My "You WILL bark like a Dawg" story
As you likely know by now I'm a product of the Goff years. And being a product of the Goff years comes with many memories, some good and many bad. But it also carries with it some baggage. The heaviest of which (to me at least) is a homecoming loss to Vanderbilt in 1994. It was Goff's 2nd loss to the 'Dores, but the first at home. It wasn't a pretty scene leaving the stadium. It left a feeling in the pit of my gut that festered, then eventually relented, but never fully went away.
Fast forward to New Year's Eve* that same year and we're partying at a local apartment complex. I had already over served myself some kool-aid and had found a comfortable chair to enjoy my stupor in. It was both well cushioned and had thick arms where I could rest each hand; my right grasped a 12 ounce beer that had recently lost 6 ounces of weight, and the left had a half empty plastic cup with some other concoction that may or may not have come from the apartment's bathtub.
Yeh, it was that kinda night. But I was a fairly recent graduate from the world's finest institution of higher education, so I had 5 years worth of schooling with a major in beer consumption and a minor in Garrison Hearst. There was literally little to nothing that could go wrong.
Except that at a neighboring celebration was a little snot-nosed 1500 SAT dandy Vandy twit who had just finished his first semester in Nashville. To this dipshit the world was his oyster. Every year his future alma mater was going to win football games in bucket loads even though DiNardo had just left for Red Stick that was no matter because they were going to be even better at tackle football than they were at basketball which was invented in Nashville and by the way did you know that a tenet is to a theologian as a hypothesis is to a biologist?
Now I'm not afraid to admit that I slept through half my Scholastic Aptitude Test, fortified by the knowledge that I would get enough points by spelling my name right to get me into LaGrange College, where I began my "studies" while Dooley finished his tenure on the sidelines. I'm not so hard up for attention that I have to point out to parties of people how well I can analogize words. Perhaps that's just me, but the end result on this particular evening was that this dillhole was beginning to really piss me the hell off.
Fred and Nama were kind enough to let me know that he was smarting off yet again right outside in the hallway about how awesomethe'DoreswereOMGtheyreallyoutscoredtheBulldogsbackinOctoberdidyouseetheawesomenesswithyourinferioranalyticaleyes? It would've been wrong of me not to welcome him to Athens GA right? So I did and kindly asked him to shut his piehole, thanks and happy effin' New Year. I returned to my stupor chair.
Once again it was Fred and Nama who interrupted my r e a l l y s l o w thought processes to say that Vanderrific Dandy had not left and was now relating the entire homecoming loss for any and all to hear. I like to imagine it went something like this:
"HolyMotherofMary we beat them in their stadium when the sun was high in the sky andjeebuscanyouimaginehowincrediblysexyour(male)cheerleaderswere with their sweat glimmeringandtheirbulging muscles...theMEGAphoneswereSOOOOloud!"I told Fred and Nama not to worry about him and let's get a game of quarters together..."I'mzzready!". As I clumsily fumbled for a conglomeration of coins deeeeeeeep inside my Levi's they replied that he was also talking about my mom. "What tha frackin' french did you friggin' say just a frickin' minute ago bout that eff'd up gluesniffer and his filthy fluffin' mother effin' mouth?" I quickly realized that they were yanking my chain, and by quickly I mean in the amount of time it takes Drunj Bernie to find a stable table spot for his mostly consumed beer bottle and almost empty cup. "If no one else is going to shut this kid's trap then I guess I'll haveta..." was what I was thinking as I once again stumbled through the door to the hallway.
|Once, twice...three times|
"You...VandyfreshmandouchebagMcSmartsalot...get down on all fours!"
To which he said, "What?"
"I said, GET DOWN ON ALL FOURS AND BARK LIKE A DAWG dammitsonsabitches! You donts come down here and talk likth that,...in ATHENS... like yourz the bess thing sins sliced bananaz. So get on all fours and bark like a Dawg!!"
There may or may not have been something added about respect. Regardless, at this point he again passed on my offer and tried to backtrack into a handshake. I refuse again telling him to assume the position of our mascot and give his best impression. I even barked at him myowndamnself so that he would'nt eff that up like he and his university did most masculine things involving more than an ounce of testosterone and fueled by something more than a glass of chardonnay. In the end he never did, but I didn't let him get away completely free. Through my poetically stirred and alcohol slurred speech I challenged him to sit beside me at Stegeman later the next month for the Vandy-Georgia basketball game. His entourage of English Literature majors promptly left and the hall slowly emptied. Tension eased and I made a drunken mental note right then and almost there to attend the Vanderbilt game come hell or high water. It was set in stone and no amount of two-fisting kool-aid the rest of the night would erase the sticky note from my frontal lobe.
I went. He didn't. Durham's Dawgs won, just as I promised him they would. Boom went the dynamite. The pep band played Glory Glory and I belched mightily as I opened Stegman's doors into the cool January air. Somewhere in the distance I could hear the Earth return to its correct tilted axis, which most people who don't sleep through their SAT's will tell you is an exact 23.45 degrees. Whatevs, buncha bastards. Mostly, the curtains closed on this ugly episode in my historical autobiography.
I don't recall the kid's name. In truth, it may have never been offered to me. But nowadays I just refer to him as James Franklin, which is an indian name meaning "talks alot like woman". I once believed the mouth of Stegeman swallowed the little dipshit whole, never to be seen again. But now I like to think he lives in a room over his mom's garage, and gives penance for his words each Fall like a dandy Vandyman should.
Thanks again for Reading all of you Dawg lovers with a dial-up interweb connection. And a special shout-out to a clicker in Savannah yesterday afternoon who became my millionth page view.
Have a seat in my stupor chair, the beer's always cold.
*It may not have been New Year's. But it was after basketball season had started. So sometime in December. I tend to assume it was New Year's because there were multiple parties in this complex that evening. Unfortunately, as good as beer tastes, it kills brain cells kids. It's the ugly truth to what is an otherwise beautiful swallow of malts and hops.