Originally, I was gonna bust that ditty out for you on Dandelion Day, replete with a top hat and cane, but word came down from above that my performance had been cancelled. Along with it, pretty much every other student group event that had once hailed proudly around campus on everyone’s favorite Dandelion holiday.
Indeed, this year things have changed – the D’Motions have been demoted, Vocal Point’s been rendered pointless and all the other groups were sent packing. It seems that the administration decided that the drunken masses couldn’t handle watching their peers perform for them, and thus these performances, just as with the future of D-Day as we know it, have been cancelled.
With that in mind, and if I may step aside for the briefest of moments, I’d like to recount one fine afternoon I spent while abroad last semester in Australia – a country with seemingly no concern for liability, alcohol control or really any manner of safety whatsoever.
The smell of competition was ripe in the air that sweet day as we all gathered outside my building for the annual dorm-wide car rally, an event whose existence alone continues to perplex me. You see, at some point in my dorm’s illustrious past, someone decided that the time had come for students to form themed teams of six, each well supplied with an assortment of boxed wines and beer and race around Melbourne in decorated cars to assorted checkpoints, whereupon more drinking would transpire.
Thus the car rally began, and it proudly continues to this day. So, sure enough, we Americans – dressed cleverly as “Southern trash” – took off with yours truly at the helm and tore around Melbourne in an unregistered, yet appropriately named, 1980 Toyota Corona station wagon. Funny thing is, despite having 20 cars over-filled with kids defying every traffic law ever conceived, no one was injured. There were no accidents. Hell, no one even got lost – at least, not on purpose.
Now, following the Australian example, I hear UR is tossing around the idea for its own D-Day car rally. Of course, there’ll have to be a few slight changes. Namely, instead of alcohol we’ll each be given a liter of Welch’s grape juice, in the place of a station wagon teams will be granted a Huffy with a sidecar and in lieu of fun we’ll all be assured daylong depression and involuntary twitching.
To be fair, though, I can understand the concern over D-Day. Hell, I’m concerned myself. I’m concerned about an administration whose best idea for combating stupidity is to change or even abandon one of the last vestiges of fun that our campus provides. Do they think the absence of an administrative sanction is going to curb drinking problems?
I’d be more than happy to down a liter of Crown, strap on a bike helmet and attempt to scale Lovejoy just to prove them wrong. There’s just as good of a chance of some ambitious drunkard leading a ten-siren parade to the hospital on any given Friday night as there is on D-Day – there just happens to be a greater number of ambitious drunkards on our beloved day of the D.
Naturally then, I’m concerned about those misguided kegstanders as well. After all, anyone who’s using D-Day as an excuse to get blindly blottoed and play hand grenade croquet probably has a few things to sort out beside their medical bills.
But my biggest concern easily remains the asinine debate over fault and liability as we approach our most sacred of holidays. Some girl blasts through an entire bottle of Citron in her dorm room before later busting out a swan dive down some fraternity house stairs, and suddenly a lawsuit’s filed before she can even hit the ground.
Some fools rock a power hour in seclusion and are later found on the ground with the collective blood-alcohol level of Russia, and it’s UR’s fault? Administration says it’s scared that these kids could get hurt. Hell, I’m scared ’cause these kids are idiots.
Ultimately, we’re in college – at once a breeding ground of brilliant minds and drunken maniacs, and try as it may the school will never rid itself of the latter. Thus, rather than punishing the student body as a whole, I say let ’em drink.
Let the fools find themselves in the throes of inebriation and crawl and moan and end up in the hospital with a laundry list of injuries and an NBA salary’s worth of bills. In other words, let ’em learn. Let their parents see how out of control their kids are. And meanwhile, let the rest of us be.
Let our dancers dance, and our singers sing, and whatever other odd groups we have do their odd things and let us all just have a D-Day we can enjoy and cherish.
If, that is, we can remember it.
Janowitz can be reached at email@example.com.