Monday, September 3, 2012

Back 2 School Booze: Cheap Tequila

Photo courtesy of Google Images
Over the last week I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the college drink of choice of my WestToast colleagues. But I must admit I am a bit envious of them for their choices. Not because I wish I could have downed some of the Beast, only to regret it later, or because Coors Banquet Beer actually sounds rather fancy. No, I am envious because they can think back and remember a specific brand of drink I consumed on a regular basis. As I began considering what to write about for my post I realized I didn’t have a college drink of choice, or at least I couldn’t remember it. While I definitely had a stash of wine in my residence hall room closet or a 6-pack of Red Trolley Ale in the fridge, much of my college years were spent going after the bottom shelf of the liquor aisle, more tequila.
L-R: Sister-in law Bre, Brother Jason, Me, Wife Katie
After high school I needed to get away for a few years and so I went as far from home as I could while paying in-state tuition. Known for scholarly research, challenging coursework, and 35,000 young minds ready to change the world, I landed at one of the world’s finest institutions. No, I’m not talking USC or UCLA, I am talking about none other than San Diego State University. Sure we have risen to the top of Playboy’s Party School list, and yes, a few fraternities were busted for maintaining a major drug ring (Google “Operation Sudden Fall”), but I learned stuff, and am proud to be an Aztec for Life.

Photo courtesy of Google Images
  One benefit to going to San Diego State was that it was only 20 minutes from Tijuana, Mexico, where the legal drinking age was 18. Back then Tijuana wasn’t riddled with the gun violence it is now. Back then your biggest concern was how to avoid eye contact with the small child selling Chiclets and making sure you could pronounce “United States” when the immigration officer asked you your country of origin on your way stateside. There were many trips, some even organized by my Resident Advisor, down to the most sophisticated of night clubs in Tijuana called Safari. Every weekend Safari was a packed house with guys who sprayed too much Old Spice (Axe body spray didn’t exist yet), and the girls that loved a guy in a wife beater smelling of Old Spice. And we were in Mexico, so we drank tequila, because it made us feel more authentic in some way. And you know it wasn’t the good stuff. It came in a large plastic container and was more than watered down. Safari also had a guy walking around with a whistle and when he came up to you he would blow his whistle and start pouring directly from the bottle into your mouth. An easy way to prove yourself to your friends...that is until you decide you only speak Spanish to that immigration officer I mentioned above and you ended up in a Mexican prison.
Photo courtesy of Google Images
Photo courtesy of Google Images
Back stateside we found any number of drinking games to play with our high quality agave liquor. Shot checkers was a personal favorite of my group of friends. Regardless of the game or the method of consumption, we were poor college students who needed a drink, and thus we went for the bottom shelf. I like to think I have made my way up the ladder to more quality spirits these days, but I will never forget the days of grabbing the new bottle of tequila and feeling the way the plastic would form in your hands as you looked for the nearest exit of Vons grocery store and whether a security guard was near.
Photo courtesy of Google Images
In full disclosure, I did not purchase a bottle of cheap tequila for this post to review it. If you have ever had it, you would know why....that sh*t is nasty. It burns on the way down, and on back on the way up. How we ever drank it is beyond me, so I simply retell the story and leave you with the immortal words of the most interesting man in the world.



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