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Bottled Up

"Damages were less serious at Armadillo Grill. One chair was broken, a glass of beer was thrown at the ceiling and there was ‘more trash than you can imagine,’ Assistant Manager Sam Sills said. He said the glass of beer shattered on impact, causing shards of glass to fall on the crowd of students, but no one was hurt.”— “Celebration leaves eateries damaged” in The Chronicle, April 7, 2010.

“Bloody hell,” Stella said out loud in a British accent, as she was lifted for another swig. “Some of them have been here for five hours already.”

“Tell me about it,” Coors replied. “I haven’t been washed for six rounds. The game’s just starting now.”

“Yum, this guy can lick my salt all night long,” purred Margarita.

“Again? But seriously, somebody might get chipped tonight,” Stella worried, as she always did. “I mean if it happened to Porter, it could happen to anybody.”

They all took pause to remember their stout friend. Suddenly, a man enthusiastically slammed Bud down on the bar.

“Whoo-wee, we’re in for a wild one!” Bud yelled. “I am tanked.”

“Oh, of course you are, you cheap drunk,” cried Stella.

“You’re just jealous, you old prude!” Bud said.

The gang continued their banter into the game. By halftime, even Stella was tipsy from rotation, and Coors, usually calm and collected, was starting to feel it. The bar had long been packed, some students standing on chairs to get a better view of one of the flat-screen televisions.

“Have you seen Bud?” Stella yelled to Margarita across the bar.

“No! I think he’s out at one of the tables,” she responded. “How about that new guy, though? I think he’s here illegally. Calls himself, uh, Four Loko? He seems so energetic. ¡Ay carumba!”

Coors was just returning for a refill.

“Have I ever told you how pretty you are Stella?” he said, standing on the bar. “That logo’s never faded.”

“Oh, cut it out.”

“We could’ve had something!” Coors said, before being swept away.

As the game wore on, the friends knew they were in for a dramatic finish that none of them wanted. With seven minutes left, Coors had been dropped to the floor. Fortunately for him, though, he landed on his thick bottom, uninjured. No one had heard from Bud in a while.

“It’s like ’01 all over again!” Coors said. “I know some of you youngsters—” but Coors was drowned out by a monstrous cheer. The game was coming down to the final minute. The glasses were gripped tightly.

“Ow ow ow!” said Margarita, who, like everyone else, was plastered. “Somebody just poured some of that Loko in me!”

“Hey guys! What a game!” Bud called during a momentary silence of held breaths. The glasses all turned their heads to look from the bar.

“Oh, thank God,” Stella said.

Just then, a tremendous roar erupted, with some students screaming on top of slippery table tops. Almost in slow motion they all watched in horror as Bud was launched up toward the ceiling, exploding in ragged shards that showered down on the hooligans below. Not even Stella saw him come down.


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