The day was a hot one. They all were. Summer wasn’t around the corner, it was sitting in the living room, legs kicked up with Ray Bans on and a sweaty margarita glass in hand. All we could do is throw on an ironic tank top and join the party. It was Cinco De Mayo.
We weren’t in Mexico, but we might as well have been. If you squint your eyes and tilt your head southern Arizona auspiciously resembles the Hollywood-painted vista of weathered cantinas and drunk drifters in sombreros and horse blankets. On the day of Mexican independence it gave every irresponsible college kid in Tucson a reason to skip class, gather in droves and find the nearest pool to desecrate and dilute with seventeen different kinds of salsa.
In college you’ll find just about any reason to prioritize partying over learning. Fantasy football draft? Party. Season premier of LOST? Party. A friends house gets taken off its two year probation for throwing too many parties? Party.
I guess that’s what happens when you go to a school that maintains its annual place atop any given “Top 10 Party Schools in America” list (go Cats!).
However, Cinco De Mayo was different. Maybe it was our proximity to Mexico. Maybe it was the horchata or the tortilla factories or the saguaros or the blistering heat. Whatever it was, it lit a spicy fire in our britches that had us planning for weeks to pay homage to our geographically inherited heritage. There were many excuses to party, but this was our excuse to party.
So there we sit with a few cases of frosty Dos Equis in the sweltering heat of my friend Wes’ un-air conditioned living room. We were only there because he had a pool, no matter how unkempt and saturated with the hair of his chocolate lab, Guinness, it was.
It was hot, sweaty, and we were surrounded by about a million flies that were flocking to the sweet, sticky residue of the growing piles of discarded lime carcasses. There were only about 7 of us dudes waiting for the party to arrive when I blurted out the funniest thing I’ve ever said.
“More like Cinco de Fly-o.”
I uttered it with a glazed stare and my customary monotone drawl. A pause only long enough for everyone to turn their heads was followed by uproarious laughter.
I really wasn’t trying to be funny (as is usually the case when I make people laugh). It was dumb, cheap and unfunny in almost any other context or circumstance. But for some reason, with this group of people at that moment in time, it was pure comedic gold.
To this day I’m reminded by some distant soul every year to have a happy Cinco De Fly-o. It warms my heart every time.
So cheers to this Cinco De Fly-o, every one before it and every one after it! May your drinks remain cold and your salsa bowls full. You never know when opportunity might knock inviting you to say something legendary, even if it’s only to 7 friends in a sweaty living room.
. . . . . . . .
Image c/o: Sam Llic