Purple Jesus

I wonder already, how many of you know what I’m talking about, and how many are just shaking your heads, confused and wondering.  Did you ever go to college or university?  Did you ever get really wasted on booze?  Did these two things happen more or less in conjunction?  Chances are, you know about Purple Jesus.

Purple Jesus is the drink of choice for those who want to be a little more upscale than those who merely swill beer.  It’s the all-you-can-drink buffet served by folks who want to throw a party you won’t remember.  There’s supposed to be a recipe for it.  One bottle of Rye, one bottle of rum, one bottle of gin, and one bottle of pure, unflavored alcohol.  All “bottles” are 26ers in Canada, and fifths in the USA.  For each bottle added to the communal pot, a 48 ounce can of Welch’s Grape Juice is stirred in.

In practice, it includes whatever the BYOB guests bring.  It all gets covered by the taste of the grape juice anyway.  At the party I attended, the mixing was done in a huge canning kettle.  With two universities and a large Community College in town, there are tales of bathtubs in the students dorms, stained permanently purple.  Scrub and rinse the tub, put in a new stopper, and you’re ready to party.

The little bash I attended was supposed to be a lease-breaking party.  Two friends had signed a year’s lease, but wanted to move to a handier location after eight months.  The landlord wouldn’t let them sub-let, and didn’t want to be bothered screening a new tenant, hence, The Party.

Newly married, the wife and I arrived on-time, to find the shindig already under way.  All chairs and sofas were full, so we wound up sitting on a couple of cushions on the floor.  A short while later, we were joined by a hippie couple and their male, deodorized, pet skunk.  Cute little fellow, (the skunk) friendlier than any cat.

All of us sucked back the PJ, except the hippies; they toked up and added a contact high to the room.  They lived on the seventh floor of another apartment building, and the next day, the skunk committed suicide by walking off the balcony, or so they claimed.  Poor thing, probably thought it could fly.

Our hostess served each of us a twelve-ounce glass of this witch’s-brew, as we sat on the cushions.  The stuff goes down like Kool-Aid.  Twenty minutes later, my glass was empty.  I went to stand up to get a refill, but the hostess told me to sit, and got it for me.  Twenty minutes later, my glass was empty, again!  With no hostess in sight, I lithely arose….and apparently an earthquake tipped the building.  Holy S**t, I think I’ll just collapse sit here and coast for a while.

The party was in the middle of February, but with that many people, the doors to the snow-covered balcony were left open.  The first glass you get with the ladle.  Perhaps the second glass you get, you use the ladle.  By the third glass….ah, t’hell widdit, just dip the glass into the pot, and get grape-coated fingers.

One of the partiers did this, and then stepped out for some fresh air.  Seeing the humor potential only a drunkaholic would, he grabbed a small handful of snow, and tossed it at one of his friends.  At least it struck the wall in the same room.  The person splattered by the ricochet got up, went to the kitchen, dipped out another glassful of the magical elixir by hand, grabbed some snow, and tried to return the favor.  Soon, it looked like a pie-fight in one of the Three Stooges movies.

When the gaiety subsided because everyone was out of breath, the walls were decorated with dozens of little purple exclamation points.  The grape-encrusted snow had hit the walls, melted and run down, leaving purple tracks.  Maybe my ears were anesthetized, I didn’t think the noise level got too high.  The next day, the landlord came up to complain, and saw all the marks on the wall.  It cost them the price of repainting the room, but they got their wish.  They were out by the end of the month.

Ah, the good old days, when we were invulnerable.  Now, if I have a second small glass of Pepsi, I pay for it the next day.  Never *regular* partiers, both the wife and I cut back when we got married.  Did any of you party hardy when you were young and foolish?  Are you foolish enough to think you still can?  KayJai and her booze-cruise buddies need not respond to this poll.  They are exempt from self-incrimination.

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