>>> Three Beers Deep
By staff writer Chris Phelan

February 14, 2007

Hey everybody, Happy Valentine’s Day and thanks for checking out Three Beers Deep this week. So I’m mailing this one in today. Here’s why:

The intended “Valentine’s Day Disasters” column didn’t pan out like I thought it would. I had imagined receiving a bunch of hilarious Valentine’s Day stories (which would lead to hilarity once they found their way into this column), but instead found myself spiraling into depression as I read email after email of just sad, sad retellings of bad Valentine’s Days.

The bottom line is, it would’ve been tough to put a comedy spin on these real-life tragedies, and the end result wouldn’t have been a funny column. You would’ve realized the lack of comedy instantly and wound up clicking on a different column, a phenomenon known more commonly known as “The Nick Gaudio Effect.”

Reason #2 I’m mailing it in? In the span of two days, I’ve managed to spill an entire tray of drinks on a family of four at the restaurant where I work, and less than an hour ago I walked straight into a giant metal pole at the gym.

Yeah, the dreaded “I’m an asshole” combo.

Everybody has heard stories of servers accidentally spilling drinks all over a table, but to be honest—I was prepared for the pure chaos that I created. First of all, it all happened in slow motion. (I know this because I managed to think OHMYGOD OHMYGOD OHMYGOD about ten times from the moment my drink tray tipped over to the point my customers got drenched.) Second of all, I realized there’s nothing a server can do in that situation that can possibly rectify it. So I just stood there with my jaw dropped to the floor doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I was frozen. Third of all, I figured there was at least a 25% chance that the father at the table would stand up and punch me in the face for ruining his family’s Sunday night dinner, so I was 1000% terrified. And lastly, it happened during our dinner rush—so saying I was embarrassed is an understatement.

And then, on my way out of the gym today I just flat-out walked head-first into a pole. I have no thoughts about it other than “I can’t believe I walked straight into a fucking pole.” A fucking pole! I may have to cancel my gym membership. I can’t be seen there again.

So anyway, I wrote what you’re about to read during my sophomore year at UConn. I thought I was God’s Gift to Comedy when I finished writing it… and I gotta say, I think it still holds up years later.

Without further ado…

Your Mom’s an Observational Humor

“You gotta love those foreign graduate students who somehow always wind up teaching math classes.”

-Ever notice how every time you play beer pong against complete strangers, you always act like best friends towards each other? Somehow, whoever is across the table from you, you can talk and laugh and joke like you've been friends forever. You could say something like, “Yo man, nice shot… yo remember that crazy teacher we had back in high school?” and somebody would respond, “Oh yeah man, I remember that! She was crazy!!!” It's weird. But as soon as that game is over, it's just a handshake and that's it. They walk out of your life forever. It's kinda sad, but thankfully alcohol soothes the pain.

-I bet professors always laugh to themselves when they reveal that their lecture notes are available online. Because they KNOW that everybody will stop coming to class. But more importantly, they know that their online notes are just horrible lies, so when students come up to them and complain that they studied all the notes and are still failing, the professor will just sit back, laugh, and smoke a big cigar.

-At parties, the lure of free beer is usually too good to pass up. But you've got to figure that there are 200 kids at this party with 200 free beers. All of a sudden that one pissy-tasting can of Keystone Light waiting for you is reason enough to stay home.

-It's funny how you realize little idiosyncrasies of your roommate after a while. Take mine for example; he hates any semblance of cold air coming into the room at any time. I mean, I love a nice warm room in the winter too, but when I wake up and it feels like I just spent the night in a gay steam bath, well, that's where I draw the line.

-Alarm clocks seem like a good idea, until you start messing around with the times. Sure, setting your clock 13 minutes ahead may seem like a good idea right before you go to bed, but I bet you kick yourself in the morning when you have that unsolvable math problem just to figure out what the REAL time is.

-Ever notice how the older people on your floor sometimes try to bestow knowledge or insight on you once in a while? For example, the other day a kid who's a 5th-year transfer walked by my room, saw me trying to register for classes, and decided to give me some advice. It's like, “Dude, you're a 22-year-old junior… I don't think taking education advice from you is the best plan for me, you know? Oh yeah, and you suck at life.” It’s usually only after that last part that they leave the room.

-Isn’t it great how parents think the most convenient time to call you is 9:00AM on a weekend? Nothing says “worst hangover ever” than having to hear about the new couch your mom just picked up for the living room. Or being reminded that you owe the Blockbuster back home thirty bucks for never returning a movie over the summer. Or getting told to take it easy drinking.

-It's cool when your old friends from home come up to visit. Except that I don't think it's so cool for your college friends, considering you and your home friend are planning an attack on the “newbies.”

-Sleep is a very vital factor when you're in college. Back home, if you casually mentioned that you couldn't go out, that you needed to take a nap, you'd get slapped around a little bit. But at college, you could say, “Dude, fuck that hot lesbian orgy in your room, I need to take a fuckin' nap.” And you'll be understood.

-Warning people on AIM is on a whole new level, it seems. Back at home, you could warn anybody you wanted without fear. But up here, all it'll take is you and your roommate to warn your friends down the hall to 50% each and then the water fight is ON.

-To a sober person, the marker boards on the doors of a girl’s floor is a fine way to communicate to somebody when they're not around. But to a drunk person, it's like an open invitation to write something you'll be too embarrassed to read the next morning. They also make fine targets when you don't feel like making the journey up to your own bathroom.

-You gotta love those foreign graduate students who somehow always wind up teaching math classes. They could say something horribly racist or make the cruelest comment ever the entire class would still chuckle at their funny little accent. Until poor Laetisha realizes what’s going on.

-Has anybody noticed that little pang of excitement you get when you come home for a weekend, hoping that maybe you'd run into a friend from high school you haven't seen in a while? Well, that's not excitement. It's the fear of bumping into ex-girlfriends who probably still have stuff to yell at you about.

-I scratched my head when my RA nominated me to become an RA next year. I mean, the extent of our relationship is pretty much me barging into his room completely hammered and/or playing music late at night, waking him up in the process. Then I realized… he just wants me off the floor.

-Class scheduling is a fun time. First and foremost, it's planning your education for the next semester in the most efficient way possible. But secondly, it's trying to justify taking a 1st year foreign language course that you already took in high school, just to bump up your GPA.

– Having a roommate who has earlier classes than you is a pretty sweet deal until you factor in the incessant sounds of his alarm clock going off nine different times each morning. You'd think he'd feel sorry for you when you politely tell him to jam his alarm clock up his stupid ass,but you'd be wrong—that just makes him vindictive.

-You may think that putting the side of every 30-pack you've drank this semester up on your wall is a good idea. Until your grandparents stop by for a surprise visit. Then you have to try to explain to them how they’re all your roommate's 30-packs. All while trying to conceal the smell of cheap $7 vodka on your breath.

-Eating at the dining halls can be fun. Up here we have the names of each type of food written in magic marker on the glass above the food. A good trick is to erase the “er” out of “butter noodles.” Sure, everybody will look at you and shake their head, but hey—they're the ones eatin' butt noodles.

-It's funny how much better we seem to get along with our parents when we're away at college. Or maybe we just act that way towards them in preparation of the day we have to call them up and beg for money.

-If you go to a professor's office hours, don't expect anything productive to actually happen. Basically it's you pleading your case to your professor while he sits there smoking a cigar… and laughing at you. As you hold your printed-out “accounting” notes in your hands.

COMING NEXT WEEK: The long-awaited Office column!