Guest Writer: PJ tells "Filling in for the RA"

Thursday, July 14, 2005

PJ was on the receiving end of many a joke in college – he’s very religious and always forgives us. He’s also one of the greatest guys I’ve ever met – the cat would do anything for you if you asked and is always available for great conversation. He gives a humorous little college story today, enjoy!


Continuing a trend of guys who use their initials, you’ve now got PJ, Jason’s buddy from college. Jason and I met in college through a mutual friend, Jerry. Jason and I really became friends when we were shooting the masterpiece that he and Jerry had written, “Mr. Sandman”. Though six years later, the movie still languishes in post production; the three of us have enjoyed a very “special” relationship ever since of forever frustrated group homo-erotic attraction doomed by the fact that we’re straight. And our girlfriends would kill us. Alas, cruel fate!

I hated high school. But that’s a statement like saying “I breathe”. Most of the people I know hated high school as well. There are cliques, there are circles, there are people who are cool and places you can’t go and will never be able to go simply because you are you. And there is no use trying to fake it because, let’s face it, you’re just a pudgy little geeky nerdy freshman. Okay, well maybe not you. That was just me.

But this story isn’t about high school. Except for one single, shining part of it, I hated high school. This story is about college. Because in contrast, college rocks.

I didn’t drink until I was twenty one. I figured that I owed it to myself to get some friends over to get drunk. Only two answered the call, my friends Rik and Jerry. We scoured some liquor together and then started to go to task. I felt cool.

Rik eventually figured out how lame this was and took off. Jerry hung around and we just talked about whatever crap came to mind. Stupid stories, walking-in-on-your-parents stories, getting high stories before graduation stories. Anything went.

Eventually, after feeling quite inebriated (at least, that it was what I thought at the time. I have since learned what true inebriation is), I get a knock on my door at 3 am. Despite the fact that it was college, it still was unusual to hear at knock at your door on a Saturday night: everyone was still in their drunken stupor walking home. So I figured it was the RA telling us to shut the hell up.

Instead, it was Jiyeon, one of the girls that lived across the hall. She looked really concerned, pulled me outside my room and kind of mumbled “Uh, PJ, one of the freshmen is passed out on the front stairs and uh…I think you ought to take a look and see what you can do.” Thinking that this was really the RA’s problem, I said “Why not have Alexis take care of it?” Jiyeon gave me a look that said something wacky was up, something that probably would get this poor schmoo in trouble. So I acquiesced. Jerry, that lucky bastard, was also an RA, meaning that he technically would have to report anything he saw. What it really meant was that he could just sit on his butt and keep on drinking while I dealt with this. Being a good friend, I didn't even put him into the position where he'd have to make a decision.

I walk out to the front staircase and I finally understand why Jiyeon was so concerned. Bill (whose really name is Steve, to protect his identity) was there on the steps. In only a T-shirt. A T-shirt was placed on his lap to guard his offending parts.

Now, honestly, I didn’t really want to help out in this situation. And it was really difficult to figure out exactly what I ought to do. I trying applying the popular litmus test of “What Would Jesus Do?’, but I’m pretty sure it is shaky in Scripture about what to do with half naked drunk freshmen. Should I be the Good Samaritan and try to help him up to his room? Should I allow him to face his just consequences by leaving him there? Should I get out a permanent marker and give him a Charlie Chaplin mustache? Should I get a sign that reads “drunk freshman for sale”?

Though the last two options seemed like good ideas, I was sure that somehow they would eventually end up screwing me over. And their Scriptural authenticity was in doubt (though while asking my friend Guam, the religion major, he assured me they were well within doctrinal protocol). So I decided to help the sucker out.

Standing over him and calling his name a few times did not seem to do the trick. He was well too plastered for that. So I began to slap him in the face. It is a rare occasion when you can honestly claim to hit someone without retaliation for a good cause. Eventually he grumbled awake.

Clearly not understanding his situation in the least, he stood straight up. Once again, I had wished that Jiyeon had asked someone else, possibly one of the girls, like Jeanne or Julie, who would have relished the opportunity to see Bill (Steve)’s manhood. Personally, it was a sight I could have done without.

He grabbed the shirt that fell to the ground and then proceeded to try to sit back down to go back to sleep. Now, sans the shirt, this would have been a great practical joke for the morning when all the churchgoers are leaving. But I still felt sorry for the kid…best not to let this ruin his college career when he probably would have so many better opportunities later to ruin his career. So I started helping this guy up the stairs. I cursed Steve for being an RA. Bastard should also have to deal with this.

So when we are almost to his floor, Steve gets the bright idea of ripping open the top of his shirt and wearing it like a Hawaiian skirt. Why he did not think of this earlier, I’ll never understand. Notably, I had thought of it, but the notion of trying to put this shirt on him like a skirt would have made this bad situation even worse.

Five feet before he gets to the door of his room, he collapses to the ground and mumbles “Thank you, PJ”. I kick him back up to his feet so that he can actually get to his bed. His roommate was on the computer playing some sort of video game and looked thoroughly confused at what had been happening.

I made it back to my room, feeling the need to keep drinking.

Looking back on it, there are a lot of morals to this story. You could point out the need for responsible drinking. Or making sure that the people you drink with bring you back with your clothes on. Or that you should help other people, despite what they’ve done to themselves.

Personally, I think the moral of the story is tied up with a regret: in college, if anyone ever asks you to help out, make sure you carry a permanent marker. Because you never know when someone is going to need a Charlie Chaplin mustache.


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jason rodriguez is an eisner and harvey-nominated editor and writer. email him. or become his digital BFF below:

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