Thursday, December 02, 2004


Given all the debate that's now brewing about raising the drinking age back to 20 this is kind of appropriate.

This is a story about the unfortunate circumstances that befell some old school friends of mine during their first year of flatting at Canterbury University. I guess everyone has a horror story or two of their own and this is probably one that'll strike a few chords with one or two of you. This was recounted to me by one of them and if the passing years mean this tale has become a little exaggerated then I apologise.

The year was 1991 and the senior year of Motueka High School, at least those with some degree of sentience and academic ambition, descended on Canterbury University like a rampaging horde. They hunted in packs and congregated everywhere, be it on or off campus. At parties they'd gather in in their dozens in riotous confusion. There was many a flat kitchen filled to capacity with the ubiquitous "Mot people" in varying states of disorder late of a Friday or Saturday night. It got to the stage when there were those at parties, who were not from Motueka, that would shrug in wearied resignation at their overwhelming presence and sigh; "Dear God, not more bloody Mot' people". Meanwhile the alcohol flowed, the teenagers puked, and all to the wistful notes of the Violent Femmes.

Moderation in drinking isn't the norm among the majority of University students and those from Motueka were no exception. Which is probably, no definitely, why the following event unravelled the way it did.

Nic', Ky' Rodney, and Maria decided to stage a party in their flat one weekend. As was the norm everyone from Motueka was invited along with sundry hangers on. One of those hangers on was Maria's cousin (who for reasons of discretion I shall not name). The party unfolded as those sort of events normally did. Heavy drinking, loud music, angry neighbours, the occasional casual vomit, and probably a fair bit of flirting. Unfortunately Maria's cousin went a little to far overboard with with the alcohol. He'd arrived with a full bottle of vodka which he proceeded to demolish in short order It had the result that you might expect in a 17 year old. First he got loud, then he got physical (not violent .... just all over the place), and then motor dysfunction set in.

The flatees first noticed a problem when Maria's cousin was spotted heading down the hallway with a box of soap-powder heading for her bedroom. He was discovered strewing said powder all through her bedroom, though mainly in the vicinity of her now very battered wardrobe. He'd mistaken it for the toilet and had pissed in it. The soap powder was his way of cleaning it up. Or as he phrased it "aw wuzzz tring to cleaagh urr fuck". His vodka intake had reduced his speech patterns to one long vowel movement. It had also affected his gastric areas as well and made its presence felt in a energetic bout of projectile vomiting. Fortunately most of this happened outside the flat. Once Maria's cousin's stomach was settled and he was cleaned up to a certain degree the consensus was he should be put to bed to sleep it off. This was done and then the party continued.

The partying wound down in the small hours with those who were staying the night choosing to crash in the lounge. So picture this, the house is dark and quiet but for a few drunken snores. Then Rodney hears someone open the hall door and walk in and lie down on the floor. Along with the person came an overwhelming stench and while Rodney admits to being drunk that night, he wasn't so drunk that he could sleep through that level of smell. So up he gets and turns on the light to find out what is going on and is greeted with a vision of absolute horror. There was Maria's cousin lying on the floor, semi-snuggling up to one of the female flatmates, and covered head to toe in shit. Activities got a little frenzied at that point as Rodney and a friend of his hurriedly tried to awake drunk and sleepy people before they accidentally rolled in something they'd later regret. This was made a little challenging as drunken sleepers normally don't like being roused, however they moved pretty damn quick once they saw what was lying next to them.

Maria's cousin was unceremoniously hauled off the floor by Rodney and his friends. Clad in rubber gloves and wearing teatowels over their faces to dull the smell they hauled the poo monster out side where he was stripped down and hosed off with the fire hose. His clothes, which no-one really wanted to touch, were gingerly consigned to the rubbish bin. Now you may think that things were bad enough at this stage but they got worse as the flatmates discovered just how he'd managed to get himself in such a state. Being a student flat it was definitely budget accommodation and it had the bathroom to match. As you walked into the bathroom the toilet was on the left and the shower was on the right. It seems the alcohol had so befuddled poor Maria's cousin's brains that in his drunken and desperate haste for a dump his sense of direction got confused and before he realised he was in the shower, not the toilet, it was too late. His dire state was further confounded that he obviously knew he was doing wrong and tried his utmost to salvage the situation by trying to capture the turd in mid-descent in one of the girl's shower caps. As you already may have guessed his equilibrium wasn't up to it and down he went in a sodden sewage ridden heap. There was shit everywhere, on the walls, on the floor, on the ceiling! That's not to mention the copious amount he managed to smear all over himself. The morning after saw the rubbergloves and teatowels out again and the most strenuous cleaning a student bathroom ever saw. Though to be fair it can't have been that good as there was a vicious rumour that later that year mushrooms were found growing happily in poo residue under the sill of the shower.

Naturally the cousin was told off in a big way but it pretty much fell on deaf ears as the vodka had removed his entire memory of the night. He was very irate at not being able to find his clothes convinced he'd been the victim of some sort of set-up and departed in a bit of a huff. For the very great fortune of that flat's residents and furnishings he never darkened its doors again.

Finally, for those who are curious as to what relevance the title 3PO has to this tale. Well it became the nickname Maria's cousin has been labeled with ever since. Piss, Puke, Poo - 3PO.

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