SORRY MOM & DAD: The Edward Fortyhands story

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First Posted: 2/17/2014

It has been said that the most important lessons in life are learned outside of the classroom. The same can be said for getting drunk.

For instance, drinking teaches you math skills that you will actually use in life. If you have 20 bucks to last the weekend, you starting adding up costs in your head. When you calculate $8.39 for a 12-pack of Busch Light for a Disney movie-themed “power hour” pre-game, five bucks to get a cup at a Friday night frat party, and $2.12 for two items on the McDonald’s dollar menu, you resourcefully conclude that you have $3.49 in change to go put gas in your tank so you can drive to Walmart and spend a buck on a pack of Ramen.

Other than math, drinking can surprisingly educate you about preconceived notions of certain developmental disorders – which caught me off-guard, as well. Let me elaborate.

One night in college, I was hanging out on my buddy Dougie Fresh’s porch, waiting for friends to come over and drink.

“Oh, no!” Dougie Fresh said underneath his breath as he turned his back. “I have class with this dude walking by. I hope he doesn’t recognize me. I’ll never get rid of him.”

“Hello there,” said the dude.

“I think he saw you,” I said.

The dude started talking Dougie Fresh’s ear off to the extent of approaching the porch and involving everyone else in the conversation.

Every time he said something, the last syllable in his sentence was elongated.

“This is the most socially awkward person I have ever met,” I remember thinking to myself.

Maybe it was the philanthropist in me, or the fact I was on the prowl to take someone without a lot of friends under my wing who I could convince to go to my classes and sign me in, but I offered to let the dude drink with us because I felt bad for him.

In fact, I suggested he participate in Edward Fortyhands, hoping he would gain enough confidence to act less socially awkward by being the life of the party. I never saw someone so excited to have 40-ounce bottles of malt liquor securely duct-taped to each hand.

He loved being part of the group, until he passed out drunk 15 minutes later and wasn’t.

While he was passed out on the couch, everyone went into the kitchen and proceeded to play drinking games.

About an hour later, we heard a big thump. The dude fell on the floor and started shouting gibberish.

“What’s that dude’s problem?” asked Dougie Fresh’s roommate.

“Ugh, he’s autistic,” he answered.

“That’s really mean to say about the poor guy,” I added in defense.

“No, he is seriously autistic,” Dougie Fresh explained. “That’s why he is so awkward.”

“Wait. You let me duct-tape liquor bottles to someone who has AUTISM? It’s official; I’m going to hell,” I cried.

“You’re the one who invited him in!” yelled Dougie Fresh.

Next, the dude crawled into the kitchen, bottles strapped to his hands, banging his hands on the floor like a constable pounding on your door for an unpaid parking ticket, eventually smashing the bottle and cutting his hand.

I cleaned his hand, carried him to his dorm, tucked him in bed, and prayed to God not to send me to hell for duct-taping 40-ounce bottles of alcohol to an autistic dude’s hands. Sorry, Mom and Dad…