When I turned 21 over the summer, the only thing I could think about was finally being able to enter the glorious bars of Collegetown. I had heard about these bars for so long that I started to believe they were magical places, like the inside of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory — except instead of chocolate rivers, there would be rivers of light beer, and instead of Oompa-Loompas there would be those hot girls from the Labatt Blue commercials.
When I started checking out the C-Town bars during Orientation Week, however, I realized that these places weren’t magical at all. There was no lickable beer-flavored wallpaper or geese that laid golden cans of Keystone. They were just regular, plain-old college bars. I hadn’t been this shocked and disappointed since the Green Power Ranger randomly decided to change his color from green to white midway through Season 2. (Why he decided to give up the Dragonzord, I’ll never know.)
That’s not to say that the C-Town bars aren’t fun — they definitely are. Each place is also unique (or uniquely crappy) in its own way. Dunbar’s has a sweet old-school jukebox, The Palms has a sweet new-school jukebox, Pixel has hipsters, Ruloff’s has Kela the Hawaiian waitress (Kela, I better be getting some free drinks for this), Level B has some comfy couches, and Johnny O’s … well, Johnny O’s doesn’t really have much of anything. I’m not sure why people actually go into that place.
A few weeks ago when I was waiting in line to get into Dunbar’s, I noticed a girl in front of me with an obviously Photoshopped image of an I.D. printed on a piece of paper, and another kid with a passport who looked like he was in 8th grade. As these two people walked right in, I thought to myself, “Wow, I probably should have googled ‘how to make a fake I.D.’ back during sophomore year.”
I also realized how uneventful it was to wait outside a bar compared to waiting outside a frat party. Where were all the bros yelling at me to “back the fuck up?” Where were the old, overweight Ithaca bouncer guys who repeatedly told me the party was closed, and then one minute later decided to let in 15 sorority girls? I really missed these colorful characters.
The other great thing about frat parties was how easy it was to get with girls. All you had to do was step onto the dance floor, bob your head to the music for a minute or two, and then a girl would immediately appear and start grinding on you. One Lady Gaga song and a “Party in the U.S.A.” later and you’d be having a hot, sweaty make-out session with a girl whose name you didn’t even know. Lather, rinse, repeat until 1 a.m., and then go stuff your face with an MBC from Hot Truck and pass out.
Man, those were the days.
But I was at Dunbar’s now, and life was a bit more complicated. I couldn’t just go up to that hot brunette by the bar and start grinding with her because that would be “socially unacceptable” or whatever. I had to actually talk to her. This was an incredibly frightening thought.
I needed a good pick-up line, but not just any pick-up line. It had to be something truly original. I decided to put a dollar into the jukebox to help trigger my train of thought. The people nearby gave me a weird look when I selected “Love Shack” four times in a row. Screw them, I love that song.
It was sometime during “Love Shack” No. 3 that it finally hit me — the perfect pick-up line.
“Hey, I’m a writer for the Daily Sun … Wanna come back to my place and check out my column?” (*Wink Wink*)
And by “column,” I meant penis.
This would work for sure! I started walking towards the hot brunette, but as I got closer a number of thoughts began to race through my head.
What if she doesn’t read the Daily Sun? She doesn’t look like much of a reader. What if she doesn’t get the “column” double entendre? Well, she goes to Cornell, so she’s probably smart enough to figure it out. Then again, maybe she doesn’t go to Cornell. Hmm … She’s also got a purse. There’s probably pepper spray in there. I really don’t feel like getting sprayed in the eyes tonight. Maybe I should turn around and put more money in the jukebox.
This whole “picking up girls” thing was harder than it looked. I knew there had to be an easier way, and it turned out there was. It was called Dino’s.
The first time I walked into Dino’s, I knew my prayers had been answered. The music was blasting, people were squeezed in like sardines and everywhere I looked there were bros grinding with biddies.
Finally, a frat party for older people! I was ready to switch into Mighty Morphin Creeper Mode, but first I needed my usual amount of liquid courage. I headed over to the bartender.
“One Keystone Light in a can, please.”
The woman gave me a strange look. “We don’t have Keystone,” she said.
“Okay, how about a Natty Light then?”
“We don’t have that either.”
“You don’t? What kind of frat party is this?”
“This is a bar.”
“Oh … right.”
Without my watered-down social lubricant, I was powerless. I decided to head for the exit, and as I was walking I noticed two bros getting into a fistfight for no apparent reason. I chuckled to myself. “You can take the bro out of the frat house, but you can’t take the frat house out of the bro,” I thought.
I then went to Jack’s Grill, stuffed my face with food, and passed out. Some things never change.
Corey Brezak is a senior in the College Agriculture and Life Sciences. He may be reached at email@example.com. Taking My Talents to C-Town appears alternate Mondays this semester.