Saturday — and the first North Dakota State football game of the year — brought with it a lawn party of nearly epic proportions.
It had almost everything you would expect a successful outdoor rager to have: music, lots of people in NDSU gear, the imbibing of copious amounts of various fermented beverages, a weirdo journalist climbing a roof to get some good shots, a wasted freshman vomiting in the pachysandra bushes (I’m sure he was the only one — don’t drink until you’re of age, kids) and good weather (except for the hailstorm).
But even the hailstorm wasn’t all bad (turn down for what?) since it turned the yard into a gigantic slip-n-slide.
My experience with Tooshfest had an auspicious beginning. I was walking around with my camera doing my normal journalisty thing when I noticed scads of students migrating in one direction. Intrigued, I decided to follow them.
I heard the dull roar before I saw them — a gigantic horde of yellow and green congregated in the yard. I hurdled an upturned couch to get closer to the middle of things and immediately stomped in a pile of mud. I was wearing light colored clothing and decent sneakers. Bad idea.
I carefully skirted around the edge in a failed attempt to avoid ruining my shoes. At this point a gigantic human mud ball came running across the yard that now resembled a buffalo wallow.
“Oh no!” shouted the hapless partygoer beside me as he tried to gain traction to escape. His attempts were fruitless, and the mud ball caught him in a bear hug two strides later, destroying his once clean clothes.
At this point they toppled in my direction. Acting quickly, I held my camera as far away as possible to save it as they slid down my front. My shirt was destroyed and in desperate need of some spray-n-wash.
As it turned out, the yard was god awful for walking, but perfect for mud wrestling. An impromptu arena was formed. Acceptable clothing was ruined by the truckload. Inebriated partygoers ate turf left and right. Fun was had. Shoes were destroyed.
At this point I ran into a problem. I wasn’t nearly tall enough to get a good vantage point for a photo of the party as a whole. I needed an aerial view.
Spying my salvation in the form of a garage roof, I gave up on my shoes and began the treacherous shuffle across the yard. I didn’t get tackled, which was nice, and with the help of a generous partygoer who held my camera, I began my climb.
Everything went smoothly until I had to transition from the fence to the tree. A loose piece of wire then stabbed a hole through the bottom of my shoe. That was inconvenient.
The rest of the climb went off without incident, and I was greeted by roaring cheers as I snapped photos from the peak of the roof. There’s just something about a guy with a camera on a roof.
Then I ruined the effect by crawling on hands and knees to get down. What can I say? I, unlike mountain goats, am afraid of heights.
But even with so much going for it, the party that was hailed as Tooshfest by some just seemed to be missing something. It didn’t have that special “something.” It wasn’t quite Tooshfest.
After hours of careful analysis, I discovered the problem. It wasn’t spring. With so much nice weather in recent memory, this party lacked the element of relief.
For Tooshfest to truly be Tooshfest, it must be spring. The student body must suffer through the lean and grueling winter months with ice and freezing wind and nothing but parkas in view.
When spring finally rolls around, it brings with it a sharp decrease in the required square yardage of worn clothing.
In this manner, Tooshfest can explode into being in all of its unrefined glory — a collective sigh of relief from the student body. Tooshfest can truly be Tooshfest and can provide a cathartic release for suffering students reaching the end of another long year. Tooshfest can be the light at the end of the tunnel.
This isn’t to say that Saturday’s attempt was a failure. It wasn’t. But it was a warmup.
Winter isn’t even here yet, but hold onto your hats, everyone, because spring is coming.