Aside from the Jewish guy (mazel tov!) who’s tearing it up on the main floor, is anybody really into Agoro’s? “Agoro’s is my spot” has to be some KGB trigger warning, a phrase nobody in their right mind would say, right? Similar to “That Italian family at the next table over is being really quiet.” I’m genuinely interested in hearing your thoughts*.
It’s a Saturday night, probably 8PM or so. Somebody in your Ruby 6-man throws out the novel idea of taking the Comm Ave direct bus from the Voute stop and after a short trip you’re back in line, like clockwork. As Rust Cohle once proclaimed, time is truly a flat circle. Except there’s not one line, there’s two on each side of the door and the middle for the “VIPs” composed of the athletes and the promoters. There’s a silent acquiescence to this sort of one-in, one-out procedure until finally, after a half dozen or so texts of “How is it inside?” and “Is it worth it to wait in this interminable line?” + an OCD-esque compulsion to repeatedly check Snapchat stories to see if a member of your Senior 5 is there – not to mention the never-ending succession of in-line JUUL rips – you finally make it to the land of $5 Bud Lights and trap music! If you’re lucky enough to make it out of the basement at a reasonable hour you’ll get to arrange a post-bar trip back to his or her double bedroom while waiting for the bus to campus over a slice of pizza. Happy days.
An aside: While we’re on the topic of Cleveland Circle bars something has been stuck in my mind ever since I stepped foot inside Mary Ann’s. How do people order a Green Monster shot with a clear conscience? You state your choice and Sandy comes back with this jug full of a concoction reminiscent of what they use to portray radioactive sludge in cartoons. If there were a bar in Chernobyl, everything would be this color. If there’s one thing it should be used for it’s sliming people. Remember slime from Nickelodeon? Shit was the best.
Speaking of JUUL rips and nicotine, the looks one receives for smoking the occasional cigarette are downright upsetting. I’ll admit I am a social smoker; the smoke break during the middle of a night out is a viable way to step out of the frenzy that is a college bar and reevaluate the evening up to that point, in addition to waking your brain up from its alcohol-induced malaise. But God forbid anybody sees you in broad daylight doing such a thing! In modern American society cigarette smoking is only permissible from the hours of 10PM-2AM; anything outside of these artificial boundaries and you are a social pariah, a delinquent. It’s more acceptable to pop an Adderall – an amphetamine, mind you – in O’Neill during midterms week than it is to enjoy a Marlboro 27, God’s treat to mankind, on a brisk autumn morning such as this past Saturday. Sad! Even sadder is the realization that this past Saturday was the last tailgate of the Class of 2018’s collegiate career. I don’t think it’ll really hit me until I wake up this Sunday and there are no Instagrams to remind me how fun the preceding day was. The home games may be finished, but portrait mode photos in the mods with the blur of your classmates in the background last forever.
On a sentimental note it was a pleasure to wake up and start drinking at ungodly hours with you guys in the name of football for four seasons.
One final thing: you ever notice the levels to social engagement you have with your peers while walking around campus? Whether it’s conscious or subliminal we all sort of abide by a strict set of social rules that determine how we coexist with those around us. Maybe it’s just me but I think it’s pretty funny. Let’s delve into it.
1) Your squad. These are the people who you’ll step out of your path to converse with. I’m talking you take your headphones out, make eye contact, partake in a conversation, actually socialize with. Conversations are free flowing and the chances are you’ll break out of your November gray-induced depression and sincerely smile for once. These are people you’d be comfortable sitting at Hillside with, the same ones who send you memes, pick up drinks for, etc.
2) Your outer circle. You see these people typically walking between O’Neill and the Gasson Quad and take one headphone out and greet them with a “Hey ______! How are you? Good!” before continuing on with your day. Smiles are exchanged and moods are improved but these pleasantries are unremarkable for the most part and fairly common. Note: Group 2 can move into Group 1 with the addition of drinks.
3) The “maybe I’ll say hi, maybe I’ll sit this one out” group. Listen, I try to be friendly as I can, but I don’t want to overexert my amiability resources. Then I wouldn’t have the energy for Groups 1 & 2. That’s where Group 3 gets iffy. These are the people who bought you a drink that one time, the people your friends introduce you to at tailgates, the ones that lived on your hall in Walsh sophomore year. Maybe you even follow one another on Instagram. You know who they are and they know who you are. If they happen to make eye contact, great, I’ll say hi, but I’m not going to initiate the interaction, you know, and if such an interaction does take place, there’s no way my headphones are coming out.
4) The questionables. I feel like I knew you a long time ago, but I forgot how we met. We haven’t talked since Arc freshman year. The rules are set in these interactions, both players know the outcome. A half-smile to acknowledge that you occupy a space and time on this Earth, maybe a subtle head nod or “What’s up, man.” Nothing more, nothing less.
5) The avoid-at-all-costs. Includes ghosts of girlfriends past and those who have seen you during embarrassing episodes that we’d prefer to forget (Ex: Remember that time you died in a booth at Garage sophomore year? Me too). Skeletons in your closet that shouldn’t be exhumed (vocab word of the week) anytime soon, for everyone’s sake.
Full disclosure*: Sometimes I do have fun at Agoro’s, as displayed by the picture to the right. Pure joy, and yes that is Britney Spears on my shirt. An American icon. You know when LGBT people are asked when they knew their orientation? I knew I was straight when I saw the “…Baby One More Time” music video on MTV when I was 5. I didn’t even comprehend what hot was, but that was it. Britney, so hot right now, Britney.
That’s about it from me! Excited to write again. If you have something you want to write about, email me.
PS: Second only to I Wanna Dance with Somebody in the race for the best song ever. 42 days til Christmas people and if you’re not onboard with playing this at MAs every weekend until then, eat my shorts.