So it's 1998, I'm 17, and we're in Orlando.
We went to the 1998 National FBLA Convention in Orlando, Florida when I was in high school. I took first place in Computer Concepts at State--suck on that, I know some of y'all were there--so it was a free ride for me. My buddies were in Parliamentary Procedure, and we were prepared to rock shite.
So we're in Orlando, and there's no time to do the tourist shite. Our chaperones were the Computer Applications and Keyboarding teachers, two ladies we just charmed the shite out of on a daily basis, so we talked them into giving us basically free rein one night. But we're in Orlando, like I said, and there's no time for Disney, and we didn't have a car.
So Heather says, "My cousin lives in Winter Springs. He can drive us wherever we want." fricking score, we knew that hippie Anglophile vegan would be good for something someday. Thanks, Heather. Fast-forward 20 minutes, dude rolls up in front of the hotel in a fricking June bug green Caprice.
We get in, and Heather introduces us to her cousin Toby. This guy is a fricking case, man. He had this spiked black hair with frosted tips, fricking Wayfarers propped up on his head. Navy blue cotton tank top, fricking cut-off denim shorts. Homeboy was nasty tanned, fricking tribal around his upper arm when it was just starting to not be cool anymore.
"What's up, guys?" Yankee, like a Boston accent or something. "What's the game plan?"
fricking Adrian--I love him, but come on--pipes up with, "Man, where are the arcades?" And Toby gives us this shit-eating grin and says, "I know a place."
Most boring hour of my life follows as we're walking around this fricking tourist trap whose only saving grace was a Marvel vs. Capcom machine. Adrian says his Spider-Man is unbeatable; I stomp him with War Machine. Whatever. Toby borrows quarters off of Heather--not a good sign.
But I'm shooting the shite with him between matches, right, and I'm noticing that dude has a Black Flag tattoo on his hand. Oh, cool, right? He's all telling us how "White Minority" was his favorite song, changed his life. I'm having a hard time following. Toby's loud as shit, attracting attention to us.
So here comes Matthew, Heather's brother, like, "Hey, man, can you buy us some alcohol?" Okay, not a bad idea. Heather's cousin seems just like that kind of guy, so good call. This motherfricker is like 30-something and hanging out with us, did I forget to mention that?
"frickin' A, man, I can do better." Oh, boy. "I know a place, they won't card. I'll tell 'em Heather's my cuz, you guys are with me, it'll be cool."
So I mentioned he was loud as hell, right? We're on our way out, and this frickin' security guard steps up. "Excuse me, sir," and he gets up in our business. He heard Toby promising to buy us drinks, and he's got to put the kibosh on it. Whatever, he's harshing our groove, but in retrospect, he was doing the right-ish thing. Whatever.
Anyway, this guy easily has four or five inches on Toby and probably a hundred pounds. He looks a little younger, a little fitter. But I can tell Toby doesn't wanna get shown out in front of the kids, right? He puffs up, "It's none of your frickin' business," etc. We're moving for the door.
So I don't know who did what first, but next thing I know, the guy has Heather's cousin in this fricking arm lock, and he's squealing like fricking Babe or something. I notice--and this is absurd--that the bars on homeboy's Black Flag tat are fricking smearing. Dude took a Sharpie to himself for the easiest fricking tattoo in the world, and like...I don't know, we feel dumb because we thought he was cool, you know?
Adrian's out the door, and Heather's all like "LET HIM GO." I'm pretty sure she was gonna grab the guy or something, but she was a fricking wisp or whatever. And Matthew is all non-committal, kinda chicken shite. I'm thinking, "frick this," right, but this dude drove us. We're like 15 minutes from the hotel, it's 10:00 at night, and I don't from Orlando. Let's bear this thing out, right?
So the fricking guard has a gun, and Toby's struggling, and he hits the clip on the holster. The gun is fricking loose, and the guard is thinking Toby is going for it, right-- shite gets REAL. Security dude shoves Heather, Toby loses his shite ("you motherfricker!"), and Adrian's half out the door grabbing me by my shirt tail like we've gotta GO.
We're out of the arcade and down to the sidewalk. Matthew's with us, but we don't know about Heather. We're waiting. She doesn't show, Toby doesn't show, the guard doesn't show. I'm hiding behind a fricking potted palm tree, right, and it's like fricking 90 degrees or whatever, and I'm in flip-flops. I'm not running.
Then we heard the sirens. fricking Aladdin's Castle called the cops, right? And we're thinking, "Oh, shite. We're FBLA, they're gonna send us home," whatever. Matthew's got the most cash, and he's like, "Let's just get a taxi and go!" Adrian's all, "We'll say we went to the movies!" It's a fricking good plan. So I whistled for a cab, and when it came near, the license plate said FRESH, and there were dice in the mirror....