Go Dawgs! Sic ’em! Woof, woof, woof

January 7, 2018

My former college roomie just shared a Washington Post article citing the University of Georgia’s “golden years” — the early ’80s, which featured, among other highlights, a national football championship, several athletes who defied physics on the gridiron and basketball court, a music scene to rival virtually any in the world (What’s the frequency, Kenneth?), the dopest cookie store on earth (RIP, Cookies & Company) and . . . me.

Yep, I was there, too, so in anticipation of yet another national championship (GO DAWGS!), here are a few memories from the vaunted vantage point of my eighth-floor Brumby dorm:

  • My self-cleaning popcorn popper. Okay, it wasn’t really self-cleaning, but everyone (other than my poor roomie, Pam) was willing to accept my alternative fact that it was. Actual fact: It’s possible for a popcorn popper to be used every day for a year, never once see a dishrag and still not have its oil residue spontaneously combust. (It was like a science project, Pammy.)
  • The “Ladies Drink Free” night at the B&L Warehouse when I wondered, “Just how potent can a Bulldog Banger be? It tastes exactly like fruit punch.” (The rest of the night is a blur.)
  • That afternoon when my friend, Sam, who had a part-time job driving a campus shuttle bus, was taking a break in a passenger seat, waiting a few minutes so he wouldn’t be ahead of schedule. When a fellow passenger complained, “When is this bus gonna GO?!?”, goofball Sam responded, “You’re right! And look: the keys are in the ignition! You know what? I’m gonna drive this bus myself!” (Insert shrieks of terror here.)
  • The afternoon that Wendy and I were watching TV in the dorm of our friends, Sabrina and Lori. This was significant. They were our only friends with a TV (a beauty with rabbit ears and a tiny black and white screen), and this was—TRUE STORY!—the first time we’d watched TV in months. (Not that that’s the reason, ahem, that we befriended you, of course, Sabrina and Lori.) Anyhoo, we tuned into Joker’s Wild, and, OMG — there was one of our UGA classmates on the screen! He was a contestant on Joker’s Wild! (Insert shrieks of exuberance here.) Spoiler: he lost.
  • The Christmas season when my besties and I picked folded-up names from a bowl to determine who we’d buy a gift for. After the names were drawn and we peeked at our recipient, we all went around the room discussing what gift we might like. Pam, Lisa, Lori and I yammered on to blank stares, but when Wendy shared her wish list, everyone pitched forward and listened intently. You guessed it: She’d written her name on every slip of paper.
  • That same Christmas, after we’d all shared a good laugh at Wendy’s gag, that she and I ended up giving each other EXACTLY THE SAME GIFT. It’s less stunning when you consider that the gift was a Georgia Bulldogs sweatshirt displayed prominently in the campus bookstore. But still. . . .
  • That time Wendy raided Lisa’s tub of popcorn, ate most of it, then filled the tub with crumpled pieces of paper, sprinkling a few uneaten pieces of popcorn as the top layer.
  • That Saturday afternoon that Wendy and I spent hours on stools at the Barnett’s Newsstand soda fountain in hopes we’d make the cut as extras in a television pilot that was filming there that day. We did! Our money shot was actually frozen on the screen as the credits rolled. Thank you, Youtube, for preserving this evidence.
  • That time, as an intrepid Red and Black entertainment reporter, that I interviewed Allen Sloan of the Dixie Dregs and asked, “Do you mean Montreal?” when he told me the band had recently performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival. (I told you the Athens music scene was fierce! The music reporting . . . less so.)
  • The beautiful sunny afternoon that I approached the ticket stand with my hapless date right before kickoff between the hedges and said, “Oops . . . I need my ID?”

Good times. Go Dawgs, and make this year golden, too.

© 2019 Christine Hurley Deriso