Thursday, July 19, 2012

David Bromberg--Will Not Be Your Fool

I hope this story is not too long.  I am compelled to tell it.  It is a harrowing tale of a near death experience in the middle of rural Indiana.
It all began in college with my fraternity brothers from Beta Theta Pi.  We had a pretty good intramural basketball team at the University of Minnesota.  Actually we were really good.  We won the fraternity league championship and went to the All-U Final Four and played at the great Williams Arena--home of the Minnesota Gopher men’s basketball team.  This is pretty impressive considering that about 60,000 students went to The U.  That’s a lot of intramural basketball teams.
We decided to take our show on the road.  We road tripped out to Richmond, Kentucky to play in the “All Beta Theta Pi Basketball Tournament.”  Long story short, we kicked everybody’s ass by at least 20 points except for the championship game.  We played these snobs from Michigan State.  They went to bed before midnight in their own 4-star hotel while we partied until four in the morning.  That was bound to play a factor in the championship game and we lost--but only by ten points.
Flash forward a year later.  We felt we had to go back and see if we could win the whole thing.  This time we did it in style.  We rented an RV and put a keg in the bathroom.  We “partied like bears” all night that first night except we were responsible enough to make sure the driver was sober.  Eventually we passed out.  
I was one of the first people up.  I was alone, except for the driver and his co-pilot.  I took advantage of this and popped my blues tape into the boom box.  My frat brothers would shun the whole idea so I was typically forced to listen to Duran Duran or some other mid-80’a bullshit.  Now I was alone.
The song I popped in was the one you are about to hear--David Bromberg playing this funny slow blues tune, “Will Not Be Your Fool.”  My buddy Kent, my only ally regarding music in the whole frat, was the next to awake.  Soon him and I were chatting, getting a buzz on and listening to this cool blues song.  All this time, the sun was starting to rise over the grassy plains of middle Indiana.  I was in a good place.
The co-pilot up front got up and went back to the fridge to get a soda.  Suddenly, the RV lurched wildly.  It tossed this guy across the RV and he bashed into the wall.  The refrigerator and cabinet doors on the right side of the RV flew open and debris went flying across the room.  Before we knew it, the RV flipped over onto it’s side.  Bodies were flying and the keg blasted through the cardboard wall of the bathroom and nearly crushed another friend’s skull.
It all happened in seconds.  Dazed, I got up and walked out the back window of the RV which had shattered.  Other drivers had already pulled over and were running towards the wrecked RV.  
That incident totally redefined the term “buzzwrecker.”
It turned out that despite being stone sober, our driver was dumb enough to put a battery operated TV on the dashboard.  While watching The Flintstones on Indianapolis TV, he took his eyes off the road and we went flying into a ditch.
Everybody was OK.  It was very fortunate.  As we were waiting for the tow truck guys to turn the RV back onto it’s wheels, one of the tow truck guys with almost no teeth, said in an almost un-understandable rural accent, “Must have been a helluva ride, huh?”  I was still kind of in shock, so it didn’t settle in until later what he had said.
The one thing cool about being in a fraternity, is that it is literally a brotherly organization.  We managed to get in contact with the Beta’s from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and they came and rescued us.  We spent that night partying “like bears” with the Purdue Betas.  The next day, we caught a shuttle to Indianapolis and caught a flight home.
So there it is, the story.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Anyway, here’s the song by David Bromberg that we were listening to went everything went to Hell.

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