Chapter 30 – Banned from Prom
The next morning in Vang Vieng, Laos, while renting inner tubes to take out on the Nam Song River, we met a couple of guys named Ben and Harry. Although they were both shirtless Australians, neither of them were in-your-face assholes who felt the need to try and trick us into doing push-ups like the fucktards we’d encountered the night before. Through conversation we learned that Harry had been a DJ in Bangkok and through observation over the course of the day, we’d learn that Ben is a drunken slob who blacks out harder than us, then zones in on and drools over pairs of tits as if they were pairs of hypnotic eyeglasses. With our new friends, we shared a tuk-tuk upriver and got dropped off near the first bar where crowds of people had already been partying.
Set below a crystal clear sky in the partial shade temporarily lent by misty green mountains had been the Nam Song River, the epicenter of intemperance. Sitting on stilts, elevated a good fifteen to twenty feet above the water on each side of the river and teeming with drunk dudes and hammered hos had been a series of bamboo bars blasting music. Starting a bit upriver at the first bar, revelers hang out for as long as they want before either diving, zip-lining or swinging into the water and – barring those who happen to land on a pile of rocks in the seasonally shallow Nam Song or those who plain old can’t swim – cozily floating on a rented inner tube to the next bar. This process is repeated until the final bar is reached where tuk-tuk drivers await mumbling stumbling drunkards and offer rides back into town where the party continues at places like Q-Bar and “Happy Pizza” until the wee hours of the morning.
After reaching the top of the river, we entered the first bar and set aside our freshly rented tubes while purchasing a round of Beerlao but by the time we had the sauce in our hands no more than two minutes later, some assholes had already stolen ‘em. Looking around as we slugged the hair of the dog, we noticed that tube-stealing seemed to be the trend among those in the know who show up to the first bar and take ‘em away from security-deposit-paying chumps like us who haven’t even had the chance to use ‘em.
As I sat with my legs dangling off the edge of the bamboo structure scouting out which of the unattended, one-hundred-percent identical tubes set aside by naïve fools I could jack to replace mine, it was plain to see that the majority of the people on the river had already been rip roarin’ retarded. When combined with that general level of mindless intoxication, the dangerously low water levels of the dry season and there being no sign of authority or any sort of regulations whatsoever to help keep people safe, the zip lines and the Tarzan swings from the bar to the river began to paint a very vivid picture of how all the broken limbs and injuries we’d seen at Q-Bar the night before had come to be. Regardless of anyone’s personal safety however, watching this Lord of the Flies scene proved to be grade-A, top-choice entertainment…especially if you’re like me and you’re the type of person who enjoys watching naked dudes go flying through the air.
“Look! Look!” some Australian guy called attention to his about-to-ride buddy up on the high-swing platform. “He’s gonna do a nudie! Everyone look!”
After dropping his drawers and swinging out over the water like some sort of pornographic trapeze artist, the dude spread his legs and gave all onlookers a great under-view of his hairy fuckin’ cock’n’balls as they flopped to and fro in the wind. The crowd at the bar cheered rowdily as General Butt Naked then pulled his lower body up – temporarily exposing his open butthole to all – maneuvered his legs over the bar, clenched it under his knees and let go with his hands. Following a few upside-down, back-and-forth strokes of the large scale pendulum, the young Aussie bro let go with his legs and took a head first, thirty-foot freefall down into the dangerously shallow water below. Surprisingly, he emerged at the side of the river unscathed and without a seemingly inevitable adrenaline boner.
Fast-forward a few hours.
Sometime in the afternoon the O’Shaughnessy’s and I had been a couple bars down from where we’d started and were buzzing harder than a box full of vibrating dildos. As mentioned beforehand, the river had been particularly shallow during this exceptionally droughty dry season and in random parts, mounds of softball-sized rocks had been exposed in the middle of the waterway. Slippery and overall very difficult to walk on as I’d personally experienced earlier in the day, one of these seasonally submerged piles had become occupied by a dumpy-ass, potbellied, middle-aged white man who’d been on a trigger-happy photo-snapping spree.
Now, I don’t know exactly what this dude had been photographing – it could’ve been the majestic mountain scenery for all I know – but as he aimed his camera in the general direction of the bar we’d been at where someone happened to be doing a “nudie” on one of the swings, one tanked-ass Aussie construed the man’s intentions as something wholly unpure.
“Pervert!” the kid yelled from the bar as he reached in his whiskey bucket for a handful of ice cubes, reared back and fired them at the fat man whom he assumed had been acquiring hoards of whacking material.
Realizing what was going on – or, realizing what they thought was going on – others began to do the same. I honestly don’t think that this guy had been taking voyeur shots of some naked dude on a swing but, any way you have it, I’ll rarely – if ever – pass up the opportunity to throw shit at a random stranger.
Grabbing the biggest most wind-resistant hunks I could find from fresh unattended buckets around the bar, I too began firing all that I could in the direction of this dude’s colossal King Hippo lookin’ ass. Getting all pissed off while trudging away and stumbling on the slippery pile of rocks, the dude tried his best to defend both his camera and his face while cussing us out in a hilariously stereotypical fat guy voice. Although I zinged quite a few cubes right past the chunky noggin of the alleged pervert, he waddled to his escape before I could land a shot.
