From Electric Arc Productions

The Party Animals

By David Oppegaard

Brad Koogs and Tate Mueller hadn’t attended college in more than a decade, but that didn’t stop them from still hitting the shit out of spring break each year.  They had been born to party, and party they must.

Koogs and Mules, as they referred to themselves, flew to the south of Texas every March, touching down in Corpus Christi.  From there, they descended on Padre Island in a rental SUV, storming the beach with coolers full of beer and cargo pockets full of ecstasy.  On that first hallowed morning of spring break, they’d set up their base camp with practiced fluidity, nearly silent as they laid down an old Persian carpet over the sand and set up two lawn chairs, a José Cuervo sun umbrella, and their beloved jam box.  They’d sit in the lawn chairs and feel like kings of old, staring into the golden waters of the Gulf of Mexico while the drugs and beer did their work, the prophetic music of Bob Marley and Dave Matthews wafting around them.

Eventually, their blood beginning to simmer to a nice, pre- party warmth, Koogs and Mules began to speak more loudly, and they would ask the eighteen-year-old, bikini-clad college girls who passed by their encampment if they would like help applying suntan lotion, or perhaps a nice scented oil.  When the girls passed beyond earshot, they discussed how much they wanted to hit that.

But who were these men?

These party animals?

Koogs worked as a loan officer for a major national bank.  He was married, with two kids.  Mules was a parole officer for Ramsey County.  He was already twice divorced.  Both men resented wearing shirts, any kind of shirt at all, and for the seven sacred days of spring break they’d remain entirely shirtless, even at the chilly hour of four AM, kept warm solely by their inevitable sunburns.  They were both thirty-two years old, and they kept a dog-eared logbook regarding their spring break sexual exploits.  They tried to bone at least two girls per night, if not three.  Girls who passed out before the boning began weren’t allowed in official tallies, though they were also noted in the logbook.  One legendary night, in 2006, Mules had managed to bone five girls in a period of four hours.

Koogs and Mules also enjoyed playing co-ed volleyball.  They dug it out as hard and as frequently as any twenty-year-old, hurling their bodies across the sand courts with reckless abandon.  They liked to toss the disc, and play Hacky Sack.  They only went into the ocean to wash off sex juices, or if they were really high and thought they’d seen a mermaid out there who’d wanted to bone.

It was only occasionally—perhaps on a cloudy morning when they were recovering from a particularly bad hang dog—that Koogs and Mules wondered exactly what they were still doing there, on the cigarette-white shores of Padre Island.  They knew they’d have to return home in a few short days, and that their triumphant college years lay far behind them.  They didn’t know why they still felt compelled to fly south each spring, like horny migratory birds.  If there was a god of spring break, surely he could fault them not.

They’d come.

They’d partied.

David Oppegaard is the author of the Bram Stoker-nominated The Suicide Collectors and the newly released Wormwood, Nevada.  He also has an essay coming out in the Spring 2010 edition of The Nevada Review.  David lives in the Midway area of St. Paul, MN.

Please visit his website at www.davidoppegaard.com

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