A high school with a 97% Italian demographic was only good in one boys’ sport. No, no it’s not soccer. In fact we were not just a bad soccer team, we were the worst soccer team—in the state—in the nation. And since we are talking about this nation, we were probably the worst high school team in the world. Thinks that’s hyperbole? We were on the cover of USA today, with a very unflattering article when we finally broke our multi-year losing streak. Multi-year! This is soccer, you know, comprised of kids who couldn’t make the football team, and yet we went years without beating one of these other non-football making (maybe social outcasts) teams for years.
We were really good though at the richer, colder step-brother of soccer—hockey. We were in the championship every year, and we played in Sweden with some of the best schools in Europe. And going to hockey games was fucking kick-ass.
My friends and I were some of the biggest pot dealers in the school. We were a bunch of hustlers, who loved weed, and were smart enough not to get caught. My ingenuity was responsible for winning me Most School Spirit. The reason: I decided sophomore year while at a basketball game that kids were always looking for weed. Now, this is the mid-nineties. Electronic communication with drug dealers had just started with the rise of the beeper. And since most were afraid to bring drugs to a sporting event, what usually would happen after a beep was returned people would go outside and meet, or meet up afterwards. I said fuck it. My two friends and I each would bring ten dimes with us at a game, and walk out with $300. Like most things the first one to do something, usually corners the market and we had accomplished this too. However, when on top it is most important to not let your game slip. So we had to go to all of these events, otherwise we would lose our territory in the suburban drug wars of 1995. So after being seen at every event—sometimes dancing drunk on the sidelines before beating up the other team’s mascots (mascots also tended to be girls)—with weed for sale and also the fact that my school was fucked in the head, the drug dealer won school spirit.
My point here is to show that we had a reputation. And it was because of this reputation it became a custom for the hockey team to open the locker-room door for us before a game so that we didn’t have to pay to get in. Instead our donation was a bag of weed for the team. This treatment also allowed us to come in as wrecked as we wanted without having to have a conversation with adult authority figures while purchasing tour tickets. This freedom allowed us to enjoy the pleasure of tripping balls on LSD while watching our team kick some ass.
We came in two groups. Timmy O’ drove me and Mike. Jimmy drove Jude, and these girls we hung out with Erin and Caryn. Yes, those were their names and they were not hot twins…or that would’ve been the story I’d be writing here. Everyone except the girls were spun on acid.
Now acid is not whatever Hollywood tries to make it seem. Fear and Loathing came the closest to illustrating the visuals. But on top of the border of space and time disintegrating in front of your eyes, and you discover there is a shit-more than the 72 Crayola colors out there, your mind is on another planet and does not give a wet shit about the world you are actually living in. If you have been experienced, you know that look someone—even if they had tripped before—not tripping gives you when they look into your eyes. They know there is an invisible force field of reality dividing you two. You are in a bubble, and anything you view—a joke, a traffic light, a comb—will entertain you in a way that no other person on the planet will experience.
Another fact about acid—white is the best fucking color. White can be anything, and if you are on acid it is everything. My father caught me and Jimmy one night outside during the winter, willingly throwing snowballs in each other’s face. The landscape of snow when we stepped outside was too much. All the colors of the spectrum reveal themselves between the night light and the snow. Now picture a ball with the power to do this, and it also breaks apart as it is thrown. If you can, then you can understand why a snowball to the face on acid is fucking awesome. Faces freezing and wet, boogers all over our mouths, and smiles that put The Joker’s to shame. My dad heard us laughing and came out and caught me pointing to me face, yelling “Do me now!” to Jimmy with a softball size of snow in is hand.
My father only had to say five words to fuck my world.
“Andrew, what are you doing?”
There was no answer. Well there is an answer, but it is not a sane one. Spun and watching the visuals from a snowball crash onto my face is probably not tops on the father’s list for favorable answers to his question. It was tough for me to think of a quick answer, while tripping. Especially since the way he shook his head as he asked me, I only thought of Snoopy’s face when he danced. Don’t ask, you had to see it.
So since we now knew snow was great for visuals, an ice rink should then be awesome. We dropped the tabs at my house an hour before the game. Why so early you ask? Then you never did acid I assume. Acid takes an hour to kick in. The girls were not with us at this point so Jimmy left to get them and the rest of us went right to the game. Before we split up we all agreed to hide this little fact that we were tripping from anyone else at the game. The stands aside from the teenage hooligans were also filled with parents of the kids actually playing in the game.
Mike, Timmy, and I arrived a little before the game started. Most of the time was spent just looking at each other and laughing to ourselves about everything. You see that was the fun to us. We were living an inside joke. As the game started a buzz began to go around the stands about getting a keg. Brilliant. I decided to start up a fund for the keg party. I didn’t plan to get the keg, I delegated that job to Jimmy, who unfortunately for him had not even arrived at the game yet. I did tell you he was picking up two girls—they took a while to get ready. So as I walked around trying to get five bucks from everyone to get this keg, I also kiddingly started calling it the “Jimmy” Fund. That is funny. What is fucking funny was when I walked up and down the parent’s section and asked them for donations to the “Jimmy” Fund. A few parents were happy to support research for children with cancer. I wonder how they believed me, but if you can sling your bullshit solid enough, it won’t even smell. What else could they think? This kid can’t be that fucked to lie to parents about donating to a child cancer fund.
