oxymoron67: (generation)
[personal profile] oxymoron67

When I was a freshman in college, my group of friends would frequently throw parties very short notice. Basically, if it was a Saturday and we all weren’t playing Dungeons and Dragons or some other role-playing game, we would have a party.

Normally, the alcohol at these parties was really cheap beer or things like Mad Dog or 20/20. At the time, none of us had that much money, so this was the best we could do.

This didn’t mean that we didn’t try to do different things, though, as in this case.

Two friends, Ken and Andy, were throwing a party, and I volunteered to come over to their place early to help set things up. I ran into two other friends, Dave and Alan along the way, and we decided to go over together.

See, Ken and Andy had decided to try something new for this party: they were going to make jello shots, using grain alcohol? Moonshine? I forget which. It’s been well over 25 years. Anyway, I had never done jello shots before, and was looking forward to the new semi-solid alcohol ingestion mode.

So Dave, Alan and I arrived at the apartment. Oh, at the time, Dave and I were chemistry majors. Alan was a chemical engineering major.

This matters.

We walked into the apartment, and we could smell alcohol in the air. It was weird. It wasn’t a “someone left a few bottles of liquor open” kind of smell. It was more a “significant amounts of alcohol had evaporated into the atmosphere and we were getting drunk just breathing” kind of smell.

As we were getting our contact drunk, Dave, Alan and I realized that the Ken and Andy were actually boiling alcohol in their kitchen.


All three of us ran into the kitchen, screaming to turn the stove off. They just looked at us all confused.

As I was turning off the stove and Alan was opening windows, to let fresh air in, Dave confronted Andy:

Dave: What the fuck? Are you trying to blow yourselves up?
Andy: What? No. We were just making jello shots.
Dave: Do you know how flammable alcohol is?
Andy: It can’t be that flammable. I mean with the amount we just boiled…
Dave: How much?
Andy: Oh, two cups or so. So with that much boiling on stove, it would have caught fire.
Dave: …
Andy: So if it was going to explode, it would have. Therefore, we can go back to boiling it.
Dave: I have a headache.

Dave walked away at this point, mumbling to himself. As Andy made for the pot of hot alcohol, I stepped in.

Me: Dave isn’t exaggerating. This is a bad idea. I’m not letting you do this.
Andy: (Dismissively) Oh, come on.
Me: Okay, Dave and I are chemistry majors. Alan is a chemical engineering major. WE STUDY HOW TO SET SHIT ON FIRE. It’s what we do. If one of us is telling you not to do this, you damn well better listen.

Meantime, Alan was trying to figure out what Andy and Ken were up to.

Alan: Why? What were you thinking?
Ken: Well, we wanted to make jello shots…
Alan: Right. I’ve got that.
Ken: So, we bought the jello, and in the directions, it said to boil water then add the powder…
Alan: Okay…
Ken: So we figured that we would just replace the water with alcohol. So that’s what we were doing. We were just about to add the powder when you came storming in.
Alan: But… it won’t set.
Ken: So we’ll freeze it.
Alan: That’s not going to help, really.
Ken: Of course it will. Alcohol freezes just like water.
Alan: No… no… you didn’t really think about this, did you?
Ken: Yes, we did. This will work out. You’ll see.

So, we got out to pans, and poured the jello-infused alcohol into the pans, and stuck them in the freezer. Later, I went out to the kitchen to pour some water into the pans, hoping to hydrate the mess, but I was caught by Ken, who accused me of trying to water down the shots.

Both Alan and Dave tried to do the same thing. Both were caught.

It didn’t help. That stuff never set, and it never froze, either. Instead, it became this disgusting sludge. Since it was infused with cherry jello, it was a bright red, gross, viscous sludge.

At the party, when the pans full of red goop were brought out, no one would touch it. But as the night went on, and we all got drunk on cheap beer, we would look at those pans of what looked like toxic waste.

