Thursday, April 07, 2005

A Styrofoam Brick Cracking in Half

And my post-concussion opnion article. You knew it was coming.
The Artful Dodger: Drew’s Concussion Follies
And Why Themed Parties Don’t Bode Well for his Sanity

If you give yourself have a concussion, don’t do it at a theme party. Concussions, the doctor tells me, can cause a person to feel disoriented. Coincidentally, so can lying down in a room and looking up at otherwise normal people dressed as a farmer, a diehard Avril Lavigne fan or a finely mohawked punk rock superstar.

Theme parties have spread throughout Isla Vista like a bad case of mono. This last weekend alone, various party hosts and hostesses expected me to be a cowboy, a celebrity, an athlete, a character from the Barbie universe and a protagonist from an episode of MTV’s “Made.” If anybody can think up a costume that would have dressed me appropriately for each of these alternate persona bashes, I’d love to hear it. The point, however, is moot, as my swift and involuntary movement to the floor prohibited me from ever progressing beyond my first stop, a dress-as-your-favorite-stereotype extravaganza.

Now, my memory cuts out during this part of the story somewhat, so I’ll have to relate the incident based on the testimony of the bizarrely dressed other people attending this fateful DP bash. I’m told my body went from standing perpendicular to the ground to lying parallel to it in a short amount of time. I’m told I wanged my noggin a good one. And I’m told I genuinely freaked out those standing around me, as people suddenly losing consciousness often tend to do.

Truthfully, there’s little I’m sure about. I remember being pulled up from the party floor moist with beer and shoe sludge. And I’m fairly certain the experience allowed me to realize what a meaty blow to the head sounds like from the inside. (Think of a Styrofoam brick cracking in half and you’re pretty damn close.)

I can attest, however, that the fine attendees of the stereotype party bravely and selflessly shed their alter egos and jumped into action. Once they had verified that I hadn’t actually broken my crown, they helped me outside, away from thumping bass beats that surely would have only compounded my confusion. They talked to me. They determined just how far I had knocked myself away from an A-OK mental state. And they managed to keep my mind on important matters and not the question my brain was straining to ask: “Why the hell are you guys all dressed like that?”

In the end, my Friday night headbonk did not, as I had feared, leave the back side of my brain with a permanent concave curve. The doctor eventually gave me a clean bill a health. After he related his college hijinks - various acts of intoxication that can also promote contact with the floor. I have to imagine, however, that none of Dr. Youthful Indiscretion’s feats were performed before an audience that included a trio of stewardesses and a white trash princess.

Clearly, UCSB students love their theme parties. Something about getting loaded in costume just appeals to our Halloween nostalgia, I guess. But the next time you think about making your friends don a wacky get-up, just imagine what you’re doing to me, the guy who apparently falls down and gives himself a concussion as an alternate means of getting myself fucked up. Think about my initial shock and confusion when I looked around the room, saw everybody dressed in a ridiculous fashion and thought, “Holy shit. I finally did it. I finally broke my brain and am now insane.”

In my opinion, theme parties and debilitating head injuries just don’t mix. Of course, that could easily be the concussion talking.

Daily Nexus training editor Drew is getting his appendix taken out next weekend as an ample substitute for Jack Daniel’s.
EDIT: I eventually received a response to this column, via Facebook, explaining how one might dress appropriately for all listed theme parties. It's it the post "Needs Salt!"

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