Bringing Down the House
Going to the Sigma Chi House at the University of Alabama was always a blast, and this night was no different. We played there quite often because I was a Sigma Chi at Mississippi State and so was Cuz. What could be more fun than getting together with a bunch of your brothers, having a huge party, and getting paid to play on top of it? Our contract with Sun was brand new and we were still setting most of our own gigs. On this night we wanted to celebrate our good fortune.
We'd been playing for about an hour, and were well past warmed up. The booze was flowing freely and electric energy sizzled in the hot summer night. We'd blown through most of our own hits and were beginning to take requests, when someone called out 'Snake-eyed Mama'. If the party was hopping before, it was about to get a hell of a lot more rowdy. Little did we know, what earth shaking proportions we were about to push the party to.
Now Snake-eyed Mama's no ordinary song, there's a sort of dance that goes with it, in which the guys link their arms and jump in unison. As I began to strum, a few guys began the traditional jump. We were in the library, just off the main living room, and as we continued to play, more and more guys began wandering in to join the jump.
Fueled by the crowd, I winked at Cuz, the signal to play the longer version, and work them into a full frenzy. Soon there were at least a hundred guys in the room and every jump made the walls shake. I strummed harder and they jumped higher. The room was filled past capacity with guys nearly shoulder to shoulder. We were on fire, as I shouted at the top of my lungs, “One more time!”
The crowd hooted and hollered as they prepared for their final collective jump. As they left the ground, the house seemed to lift off its foundation with a moan. In the next moment people were tumbling to the floor, crashing and landing on top of each other as the sound of a huge bomb going off shifted everything nearly half a foot.
All was quiet as we tried to clear our drunken minds of the cobwebs. What had just happened? Millions of stars in the night sky were winking down at me. What the hell?
There was a gaping hole in the ceiling and the outer wall of the library was no longer attached to the house. We looked at each other, not quite believing.
“No way!” In the next moment, everyone was running for the door to get a better look from outside.
Sure enough the library had separated from the house and was sitting a good six inches off the foundation! Amidst the comments of “You have got to be kidding me!” and “What the bleep?” many people were laughing in disbelief.
Cuz looked at the fraternity president who was shaking his head, before wiping a hand across his face. With what he hoped was a sincere look on his face Cuz said, “Well buddy, I suggest you don't say anything. The university may not even notice.”
The comment was so absurd and we knew we were in so much trouble, that all we could do was laugh.
Talk about tearing down a place, boy they sure tore it down that night!