I can’t count how many times I have forced this story on others, dragging them kicking and screaming through the most minute details, leading to the grand finale, which I can’t bear to reveal a moment before it’s time. The story begins on a stormy March night, St. Patrick’s Day, to be precise, in Denver, Colorado. The Denver Broncos, each year, host a Hall of Fame gala for the Colorado Special Olympics athletes and, as my sorority’s nation philanthropy (one of them, anyway) is the Special Olympics, we are occasionally invited to participate, as volunteers.
The gala itself is not the core of the story. As the gala was coming to an end, we realized that outside the glittery, warm hotel ballroom was a blizzard, “white out conditions,” glooms the meteorologist on the television. There we stood, seven college sorority girls from the University of Southern Colorado, two plus hours south of Denver, a blizzard between us and home, stranded. After a great deal of talking and convincing and “Get me your manager,” we had worked our way into a $300 a night room for the generous price of $150. Seven college sorority girls in one hotel room, stranded in a blizzard, does that spell horror flick to anyone else?
Thankfully, the night didn’t end with six of us chopped to bits and one final battered and bloodied survivor standing over the psycho killer with a chainsaw, just waiting to make sure he’s really dead. But considering what happened next, that wouldn’t have been too much of an exaggeration.
Somewhere between 10:30 and 11:00 that night, we developed a college cliché craving for pizza and beer. So, not wanting to risk someone losing their prized place in the parking garage, we set out afoot to find a pizza and a case of beer. Never fear, the snow had stopped by then, this story doesn’t end with one of us freezing to death.
As we rounded the first corner, making our way away from the warmth and comfort of the glittery $300 a night room hotel, we started to realize that maybe we wouldn’t find anything to satisfy our craving, at least not within walking distance. But walk on we did. Approaching the second corner to continue on what ended as a four block tour of Downtown Denver, we hear the sound of the first car we had seen so far on our adventure, followed closely by the sound of the second car. Up ahead, a police cruiser blocks the intersection and we soon realize, we are walking through the middle of a high speed chase.
Over the loudspeaker, comes the voice of an angry policeman, “Get out of the *@&% car,” comes his demand, “This is not a joke.” Now, was that really necessary, we all wonder as the two cruisers that had stopped the speeding, red Honda, which we could now see contained four, frightened, sixteen or seventeen year old girls, were joined by fifteen, count them, FIFTEEN, other cruisers, none of which, thankfully, carried anyone interested in our existence. We scurried along to the corner and by the time we rounded it to leave the madness behind, the angry officer with the foul language had the four young girls face down on the pavement, frisking them for weapons and his partner (or perhaps it was the other way around) was searching the trunk of the little red Honda.
All of that, and we never did find a pizza, or beer.