The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - September 3, 1996 - 5B
arly panning can revent dis aster, but also / eeperences
I have just one bit of advice for all you new students:
Start planning your spring break now.
I realize you have a lot to do right now - buying books,
finding your classes, plotting to kill your roommate from
hell (or New York) - but spring break of your senior year
is the one achievement by which your entire college experi-
ce ultimately will be measured.
WAnd the longer you put off planning the trip, the more
likely it'll end up like mine.
Plan A - spending a week in New Orleans with a group
of friends - was "good at the beginning," but, like Marge
Schott, it didn't go very far at all. The itinerary was
watered down by work commitments and other schedule
conflicts until it turned into Plan B - three days in cold
Toronto with two friends.
The first frigid day was marked by drinking expensive
beer, eating expensive food, getting lost and visiting the
Hockey Hall of Fame.
At the end of the day, in which the most exciting moment
was getting to touch an actual replica of the Stanley Cup,
the three of us (Dave, James and I) decided to drown our
boredom in Irish-Canadian beer at a place called the James
Joyce Irish Pub.
After a few pints, we struck up a conversation with a
party of five young, urban Canadian professionals sitting
next to us.
They told us about living in Toronto and working at
We told them about living in Ann Arbor and going to U-.
M. One of the Yuppies, Phil, began questioning James
about Hash Bash.
Phil: "Isn't Ann Arbor where they have that drug-fest
James: "Yes, it's called Hash Bash, and it's held at 'high
noon' on the Diag on April 1."
Phil: "Thank you, Drug Boy."
From then until the end of the trip, James' name was
changed to "Drug Boy."
After a few hours of debating taxes, welfare, gun control
and whether Alan Thicke or Alanis Morisette was the worse
Canadian export, last call descended upon the James Joyce.
Not wanting to end the riveting conversation, Phil invited
us - old friends for all of several hours - to come back to
his apartment for another drink; we accepted and the eight
of us staggered into two taxicabs.
At the apartment, Phil gave us all tumblers full of Scotch
and (allegedly) water to top off the many pints of Irish beer.
My memory here becomes a little fuzzy.
I woke up the next morning, curled into a ball on Phil's
couch, with a hangover befitting someone whose idea of a
night of heavy drinking is three Miller Lites instead of two.
Drug Boy woke up and ran to the bathroom, leaving a
multi-colored deposit in Phil's sink. (Don't ask, "Why the
sink?" I don't know.) Dave woke up in a different apart-
ment. (Again, don't ask.)
Our overly hospitable new friends insisted we get some
breakfast with them, at a restaurant whose concise menu
contained exactly one breakfast offering, appropriately
called simply "Breakfast," served with baked beans.
Vowing to never drink again, Drug Boy and I turned
down our hosts' offer of an a.m. ale and recuperated in our
yet-unused beds back at the hotel.
Dave returned to the room a few hours later to tell us we
had accepted an invitation with our new friends to a party
at the home of an IBM vice president that night.
After stopping by The Beer Store (owned and operated
by the Canadian government, sort of like a Secretary of
State's office with more than just license plates), we arrived
at the party of about 100 people, which was fully contained
in the basement of a house so big there was a separate
room just to store the executive's wife's furs.
During the party, James had an awkward encounter with
a friend of a friend - let's call her a saleswoman - who
thought the name "Drug Boy" was a description of his pro-
The next morning, Dave, James and I took stock of the
fact that it was our last day in Toronto and we had seen but
Then the phone rang. It was Phil -- with another invita-
Dave, not one to say no, agreed to meet our captors -
Phil, Ann, Claire, Rick and Sandy - for Sunday brunch,
which ended up lasting more than three hours.
Trying to break away, we explained that we had only a
few hours left in Toronto, and we wanted to see some
sights, such as the CN Tower.
"I used to be a bartender at the CN Tower," Phil volun-
teered. "I can get you up there for free."
True to his word, Phil got us up the tower free of charge,
then led us straight to the CN Bar. After about three hours
in the tower, we exchanged addresses, phone numbers and
Then, at last, we were free. No sun, no surf, no sights,
but I couldn't have asked for a more interesting vacation.
So start planning your spring break now. Otherwise, you
may end up mailing your roommate a picture-postcard of
- Nate Hurley is aformer Daily managing news editor.
He can be reached over e-mail at hurlev @umich.edu.