legalacidity's musings


LegalAcidity Crosses Campus; Lungs Suffer

What another great weekend. If, of course, your idea of "great weekend" is to have a slammin' good Saturday morning turn a normal, law school guy such as myself into a latter-day version of Doc Holliday in his later years. This past weekend was homecoming, and as usual, the law school set the bar pretty high for debauchery. We pretty much do that all week, every homecoming, and we even made up "Law Week" in the spring so we could do it then, too. So there.

Anyways, it's gotten pretty cold to us Southerners down here in recent weeks, but I had no fear--I don't ever get sick. Right. A bunch of us showed up at the law school at 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Wearing half-tuxedos, called "cutaways." Essentially, way back when, there was a law on the books in Alabama that said that a person could not be arrested for public intoxication if they were wearing "mourning attire." This, over the years, translated into "tuxedo jacket with tails plus a shirt and vest with an ascot." That's right. An ascot.

So we show up before sunrise in 40 degree temperatures for the group picture before we board our "floats" for the big homecoming parade. Each class in the law school gets a float, which is essentially a giant flatbed with hay bales on it. Funny part about that is that this year, the normal flatbed truck guys backed out on us, so in our scramble to find three floats, the lowly first years ended up on a tiny flatbed (think something the size you'd see a four wheeler or motorcycle strapped to). Quite hilarious.

After the group photo, we board the floats and head to Jackie's, a local watering hole that just happens to be located near the start of the parade route. Jackie's loves the law school, because we do insane things like ride floats from the law school to the bar at 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday. I, in my zeal for wanting to fully experience this, my last homecoming, made my first mistake: while everyone else sat huddled together for warmth on our 3L float, I stood valiantly, one foot up on a hay bale, doing my best "George Washington crosses the Potomac" pose, leading the huddled masses to the bar. Big mistake, as my violent coughing fits no doubt illustrate.

So we finally get to Jackie's, where a plethora of biscuits and booze await us. Eschewing solid sustenance, I bought a round of Jaeger shots for a few of my contemporaries, and followed that up with a Long Island Iced Tea. At this point I figured I'd better eat, so I scarfed down a few buscuits. At this point, we were told that the parade was ready to roll, so we all filed/stumbled out and boarded our float. I had luckily filled my "UA Law School Approved" cup with more "tea" before we hit the float. I was ready to go.

Homecoming down here in UA is all about, really, one thing: sororities making elaborate floats so they can win points towards some elaborate Spirit Stick or Cup or something. Whatever. Although, this year's winner, Alpha Delta Pi, had none other than Broadway Joe Namath ON their float in the parade. If you ask me, that's a recipe for disaster, but the girls looked like they were having fun, and you KNOW ole' Joe Willie was in heaven. Another thing a lot of floats do is throw candy, it being so close to Halloween. However, the lowly law school floats, offer no such things--no candy, no Joe, just drunken idiots in half tuxedoes.

Another funny thing is that this year, they put us at the very END of the parade. You see, in recent years, some of us law students have accidentally fallen off the float (onto people), or solicited business without a law license ("Have you been injured?!? Have you been wronged?!? I am your salvation!!!" shouted one student (not me, I swear) a couple of years ago), or yelled at people who wouldn't yell "Roll Tide!!" for the 50th time that morning. Also, along with this treasured rear position, we were treated with our own police escort, both on motorcycles AND bicycles. We had all the cycles.

I did my best to cause trouble. The first bicycle cop I saw I asked if he had taken his bike off of any "sweet jumps." No response. I kept asking each one I saw pedal past our float, but no response. So, my comments degenerated into "SWEET JUMP HUFFY!!!" every time I saw a bike cop. At last count, not one looked at me. Great discipline by the Tuscaloosa PD.

The parade finally finished, and I finally got home. Only problem was, I had gone from "SWEET JUMP HUFFY!!!" guy to an "I'm your huckleberry" lunger in the space of about 15 minutes. I spent the rest of the day and most of Sunday in bed, praying for the sweet release of death to save me from the violent coughing fits. Luckily, the coughing has somewhat subsided, and my lungs don't feel as if there are tiny gnomes grinding away at them with tiny belt sanders. That's always a good thing. Next time I ride a float in freezing temperatures, I'll probably be sitting down. On the other hand...nah...I'd probably do the same thing all over again. You only live once.

7:39 p.m. - 2005-10-31

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