Then, suddenly, Alan, who was EXTREMELY drunk, announced that even if we weren’t going to consume the stuff, we could still do something with it. It was flammable after all. And we were in a second floor apartment! We could use fill up spoons with the stuff light them on fire and fling the contents onto the street below. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Keep in mind that we were within sight of a police station. Seriously, it was about a block away.

Not that that mattered. Everyone rushed into the kitchen to get spoons, and people started flinging what we now called cherry flavored napalm onto the street.

While many of my friends were about to start an "Arson by the spoonful" campaign, Dave pulled me aside. We took some of the cherry flavored napalm and smeared it onto the brick wall of the apartment building, then set it ablaze.

It was a beautiful blue flame that never spread beyond the small circle of it that spread onto the bricks, which is just as well. As the goo burned cheerfully on the bricks, I was NOT thinking, "Oh, crap, what if this spreads and flares out of control?" Nope. Not at all. I was just admiring the blue flame.

Most of the spoonfuls of flaming goo burned out before they hit the ground. No damage was done despite our drunken efforts. And the police? They didn’t notice a thing.

We still had a pan of the cherry flavored napalm left, though. We put it back in the freezer, where it never really froze or set.

It stayed there for another party or two, uneaten, un-set-fire-to and unloved, until a friend brought over some grapes and pineapple. She chopped them up and we mixed them into the remaining cherry flavored napalm, which we then all consumed.

I’m not sure why, but the fruit DID make the cherry flavored napalm much more palatable.

Looking back on some of the remarkably stupid things I did, I am sometimes amazed that I made it to 25, much less 45 (well, as of this coming Saturday, 46).

Date: 2013-07-23 01:59 am (UTC)
ext_224364: (Default)
From: [identity profile] x-disturbed-x.livejournal.com
I'm 25 now and haven't had any experiences like this. A part of me wishes I did but I'd like to do it without the possibility of blowing myself up.

Date: 2013-07-24 01:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
I am allegedly very bright, and, yet, I've done some absurdly stupid things.

I was exceptionally reckless when I was younger.

Fortunately,I survived and these events make for good stories.

Date: 2013-07-23 02:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jem0000000.livejournal.com
Wow. I'm glad everyone survived.

Date: 2013-07-24 01:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
Lord, it was scary (at first) and then, when we were drunk, it was "good silly fun".

Of course, it was still dangerous, but ... alcohol.

Date: 2013-07-23 02:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] adoptedwriter.livejournal.com
Aaaah......college "fun".........AW

Date: 2013-07-23 04:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] millysdaughter.livejournal.com
As a member of the group of misspent youths that found lighter fluid and matches to be a wondrous combination, I would have truly enjoyed bombing the street with cherry-flavored napalm.

Date: 2013-07-24 01:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
They had fun doing it.

I enjoyed lighting the brick wall of the apartment building on fire.

Date: 2013-07-23 04:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greyduck.livejournal.com
Ken and Andy were actually boiling alcohol in their kitchen.


Gaaaah! I was never a "major" of anything, but even I know that was a Grade AAA Bad Idea.


Date: 2013-07-24 01:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
Okay, one of these guys later tried to shoot down a blimp. "Not thinking things through" is a default setting.

Date: 2013-07-23 05:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angelamermaid.livejournal.com

In our residence, we found a long sled. On the campus was a hill and at the bottom was a snowbank, from the parking lot being plowed frequently.

So we'd get on the sled, go down the hill, hit the snowbank, and land in the parking lot. It's a miracle that nobody was hurt.

Date: 2013-07-24 01:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
When I was a kid, we would sled down the hill behind the junior high. It ended in a baseball field, complete with bleachers.

Apparently the bleachers hurt.

I never made it that far: the hill had this one dip that I always aimed for, and I would fly off the sled and roll the rest of the way down the hill.

Date: 2013-07-23 06:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halfshellvenus.livejournal.com
God, this is why drunk parties make people so nervous. Though the flinging of cherry-jello napalm cracks me up, as does using a paste of the stuff to set the side of the building on fire.

