This article is about some of the stupid arguments and retarded things I did with my friends as a teenager. Since I am trying to recapture some of the intellectual debates of my past, adding pictures just doesn't seem to fit. So please except the lack of visuals. In 1998-99 I was 17-18. Young, vibrant, cocky and inexperienced. My friends and I had nothing more to worry about than, "What is mom cooking for dinner tonight?" So we had some pretty interesting arguments, and we examined many unlikely situations.

First some background, I grew up in Milwaukee. So yup, you guessed it, I'm good at drinking. During the summer time you would never catch me without a lawn chair, Frisbee, and at least half a case of warm Beast Ice in the trunk of my '83 Regal. It's what we did. We would play some sports, and find a place to drink. Being Milwaukee natives, you would think that Miller products would be the only beverage of choice, not so. It turned out that the main base of my friends was split into two groups. This started one of the many retarded things my friends and I would do.

Drinking Teams
There were two teams, you either belonged to Team Bud, or Team Miller. We even went so far as to make shirts. Some guys just scribbled magic marker on a plain white T to show their team loyalty, other guys went the iron-on way. Then at a gathering on a Friday or Saturday night, most of the time both nights, we would see which team could drink more. Of course there would be handicaps if one team had fewer guys to be fair. Not only that, you had to stack the cans into a pyramid. You could judge visually if your team was losing or not. But there was another reason for it. If you knocked your pyramid over, your team automatically lost for the night. Yes this was like Nascar, we kept points throughout a season. I don't know why, but we liked to drink to prove we weren't drunk, makes perfect sense. So if you got inebriated to the point of trashing your mid, you lose buddy. You know how I said there were only two teams? I lied. Sorry to lead you on like that but the third team was kind of like Perot. Sure you had a right to be in the race, but nobody really cared. I am a proud member of that team. It was just me, and one other guy. We were Team F*cked Up. It was our understanding that it did not matter what we drank, it was the end result that we were after. So we would bring a case mixed with red dog, ice house, shlitz, hams, blatz, pabst, rolling rock, corona, it didn't matter. Next to a giant pile of empty silver and red cans, and dwarfed by a pile of empty blue cans, was a small pile of empty assorted cans. We even came up with a mascot for our team. The Animal Warriors. My buddy wanted to get a tattoo of Animal (from the Muppets) and I already had a Chinese character for "Warrior" tattooed on my shoulder. Thus we became, The Animal Warriors. Were we wrong to make drinking teams as underagers? Perhaps. Was it wrong to make drinking competitive? Possibly. Was it mega fun and led to some good times? You betcha.

Handshakes
Drinking teams made us realize that we were segregating ourselves a bit and we had to devise a way to instill friendship back into the group. The solution, handshakes. Any two people could make a handshake that was just theirs. So no matter how heated things got in a drinking match, you could do a hand shake and it would cause people to realize that we're still all friends in the end. Some were simple, like tap the heel of your shoe after your shake, or snap your fingers. One of my favorites to watch was a guy and girl. They would shake, and then shoot each other with pretend Tommy guns. The favorite one of mine was, after a regular shake, we would make the Vulcan sign to each other and say, "Nanoo Nanoo." I really liked this shake because in high school we both felt like aliens a lot, and knowing we weren't alone, and having a hand shake to prove it made things easier. We also called ourselves "The Lone Wolves." I won't explain that, but if you get it, you know where I'm coming from.

But I did more than just drink in those days. I wasn't exactly smoking pans, if you get my drift. We even came up with all sorts of creative code names. "Lets go fishing," "Do some chemistry" (I stole a beaker from chemistry class that we converted), and my favorite "Chiefy." After one of these escapades, a buddy and I some how got into a discussion of the ultimate team fight. We came up with this elaborate plan on how to beat up a guy. This was over an hour in the making and even other people in the group backed away because it got so weird. But this is what we came up with.

First we needed a signal. I being the smaller guy would initiate the fight. I would talk smack to some dude until he got in my face. I would then put my hands up in the surrender position, pretty much what a referee does to signal a touch down, but with my elbows bent a little more. That was the signal. My friend would then coming running from behind clothes lining him in the back of his head, I would then smash my beer bottle over his cranium reeling him backwards, so my friend could knee him in the back, rocketing him forward, to my elbow in the face, twirling him so my friend could then give him a power bomb, and once he's down I kick him in the head. We even included our other friend, if he was there, he would give the guy the Surfboard when it was all over. I'm not making this up, we spent well over an hour devising this plan. We never used it of course. But I still remember it word for word and it makes me sad that I know longer am so care free to be able to come up with such a plan just to beat a guy up.

Sometimes after a session, we would often get into arguments. Not to be mean or anything, but simply for the fun of it. I liked, and still like to argue just to flex my speaking skills and being able to logically talk someone into a corner is a mental rush. And in high school if you were good you could have the title, Master Debater. This is actually a good argument and I'd like to hear your input. What is the oldest trick in the book? Logic dictates that there was a very first trick, and thus it is the oldest. My friend had chosen the gag where you are on one side of a person and tap their other shoulder making them look where nobody is. He argued that because humans used to all be nomadic they would often be in tight groups and that would give many opportunities to pull this off. I disagree, I still think this is too elaborate and could not be the OLDEST trick in the book. My vote is for, point at something behind some body. This would have surely been added with a grunt, but to me this is the best choice. Humans were not always top dog on the food chain and would have to constantly watch their back. So to point behind someone and go UNGHHH would happen a lot. To do this just to see the terrified look on your friend's face is something I totally would have done 100,000 years ago. Join in the argument if you like, how can you logically prove what the oldest trick in the book is?

Well despite no visuals, I hope you enjoyed this article. I realize it's quite a different run from the norm, but I believe what I've attempted to describe is still a part of people's teenage years, although not the cleanest. If nothing else, I was trying to recapture a time when I had the mental capacity to wonder the world, and no responsibility as to allow me the time to do it.