Busing to Margaritaville

You dash out of the lecture hall into the brisk evening air. Thoughts of the hot, salty nights awaiting you in Baja quicken your pace to the bus stop, where a westbound Route 16 is just pulling up. Your suspicions are aroused once again, as the bus driver is uncharacteristically friendly and even offers to make change as you fumble through your backpack for that one last nickel to complete your dollar fare.
The bus drops you off in front of the Pillsbury Center, at Fifth Street and Third Avenue downtown. As you walk through the glass doors of the center, the commingling scents of roasted shrimp and boiled lobster from the Atlas restaurant overtakes you. You haven’t had dinner yet and you’re feeling high-strung from the loss of your airline tickets, so you decide to put a bowl of seviche and a margarita on your recently paid-off Visa card while you decide what to do next.
But right now, the taste of your Mexican appetizer and limy tequila settle your mind. If you can’t get to the ocean, you’ll have the ocean brought to you.
You belly up to the bar at the Seagull, thankful as ever for your cousin’s driver’s license that says that you’re 28 and live in Connecticut. However, the bartender serves your drink without even carding you and tries to strike up a conversation about the benefits of anaerobic versus aerobic exercise.
It’s a good margarita, but maybe mixed a little too strong, because you begin to feel woozy and drowsy almost instantly. You notice through your alcoholic haze that the bartender’s conversation has suddenly turned into an interrogation session about what final you just took and which professor taught the course. How did he know you’re a student at the U? Is the Eddie Bauer backpack that obvious? This guy is starting to give you the creeps and his anaerobically obtained muscles are starting to look more bulbous by the hazy second.
You’re getting a very bad feeling about all this. Maybe it’s the raw fish and wormy booze, but then again maybe this is about to turn into a bad scene.

Should you answer the bartender’s questions and try to get some questions answered yourself? If you decide to continue the conversation … See THE INFAMOUS TAT-AND-A PROJECT page 8

Should you grab your Eddie Bauer pack and get the heck out of there? If you decide to avoid risking further confrontation, let alone cirrhosis of the liver from the powerful concoction you’re drinking … See TAKIN’ IT TO THE STREETS page 17