By JOHN FELTMAN AND ALEX TIRADO
College students tend to struggle when it comes to have a reasonable amount of money throughout the semester. We all have student loans, bills, rent and groceries to buy. Going out can become quite expensive, so I wondered if it was possible to go out and not spend a single cent. The thought of having a fun night out at the bar and not spending any money sounded really enticing.
It was a normal Thursday night; I was getting ready to go to dollar beers at Macdinton’s Irish Pub. But this time, things would be a lot different. I always wondered if I would be able to survive a night out without spending any money. Alex Tirado and I were up for the challenge, and we wanted to see if this was possible. We had to establish some ground rules before we went out for the night. The first rule was crucial: we were allowed to booze before we went out. I had a bottle of Bacardi ready to go. So Indira, Katelyn and Alex all came over to my house. We were watching the premiere of Jersey Shore Family Vacation while playing a drinking game. With a lot of laughs and crafty gamesmanship, the alcohol was beginning to flow down my throat. Another crucial rule was that we were not allowed to pay for a ride to the bar either, so luckily our editor-in-chief Katelyn Massarelli provided transportation. Lastly, we were not allowed to ask for drinks, and could only accept them if offered to us. Not only was this the night to determine if you can have a fun night at the bar without spending money, it was also a competition between Alex and I. Being the ruthless competitor that I am, I was certain that I was going to come out on top.
Being the responsible young adult that I am, I had to make sure I had a nice buzz going to the bar in case I struck out getting free drinks. I casually took some shots of Bacardi to get the juices flowing. Around 11:15 p.m., it was time to head out. On the car ride to the bar, I kept thinking about how this was not going to be an easy task.
I walked into Macdinton’s and not even two minutes into the night I ran into an old friend of mine. Without saying a word, she offered me a beer on the spot. I immediately thought to myself that this might not be as difficult as I thought it would be. After finishing the skunked miller lite, I then ventured around the bar looking for more drinks. At this point I had lost Alex for a brief moment, and in that moment in time I had a feeling she was getting free beers left and right. My friend Ashtin then casually gave me a pat on the back and asked why my hands were empty. I told him I didn’t have any money and didn’t want to spend money. Well, that seemed like a conceivable enough answer for Ashtin as he proceeded to hand me a miller lite. I had already obtained two beers in a half hour span, and thought I would cruise to the finish line.
I would sadly be disappointed as I ran into Alex. She informed me that she had also already had two beers, so we were tied 2-2. For the next hour or so we casually talked to our friends and did not really get the opportunity to get drinks. Harsh Rokad then bumped into us, The Minaret’s photo editor, and he asked us how our challenge was going. Without even realizing it, Harsh had walked into a predicament. He now had to pick which side he was on, and whoever’s side he chose he had to help them get drinks. So instead of picking sides Harsh just kept handing us drinks without us even asking.
The night was beginning to wind down and I was a lot more plastered then I thought I was going to be. Well, having Harsh time me to see how fast I could chug beers did not help my cause. But, hey, we’re young adults in college with less than a month until graduation, we are supposed to have fun and make stupid decisions. Alex and I ended up tying 5-5, and as the night closed out we pretty much were too drunk to even care about beating one another in the competition. We ended the night, I ubered back to my house, and fell asleep on my couch with my clothes on. I woke up around 7:15 a.m. and stumbled up my stairs realizing I had passed out on my couch. So let the record be shown that yes kids, it is certainly possible to have a kick ass night without spending any money. Cheers people, and let the good times roll.
When Katelyn Massarelli, the Editor-in-Chief came into The Minaret office with the idea of writing an article about not spending a penny on a night out, I immediately jumped off my chair to volunteer. Being the cliche college student that I am, I have previously been in the position where my wallet did not agree with my social life. So, when the idea was tossed around about having two people go out at the same time, male and female, there was no question that John Feltman, Production Editor, had to be my contricant. After all, John is legendary for his post-party snapchats and group chat comments, so I knew I had a worthy rival.
One thing people don’t have enough in mind when trying to go out and be mindful of their spending, is that it takes a lot of team effort. Ubers are significantly cheaper when split, a pre-game is usually the better way to raise your booze intake, and no one should ever be greedy enough that they need a whole bottle for themselves (unless you have the money for it in which case, go for it!). We decided we were going to pre-game together and that K-McHammer, which is Katelyn’s cooler name, was nice enough to give us rides. Indira Moosai, Oopinion eEditor, was supposed to come along and take pictures, but as lesson number one of going out without money will teach you, nothing will ever go the way you plan it.
No matter how many lists you make, how many group chats you are in, and how many Venmo request you send, nothing will ever go smoothly on a night out. People are either too drunk, not drunk enough, or just MIA. If you want smoothness, buy your own bottle, pay your own cover, and request an Uber XL just for yourself. Anyway, we ended up going to John’s house after a bit of a miscommunication battle, and started playing drinking games with the new season of Jersey Shore on in the background. We, Indira, K-McHammer and I, wanted to got The Kennedy, but John had a special alliance to Dollar Beers, so we ended up deciding to go there to our despair.
Lesson number two, when everything else fails and the mood plummets, there is nothing to bring the atmosphere around like some good ol’ drinking games. It gets people silly and drunker which makes the whole I’m-mad-I-have-to-depend-on-you-to-do-stuff thing a little easier. In our case, we played a game which consisted of people counting to 11, saying one number each, and whoever got to 11 got to make a rule. One of the highlights of the night was a rule that said that people had to call each other “sweetie” instead of their real name, and that one stuck all throughout the night. So, to John’s friend who was really nice and ulet me use your bathroom at your house, you will forever live in my memory as “Sweetie”.
Lesson number three, we would get away with way more in life if we were as confident as we are after a few drinks. When I told people I was going to try to get free drinks all night, people thought it meant I was gonna put out and maybe have to kiss a guy or two. I would also like to point out that people thought John was going to be as sober as a nun and that he was not going to get any drinks because he was a guy. The truth is, both of us got drinks and never once was it because of flirting. Well, okay, maybe there was one Ccolombian guy that was particularly eager about buying me a beer, but other than that, people were just decent people having fun on a Thursday night. In fact, after a while, I just started telling people to buy me drinks so I could beat John at it. Even his friends were nice enough to smuggle me some drinks when John wasn’t looking (thanks, Sweetie!).
In the end, our score was 5-5 (although I’m pretty sure I might have gotten five and a half since people kept pouring their drinks into my cup) but to be honest, at some point I stopped keeping count. In reality, I was having so much fun just hanging out with everybody, including our photo editor and photographer Harsh Rokad who got us most of our beers, that I stopped caring about the beer game. So, I guess lesson number four is that as long as you go out with fun people that make you feel good and enjoy yourself, seldom else matters, not even winning a drinking competition. Although, if anybody were to ask, I definitely won and so did my wallet.
John Feltman and Alexandra Tirado can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com