Cereal City Blues

It’s Fall 1983. If you had bothered to attend class, this should have been the start of your junior year in college. Instead, it’s your first semester back:

Classes are good, the football you’re interested in is good (other than losing a bet to Cripley. Stupid Illinois.), Building pallets with Phid for beer money works just fine.

October means Homecoming. At Western, that means a loss to the fighting David Lettermans of Ball State. It also means time to party.

Stouffer Hotel Battle Creek

Next door, in Battle Creek, they’ve opened a new Stouffer Hotel.  What could be better than boozing through a Bronco game, then a pre-party, then a 25 mile drive to the hotel, then 4 hours of debauchery?  What’s the worst that could happen?

After a few months of flirty almost-dating, Jody #2 has agreed to be your actual date to this thing.  Mom’s lending you the car. Shit just got real.

What you discover, is that Scott Roseypalms has arranged for a communal fuck room “hospitality Suite.”  What a nice place for the brothers and their dates to drink for free, before heading down to the cash bar. (Pallet builders are not as flush with cash as one might expect, so this is a real plus.)

Banquet, dancing, silliness ensues…


Scott is cool and slips you the key to the suite.  You and Jody make your quiet escape.

Beds.  Beds are great.  Especially when it leads to dozing like a couple of puppies instead of anything porno.  You silly innocent kids.

Of course, there is a knock all too soon.  Scott is here.  He wants the room.  He’s hoping to fuck Carly (yes, that Carly), but more importantly, as the social chairman, he gets to sleep here because he says so.

Karma:  Harumph.  Some “hospitality.”

So, it’s time to go home.  You and Jody have a nice chat, on the back roads back to town.  With her head in your lap.  Your hand can do whatever it wants.  It loses its train of thought between elastic and curly short hairs and just sort of sits there, warm, but hopelessly lost and desperate for guidance.  You roll up to Stone Street.

Jody:  Do you want to come inside?
Karma: *rimshot*

Oblivious and scared you:  Gosh, it’s 2 a.m.  My mom’s gonna kill me if I don’t bring her car back.
Jody:  Uh, ok?

And that was that.

Internal monologue: Damn you, Mercury Zephyr.  That was probably not the last time you’ve been a convenient scapegoat for my insecurities and lack of game totally cockblocked me.

1980 Mercury Zephyr
Blue like your balls, not like Viagra


You still get in trouble for rolling in at 3 a.m.


A couple semesters later, YOU are the banquet Chairman.  After scouting locations all over SW Michigan and even breaking Pod’s car in Grand Rapids, you settle on the Stouffer.     Like Otis Day, they love you after that first go round.  Nostalgia for that sweet, innocent date that almost went somewhere makes this seem like a good idea.

Liz, the girl with the pretty blue eyes from high school and the BK Lounge, and the Delta Zetas actually says “yes.”

Karma:  And she’s not even drunk!  How’d you swing THAT?

Remember that word, “yes.”  It’s the winning lottery number of words – you’ll come close some days, but your odds of getting it in response to the right question are a bazillion to one.

Banquet-y stuff happens

Cockblocker Thoughtful brother:  You need to get flowers for [some bullshit made up reason that doesn’t matter.]
You:  *leaves for flowers*
Shenanigans:  Let’s ensue!
Liz: ???

One  trip to the flower shop next to Kmart later…

You:  I’m back! With flowers!
Liz:  *Blank stare*
You:  Would you  like dessert?
Liz:  *Blank stare* No.
:  Would you  like a drink?
Liz:  *Blank stare* No.
You:  Would you  like to dance?
Liz:  *Blank stare* No.
You:  Would you  like to go to the hospitality suite?
Liz:  *death stare* NO.
You:  Would you  like to talk?
Liz:  *Blank stare* No.
You:  Would you  like me to take you home?
Liz:  *Blank stare* No.
You:  ???

More banquet-y stuff occurs.  Liz is not a participant.

You:  Would you  like me to take you home?
Liz:  *Blank stare* Yes.

Awkward, silent ride ensues.  Liz is probably bruised from pushing so hard against the passenger door, trying to avoid accidental contact.

You:  Would you  like to go out again sometime?
Liz:  *Blank stare* No.

MORAL:  The answers you were looking for were:

  1. “Fuck off Scott.  Get your own room.”
  2. “Why yes, I would like to ‘come inside'”
  3. “Hey pledge, here’s a $20.  Go find some flowers while I turn on the charm.  Or at least keep my date away from the bastards trying to horn in on this thing.”
  4. “Yes.”

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