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The Day I Threw a Kegger This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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High school parties – you have experienced them, heard stories, or watched movies about them. All in all, they are a plot for disaster. I am no superwoman, and I should have known that the story would be the same for me. I learned my lesson the hard way when I could have taken it from others who already made that mistake.

There I was, heart beating 50 miles an hour, left hand gripping a bottle of all-purpose cleaner, right hand holding a roll of paper towels, storming around my mobbed house cleaning up every mess I came across. Along the way I tried to hide anything fragile or of value. The smell of greasy potato chips and alcohol filled the air. The music was booming so loudly that I felt it in every part of my body.

“It'll be just a few friends, don't worry!” my friend had insisted earlier that day. This line replayed in my mind as I forced my way through the rowdy crowd that now filled my usually spacious living room. “Calm down, stop cleaning, and have a drink!” my friend called, attempting to put me at ease.

“You know I don't drink!” I growled. I was nervous, and everyone could tell. I had never been good at putting on a calm facade. It was 11 p.m., and my dad had left for his usual riverside hangout just three hours earlier. The party was in full swing and the house was a wreck. The kitchen table was covered in red plastic cups and paper plates, the cream-colored pool table was being used as a bench and beer stand, and the Mexican-tiled floors were covered in spilled drinks.

At that moment I looked like a “mommy” cleaning up and yelling at everyone to be careful not to spill, quiet down, and stop making a mess. “Please, PLEASE don't sit on that!” I yelled to the woozy skater boy propped on the bar. He replied with a laugh and continued flirting with a girl in a pink miniskirt.

I was drained, and I wish I had opted to get in my comfy PJs, pop some kettle corn, and watch “Love Actually” for the millionth time. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and accepted my fate. I stepped out the back door to the pool area.

“One … two … THREE!” Two oversized, immature boys pitched their victim in the pool. “What do you think you're doing?” I yelled. Once again, I received only a laugh in reply. I was starting to wonder if I might be invisible, but that thought quickly passed when the boys grabbed me and started the countdown again. Before I realized what was happening, I felt the cold rush of water around me. I was their latest victim.

I was soggy and now officially miserable. That was the last straw. I had to think of a plan to get everyone out of the house. I went inside and found one of my brother's larger friends, Jake, and asked him for help.

“I need you and whatever decent friends you have to get EVERYONE out of this house,” I commanded, and then I threw in some inspiration. “I don't know if you remember, but my dad resembles Rambo … and he's on his way home!” He really does look like Rambo, and I actually had no idea when he would be back, so it could have been true.

This definitely sunk in, and before I knew it, Jake was yelling, “Everyone out!” This triggered a stampede. Kids were finally leaving, but not soon enough. Outside, I heard an engine. My dad was pulling up in his boat with four friends. My heart began to race, and I ran to defend myself. When I reached my dad, I saw his expression change as he realized what was going on.

“Allie, how did this happen?” he asked. I sank inside my invisible turtle shell to think of an explanation. “Tell me later, after we fix this,” he added, cutting me off. My dad walked to the pool area where the kids who hadn't gotten the message were still partying. “Everyone get off my property and go HOME!” he bellowed. Those who were sober enough to understand fell silent, and in a matter of five minutes they had all left by way of cars, skateboards, bicycles, or their running feet.

But it wasn't over yet. Lying in the yard was a boy who was obviously drunk – so much so that he was incomprehensible. He had on a bathing suit and one shoe. My dad and his friend picked him up, took him inside, and deposited him on the couch. We spent hours trying to elicit understandable information. He kept repeating the same number over and over, but it didn't work. It became clear that he would have to stay the night.

While this was going on, I rushed my friend to my room and told her to brush her teeth, wash her face, and hit the sack. She was drunk and desperately needed to sleep it off. It had been a long night, and it was hard for me even to look at my dad. He told me to go to bed; we would talk in the morning. I fell right to sleep and dreamed that all was well and I had just watched “Love Actually” with a bowl of kettle corn.

When I awoke the next morning, reality sank in again. I was miserable, tired, and knew the fate to come. I stumbled out of bed and went straight to the bathroom. I decided to look fresh and presentable for this discussion with my dad.

As I walked into the living room, I saw my dad sitting next to the mystery boy who was now sober. My dad looked up and said, “I am very disappointed in you. I always say that you should learn from my mistakes. I have told you my stories many times, and you know how they end.”

With my dad, nothing is worse than disappointing him. At this moment, I realized that it is smarter to learn from the mistakes of others than to make them yourself. My dad took home the one-shoed boy and talked with his parents. He also called my friend's parents, who picked her up with disappointment on their faces. We all learned our lesson.

This happened a year and a half ago, and since then I have thought things through, understand the idea of consequences, and now learn from the mistakes of others. Why smoke when I know I'll get addicted? Why drink at my age when I know that I could end up doing something stupid? As Benjamin Franklin said, “Wise men learn by other men's mistakes, fools by their own.”

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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SecretNonConformist said...
Dec. 30, 2010 at 6:37 pm
This article completely hit home with me. A few weeks ago, my parents told me they would be out on a Saturday night and I came very, very, close to throwing a very large party. The thing that stopped me was very funny: my cats. What if somehow they got hurt? That made me start worrying even more and I told everyone the party was off.
 
robo34 said...
Mar. 1, 2010 at 12:27 am
Franklin did not say that quote. It was actually H.G. Bohn. Franklin said "Wise men don't need advice. Fools won't take it."
 
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