For those of you who do not know, my alma mater, Milligan College, is a small, liberal arts college tucked in the hills of upper East Tennessee. During my senior year, they experienced a record-high enrollment of 911 students (they’ve surpassed that again, with 1011 enrolled last Spring). One of the central gathering-points during our time there was the cafeteria atop Sutton Hill. The student body was small enough that you were familiar with most of the students. But we still wound up sitting with our own circle of friends. And we usually sat in the same place every day for lunch and dinner.
My birthday is March 1. Becky is my “almost-twin,” with her birthday really close to mine (I don’t know if she wants her birthdate broadcast, so we’ll leave it at that). In the few days leading up to our birthdays, Heather announced that we were going to have a big birthday extravaganza one evening at dinner. She hyped it up every day until that fateful evening.
When I arrived at the party that evening, there were two chairs at the end of the tables with big signs attached saying “Birthday Boy” and “Birthday Girl.” I’m not one to like having attention drawn to myself. So, agreeing to sit in the Birthday Boy chair was kind of a big deal. I got several birthday wishes from people and I was OK with that. It was a nice little shindig, but I wouldn’t call it anything earth-shattering.
Until the gorilla showed up.
That’s right. A gorilla. But not just a gorilla. A gorilla in a big yellow suit.
I didn’t really see the gorilla at first because my back was facing the main entrance. I heard the room’s reaction to said gorilla, but didn’t think anything of it. Until I heard the boom-box the gorilla had brought in.
At this point, I was too shocked/embarrassed/flustered to really pay attention to what happened after the gorilla stopped harassing me and started to entertain Becky. If it were today, I’d probably try to figure out a better way to play it off, but I’ve gotten a little more comfortable with making a fool out of myself. I think the gorilla took off his/her raincoat and started to dance around in a gorilla suit. From what I’ve heard, was rather risque, yet clean at the same time (there was nothing graphic or that gratuitous). It’s not every day that your friends get you a gorilla “stripper” for your birthday.
And I can confidently say that it’s never happened again in the Milligan cafeteria, because management was none-too-pleased with the choice of entertainment. And I can say that Becky and I now have a bond that most people will never have.
With friends like these…