The Diary of Dumb Things I Did In College: The Wet Bandits Heist (Part I)
To this day, the dean’s file on us may have some variation of the following.
The night began with bad intentions and a case of Busch light. Since September, we’d made a Tuesday night tradition of getting completely bombed in our freshman dorm room. But that night Juggy Fats was drinking erratically, impulsively.
He slobbered beer after beer. If I fell behind, he’d stamp his Converse All-stars until I’d match his fanatical pace. If I opted for a breather for sipping and enjoyment of myself, his chubby hand would tip my can and hold it to my face until Busch light fizzed down my cheeks and bubbled out my nose. As he did this, he’d chant chug, chug, chug with the compulsive flair of a motivational speaker, or a cricket. The fact that it was just the two of us, in our room, before sundown, doing this, was a lonely fact, a fact that made me want to drink more than I would’ve wanted to, or should’ve wanted to.
I knew Juggy Fats would bring it up. The idea had bopping around in his head since we were in high school. That year it’d come out on especially drunk nights like an itch he yearned to scratch. The idea wasn’t particularly good, or even his idea. But still, it was an idea, and that was a lot for Juggy Fats.
At first, he simply suggested we go to the girls’ dorm across the quad and wreak havoc. That was exactly how he phrased it: “wreak havoc.” I was unimpressed, initially, with the generality of it all. Mere “havoc wreaking” was too nondescript and thuggish for my pretentious, white-collar criminal tastes. When he chimed in with the specifics, however, I will confess – I was intrigued.
“So you remember our Home Alone plot, right? The one we used to talk about in chemistry lab, third period?” he cued me, not a waver of unseriousness in his voice. He took my silence as acquiesce. “Tonight we’re gonna do it ourselves. Fucking Wet Bandits, bro! We sneak up to the third floor of Ryder Hall. We stuff those bitches’ sinks with towels. We let the water run. And then we read about our success in the campus police blotter on Monday! Brilliant!”
Maybe he saw me considering it, and maybe I was considering it because Ryder Hall was Erika’s dorm. So he continued. He had the whole thing figured out, choreographed down to the finest, most minute detail. We’d cloak ourselves in sweat suits and ski masks. He showed me the ski masks – which now really seem over-the-top and unnecessary – but when he showed me then, they had a degree of professionalism. It seemed like we weren’t just two drunk assholes reenacting a scene from a stupid movie. We were the Wet Bandits. Perhaps I was impressed with his careful planning. Perhaps it was the prospect of the story I’d tout afterwards. Perhaps perhaps is a dangerous word…
Whatever it was, a few more beers and we were off, pinballing across the quad like a clumsy duo of tightrope walkers. Our slippery footprints cut right across the snow-covered field. Our antics were usually boisterous and loud, drawing crowds, scowls, and pointed fingers. But that night, we moved with careful, stealth speed.
We held our breath for long intervals and then exhaled white, cloudy explosions that vaporized into the February night. We slunk across the sleeping campus and descended on Ryder Hall dorm like a set of seasoned ninjas.
Stay tuned for Part II.
About Rob J. Rob J. is a writer and dating instructor in New York City. Themes that resonate in both his teaching and writing are masculinity, genuineness, rational self-interest, and general awesomeness.