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).
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October 2013

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