It was the 80s. We were the punks, skaters, goths and New Wavers of our high school, which was dominated by rednecks and jocks. There was something of an “us vs. them” mentality which meant that we often hung out as a group, even if we otherwise didn’t get along. And so it was that I went to this skater kid’s 17th birthday party. This guy was the very definition of “tosser” or “spaz”, and I couldn’t stand him. But because he was “one of us”, I felt obliged to go.
Since the party was hosted by his mom, most of us politely either snuck flasks in or left six packs in our cars so we could come back and chug one (or two) in the darkened street. But not Birthday Boy. He’d only done acid once before, and for some reason he decided to take 4-5 hits that night.
His recently divorced mom had just started a new job, and her new boss lived fairly close by, so he decided to stop by and wish Skater Kid a happy birthday. But Skater Kid was tripping way too hard to deal with that shit just then, so he took off running. Through the house. Around the house. Some of us were sitting on or around a sofa in the basement rec room and ZOOM! Skater Kid would run through, hauling ass to the back door. Mom and Boss would follow a few seconds later, with Skater Kid’s mom begging him to “come back here” and asking “what is wrong with you??”. They’d follow Skater Kid out the back door, and we’d go back to our conversation… until Skater Kid would come hauling ass through the room again a few minutes later.
This went on for – no joke – a half hour or so. Then Skater Kid got the brilliant idea of taking off through the woods. By then, everyone at the party knew what was going on, so as soon as some of the smokers outside said that he’d gone into the woods, the entire party went out to the driveway to view the spectacle. Skater Kid’s mom and her boss found flashlights and started following him through the woods.
Most of the 40 or 50 of us could barely contain our giggles as Mom and Boss would be certain Skater Kid was over “here”, but we’d see tree branches move or catch a glimpse of Skater Kid over “there”. We were all dumb kids having a laugh, but eventually the crowd turned on Skater Kid. Skater Kid went from “Hero of the Year” to “Dumbass of the Year” in less than sixty seconds. We started helping Mom and Boss track him down. Eventually Skater Kid emerged from the woods, and instead of getting support from his friends, a couple dudes tackled him and held him down until Mom and Boss came over. Mom announced that the party was over, and I’ll never forget the look on poor Skater Kid’s face – pinned to the ground, eyes as big as saucers – when he finally figured out that the party was indeed over.