Thursday, September 4, 2014

This Sort of Thing Only Happens in College

My son had an interesting night last week, and with his permission I'm sharing the story.

So, midweek, my son's roommate and three other friends decided to drive from Notre Dame, in South Bend, Indiana, to Detroit, Michigan, to watch a night Tigers game. My son, on campus, went to sleep around midnight.

He woke up at 1:30 because someone was banging on his door. It was a guy from down the hall, who was also roommates with one of the people who'd gone to the baseball game. "Dude," this guy told my son, "You've got to go get everyone. They're in Toledo, Ohio."

For the record, Toledo, Ohio, is actually on the way between Detroit and South Bend. You won't think so unless you checked a map, but it is.

"You've got to be kidding me," my son said.

"Dude, their car broke. It's not fixable. You've got to go get them, you're the only one with a car."

Now my son is not the only person at Notre Dame or in his dorm with a car, but apparently he was the only person among the travelers' roommates and close friends to have a car. And it was true: his buddies were stuck in Toledo, at 1:30 am. They'd holed up in an iHOP, the only place open in Toledo at the time.

Eventually my son realized the other guy wasn't kidding. So my son got dressed, walked the half mile to the parking lot, and set out for Toledo. He couldn't take anyone with him, because he had to haul four guys back, and that was going to be stretching the limits of his Civic as it was.

He got to the iHOP at 3:45. He honked his horn, and the guys came out and stuffed themselves inside. "Dude," one of them said, "some seriously weird people hang out at iHOPs at night."

At 4:30, just as he'd gotten onto the Indiana Tollroad, his rear tire went flat.

"Dude," said one of his friends, "we've killed two cars in one night."

"We haven't killed this one," my son said. "Get out." So, illuminated by the light of five cell phones, they figured out how to change a tire on the side of a highway at night. Then they drove 120 miles at 50 mph, on the spare.

They made it back to campus at 6:45. Walked the half mile from student parking to their dorm. Fell into bed. And then--because he's my son, and he's terrific--my son got up at 8:45. "I went to the student center, bought a 5-hour energy shot, a donut, and some milk," my son said. "And then I went to class."

I know the last part is true, because he called me to tell me the story in the 10-minute interval between his 9:30 class and his 10:50 one. I don't doubt the rest of it is true (Ok, maybe they didn't always say "Dude") because really, it's the sort of thing that happens in college. When my husband acted vaguely disapproving of the whole adventure, I told my son not to worry about it. "I could tell you stories," I said, "Your dad did stuff like this, too."