By contributing writer Lee Camp
I went to visit my brother at his college this week. I got to see the old college apartment, and everything is exactly as I remember it—meaning the bowl of half-eaten Easy Mac that was hanging out on the floor had not moved for the past four years.
While I was there, I realized that there are no fond memories of the college apartment. There are memories, and there are even funny or fuzzy memories, but there are no fond memories. You may want to argue, “But Lee, what about the poster of the half-naked chick holding beer? That’s a fond memory.” Perhaps you’re right.
What is the reasoning behind the half-naked chick holding beers? What did that poster really do for us? I mean, it’s a necessity. In some form or another, it can be found in every male college apartment in existence. You may have to look under some splattered grapefruit pulp on the wall, but it’s there. In terms of essential objects in a guy's college apartment, it’s on the same level as computer or bed. Guys moving in are like, “We need toilet paper, food, and a half-naked chick poster before we can move in here.”
But honestly, in the scope of things, that poster never did a thing for us. It never helped us get beer or chicks at any point during college. In fact, in a couple of instances, it actually decreased our chances of having a girl stick around. I just can’t see that being a big selling point when asking a girl up to your room.
Idiot Guy: Lisa, you gotta see our apartment. We’ve got a poster of a Miller Lite girl who’s illegal in seven states.
Lisa: Oh my God! I’m there! That’s a collector’s item.
So basically the picture of the gorgeous half-naked woman holding beer is only a window into the unattainable; it depicts two things that are constantly sought after, but rarely within reach. Because one requires a fake ID and costs money, and the other costs a lot more money and can only be found in Las Vegas. We should have put up a poster right next to the beer girl of other unattainable things…like good grades and a clean apartment.
And why is the girl always holding a beer? Why is that so exciting for men? Is it because she’s more likely to hook up with us if she’s drinking a lot? So the fact that she’s holding a beer means she’s even closer to being ours. If that’s the case, she should also be holding a sign that reads, “I like college students who don’t bathe often and are proud of video game high scores.” Then we would have known she liked us.
It’s quite odd that the idea of a woman drinking a beer turns guys on. Yet, a woman drinking fourteen beers in a couple of hours, belching, and running to the bathroom every three minutes—not so attractive anymore. One beer: sexy. A case of beer: redneck. I mean, the emaciated women depicted on the posters holding these beers are clearly not the ones drinking the beers. I think the poster should show the actual women who drink a lot of Budweiser—the ones with huge beer bellies, messed up hair, bags under the eyes from constant hangovers, and legs that haven’t been shaved in three weeks. And that serves two purposes because then the women on these posters would actually have been in our league too. “Check out the Miller Lite girl! That’s the same girl that begged me to go out with her last month, and I said no. The beer breath she had could knock you to the ground.”
Over the course of that evening, I saw my brother’s roommates achieve two things: buy pizza and buy beer. I tried to warn them that by getting pizza and beer they were perpetuating age-old college stereotypes that should be put to rest. But I lost them on the word “perpetuating,” and they went ahead and bought a case of beer roughly the size and weight of Warren Sapp.
The biggest complication of the night came when they tried to figure out how much each person should pay for the beer. The problem was rooted in the fact that every one of them owed each other some money from previous beer runs. I do recall from my college days that this was a constant problem. Every conversation about money was essentially, “Each person should pay twelve dollars, but Jake owes me five bucks for the Hurricane I bought him on that night we ate all those eggs. And I owe Stevie seven bucks for the Red Bull and Vodka he got me that night we were kicked out of the pizza place, but he still owes Josh eighteen dollars for his bail money. And Brian’s girlfriend, Sam, paid for the Coronas on that night we broke the window, but the beer ended up on the floor of Alex’s car. So he shouldn’t have to pay anything. So if you add it all up and divide by seven…you each need to chip in $4,800. And no bad checks this time, Jake!”
One final thing stands out in my memory of my brother’s apartment. It’s memorable because it was the only thing in the apartment that was not dirty, sticky, broken, illegal or moldy—it was a puppy that belonged to a friend of my brother’s. At first the idea of puppies in a college apartment seemed terribly contradictory to me. I mean, puppies are sweet and adorable and cuddly…and college guys are, well, not. At first I felt that nothing cute and loveable should be forced to spend more than thirty seconds in a college room…be it a puppy, a girl, a koala, anything. But then it occurred to me that college apartments must be a dog’s paradise. The puppy can relieve itself in the corner and no one’s the wiser, there’s always a procrastinating roommate willing to play with it, the furniture already looks chewed up, and there’s enough food on the floor to allow the little guy to weather a nuclear fallout. That dog was in heaven. He’ll never even hear anyone tell him “Bad boy!” Instead he’ll hear, “Eat that thing that just crawled by the TV. Good boy!”
I thought I would leave my brother’s apartment the next day with a fresh longing to return to college. But I didn’t. My only longing was for a puppy, a cold beer, and a chick in a Miller Lite bathing suit. But then again, how’s that different from any other day?