Super Student Lesson V: Houston we have a situation; the Eagle has landed

Tony Reiss

Tony ReissSuper Student

It’s been awhile since I have celebrated someone’s 21st birthday. I recently gave the honor of joining in the birthday celebration of a newly minted 21-year-old, and let me tell you a lot has changed since I entered the age of enlightenment so many moons ago.

When I turned 21, the world was a much different place. For starters President Obama was just some random community organizer turned state senator. No one even knew his name outside his own senate district. When I turned 21, when people would talk about the situation room, everyone automatically thought about the secure room in the White House and not the sexual escapades of Mike Sorrentino. When I turned 21, a tea party was nothing more than people sitting around wearing costumers and discussing their futures, usually with little girls wearing fancy dresses and fancy hats and calling each other Mrs. Aaron Carter, Mrs. Ricky Martin (remember this was before he confirmed he was a confirmed bachelor) and Mrs. Billy Gillman. I guess the only difference between the tea parties of my yesteryear and today is the future discussed at today’s tea parties usually involve informed citizens discussing the future of their country and referring to each other as Mrs. Paul Revere, Mrs. Benjamin Franklin and Mrs. Glenn Beck. The costumes haven’t changed much. The grown men at today’s tea parties usually wear fancy colonial suits and tri-cornered hats. And of course those on the left hated the tea parties of the past for their gender stereotyping as much as they hate them today for speaking truth-to-power. Whatever happened to dissent being patriotic? When I turned 21 “dissent is patriotic” was the rallying cry of those who are in power now. It’s funny how fast things can change.

That’s what the world was like when I turned 21. Like I said, it has been awhile. Most people turn 21 during their college years and because this column is about doing things that a traditional college student does I found it prudent to celebrate turning 21. And what’s the next best thing to turning 21? Watching someone else turn 21 (with bacon birthday cake in a close second). So I decided to seek out someone who was turning 21 this school year, and after some grueling auditions, I gave the honor to Eric “Eagle” Nefstead (form hands to look like talons and caw loudly).

The night started out at Eagle’s nest apartment where a good crowd had gather for my imminent arrival. I arrived two-hours fashionably late with a gift of Grainbelt Premium for the newly enlightened one. (Grainbelt Premium: The Gift That Keeps on Giving). I shared a Grainbelt with Eagle, whose cheeks were already flush with excitement over the night’s festivities. Being one of the only sober ones at the party, I offered to bring the crew downtown.

I dropped the gang off in front of The 9 and went to go park. I told them that I would meet up with them a little later. I parked the vehicle and while walking back downtown, I got an urgent message on my phone. It read, and I quote: “Come to the lantern quick. We have a situation. Eagle is participating in a fist pumping competition.” After receiving the text message, I immediately warned my Twitter followers of the potential danger that Eagle was in by tweeting the following: “FiST pUmpING hAZ ENsUED. MUsT b StoPPEd. EnRoutE 2 REzQue @EagleNefstead. #theeaglehaslanded” (just so you know, typing that took a lot of effort, so I hope you enjoyed it)

Knowing full well the dangers of the mission, I went in and rescued Eagle before it was too late. The dance floor was crowded with sweaty, fist pumping, hip gyrating insurgents. I entered the dance floor. People were grabbing at me as if they were sharks with bees coming out of their mouths and I was wearing a suit covered in chum and dipped in honey. After a quick scan of the crowd I found Eagle. The situation was worse than I thought, not only was he fist pumping, but so were others in his group. The only way to stop the contagion from spreading was to bring Eagle out and away from danger.

We escorted Eagle and a select few out of the danger zone (it was too risky to rescue everyone) and brought them to an undisclosed location. I immediately debriefed Eagle about what had happened and telling him that while getting his GTL on, fist pumping and wearing tight v-neck t-shirts might sound fun now, but the dangers of acting like a New Yorker stuck in New Jersey while living in Brookings are not worth the effort. The situation will soon become the problem.

My heroic efforts that night played out like scene from the Body Guard. But the details could be fuzzy. It could have been me who was rescued. I am pretty sure it wasn’t. I don’t know anymore. It doesn’t matter.

I would like to thank Eagle (form hands to look like talons and caw loudly) for a great celebration.

Tony Reiss is a non-traditional student majoring in economics. Contact Tony at [email protected].