanketed in for the past few weeks, the ice in our glass helped ease the stiff rum taste and enhanced the longevity of the drink. Thus, for at least a little while, we were spared the experience of fighting our way through the open bar turned mosh pit.
Nevertheless, we realized that, given the celebratory nature of the event and the unexpectedly great thirst of the Class of 2009, we should make sure to sample the full variety the open bar had to offer before the supply ran out. The Seabreeze, composed of Vodka and O.J., was a delightful break from the stronger, sour tasting G and T or tangy-sweet Cuba Libre. The drink proved a good choice in the long run, as the Vitamin C gave us the necessary energy and stamina to dance and mingle all night long. It was shortly after toasting our Seabreezes to Bragi, the Norse god of poetry and eloquence, that the evening climaxed, oddly enough while Hanson’s “Mmmbop” played in the background, both exciting and confusing our senses.
As the evening wore on, we figured that our previous toasts (we did one each round) while jovial, good-humored and sometimes nonsensical, were not appropriately direct. So we made our way to the bar one last time and grabbed two glasses of the best bubbly in a plastic cup we could possibly ask for. We raised our champagne cups to our friends at the Gargoyle Society, a group of people who throw awesome ragers that allow us to write a Record article for the cost of admission. Cheers, Gargoyle Society!