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Opinion: I Miss the Old Days


i miss the old days

Ah, hello there! My name is Gerald Patrick McDonagh, and I am the oldest member of the Doily Allergen at sixty-five years young! It’s been my great luck and privilege to have been granted this opportunity to write my very first article. Although I’ve officially been a staff member of this organization since 1974, my title was “whipping-boy” until last week when our lovely editor, Kyle, said to me, “Gerald, my boy, we’ve got an article open this week. It’s an opinion piece, see, and you’re the man for the job!”


“Sir,” I told him, “Sir, I don’t know if I’m the man for the job. I’m not like you little whippersnappers. I’ve got more opinions in my head than we’ve got idiots in the White House! Ho-ho! I couldn’t imagine coming up with those silly Twitters that you put up on the Internets.”


“Not to worry,” Kyle replied with a youthful glimmer in his eye. Ah, what I’d give to have that same glimmer back! “We’ve already come up with a pitch for you. You’re gonna report on the old days and give us a look into the past. Do you remember what Iowa City was like in the 70s and 80s?”


“Boy, do I!” And with more energy than I’ve felt in the last twelve years combined, I rushed from our secret headquarters to the library to write down my brilliant vision. After struggling for half an hour to open up a Google Document, I am now able to describe in detail how much I miss the old days.


Back in 1974, life was easier in Iowa City. I remember my roommate, Gary Stewart—you might recognize Gary from the USPS truck, as he’s been working as a driver for the last fifteen years… Or, no, eighteen… or maybe twenty. Ah, who can remember? You know, my memory isn’t what it used to be. Back in the day, flash cards were my bread and butter. But Gary and I were true rapscallions, you see. We lived in Burge, the cleanest dorm on campus, and every evening we’d head to the bars to pick up women. Now, back in those days, the legal drinking age was eighteen, not twenty-one, before Reagan, the best president of my time, passed an act to raise the minimum drinking age. I miss Reagan. That man kept our country in order! Not like your Clintons or your Obamas or your Carters. Remember Jimmy Carter? That man was a farmer, not a leader, I tell you what!


But Gary and I would go to these bars fresh out of high school—or in high school, for some lucky fellahs. My good friend Roger Dooley turned eighteen in September of our senior year, and the boy would buy us Budweisers, and we’d drive out to the pier at night—me, Roger, Paul Whitmore, and our girlfriends Suzy Bannion, Emily Sikes, and… Oh, who was Paul’s girlfriend? I want to say it was Ellen Platter, but didn’t she graduate a year earlier than us? Hmm… Maybe it was one of the twins, Irene or Eva Garcia, but I can’t remember for the life of me. It doesn’t matter, since none of the ladies were allowed to drink. We’d spend our weekends cruising around town and showing off to all the underage kids how cool we were. I wasn’t so lucky, myself, as I didn’t turn eighteen until June, after our high school graduation, but I’m grateful for Roger’s help in getting beers before then! But back in college, Gary and I would head to bars to charm the ladies, as we were both over the legal age. We had quick wits and grins that the ladies couldn’t resist.


In those days, it was tricky to take a girl back to our dorm. It wasn’t like today, when you can put a sock on your door handle and leave it at that. The dorms were split by gender, and the few women who were permitted to go to college couldn’t be caught dead in an all-male building. So we’d dress them up as men, if you’d believe it! We’d give them slacks and flannels, since few women wore pants back then. Those were the days, back when women had the decency to cover their knees with dresses, skirts, and long socks! Except this one girl, Lisa Carmine. She wore pants and shorts, which was just begging for trouble. She was probably a lesbian or a democrat or something, yelling all the time about how she wanted to feel “safe on campus” and “go out for walks without getting catcalled.” Absolutely ridiculous. I hear she’s making millions in fancy pants California growing the devil’s lettuce for the next generation of democrat lesbians. She’s wrecking this God-fearing country!


Well, we’d dress the girls up as men and lead them to our dorm room, and we’d have fun conversing before we’d… I’ll leave that up to your imagination! But the best part of all is that the girls’ dorm would be locked at eleven at night, and any girl who wasn’t in by that time would be locked out for the night! Oh-ho-ho, Gary and I would have such a laugh when we’d keep the girls out past curfew! They’d try a couple doors, and when they realized they were locked out, they’d sleep on the lawn like a couple of dogs! We would’ve let the girls stay over in our rooms, but there really wasn’t enough room for Gary and I to sleep. Anyways, the lawn was comfortable enough for the girls, and as long as it wasn’t snowy out, they rarely got hypothermia. Ahh, those were the days!


Gotdang it! Kyle has just told me that there’s a word limit on these articles. You’ll have to excuse my ignorance. I’d love to keep spinning my yarns to our dedicated readers, but in the meantime, I’ll retire to my whipping-boy post. If you’d like to contact me, you may write me a letter addressed to the Doily Allergen’s main office, or you may meet me in person by visiting the whipping dungeon, where I am frequently beaten by staff members to relieve their frustration. Good day to you all, except any lesbian democrats that may be reading this, in which case I encourage you to go smoke the devil’s lettuce with Lisa Carmine.

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