By Jack Edwards
My daughter attends a university which is conveniently located two thousand miles away. This year, I didn’t think I’d be able to attend “Dad’s Weekend” until the last minute, which meant that scheduling flights was a challenge, but luckily, I was able to book an airline itinerary which only included 25 legs. The good news is that when I finally landed in Tulsa, it was raining.
My daughter belongs to a sorority at Oklahoma State University, the name of which I cannot disclose, but its initials are Kappa Kappa Gamma. She and her sisters took preparing for this weekend very seriously. Meetings were held. Plans were made. They agonized over how they should best use those precious final few hours on the Friday evening before their fathers arrived the next day. Then they put that plan into action. And that plan involved attending an all-night toga party.
If you look up “Dad’s Weekend” in the Encyclopedia Britannica, it says: “The visit a father makes to his child’s college, where he experiences both PTSD flashbacks and a deep longing to be a student again.”
The big day began with a complimentary lunch at the sorority house. It was a football game day, so the menu was tailgating fare. Hotdogs, hamburgers, traditional sides. It was all every tasty and lovely. At the same time, as I munched down my meal, I couldn’t help but calculate the cost of my hotdog at just north of $20,000. (But who’s counting?)
Later we attended the game. Security at Boone Pickens Stadium was tighter than a tick in a pig’s ear. The security lady at the front entrance made me lift my baseball cap. She thought I might be hiding something. I’m not kidding. She made me show her my bald spot. Though in her defense, my bald spot is getting pretty shiny these days, and I’m sure that a clever terrorist might be able to configure a chain of strategically placed middle-aged men throughout the stadium and bounce a laser beam from one bald spot to another, building up a concentration of energy that led to a horrific catastrophe.
Following the game, a traditional problem emerged. Both parent and child want to take off and recreate into the late night hours, but, for too many reasons to list, certainly not together. And that instinct is for the best. Case-in-point is a friend of mine who I will refer to as “Tom,” because his name happens to be Tom. Tom attended a Dad’s weekend at his daughter’s college in Minnesota. He decided to join in his daughter’s postgame celebratory activities. And he, being the only celebrant over the age of 21, ended up buying the beer. What happened next is best summarized in the arresting officer’s police report: “As smoke billowed out of the upper window of the apartment building and a flood of inebriated occupants fled into the night, emergency first responders heard a low crying sound emitting from the building. They strapped on their respirators and reentered the blazing structure. Once back inside, they discovered a small herd of pigmy goats trapped in a rear bathroom. All the goats were treated and released.” Tom later pled down to a misdemeanor charge of Animal Endangerment and got probation. His law license was suspended by his state Bar association for 90 days.
All kidding aside, Oklahoma State University is a first rate institution. And Kappa Kappa Gamma is, in my bias opinion, the finest sorority in the country. But I’m not kidding when I repeat that that hotdog I cost me $20,000. It’s a good thing that it went down smoothly.