So Jimmy showed up with a few minutes left in the first period. He now has no idea about the donations he just received. The moment he walked in I was fixated on the ice. The patterns of the players’ movement hypnotized me. Purple, blue, yellow—the two team’s jerseys rotated around the edge of my vision. The ice intensified it. These were some of the best visuals I ever got. A whistle was blown, the crowd quieted. It took me out of my trance. I saw Jimmy walking the aisle below the stands, and I screamed to him:
“Jim, JIM! I’m fucking tripping my balls off!”
For some reason—even though the parents had just learned that I had scammed them out of their money for children’s cancer while on acid—the parents turned their attention to Jimmy. And by the way, Jimmy was also spun.
It is a challenge to walk into a high school hockey game on acid and being able to keep it together around your peers, and the parents of their peers. It is more of a challenge as you enter for your best friend to scream that he is also tripping balls, and everyone else in the hockey rink stares at you, and not your retarded friend. But what separates the men from the boys, is when your same retarded friend runs down to you, puts a wad of cash in your hand that he acquired from people who thought they were donating to cancer and tells you: “Go get a keg.”
“A keg, Where am I going to get a keg? I’m tripping balls. I barely made it here. I got no fake ID.”
All valid reasons, James. And yet I fired back with, “I don’t know, but you better, or all these people are going to be pissed.”
We didn’t get a keg. We didn’t give the money back. We pretty much ended up stealing from the stands at a hockey game. We didn’t intend to rip anyone off. I think we just saw visuals and forgot about it, or stopped caring about it, or started talking to some girls. I don’t remember. The good news for us was that no one else did. Because the ending of the game was all anyone remembered.
We were playing a neighboring town. We were beating them bad. My friends and I were peaking now with our trip. WHY NOT, go over to the other team’s side and talk shit. Mike, Jimmy, and I went, along with two friends—Matt and Bobby—who were drunk. The trash talking started innocently enough, “Not only do we fuck your girls, we also kick your ass in hockey.” You can see how heated the dialogue went from there.
Now three kids tripping, and two other teenagers bombed do not make the best decisions that is sure. They also are not completely aware of their surroundings. It wasn’t soon until 17 kids from the other high school surrounded us. I have no idea why in the state of mind I was in I remembered there were exactly 17, but I did, so that number is now indisputable.
To a creature that values their own survival they would extricate themselves from this situation. But not us fucking idiots. I think our response was to throw the first punch. Bobby has that claim. That started the melee. This is the only sample I have to evaluate, but apparently when I trip balls, I kick ass. I punched one kid, and he went down cold. I had never done that before, I felt like I was in a kung fu movie. I turned and punched another kid, he fell. I looked down, and Jimmy was on the ground punching the shit out of one kid, but getting kicked by a few others around him. I grabbed him by one hand, pulled him up, punched another two kids—they fell—and I felt like Chuck Norris.
Mike grabbed both of us from behind. “The cops are here.” We looked up and sure enough two of the boys in blue were making their way down the aisle. We turned down a crevice and escaped out of the Zamboni entrance. Something like that gets noticed. So we had to do something smooth. By something smooth, I mean Jimmy opened the back door to a random dark blue van, and we jumped inside. It was an empty work van. We lied down, heard the sound of a kid and maybe a cop walk by the van looking for us. We decided to not go anywhere soon. So Mike took out a joint and we clammed up some stranger’s van.
Now when you are young you may think you are invincible, but apparently we thought we were immortal. No fear at all in us until we heard the sound of the back door to the van opening. Here is it, a family with young kids that were probably here to cheer on their son/brother, and now we had to explain ourselves. We were toast.
But it wasn’t that. It was a kid Nate that we went to school with. We were so fucking happy to see him. The feeling was not mutual. “What the fuck, you guys smoked up my dad’s work van. He’s gotta take this on a job tomorrow.” Well shit, this just gets better. We told him we were sorry through a cloud of laughs and then gave him the rest of our joint for his trouble. We asked if the cops were still here. He told us no, but Matt and Bobby did get arrested.
We didn’t know where Jude, Timmy or the girls were. We would find out later. It didn’t matter. We got into Jimmy’s car. As we left Jimmy took out a wad of cash—he still had the Jimmy fund. We laughed about that. We shouldn’t have been laughing then. We should have re-evaluated our life choices, and counted our blessings. We had managed in one night, to go to a public school event tripping our faces off, selling pot, ripping parents off of their money in the belief that it was for cancer research, instigated a fight, fought, escaped the police, broke into a random vehicle and smoked it up with weed. We should have been like how the fuck did we pull that off, we were lucky, but still very stupid. But no, we didn’t think like that. That’s what normal people would think about. We just thought about what drugs we could buy with this money. Because that is how champions think.