September 21, 2019

American Savage: Party Foul

Collin Reischman is a junior journalism major and Opinion Editor for The Journal

I was just opening my second beer, and debating whether or not I had a better shot at getting a phone number from Argentina or Chile, when someone yanked me toward the edge of the party, around the corner.
“You’ve got to help me get out of here,” America said in a panic. “Too many bad vibes, man. Things will go bad if we stay.”
I didn’t want to be suddenly associated with this character, but I felt bad for him. You could tell he was suffering. He looked tired, worn to the bone.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, and a major gathering involving the nations of the world, mixed with booze, is a dangerous place to be for anybody.
America was nervous, edgy. He needed to avoid more than one disgruntled nation and he wanted me watching his back.
We heard footsteps, and people moving towards us.
“Oh, no. Act like we’re talking!” America was sounding hysterical. “Iran is coming. SHHHHHH. We used to have a thing … years ago … I probably should have been better to her…she’s gone completely off her rocker.”
He turned back to me, seeing his ex pass down the hallway without spotting us.
“I didn’t even want to come to this thing, but Britain dragged me,”  he breathed desperately. The old monarchy and America had been volatile at best, and the breakup was notoriously nasty. Despite the bad blood, they remained close friends, and she had no doubt dragged him here as some kind of pointless social-requirement.
But America couldn’t really just “make an appearance” anywhere now. There was nothing under the radar or discreet about America’s presence just about anywhere. So here he was, stuck at a party with just about every other nation. Like navigating a minefield, this was no time for slow thoughts or words.
We started making our way toward the door and trying not to be noticed. North Korea and China were talking darkly in a corner, two large men with earpieces menacing anyone getting nearby. Most of the “‘stans”
were grouped near the patio: smoking massive hookas and belly laughing about jokes in languages nobody could understand.
“No, not the patio,” America said, cautiously. “Not after my….ahem, one night afghani-stand a few years back, if you catch my drift.”
No doubt he’d been drinking at the time. It was this kind of short-sighted behavior that was getting this guy into serious trouble.
Canada was lingering near the bathrooms, looking nervous. The poor bastard needed a girlfriend. People were beginnnig to spread nasty rumors about the ambitious, quiet nation of snow and ice.
We turned to find a second exit, one that didn’t swing so close to the crowd near the patio, when a low growl mumbled for America.
Iraq, ominous and eye-ablaze, was staring daggers at us.
“You cheap, foul bastard!” she screeched, social norms be damned. “Not even a phone call? I gave up my government for you. Suddenly I’m too expensive? Suddenly, I’m too high-maintenance?”
“Things have changed!” he said, forcing a whisper. “It’s not you, it’s me. You know that, I’m messed up, ok. I need a change and I can’t get better unless I’m alone for a while.”
He was good. She almost bought it.
“Oh, but what’s this I hear about that slut Afghanistan? Eh? You think I don’t know you’ve got something on the side with her?”
He was finished. I grabbed him under one arm, steering him around the hysterical nation and moving hard toward the service door near the bathrooms. Only two more hallways and we’d be free.
Hell, who ELSE could we possibly run into?

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