Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Return of Juan: Pornos, Beers and the Hospital

People who follow my Twitter account know that I like to use the hashtag #CleanLiving. But, in all fairness, even those of us just this side of being a boy scout sometimes have those "incidents" from when we were younger. I recently reconnected with an old college/young adult friend on a social media site. He will be in town in about several weeks, and hopefully he and his wife will be able to come over to my house for dinner with me and my wife. I have not seen my friend Juan for many years, but one incident we were involved in is so fresh in my mind that it is as if it happened a few weeks ago.

I was in my first professional job after completing graduate school and was living in Springfield, Illinois. Much to my surprise, an old fraternity buddy of mine, Juan, was living in town. We connected and did a few social things together. I was about 24 years old at the time and he was a year or two older.

One afternoon when we had nothing to do, Juan asked me "Hey -- let's go to the theater and watch a porno movie like we used to in the old frat days." Well, 24 years old and single (but with a girlfriend), I thought, what the heck, why not? So Juan and I went to the dirty movie theater on the south side of town.

We got in the theater and were scoping out where to sit -- you know, not wanting to sit anywhere near any other guys who might be in there. We're standing in front of the last row of seats when Juan, who was kind of short and very athletic, decided to grab one of the chairs and swing his legs over the back. The only problem was that in doing so, he kicked me right in the back of the head. Ouch!

I can't say that I remember anything at all about the movie (like there was much of a plot anyway!), and afterward Juan and I headed to a local drinking establishment. We were sitting at the bar and having quite a few drinks, thus a great time. We started telling stories from the college fraternity days, and I was reliving an afternoon when a rather tall guy in the frat saw a some of us lifting weights and said "Hey guys - this looks like fun!" He grabbed a bar weighing about 100 pounds and jerked it to the ceiling in one motion with one hand. I, in my rather inebriated state, replicated his motion. Unfortunately, there was a decorative beer light directly above me. I hit it with such force that it came down directly on me, hitting me in my eyebrow, slicing the skin there and drawing blood. The waitress at the bar attempted to help, handing me a beer-soaked rag to stop the bleeding. It was quite a mess -- beer and blood seemed to be everywhere. I needed to go to the emergency room of the hospital to get stitches, and both Juan and I were really plastered. Juan had to drive me to the hospital, and our drunken logic had us scared. I remember Juan saying "Oh no! They'll ask us where we were. We'll have to tell them we were at a bar ... and were at the porno movie before that!"

We got to the hospital emergency room, and while waiting to be seen, I remembered that I was going to have dinner that evening at my girlfriend's house ... with her parents! I called her and apparently said something like "I am at the hospital. I had an accident." Fearing the worst, my girlfriend (now Mrs. lightning) rushed to the hospital, thinking I had been involved in a serious car accident. She got to the emergency room (I don't remember if I had been stitched up or not yet) and was pissed to find that I had not been in a car accident (not that she wanted that, but she thought I might be a goner!), but had been drunk and as a result, had the stupid light fall on me. And of course, you must know that Mrs. lightning was the original #CleanLiving woman! So yeah - I heard it from her on many different levels.

This all happened many, many moons ago, yet it was one of those things where many of the details were etched in my brain despite my drunken state.

Juan moved out of town sometime afterward and we did not reconnect until recently. I haven't seen him in probably 35 years. I look forward to meeting back up with him in June, and I'm sure that the two of us and our wives will be reliving the porno/drunk/hospital story. Just to be on the safe side, though, I think we will not drink to excess nor watch any porno movies that night.

NOTE: I took a close look at my eyebrow. The hair in a small spot never did grow back!

Thanks for reading!


Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

I did so many crazy things when I was young that it's a miracle I didn't kill myself.

5:42 PM  
Blogger VegasDegen said...

I'm older than you, and still do dumb shit, so I've heard.

4:48 AM  
Blogger seattleirish said...


I'm not judging, i reading correctly that "reliving frat days" means going to a porno theater (do those exist anymore?) with frat bros? That was a fairly consistent habit in your fraternity, getting the boys together and heading to the porno theater? Again - not judging, just surprised and curious. What frat was this?

And, if I understand your retelling, you sit through the entire movie together? I do not believe I've ever viewed an entire porno; I did not even know they had endings!


11:02 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

@s.i. - I think that Juan was getting at reliving the college-age years -- around 18-22. To tell the truth, I don't remember ever going to a porno place as an undergrad. The fraternity -- local and not nationally affiliated -- was basically an excuse for a bunch of guys to get together and have parties. It was a lot more fun until my senior year when I lived in the frat house. Parties every night, half-filled cups of warm beer with cigarette butts, one guy who watched television 24 hours a day there -- and he didn't even really live in the house! My room became my sanctuary away from the madness. This was the 1970s. Things were much different then.

2:49 PM  

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