Space Hippie was a nickname I got in college that I could never live down, so I made it into a career. I went to the University of Miami back in the 80’s. Back in the Vinny Testaverde days when we usually always won the National Championship. ( GO CANES! )
Back then U.M. was voted the number #1 party school in America, Sun Tan U. This was also in the height of the cocaine era. Those who were there still talk about the Blizzard of ’88. ( to get an idea what it was like, watch the trailer for Cocaine Cowboys directed by fellow Hurricane Billy Corben )
I had never been to Miami before. Never been on my own for any length of time with out “parental supervision” as they say. So as soon as my parents dropped me off on campus at Mahoney Pearson (the freshman dorms) it was party time. Classes didn’t start ’til next week and every night there was a rush party at every fraternity on fraternity row. Nowadays they have something called “dry rush” (an oxymoron!?) but back then it was a kegger to end all keggers every night! After several days of this, I had made some fast friends. We drank like a school of fish and after closing out half a dozen parties, we ended up at a Jim Jones punch party at Sigma Chi.
You remember the psycho cult leader Jim Jones that made all his followers drink the cyanide kool aid right? Well they were serving something called “Guyana Grape”, grape kool aid spike with grain alcohol. I remember there was a big, metal washtub full with mannequin parts floating in it sitting on the floor before a white suited Jim Jones look-a-like in shades, sitting in a high backed wicker chair with a girl on each arm. It was some powerful stuff and we were already drunk. After that it’s kind of hazy. All I remember was later being kicked out of ZBT (the frat house next store) and them yelling at us while pelting us with plastic cups. We were now really, REALLY drunk. The ground below my feet seem to sway back and forth as if I was on a boat on the ocean. We had trouble crossing the street, let alone making it across campus to our dorm. Across the street was CSR, where the football team practiced. The parking lot was full of these huge white vans they rode in. One of my new found buddies got the bright idea that since we couldn’t walk, we could hot wire one of the vans AND DRIVE BACK ACROSS CAMPUS! All I know is I passed out in the back of the van. When I came to, I looked up to see the van was stopped with both doors open and the cops were chasing my friends across the intramural field.
I shot straight up and out the door like a bolt of lightning. As I was running back across the street, another cop car came screeching around the corner coming to a stop right in front of me. I put my outstretched hands flat on the hood to stand. I was stunned for a brief moment like a deer in the headlights then took off running behind one of the frats. My flip flop, ( yes, I was drunk as a skunk running in flip flops ) I blew out my flip flop, ( yes like a bad Jimmy Buffet song ) causing me to tumble face first into the grass. Then I heard the click and felt the barrel of the gun pressed against my head and I knew I was in deep doo doo.
Stay tuned for the next episode where Space Hippie finds himself in jail before he’s even been to his first class…