It's freshman college. Again. I wrote about it last year, and this year it seems worse.
The total and complete lack of understanding of how the whole downtown process works has been nothing short of amazing for me. I'll be at the door and a gaggle of them huddled together for safety will walk up within 15 feet of the door. They'll stop, however, and all stare at me, wondering if they should actually approach or just walk away. Eventually, one of them will come up to me and ask the same questions.
"How old to you have to be to get in?" they'll ask timidly.
"21," I'll say.
"So......do I show you my ID here or can I just walk in?" they'll continue on, nervously.
"No. I'm just standing out here because I like to sweat in the summer and freeze in the winter. That's pretty much all I do here. Show it to the bartender inside."
They don't get my jokes. They never do. Personally, I'll think I'm fucking hilarious, and they just want to get inside safely, with their entire group intact and in the fast lane to getting blackout drunk.
At the bar inside - if they even make it in, and that's a big if - their confusion is even more profound. Opening up a tab with a credit card has been one of the most difficult things to explain to them that I've ever done. It's ridiculous. And the drinks that they order show that their understanding of what's acceptable for a guy to order and still try to maintain some sembelance of manhood is poor to non-existance. Closing the tab and explaining the concept of tipping is something that I won't even go into here. Suffice to say, they're brand new to this entire experience.
I'm not one to judge you by what you drink, but you've got to draw a line somewhere. Granted, they don't know what they like and they don't know what's supposed to be "cool" among their peers and future frat brothers, but I can assure you that Amaretto Sours have been flying off the shelf at my bar in the past few weeks at a record pace, bought primarily by kids who look like they're fucking 12.
And when they've chugged down those drinks and thrown back all the shots that "taste good, are strong, but cheap", the ridiculous actions will come out in full force.
When you're in high school and you're figuring out how to drink a beer or whiskey without gagging on it at your friends house parties or wherever it is that extreme underaged drinking takes place these days, there are few, if any, rules. I remember my own experience with that, and the first few times that I tried getting drunk was like a giant trainwreck. We all drank entirely too much, and some of us ended up puking and blacking out, or acting completely unacceptable. I can imagine the same things happen to kids these days as well.
The off the wall antics that high school kids will pull in the privacy of a home are actions that are completely unacceptable in a place like a bar where the premises are monitored by bartenders and floor staff, and where the streets are patrolled by uniformed police officers.
And there are immediate consequences when these little 18 year olds fuck up in either of these places. That's the biggest difference to their high school house parties and the world of downtown Athens. If they fuck up in the bar, the least they can expect is to get thrown out. The worst, at some places, is that they'll get their ass kicked by the staff. On the streets dealing with the cops, their luck probably isn't going to be much better. A trip to jail is the least they can expect there.
The problem is, they don't understand that. They feel like they're bulletproof. Nothing can hurt them and nothing can stop them from doing what they want to do. With their newfound freedom from their parents in a brand new place doing things that they think college kids are simply allowed to do in a town where they think it's acceptable is their immediate downfall. The kid I threw out last weekend is a great example. He thought he could drink however much he wanted to and act however he wanted to towards whoever he wanted without any regard for the consequences of his actions. This wasn't the case. And that's only the first example of many that are sure to occur throughout downtown in the next few months as these kids come around and drink their inhibitions away.
Downtown bouncers and cops aren't the only ones who they'll have to answer to if they act like idiots. Read over my past posts and figure it out for yourself. Girls will be drugged and raped this year. I guarantee it. DUI arrests, MIP arrests and other violent alcohol-related arrests will happen in the first few months, and they'll be all over the paper. People die every single year because they don't know where to draw the line when they want to party it up in Athens.
Be smart about what you do, and don't find yourself as one of the kids who didn't know when to say when.