As St. Paddy’s day approaches tomorrow, it reminds me of many drunken ones I celebrated in the past. One that stand out to me in particular is St. Patrick’s Day 2003.
It was my junior year of college, and I lived off campus with 3 of my best friends in a large house where we would throw raging parties on a regular basis. As I’m sure is the case at any college, St. Paddy’s Day is an excuse to get absolutely wasted especially if you’re of Irish decent, which I proudly am. My friends and I decided to throw a party which I believe started in the afternoon, but my memory is a little fuzzy, so don’t hold me accountable to when it actually started.
Per usual we had drinks flowing including beer, liquor, and whatever else we could get our hands on. This was the time before everyone had cell phones, so we still had a landline and an answering machine. At some point during the party, the phone rang and my roommate picked it up. It was our good friend Jerry* who lived down the street calling from the police station. Apparently he had had a few drinks before heading down to our house. We’d had a bad snow storm earlier that week so the snow banks were the equivalent of small mountains on the side of the road. Jerry parked in front of our house, and as luck would have it, the cops drove by and noticed his creative parking job, which was literally perpendicular to the street, up the snowbank. They asked him to move it, and when he was walking back to his car they realized he seemed drunk. They gave him a sobriety test which he failed, and even thought they didn’t witness him driving the car-it was clear he had just parked it since the engine was still warm. They arrested him and took him down to the station.
All of this took place right outside of our house, but no one seemed to notice. As to why the cops didn’t seem to care that there was a raging party going on inside, I’m not sure. You could call it the luck of the Irish, or it might have been more of a headache for them to deal with than it was worth. Either way, we didn’t notice our friend being arrested and taken away right outside.
As I mentioned earlier, our friend eventually called our landline with the phone call he was given at the police station. No one at the party heard the phone, but then my roommate heard the answering machine pick up, so she answered the phone. The beauty of this was that the whole conversation was recorded on our answering machine. The exchange included Jerry putting the police officer on the phone to ask my roommate who she was, in which she replied very seriously with her first, middle, and last name, and then the cop asked if there was someone there who could pick up Jerry. She replied yes, even though we were all hammered by this point.
We were able to find a friend to go pick up Jerry, and then they both came from the police station directly to our party. Everyone was laughing at the fact that Jerry had actually parked his car on a snow bank, and was caught by the cops. We also played the answering machine recording over and over again then next day laughing hysterically as we listened.
Although this was a very funny situation at the time, it was not so funny for my friend who received the DWI. He was actually going to school to be a teacher, and he was supposed to start his student teaching assignment the next semester. The DWI ended up costing him lots of money in legal fees, and the next semester he was without a licence and had to rely on other people, including me, for rides to and from his student teaching job.
As I look back on this now, it is still a funny story to me, but I also realize how much worse the situation could have been. My friend could have killed himself or someone else driving, and we could have been arrested for serving minors if the cops had decided to come into our house during the party. Although I do believe many college kids behave in the way my friends and I did, I’m still amazed that I graduated college without getting arrested as this was a somewhat normal night for me an my friends.
Drunk Lisa survives another St. Paddy’s Day unscathed!
*The names of the people in this story have been changed to protect their privacy.