I bought liquor for two high school guys at a concert the other day, my first experience giving back to the underage alcoholic community I was once a member of. They saw me buying a beer and approached me afterward, giddy at the thought of intoxication.
“Hey man, they've got those $12 double shot drinks up there, right?” the spokesman of the boys said.
“Yep.” I was going to make them earn this one.
“Do you think you could get two of them for us?” I gave them a moment of thoughtful hesitation, and immediately got, “We'll give you money for them!”
At first I thought they meant a commission for undertaking an illegal but noble action, then I quickly realized they wanted to make sure I knew that I DIDN'T HAVE TO TREAT STRANGERS TO FREE DRINKS.
I asked what kind of liquor they wanted and without hesitation they both said, “JUST WHATEVER MAN,” like they were about to jizz their pants at the slightest whiff of alcohol and it couldn't get in their noses fast enough.
“Ok, so I'll get you a couple of Jack and Cokes? That'll put some hair on your balls.” But they both shot me a look like they hadn't heard of whiskey before.
“Uhh, how bout just… rum and Coke?” one of the guys said. And then I immediately remembered that rum is pretty much standard underage drinking protocol, even though they'll probably never have another Bacardi and Coke again as soon as they turn 21.
So I took their $24 for two “please don't let these guys drive home” drinks and walked up to one of about seven well-staffed alcohol trailers, with a combined one customer between them: me (the electronic music scene on a Tuesday night will make anyone over 25 feel like either a pedophile or a drug dealer).
“So, enjoying the music?” I said to the 55-ish woman taking my order. All you could hear was dubstep and serotonin raging out of control from stage 2 of 3, so it was supposed to be a rhetorical question.
“I love it!” she replied genuinely. “I love all kinds of music, and working here—well, volunteering here—is great because I get to listen to so many bands.”
“Wait, what are you volunteering for?”
“My son's high school. Part of the proceeds from all alcohol sales go to cover their band expenses.”
And there it was… I was the Robin Hood of a local high school, taking from the bad kids and giving to the good ones. These alcoholic freshmen were getting drunk and simultaneously sponsoring nerdism. I could just picture all the band geeks being able to travel to some regional competition because the ravers and underage drinkers they hated helped fund it.
And that, my friends, is enough to keep my conscience clean.