The Battle Wagon

The Battle Wagon

By the third time the cops knocked on the door, we knew the party was over. You just can’t keep 50 drunken 11th graders in two Econolodge rooms quiet. By the time Andy and Barney Fife were coming in through the door, it was DEFINITELY time to go. Kids were stumbling out left and right through the adjoining room door and I was among them.  Where were my friends? Back to the car. Hopefully we would meet there.

Dave, Kenny and Greg were at Greg’s dad’s 74 Plymouth wagon when I got there. Missing were my brother Carson and a few others. With all the kids filing out and the rain starting, Dave, Kenny and I took to the roof of the battle wagon to see what we could see. No sooner were we up top when Greg had the wagon under way on patrol around the lot. We were “roof surfing”!! AWESOME! We gathered up a couple more people including Carson, who passed up a handle of Jack to pass around. We finally had a quorum of about 7 dudes.

One by one everyone jumped down. The Battlewagon was trawling down the lot as I jumped down… running behind the car.  The back door flopped open for me to jump in. I caught up with the car, just as Greg stomped the brake bringing the car to a complete stop, my face smashing against the top of the door like a rag doll.

Safely in the Battlewagon. Carson inspected my mouth to make sure I had all my teeth. One was clearly loose and blood gushed from my lips.  Someone passed out a round of Milwaukee’s Best beers. I held the napkins to my smashed lips.  Someone opened a box of Swisher Sweets cigars and eventually there were no less than a half dozen cheap stogies burning in Greg’s dad’s wagon. The bottle Jack made another round.

The rain was really coming down as we headed down Glebe on the way home. Greg was swerving all over the road – seemingly intentionally. I sat low in the back, puffed my Swisher, held my beer and smashed mouth thinking, “this isn’t gunna end well.”

Suddenly the battle wagon was sideways, then backwards at a high rate of speed.  By the time we stopped, we had crossed a lawn, a parking lot and had gone through a hedge and onto a putting green at the local country club. The only sounds were of the windshield wipers and people swatting hot cigar ashes off themselves. “Everyone alright? Anyone bring golf clubs?!” Greg piped up.  Greg restarted Battlewagon and we drove back through the hedge and out onto the road… muffler distinctly louder than before.

Home on-time for once, I greeted my dad at the door. “How was the party, Mike?”  “Good, dad. Got a little turned around on the way home though.”


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