I always wondered what it would be like to be famous. You know, have nice people admire you from afar, want to hang out with you before they’d even met you. Put your photo up on their bulletin board at college. Do a secret dance when they actually did meet you a decade later. It would sort of be like romance, and all the more so if the person did kind of have an intellectual crush on you (because, naturally, were I ever famous, I would be famous for intellectual reasons).
So Louis and I were eating pizza in my living room after a several hours of wrangling with the tree in my yard, and I remembered that he had said something about having this Argonaut column up on his bulletin board his Freshman year at University of Idaho. He couldn’t recall who it was by, but the way he described it didn’t sound all that familiar. Something about boozing, only it was anti-boozing. But, because I’m organized like that, I pulled out a folder from my living room file cabinet, and started rifling through old Argonaut articles. Towards the back of the folder I found one from October 4, 2002, entitled “Justification 101: Survey of drinking methods,” complete with a photo of me with a short haircut and a round face, freshly back from Taiwan, where I’d eaten fried food for a month. Katie Botkin, Assistant A&E editor. I handed it to Louis.
“That’s the one,” he said. “I can’t believe it’s you! I had this up all year! I thought you were so sarcastic and witty. I wanted to meet you and have a beer with you. I looked for your columns, and I cut another one out. But you didn’t write every week.”
“Not columns,” I said. I grinned. I’d forgotten about that short little piece, which I’d probably written in an hour or so, and took it back to look it over. It contained a list of 16 reasons people might give for getting drunk, and snarky retorts to all of them… Now that I was reading it, writing it came back to me. I, from my mature 21-year-old viewpoint, had created it to appeal to Louis’ crowd; the raucous 18-year-old with a brain beneath his sense of humor.
“Justified by ‘the beer tastes good.’
“Get real. Beer, in this instance, is only the ends to a mean; otherwise the beer companies wouldn’t market something that tastes like soapy 7-UP.
“Justified by ‘I can really hold my liquor.’
“I can really hold my salsa, but you don’t see me chugging it at parties.
“Justified by ‘it’s just so funny when I get drunk.’
“Yeah. Because it turns you into a moron. They hired court jesters back in the day for this purpose.”
I looked back up at Louis. “So, you’ve been a fan of me for nine years,” I said “And now you’re dating me.”
“I have to tell my college roommate,” he said.