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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Column: It has begun

Winter often found me hiding away in the lonesome spires of my manor, looking out over dark seas on moonless nights. Winter is a time for reflection and the spinning of existential carousels, for drinking whiskey by the fireplace and whispering in low tones while hiding from rancorous storms and days that end too early.

But rejoice, for winter is dead. Spring has come to take her place.

I wanted to start it the right way, so as I approached spring break some week-and-a-half ago, I aimed to get into something gnarly so I could come back to Davis and tell you all about it. Maybe go to a dive bar in Hollywood, get in a brawl with Dennis Hopper and the cast of “Seinfeld” and wake up in Norway with a knife wound and armfuls of beautiful women. Obviously, that wasn’t likely to happen, because armfuls of babes are hard to come by.

Well, I went to a dive bar. Sure enough, the place sucked. I got a pint of Pabst Blue Ribbon and then bounced. Another guy at the bar kept insisting that Hopper was going to descend from Valhalla sitting on a throne of skulls, but – well, you know – he was a lunatic. (Which is mostly normal for Hollywood.)

No, the biggest adventure I got into over the break was introducing my mom to the game of beer pong – or ball-in-a-cup, as I like to call it. She wasn’t really into it.

Mom: “So you throw the ball into the cup?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Mom: “This is what you do at parties?”

Me: “Yeah. Or you can bounce the ball for two – “

Mom: “This is stupid. You do this for fun? Why can’t you just drink a beer and have a conversation like a normal person? Or dance with a pretty girl?”

Me: “Uh, well – “

Mom: “We had way more fun in the ’70s.”

Can’t really argue with that. I reckon it’s because the ’70s had better tunes on the radio. They got Led Zeppelin while we’re stuck with silly bitches who spell their names with dollar signs.

Anyway, a light bulb popped to life over my head when my mom called me a tool. Sure, throwing a ping pong ball into a red cup is a blast, but this is my last spring quarter. Instead of spending my weekends cracking jokes around a 30 of Natty, I’m going to do what people from the ’70s would have done. (I can always drink Natty on the weekdays.)

First, I’d like to make sure we’re all on the same page. To all you freshman and social recluses, spring quarter isn’t really a quarter. It’s 10 weeks of fun with a few reminders from SISWEB that you’re missing a ton of schoolwork.

This spring, I pledge to do so little schoolwork that you’d think I graduated or dropped out of school. We have Picnic Day coming up, my birthday (April 20, a day I will celebrate with sobriety, responsibility and sarcasm) and the Whole Earth Festival, not to mention countless days of sun and warmth.

I’ll be floating on rivers this spring, sleeping on beaches, hiking through forests and calling out to the summer stars as they wheel in arcing constellations above my campfires. In a sense, you’ll be coming with me, because that is what I’m going to write about.

So pack those schoolbooks away, my friends. Now is the time for fine company and fine spirits. These are the days of adventure on the high streets of Davis and the outlying world – unless, of course, you made the mistake of having to cram all your required courses into this quarter. If that’s the case, well, I got nothing for you. Good luck with that.

WILL LONG wonders what the ’70s would have been like if Ol’ Dirty Bastard had been on the scene. “Brooklyn Zoo” featuring Led Zeppelin? “Tangled Up in Blue” featuring GZA? Oh man. There would have been a lot more drug use. Send Will your daydream remixes at wclong@ucdavis.edu.


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