We rolled out relatively late for our first build day in the Dallas metropolitan region. (I told Jessica that all I had seen of Dallas was its suburbs and freeways and she said that’s all Dallas is, so perhaps I saw the city?) Melissa loaded some of us into the Excursion (like an Escalade) and its diesel engine and we drove the half hour to the other suburb our work was needed in. Apparently the Muhls usually like to have a house ready for B&B to frame, but this year the inspector was slowing things down, so Sally asked a local church that was having a rebuild weekend for any leftover jobs. And that’s how we ended up doing yard work for several elderly people who live alone. The day was laughably short, especially compared to our first build day’s relentless hard work, but maybe that’s because I didn’t volunteer myself for anything too taxing, as is my custom. I am not your point person for manual labor, or if I am, you should revise that. I pulled up weeds, raked on mulch where weeds used to be, and walked around half helping different groups. In the middle of our 9-2 day, we had a lunch break of sandwiches in their own boxes. I got a vegetarian sandwich that was almost straight spinach, with avocado and some other cool stuff thrown in there. So exciting to eat a hunk of spinach, even more exciting to have it come with avocado.
Then it was time for an actual party boat, which, for the uninitiated and/or unwilling to parse what those words in proximity means, it’s a party on a boat. A company supplies the boat and you BYOP(arty [also alcohol]). A highlight was watching the teams of Rob and David and Jack and Kevin take turns shuffling awkwardly to carry the heavy cooler of alcohol down the dock. I walked immediately behind it for the entire way. I do not have television access very often.
As one might expect, the boat was named, “Little Toot.” It also came with a first mate/not sure what he did who looked 14 but at least said he was 19 (and said people did indeed ask him that all the time). We bumped the jams including such classics and Yeah! by the year 2004 and Tipsy. I drank some but I had eaten so much of our dinner fajitas and also hadn’t fully stopped eating in two days so it didn’t matter how much drank I tossed back in there, it was gonna hit a soft landing of endless food to absorb it all. But I like to get proximity drunk, that is, stoop to acting the level of intoxication of those around me, and my group did not disappoint! People were beautiful messes, dancing and posing all Titanic-like at the front of the boat. But, as in the song Remix to Ignition, the real party was the afterparty, and by the afterparty I mean the van ride back and the pool and hot tub at Sally’s. If you would like to know what went down, take 29 20-somethings and for a month, deprive them of sleep, expose them to extreme heat, have them exercise for the majority of each day, keep them in close proximity for 24 out of 24 hours a day, then give them some alcohol. It’s good science, because it’s a controlled, repeatable experiment. Just make sure to run it by your university’s research ethics board first.