I’ll admit, on that day my performance was quite weak but I’ll also say that that dude had been lucky to have gotten away without takin’ one to the dome. Although juvenile and seemingly very distant from the now 24-year-old version of myself, my favorite hobby in grade and high school – if it can even be considered a hobby – had been throwing snowballs, tomatoes and other shit at unsuspecting targets and over the years I became quite good at nailing whatever was in my crosshairs.
During my final year at Loyola Academy, my friends Jack, Bill and I went to go watch my brother play at a battle of the bands held in our high school’s auditorium. On the way to the event we stopped off at a Kohl’s department store to purchase a 3-pair package of the fattest-ass whitey tighties we could find on the shelves and also at a gas station for Snickers bars which we then used lighters to melt into the ass of said underpants, giving off the impression of an absolute shitty mess. All three pairs – one for each of us to throw – had been a work of art.
At different points in the show, Jack and Bill had stood up and fired their underpants into the crowd and each time they landed on some unsuspecting twerp who’d been busy minding his own business. Although the confusion and personal humiliation of whoever those two treats landed on was a beautiful thing in itself, it warranted little notice from the masses and I wanted something more than that. I really wanted to get somebody good with my pair and I wanted their discomfort to be felt by every last person in the room.
Toward the end of the show, quite some time after my brother’s band had played, an authoritative figure and bald-ass Billy Corgan lookalike named Dean Heinz took the microphone and began to introduce the next act. Blinded by the lights of the stage, Heinzy Boy jibbered and jabbered in front of the crowd that’d been bred to show him nothing but respect. Given his vulnerable position and the dead silence of the students who’d been sitting down and offering him their undivided attention, I knew the time was right to strike. From fifteen rows back, I crumpled the dumpy underwear as tightly as I could in my right hand, stood up and…
When I think back to this moment right now, I think of how anticlimactic it could’ve been. I think of how poorly the throw could’ve turned out. I think of how stupid I would’ve felt if I hadn’t nailed it with so much on the line and, even though that’s not the case, it still bugs the hell outta me sometimes. But in my reality as an eighteen-year-old jag-off, this here young firebrand leaned back, slung the skivvies and in slow motion watched as the brown-ass pair of underwear opened in mid-air like a parachute and floated down perfectly around the shiny, waxed head of the dean as he stood on stage at the microphone and in the spotlight for all to see.
The place erupted as the crotch of the shit-stained, Homer-Simpson-sized drawers obscured half of the dean’s vision. In his humiliation, he quickly ripped ‘em off before trying to peer through the light to see who’d committed the crime. This is when I decided it was time for me to leave. With the proctors on the prowl, my two buddies and I began a Mission Impossible style escape and headed for the rear door. Although we were able to make it outta the auditorium unmolested, in the hallway some clown-ass chaperone-type dude grabbed my arm and took down all my information. Foiled in my attempt to give a false name by his request to see my student ID card that we’d been required to present at the door to get into the show, the guy let me leave without having to face the big bad bald man who I’d just crucified in front of the student body.
Nearly a whole school week had passed following the underwear-tossing incident and because I hadn’t been summoned to the office as of yet, I was certain I’d gotten off scot-free. As it happens, it’d been a Friday and the last day to buy tickets for prom from a designated table that’d been set up in the lunchroom.
At Loyola, they got this stupid-ass rule where, in addition to your own, you gotta have all of your date’s personal information written out on an official form in order to buy a second ticket. At that point in time, I hadn’t yet asked anybody to take my hand in prommage but, in spite of the imminent deadline to purchase tickets, I’d had all intention of showing up to the dance with a fly-ass ho on my arm. So, to reserve a spot at the event for me and my dream girl who I had yet to find, I filled out my date’s information to read, “NAME: Some Hot Bitch,” along with a bunch of similarly immature shit for each subsequent category.
After standing in line with the rest of the procrastinators for nearly half the lunch period, I finally got near the front of the queue and saw that Dean Heinz had been the guy sitting at the table in charge of dishing out the tickets.
“Next,” he said as I stepped up to the plate.
Upon seeing me, I could tell he wasn’t exactly pleased to begin with as I slid my prom application across the table.
“Ha!” he spat several seconds later. “‘Some hot bitch’? That’s your date for prom, huh? ‘Some hot bitch’?”
“Well, yeah. Like, uh…I didn’t know who I was gonna take and uh…”
“Nope. Nuh-uh,” he tore my ticket request form into a thousand pieces, “not happening now, not happening ever. Mr. Lally, you will never attend prom at Loyola Academy.”
Although not being able to go to prom seemed like something negative at the time, I accept the consequences and stand by my decision to throw faux-shitty underpants at the dean during battle of the bands as well as my bright idea to invite “Some Hot Bitch” as my date to the big dance. Unlike prom would’ve been, those are memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Photos from Vang Vieng…