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In Star Wars, there's what's known as the dark side of the force (please don't stop reading because of the nerdiness, I promise it doesn't last long). Sometimes even the most promising, disciplined Jedi Knights can become tempted by the powers of evil.
So understand that this story is not meant to be a how-to guide. It's simply a tale about stumbling ass backwards into an exceedingly immoral trick, a nefarious way to get what you want. Do not treat your friends like this.
Unless you're like, really hungry.
This happened on a Sunday night in college. I remember the day because all of the respectable students that were trying to learn and improve themselves by staying home, studying and doing homework and the like. My roommate Eric and I, meanwhile, had been drinking since mid-day.
We'd gone to a house where I didn't know anyone so that he could flirt with a girl he barely knew but whom he insisted, "Totally likes me, I swear." I turned to beer to alleviate the social awkwardness with all the strangers while Eric went about wooing his love interest.
One drink led to a dozen other drinks, and we ended up spending the entire night at the house. Not because Eric was making any headway, but because we'd gotten hot playing beer pong and never left the table. Ah, the frat bro glory days of yesteryear...
Anyway, my brokenhearted roommate eventually gave up — he'd not spoken to the girl since 4:00 p.m. — and walked home with me around midnight; which was a considerably more difficult proposition than we'd anticipated.
"Why do I see three sidewalks?" I asked, while using every functioning neuron I still had to remain upright.
"We forgot to eat dinner."
He was right. Because we'd left for the house so early in the day and stayed so late, the only substances that'd made it into our stomachs were liquid and alcoholic in nature. This meant that climbing three floors to our dorm room felt like ascending Everest blindfolded.
We stumbled through the door to find our third roommate, James, exactly where we'd left him: Sitting at his desk, drinking blue Gatorade and studying a textbook with the TV playing in the background. He looked up judgmentally as we entered and asked, "Have a good day?"
"Not bad," replied Eric as quickly ducked his head into the trashcan by the door.
I sat in a chair and flipped through the channels to find How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days on TBS, because How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days is always on TBS. "We forgot eat. What's still open?"
James smiled smugly, pleased that we were both going to be in the fetal position tomorrow. He turned and started shuffling through our stack of delivery menus. "What do you idiots want?"
"Taco Bell," came Eric's voice immediately, reverberating through the plastic garbage can.
What is it about terrible Mexican food that sounds so good to the drunk and stoned? Does T-Bell employ a team of scientists to engineer the perfect recipes to appeal to degenerates just before bedtime?
James shook his head: "You guys can't drive." Remember kids, this was before the days of PostMates; getting $0.49 tacos and bean burritos in 2009 meant driving 15 minutes to the next town over.
But that wasn't going to stop us. "My car's downstairs," I offered.
"You guys will die."
"I'll just drive really fast."
"That's not going to help."
"Well, we're going. You can drive if you want." And with that, I scooped my keys and walked out the door.
I heard Eric scramble up and follow me out. Behind him, James' voice, "What?! Guys no..."
We managed to stumble back down the stairs, giggling the whole way.
And while we were certainly on the lower end of the dorm room's intelligence spectrum that evening, we weren't dumb enough to drive drunk. And we knew that James and his infallible moral compass would never let us.
My car was parked just outside the building, by happy chance, directly underneath our room's window. Out of which was hanging James. "Stop you morons, stop!"
"Don't look up," mumbled Eric under his breath as I unlocked the doors and sat down in the driver's seat.
"Son of a — no, wait!" The angry slam of our window could be heard two counties over. We were already buckled up in the back seat when he finally made his way out the building's front doors and sat down behind the wheel. We kept the aux cord to ourselves.
Upon reflection, it was as if Eric and I were holding ourselves hostage. Like a desperate man with a gun to his own head, making demands with his only bargaining chip being his personal safety. But hey, it worked. And I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that this tactic also worked on at least 3 other occasions that I remember over the subsequent years. Turns out, your friends really don't want you to die.
The morning after the TB run, James was walking around the room, packing his bag for class and generally being a put-together human. "How you two feeling?" he asked, good-natured but slightly annoyed.
I simply groaned from under my covers. My head felt like a troop of small primates were having a break dance competition inside my skull. Then I heard the distinct crinkling of a gordita wrapper; Eric sat up in bed and with a mouthful of 8-hour old fast food said, "Shrfanks Jramesh."
Our private driver left the dorm shaking his head. I peeked out from under my sheets and asked Eric, "Are you going to class today?"
"God no. What should we do?"
The idea of drinking again almost made me physically ill, but then I remembered, "I think the new Star Wars movie is at the theater down the street."