You're lucky the police didn't notice. Imagine explaining it to them, apart from any citations that might have resulted. ;)

Date: 2013-07-24 01:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
As a group, we were that right combination of bright, dysfunctional and (in this case) drunk.

My mom (a teacher) has pointed out frequently that she never really worried about the dumber students causing problems because you could predict what they'd do.

The bright ones? They planned and did unusual things.

Date: 2013-07-23 01:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heartlines.livejournal.com
LOL what a crazy and funny story. As long as nobody gets hurt, stupid things like that can be well worth doing if only just to look back on them later and laugh :)

Date: 2013-07-24 01:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
"As long as no one gets hurt"

None of us did, so FUNNY STORY!

Which I am quite thankful for.

Date: 2013-07-23 03:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fox-bard.livejournal.com
As someone who makes jello shooters and knows how to use dry ice to turn alcohol and fruit juice into a frozen slushie drink, this was hysterical to read.

The most fun drunk thing I ever did at a party was tie a green glow stick to a bunch of black helium balloons and set them out at night over downtown Baltimore from Fell's Point on a cool October night. The balloons attained a pretty good height, though far below airplane distance from the ground. We laughed drunkenly and watched until the glow stick faded as it drifted out of sight. Thanks to the black balloons, it looked like an alien object or a gov't project hovering in the sky.

That was the best surprise birthday party I ever had.

Date: 2013-07-24 01:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
That sounds cool.

That would have been fun.

Date: 2013-07-23 03:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] michikatinski.livejournal.com
Happy early birthday!!! :)

Also, I laughed out loud as I read this: "Everyone rushed into the kitchen to get spoons, and people started flinging what we now called cherry flavored napalm onto the street." You have a way with words, sir.

Date: 2013-07-24 01:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
Aw thank you.

I'm not sure who came up with "cherry flavored napalm", but I've been telling this story for over two decades, and that's what I've always called it.

Date: 2013-07-23 05:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kathrynrose.livejournal.com
Holy crap! That's hilarious and scary.

And happy birthday. :)

Date: 2013-07-24 01:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
"Hilarious and scary" describes SO MANY things in my life.

I'm in a reasonably stable place now, and, man, stability feels good.

Date: 2013-07-23 09:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theun4givables.livejournal.com
Is it bad that I followed the bad logic as to why they were boiling the alcohol before you even got to that explanation? Because I totally have witnessed that train of thought myself, though with not with something as dangerous... lol

Date: 2013-07-24 01:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
Oh, the logic is there. It's not well-thought out logic, but you can see the train of thought.

Date: 2013-07-25 04:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] majesticarky.livejournal.com
Your stories are always so amusing! Fake cherry napalm for the win!

Date: 2013-07-25 09:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] porn-this-way.livejournal.com
Ah yes, the college glory days of experimentation, in every possible sense of the word. Cherry napalm is epic, and "Arson by the spoonful" sounds like it needs to be the name of either some sort of rock band, or some sort of actual flaming drink (that doesn't set the walls on fire or make gas stoves explode).

Date: 2013-07-25 11:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cheshire23.livejournal.com
Okay, Dave and I are chemistry majors. Alan is a chemical engineering major. WE STUDY HOW TO SET SHIT ON FIRE. It’s what we do. If one of us is telling you not to do this, you damn well better listen.

Hahaha. I know right?

The fruit probably made it more palatable by providing some dilution of the overall thing - a friend of mine made a plate of "forbidden fruit" for a party once: apples soaked in Everclear. They were actually kind of good.

Date: 2013-07-25 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kajel.livejournal.com
That is hysterical. Arson by the spoonful....love it.

Date: 2013-07-26 04:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] padf00t.livejournal.com
This is seriously awesome :'D

Date: 2013-07-26 07:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] favoritebean.livejournal.com
This story was hilarious.

Happy birthday!


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