I graduated from high school in 1997, so last summer was our 20-year class reunion. It was an event I’d been looking to for quite some time, because I couldn’t wait to go back and impress all of my old classmates.
As planning efforts got underway on Facebook, I got into a very nasty fight on the page dedicated to the reunion with the class president. The bone of contention was the reunion’s location. She originally announced they would be renting the clubhouse at the local country club, where she’s a member. But I was able to start a counter-movement by letting everyone know I could get use of the banquet room at Beef's for free, and then we could have the after-party at my apartment complex's pool. After a lot of name-calling and personal insults posted on each other’s Facebook walls (mostly by me, truth be told), we decided to put it to a popular vote. The country club won pretty handily, so I decided to make the best of the situation.
Me, my youth football team’s DC, my offensive assistant who is on probation for selling my counterfeit Oakleys, and my cousin the workers’ comp attorney were all in the same class and decided to attend together. There was one hitch in this plan, as my DC and my offensive assistant never technically graduated. My DC quit school as an act of protest the day after our high school football awards banquets, when he was passed over for Defensive Player of the Year. My offensive assistant simply walked out of the locker room after our last football game, never to be seen at school again.
The night got off to a good start, as the four of us arrived in style in my DC’s Chrysler Lebaron. My DC – never one to stand on ceremony – backed his LeBaron into one of the “reserved” spots at the entrance, and ended up straddling that spot and a spot set aside for elderly club members. Little did we know that act would set off a chain reaction that would put him behind bars.
Trouble was literally brewing from the second we stepped into the place. My DC had an after-work meeting with the local Rent-A-Center manager about some delinquent payments, and hence, he didn’t have time to change out of his Sonic uniform before the reunion. One of the club members who was there for a squash tournament and sporting a sweater tied around his neck said my DC wasn’t properly attired and tried to have the club manager make him leave. My cousin pointed out that club policy is collars at all times, and there’s a very regal looking collar on the Sonic uniform, so the manager had to relent. The class president also was absolutely furious when she saw my DC and offensive assistant there. She tried to get them to leave, claiming the reunion wasn’t for “dropouts,” but she could tell from the determined looks on our faces that we weren’t going anywhere.
With those preliminary bumps in the road past us, things went along well for a while. Like a foghorn, ten pumps of Tim McGraw Southern Blend cologne announced my presence to all in attendance as I walked into the main dining room in my letter jacket with a determined look on my face. I was busy regaling other classmates with stories from our region championship (3-way tie) season, showing them my youth football championship rings, boasting about my salary of $27/hr plus bennies and a cell phone, and making fun of the honor roll kids.
However, the train started to veer off the tracks about an hour into the reunion. Several club members complained to our class president about my offensive assistant trying to sell them “Oatleys” in the men’s restroom and then spilling Fireball that he’d snuck in on a club member. The president was threatening to call the cops if he didn’t leave, so he did. My DC – who by that point had taken down a good 12-15 shots of Fireball -- got into a loud argument with our classmate who received the Defensive Player of the Year award over my DC. It quickly devolved into a shoving match and ended with two tables full of food getting knocked over.
So my DC was both angry and inebriated when someone pointed out that a tow truck was leaving the country club parking lot with his Lebaron. My cousin noted that he’d seen the aforementioned sweater-wearing squash player on his cell phone in the parking lot near the Lebaron about twenty minutes before the tow truck arrived, so he must have placed the call.
Upon hearing that, my DC decided to go confront the squash player. He ran to he squash courts, and before any of us could restrain him, raced onto the squash court, crack blocked the squash player to the ground, pulled the sweater arms tight around the guy’s neck, and began demanding that the guy agree to pay the towing fee. It took me, my offensive assistant, and two caterers to pull my DC off the guy.
The security guards then escorted my DC out of the club through the dining area where the reunion was being held. As he was escorted through, my DC yelled “you never could tackle for shit” at our teammate who won Defensive Player of the Year and then raised the roof as the strode out of the room.
The president was sobbing and yelling at me that we had ruined the reunion with the commotion we’d caused and that she might get kicked out of the club. I told her this never would have happened if we’d had the reunion at Beef O’Brady’s. I also suggested that her son would be well-advised to buckle his chinstrap and have his head on a swivel when he faced my youth football team in the autumn.
The three of us got the hell out of there and met up with my offensive assistant at Beef O’Brady’s. But by that point, the squash player called the cops and claimed he’d been “assaulted.” Everyone knew where we were at, and the cops showed up about thirty minutes in and took my DC out in handcuffs. He spent the night in jail. Turns out the sweater-wearing squash tool didn’t call the towing company at all – it was the class president, but that’s really neither here nor there. Justice was still served to both on some level.