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Notes from Shooters

“Why are you even here?”

I looked at the aged Durhamite addressing me and opened my mouth to let out the customary snappy comeback. Instead, a dejected squeak came out, followed by a murmured “excuse me,” as I pushed past her and her wannabe biker-gang boyfriend. Or husband? Whatever they were, they promptly resumed inappropriately groping each other the moment I was one step way.
The thing was, she had a point. Why was I at Shooters II Saloon? More importantly, why was I at Shooters sober?

Duke had just beaten University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in a wonderful game, and everyone’s favorite janky Western club was filled with a mix of paint-covered, sweaty Duke students and Durhamite regulars. Usually, the odd happenings of Shooters seem to go fairly unnoticed in the drunken haze in which most students arrive. I was fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to not be drunk. Obviously, I would never drink because East Campus is a dry campus and that’s bad for you and illegal and damaging to your social relations and nobody should drink ever, etc. More to the point, though, I was completely sober to witness the madness that was Saturday night Shooters.

I pushed past a few more Durhamites before finally making it onto the dance floor, which was sticky with some questionable substance per usual. I had brought one sober friend with me, and I could see him visibly squirming with discomfort next to me as we surveyed the situation. Honestly, I couldn’t decide what made me the most uncomfortable.

First off, leaning against the bar to my right were several large, older men, sipping cheap beer and watching the much younger girls walk past. Didn’t these guys know the rule? Divide by two, add seven, folks. Tried and true. Forty-three divided by two plus seven is not 18. I can tell you that much.
To my left was the typical awkward circle that had been cleared around a couple engaged in some serious PDA, although a “display of affection” hardly began to describe that interaction.

A quick glance at the cage confirmed that, indeed, tonight was going to be a true disaster for some of my fellow students. I have never seen a guy out-twerk four female friends quite like that man did while in the cage. If he gives lessons, I can’t say that I would be entirely opposed to going.

So, it was going down at Shooters. And I certainly was not yelling timber (or Zeta, for that matter). I was, however, muttering “please get me the hell out of here,” but that doesn’t have quite the lyrical flow of Ke$ha, let’s be honest.
I had been on the dance floor for just over five minutes, slowly trying to find somebody, anybody, when I saw basketball player Todd Zafirovski stroll past the edge of the dance floor, grinning. Zafirovski seemed like a nice guy, but even he couldn’t hide the look of shock and disgust when he scanned the dance floor. I didn’t blame him.

My friend tapped me on the arm. “So, when are we leaving again?”

“Let’s just do a quick circuit and see if we know anyone,” I said half-heartedly. Why did I say that? No idea. All of my friends had told me they were going back to the dorm to sleep after the game, so we definitely wouldn’t see anyone we knew. It was honestly a feat of mental and physical endurance to be drunk and at Shooters at this point.

Nevertheless, we set off on our circuit. And, sure enough, first thing I did was bump into the Dance Floor PDA Couple from before. The second thing I did was realize that I knew the girl involved in this exchange.

“Oh my God! Sid!!!” she yelped, shrugging out of the guy’s grasp just long enough to give me a hug. Her partner in crime was already grabbing her by the hips before our hug was over. I had the privilege of being part of a three-way hug with Dance Floor PDA Couple. They should give out medals for encounters like that. I tried to ask the girl how she was doing, but it was far too late by that point. I averted my eyes and we continued on the lonely circuit.

We made the lap without seeing anyone we knew well enough to stay at Shooters sober. Honestly, it would have taken Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence singing a song with the cast of “The Office” to get me to stay there much longer.

Oh, one plus of the night! I saw Marshall Plumlee smiling as he hugged somebody. We now know that the basketball player can a) smile and b) hug. That’s one of the good things that came out of that experience. Well, okay. That’s the good thing that came out of that experience.

I can now give the following statement my stamp of approval: Friends don’t let friends go to Shooters sober.

So, I’ll see you there next Saturday?


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